National Association of the Deaf


This lists all blog postings by the NAD and individuals who have submitted blog entries for posting by the NAD. Some of these will also be in video format (vlogs), which we expect will increase over time.

We welcome your comments! Before you send these in, please first review our Blog Policy.

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As we approach the end of the year, this is also the best time to donate!  The NAD President encourages you to consider the NAD as an organization to support!  Donate now.

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The NAD noticed videos supporting marriage equality popping up online and decided to join the campaign as well! This effort is being spearheaded by the #signtosign campaign. The NAD released a statement in 2012 supporting this important cause. NAD President Chris Wagner asserts, "Marriage is a fundamental right for all. No one should be denied such an essential part of life and such oppression is not tolerable. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals have experienced such oppression in the past, and the NAD is committed to fighting against all obstacles to equality."

NAD Statement on Marriage Equality
The NAD affirmatively states its strong support for GLBT marriage equality, consistent with equal protections under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This stance is also consistent with the NAD mission to safeguard the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals - whose marriage rights have been suppressed throughout history. Accordingly, the NAD supports national, state and local policy or legislative initiatives that promote the right to marriage equality for all people, including GLBT deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

 

The NAD Open House on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 was a huge success! Those who attended were able to enjoy remarks from the NAD President Chris Wagner, NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum, Dr. Lindsay Golden whose father Emanuel "Manny" Golden supported the Visual History Fund that made this event happen, and the artist herself, Susan Dupor. The fund also supported the creation of the "NAD: A GROWING DEMOCRACY" mural. Please enjoy the photos from the event. As always, the NAD expresses sincere gratitude for your ongoing support!

The NAD is pleased that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be creating a special advisory committee that focuses on disability issues. The committee will make recommendations to the Commission on disability issues within the jurisdiction of the FCC. This important development was announced by Chairman Tom Wheeler at the FCC's National Disability Employment Awareness Month Panel Discussions on Thursday, October 30, 2014. The NAD deeply appreciates that the FCC is moving towards a more inclusive system that will continue the work towards full accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing people as well as others with disabilities. With a Disability Advisory Committee, the NAD looks forward to more emphasis on achieving functional equivalence on all issues within the jurisdiction of the FCC. More information is forthcoming.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) applauds Mary Essex’s leadership in the past few weeks on behalf of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Austine School for the Deaf in Vermont.  Mary is the President of the Vermont Association of the Deaf (VTAD) and is also a proud alumna of the Austine School for the Deaf.  To bring attention to the unfortunate closure of the center and school, she got people together to plan a huge march and rally within a few weeks after the closing of the center was announced. Mary activated a state with a small deaf and hard of hearing population, and transformed the community into a huge presence on the steps of the State House in Montpelier, Vermont. For this leadership, she embodies the mission and vision of the NAD through her volunteerism and dedication, and the NAD would like to recognize her for this month’s #NADhandwave!

With only a few weeks leading up to the march and rally on September 27, Mary ran around securing permits, organized a great line of speakers for the crowd, invited state legislators to draft and propose a bill, mobilized the Austine Alumni, and reached out to the social media community. Throughout this experience, she ensured clear communications with the local Vermont deaf and hard of hearing people, the Austine Alumni, and the rest of the deaf and hard of hearing community. However, she will be quick to tell you that she worked with many other leaders and a community to make this happen.

After growing up in Vermont, she did venture out and worked in other countries to advance the linguistic and human rights for deaf and hard of hearing people.  Having returned to her home state to live and work, she had no idea that the rights of Deaf Vermonters were at stake right here in her own back yard. 

Thank you Mary for advocating for the civil, human and linguistic rights of Deaf Vermonters!

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) gives monthly #NADHandwaves to people in our community. This is great opportunity for the NAD to recognize exemplary people who do the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to move. If you know someone who deserves a #NADHandwave, submit your suggestion online!

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The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.

Wendy Brehm hails from Maryland and had various experiences in education growing up. She attended the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) then went to Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS) for her first two years of high school. Later, she transferred to Don Bosco Cristo Rey (DBCR), a private school for one year, then graduated from the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) in June 2014.  She will begin studying law at the University of Baltimore this fall. Her favorite hobbies are dancing and writing.  Wendy is excited to be doing an internship with the NAD because she dreams of becoming a lawyer someday.  She wants advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, specifically in education.  She looks up to Tawny Holmes, who is an Education Advocate.  Thanks to her internship, Wendy feels empowered to make a difference, just like the people at NAD do!

