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.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) introduces Melissa Yingst-Huber as this month’s #NADhandwave recipient!  You may know her as a school counselor at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD), a news anchor for Deaf and Hearing Network, or even as the Vice-President of the Phoenix Deaf Women Organization.  She embodies the NAD spirit in every ‘hat’ she’s got on. 

Currently, Melissa is a school counselor at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD), where she works with deaf and hard of hearing children.  Originally from Southern California, Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and recently became a Licensed Masters in Social Work (LMSW) after graduating with her master’s degree from Arizona State University. 

Melissa previously served as the Vice-President for the Phoenix Deaf Women Organization but now lead as President.  She also serves as the Program Development Officer for Deaf Women United.  Her most recent accomplishment includes a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Student Production Award from the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards as well as student recognition from the National Center on Disability and Journalism. She was also awarded the ADA Liberty Community Accessibility Pioneer Advocate Award from the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL). 

In her free time, Melissa enjoys cooking up a storm and hosting dinner parties, spending time with her husband Dave and their two furry long-haired chihuahuas – Kikko and Charlee, hiking, reading books and is a self-admitted reality TV show addict.

Melissa, thank you for your huge passion in your work on behalf of the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

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.  

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The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) takes a moment to explain the purpose of the Joint Recommendation and the Comment that was filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 1, 2014. Both filings were very important for the deaf and hard of hearing community. With such action, we know that there's work left to be done -- with your support, we can continue the fight for equality for access in Movie Theaters!  www.nad.org/donate. #givingtuesday
 
Video description and transcript can be found at the YouTube page
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What do you want to be when you grow up?  As different kids share their career goals, we know our work is not done.  Donate today at www.nad.org/donate.

Morgan Arons, a Clinic I student attorney, was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. She went to the University of Delaware, where she studied Political Science with a Public Law focus and minor in Legal Studies. She is currently in her final year of law school at the University of Maryland, where she is heavily involved in the Women’s Bar Association as student chapter president. She has taken two American Sign Language classes during law school and would love to be able to sign fluently one day!

 

 

Nikita M. Floore, CRC, is a third year law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and is currently a Clinic II student attorney.  Nikita's clinic experience in the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Clinic has given her an opportunity to work with staff attorneys at the NAD to assist with various legal and advocacy activities of the office. As a Clinic II student, Nikita was selected to return to the NAD for an additional semester as a teaching assistant. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, this clinic was a great addition in her pursuit of working with persons with disabilities. Nikita spent the first part of her career working with individuals with disabilities in various state and federal government settings. Looking forward to working in the public interest after law school, this clinic experience has prepared Nikita to gain additional skills in working with clients to assist with their legal needs.

 

Braden Forbes is from Florida and is currently a senior at Gallaudet University, studying Government. He attended the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and graduated in 2011 with Honors. He enjoys reading, running, traveling and watching movies. Someday, in the near future, he aims to participate in a marathon or a triathlon. Last Spring, Braden had his first experience working on the Hill, where he was an intern for Congressman Steve Stockman. During his internship, Braden helped coordinate the Deaf Staff Caucus.  After graduation, Braden hopes to become an advocate in the deaf community to provide empowerment tools for the deaf and hard of hearing or work for the US Government.  

 

Tristan Hower is currently a senior at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) in Washington, DC. Tristan grew up in Henrietta, New York, and has lived in Arizona, Maryland, Colorado, and now, Washington, DC. He attended four different schools for the deaf -- Rochester, Maryland, Rocky Mountain, and MSSD.  He also went to a mainstream school in Sherman Elementary while in New York. Tristan loves working with people and plans to attend Gallaudet University after he graduates. At Gallaudet, he plans to major in Business Administration because his dream is to become an Administrator. Tristan really enjoys working with Tawny Holmes with Deaf Education!

 

Adina Katz, is from Silver Spring, Maryland. She works at the NAD as a Clinic I student attorney as part of her Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law Clinic at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is currently pursuing a J.D. and M.S.W. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Adina has held legal internships at the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Baltimore City Circuit Court working in the mediation division. Additionally, she held a social work internship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Law and Social Services Clinic where she assisted clients of the clinic with their psychosocial needs and obtaining resources. Adina has worked at So Others Might Eat working with individuals with serious mentally illness. Adina plans to practice civil rights law, family law, or criminal law upon graduation in 2015. She hopes to be an effective attorney who is sensitive to the unique concerns of others.

Connie Lee, is a third year law student at the University of Maryland School of Law.  Connie serves as a Clinic I student attorney in the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities clinic, which allows her to serve clients at the NAD.  Connie is from Philadelphia and went to Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in French and political science.  Prior to law school, Connie worked for six years at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.  For the first three years, she worked as a paralegal on criminal civil rights cases, involving hate crimes, police brutality and human trafficking.  For the latter three years, she worked as the Confidential Assistant to Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, where she planned community outreach events across the country.  In law school, Connie is Team Captain of the National Trial Team and on the Moot Court Board. 

Jamie Lee is originally from Silver Spring, Maryland. She is currently a Clinic I student attorney at the NAD, as part of the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law Clinic. She is pursuing a law degree at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Before law school, Jamie was a paralegal at Hunton & Williams LLP, working in the firm’s Competition practice.  She also had the opportunity to serve the Obama Administration as a White House intern where she responded to letters sent to the President and coordinated events that the President attended.  Other memorable experiences included: riding in the President’s motorcade, testing out the President’s teleprompters, and hanging out with Bo (the First Family’s dog) and First Lady, Michelle Obama.  She is looking forward to graduating next May and plans to pursue antitrust law.  In her free time, Jamie loves to learn foreign languages (she currently speaks Spanish and Korean), hang out with friends, and explore new restaurants.    