 

 

For Keith Doane, most of his identity originated in Minnesota. He attended Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD) until his sophomore year in High School.  Later, he graduated in 2004 from the California School for the Deaf, Fremont.  Growing up, he was very involved with athletics including football, BMX racing, basketball, track/field, and more importantly, Alpine Skiing.  Keith participated as an athlete in the 15th (2003 in Sundsvall) and 16h (2007 in Salt Lake City) Winter Deaflympics.  After meeting a few international students from Italy during his studies at Gallaudet University, he discovered his new passion – International Advocacy, which involves legal, education, and human rights work.  He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in International Government. Currently, he is in the Masters of Public Administration program at Gallaudet University and someday, he intends to run an organization.

Nia Lazarus is currently a third year student at Georgetown University where she studies Linguistics and Italian. Her internship at the NAD was brief, but it will not be her last. Her aspiration is to be admitted in a joint JD/MA program upon graduation from Georgetown and become an attorney for linguistic rights and education policies. She was born and raised in the Bay Area in California where she attended public elementary and secondary schools in Berkeley and California School for the Deaf in Fremont. Nia often loses herself in researching and studying new languages during her spare time. She has intensively studied Italian, Spanish, and Latin. She enjoys traveling and has recently finally reached her goal of visiting Italy this summer for five weeks studying Italian Sign Language and Linguistics. She hopes to study Linguistics at Stockholm University in Sweden this spring.

 

Daniela Porras comes from Costa Rica where she grew up until she was 11 years old, her family moved to America.  She knows four languages, Spanish, Spanish Sign Language, English, and American Sign Language.  She grew up speaking Spanish but used Spanish Sign Language while at school.  After moving to the United States, she spoke Spanish at home but used English and Sign Exact English at school.  Currently, she studies at Gallaudet University and has started using American Sign Language. She enjoys using captions on videos here after not having that growing up but still cherish some of her Costa Rican culture such as food.  Daniela enjoys reading and writing.  One day, she wants to be an author like her grandfather, Alvaro Porras Ledezma, so she can be another author in the family.

 

 

Monicah Tenai is an Early Childhood Education and Development teacher from Kenya and serves as a treasurer for the Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD) Youth Section.  She is a fellow participating in the Mandela Washington fellowship for Young Africa leaders’ initiative. The fellowship is a new flagship program of President Barack Obama and the US Government, and is supported by IREX. The fellowship brought 500 young African leaders for academic study, leadership, and a presidential summit in Washington DC.  Out of all the fellows, 100 were selected to complete an eight-week internship.  Her internship experience will cover advocacy of civil, human, and linguistic rights, youth leadership programs, deaf education, culture, and networking opportunities so that she can bring ideas for effective change back to her home country.

 

Alexander Van Hook, from Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, is currently a fourth year student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), studying political science and history. For the year 2014-2015, Alex will be involved with the NTID Student Council, serving the NTID student body as its President.  In the summer of 2013, he did an internship with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, thanks to the internship program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Alex is this year’s recipient of the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship at the NAD, which allowed Alex to work at the NAD Headquarters.  During his internship, Alex is able to learn about current emergent topics in American deaf and hard of hearing rights, how the NAD works as an organization, and also attend the biennial NAD Conference for his first time in Atlanta, Georgia this past summer!  Alex is considering a career in politics and advocacy after he graduates from RIT in 2016. 

 

 

Congratulations Dr. Al Mehl for receiving September 2014’s #NADHandwave!  Al has been very involved in newborn hearing screening since 1992 and took an integral part in passing Colorado’s newborn hearing legislation in 1997. The reason he’s being recognized this month is because of his recent opinion piece in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)’s newsletter on how to talk about being deaf, and what makes one “disabled” (or not!). 

Among other things, Al says “…I have learned to think of deafness as a quality that defines, in part, a very human attribute, a human-ness, a spirit born of a shared signed language, a spirit born of hands connected to heart, a shared way of being in the world, a visceral connection to a community of family and friends.”  He also describes an experience at Gallaudet University as the only hearing person in a room full of deaf students and how that was part of his “journey of appreciation."