Michael Levin, a Clinic I student attorney, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and is a third-year law student at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.  Michael graduated from Johns Hopkins University where he majored in International Relations and English.  Michael is the Manuscripts Editor of the Maryland Law Review.  He enjoys helping to represent clients and learning from the experienced attorneys at the NAD Law & Advocacy Center.

 

 

 

Xheni Llaguri is a third year law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and she is currently completing her clinical program at the NAD as a Clinic I student attorney. She is also serving as Managing Editor for the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, President of the Immigration Law and Policy Association, and as a volunteer with Project HEAL at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Prior to law school, she obtained her Master's in Education from George Mason University and served as a Teach for America corps member, teaching elementary school in Washington, D.C. Xheni received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Political Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. She enjoys traveling, reading fiction, and outdoor markets. She resides in beautiful Baltimore, MD.

Jaclyn Machometa is a third year law student at the University of Maryland School of Law. Jaclyn completed her clinical law requirement at the NAD for the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Clinic last spring 2014. Jaclyn returned to the NAD this fall to serve as a Clinic II student attorney. Jaclyn is working towards her J.D. with a focus on Health Law. She has held previous positions as a Shale Stiller Fellow for Project HEAL, a medical-legal partnership at Kennedy Krieger Institute, a law clerk for the NAACP National Headquarters, a judicial intern for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Federal Sector Hearings Unit, and an advocacy intern at the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. Jaclyn has a deep interest in interdisciplinary collaborations and hopes to one day improve patient care through health care law and policy work.

Rachel Martin is from Hagerstown, Maryland.  She works at the NAD as a Clinic I student attorney in the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law Clinic at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she is a third year law student.  Rachel has previously worked as a legal intern in the Office of the State's Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland; the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Appellate Division; the Maryland State Senate; and the Circuit Court for Frederick County, Maryland.  Rachel plans to pursue a career in public policy or public interest law.

 

 

Kathryn Robertson is a legal fellow at the NAD.  She graduated with a B.A. in journalism and Africana studies from New York University.   While there, she wrote for the school’s Brownstone Magazine, Washington Square News, and NYU Alumni Magazine.  She was also treasurer of the African Heritage Month Planning Committee.  She was introduced to law as an intern at the Legal Aid Society’s criminal defense division in Queens, New York.  After college, Kathryn worked toward education equity at Jumpstart for Young Children for a year, and then she attended Georgetown University Law Center (GULC).  She graduated from GULC with a J.D., as an Exceptional Pro Bono Honoree.  During her time there, she focused her coursework on the intersection between civil rights law and education law, and interned at numerous civil rights organizations, including Victor M. Glasberg & Associates, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, and the NAD.  She also taught constitutional law to lay people in the Street Law Clinic and served as an intern at the Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development.  Kathryn is originally from Georgia, and she enjoys reading, jogging, knitting, and playing the piano.

Sophia Tian is a Clinic I student attorney with the NAD. She holds an LL.B. degree from China University of Political Science and Law, and an LL.M. degree from New York University School of Law.  She expects to graduate from University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law with her J.D. degree this December.  Born and raised in China, a country with a nascent legal system, Sophia witnessed some tragic stories where people with disabilities had no access to tools that would protect their rights and freedoms.  After coming to the United States, she has been eager to learn how this country protects the rights of people with disabilities and how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) functions in real life.  This is the reason she joined the Civil Rights of People with Disability Clinic sponsored by Maryland Law.  She started to work at the NAD since August and plans to finish her internship this December.

Congratulations Alvaro “Al” Jimenez for receiving November 2014’s #NADHandwave!  He was nominated because he's the first official Spanish teacher at a school for the deaf who both uses Lengua Senas de Mexicana (LSM) as a bridge for the Latin@ students and teaches it alongside Spanish to the remaining students. This is a rare occurrence for a school to have a trilingual and a native LSM user as a teacher, and we applaud Texas School for the Deaf in welcoming multilingualism into their school. 

Al graduated from Colegio "El Pacifico AC" in June of 1984 and obtained a diploma in Social Humanities and went on to Southwest Collegiate Institute of the Deaf/Howard College to get training in General Education and certification as a paraprofessional in May of 1999 before attending Gallaudet University and earning a Bachelor's degree in Spanish in May of 2008. He is currently a graduate student at Lamar University working to earn his Master's degree in Deaf Education. He recently gave a very engaging and informative presentation on the history of LSM at the 4th conference of National Hispano Council of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

During his educational journey, Al also participated in numerous conferences regarding deaf education in various settings. To name a few, he presented at the Leadership Empowerment of Human Rights program for deaf children in Guanajuato, Guanajuato; taught at an elementary school in Spain; attended the Latin American Congress on Bilingual Education for Deaf People; presented at the World Federation of the Deaf Congress about his successful efforts to get Argentina to recognize Argentine Sign Language as an official language.

While he’s not busy advocating, he enjoys reading, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, playing racquetball, mountain biking, and loves to travel.  He is currently the Vice President of the Texas Latino Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Thank you Al for being a pioneer in the deaf and hard of hearing community!

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.

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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!

###

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.