In addition, the newsletter highlights the deaf Marvel character Hawkeye and the Best Practices in Family-Centered Early Intervention International Consensus Statement.  This is information that pediatricians and other medical professionals need to know.  Al also was a contributor to the Supplement to the JCIH 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Intervention After Confirmation That a Child Is Deaf or Hard of Hearing and helped to ensure a balanced viewpoint in that document.  

One line says it best from the nomination letter for the 2010 winners of the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence, “Without Al Mehl I am convinced newborn hearing screening would not have happened in Colorado for another decade.”

Al is a Pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has practiced general pediatrics for over 30 years. Currently he is the chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics EHDI Chapter Champions and works with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado as well as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Following his introduction to newborn hearing screening in the newborn nursery of Boulder Community Hospital in 1993, Dr. Mehl became the pediatric consultant for the Colorado Newborn Hearing Screening Project. In this role, he assisted in lobbying for state legislation and subsequently became Chairman of the Colorado Infant Hearing Advisory Committee to the state health department in 1998. He has published a number of scientific papers summarizing Colorado’s successes in universal newborn hearing screening and has given educational presentations on four continents. Al is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Improving the Effectiveness of Newborn Hearing Screening and has served as Chairman of the Task Force from 2005 to present. Additionally, he was appointed in 2005 to represent the American Academy of Pediatrics on the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH). 

According to Dr. Beth Benedict, "Dr. Mehl is one of a kind.  Although he is a pediatrician, he does much more.  He embraces and respects people of all kinds.  He allows deaf people to be deaf.  He gets it."

Thanks, Al, for advocating a broad perspective of what it means to be deaf!

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) gives monthly #NADHandwaves to people in our community. This is great opportunity for the NAD to recognize exemplary people who do the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to move. If you know someone who deserves a #NADHandwave, submit your suggestion online!

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The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.

The NAD introduces Hugh Farquhar as this month’s #NADHandwave recipient! He’s well known for his many years spent on a small island in Connecticut, as an archery instructor before eventually becoming the Director of Camp Isola Bella. 

Hugh was born in Montreal, Canada and enrolled into the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in 1955 then eventually graduated in 1960.  Ten years later, he started working at ASD and through that path, he ended up being the Director of Camp Isola Bella.  He’s well known for his archery knowledge and to this day, he continues to mentor and train Isola Bella staff and campers with archery instruction.  In addition to having been the Assistant Director and Director at Isola Bella, Hugh has worn many different hats during his tenure at ASD, as a classroom teacher, archery instructor, machine shop teacher, and even as a per diem specialist! 

He is always quick to assist in any way he can, even though he is no longer a staff member at ASD.  He has volunteered many hours for the community that need his media expertise, archery knowledge, or his two cents on how to deal with a situation.  During his free time, he enjoys golfing.   Hugh is a true gentleman with a warm personality.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) gives monthly #NADHandwaves to people in our community. This is great opportunity for the NAD to recognize people who do the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to move. If you know someone who you’d like to nominate for a #NADHandwave, you can submit your suggestion online!

Thank you, Hugh, for continuing to give your heart and soul to Isola Bella. We appreciate your dedication and we’re grateful for your commitment.  You have set an example of what it takes to be great community member. Congratulations on receiving this month’s #NADHandwave!

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The NAD strongly supports the efforts of Keith Nolan and others to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have the opportunity to serve our country in uniform. We, like many of our members, were deeply inspired by Keith Nolan’s 2011 TedxIslay conference speech, which has over 150 thousand views on YouTube. The NAD has been working closely with Mr. Nolan over the past three years gathering support in Congress. The NAD strongly supports S.1864 and H.R. 5296. We believe that this pilot program is a great first step as it is a way to show the military how it can benefit from having deaf and hard of hearing soldiers.    

There will be a rally on Friday, September 12, 2014.  Further information about the rally can be found at cadetnolannow.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/cadetnolan.  

 

The NAD Board of Directors and RID Board of Directors will host a joint town hall meeting with free admission on Saturday, September 20th, 2014, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, at the American School for the Deaf, Gallaudet-Clerc Education Center Cafeteria (139 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06107).  Refreshments will be provided!  Come and meet the NAD & RID Board of Directors!  This town hall meeting would not be possible without the support of the American School for the Deaf.  

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National Association of the Deaf | 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819