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) and PepsiCo announced today that actress Treshelle Edmond has been selected to bring the beauty of American Sign Language (ASL) to one of the most popular sports and entertainment events of the year – Super Bowl Sunday.

Earlier today the National Football League and NBC announced that Edmond will be joining Tony award-winning actress and singer Idina Menzel in performing the National Anthem and platinum-selling singer-songwriter John Legend in performing "America the Beautiful" during the Super Bowl XLIX pregame festivities at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona

"Few things bring Americans together like the Super Bowl," said NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum. "No matter what team we are rooting for, we gather together to share the excitement of the game, the humor of the ads and the passion of the performances that are all such an integral part of Super Bowl Sunday. With ASL as part of the pregame festivities, the NFL and NBC ensure that all Americans including those who are deaf and hard of hearing can enjoy the Super Bowl experience equally."

PepsiCo's sponsorship of Treshelle Edmond as the ASL artist at Super Bowl XLIX is the latest effort in an on-going partnership with the NAD to advance awareness of ASL and promote inclusivity in media and pop culture.

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About the National Association of the Deaf

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped 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. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations. www.nad.org

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2013, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth in shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.  

About Treshelle Edmond

Treshelle Edmond is a deaf actress who has guest starred in two television shows: House, M.D. and Glee. She also had a prominent role in a successful Deaf West Theater production of Spring Awakening. Born in San Bernardino, California, she attended school in Birmingham, Alabama and in Los Angeles, California where she was an All Star and All American Cheerleader. As a member of the All Star cheerleading team, Treshelle cheered in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. She regularly does community service with various organizations like the Foundation for Junior Blind and the Zuma Beach clean up program. She has received awards from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication to the DEAFestival-Los Angeles and her contributions to the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Read PepsiCo's press release here.

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Do you live near Portland, Oregon? The NAD, Registry of Interpreters, Inc (RID), Oregon RID, and the Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD) invite you to attend the town hall forum at 7pm on Saturday, January 17th in Portland, Oregon! Please join and bring your issues to us!  This forum is sponsored by the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Portland State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Portland State University, and Portland State University. 
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Meet the volunteers who serve on the NAD Board of Directors! Enjoy this brief teaser with all the individual Board members.  Full length videos for the individual Board member is available online!

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.

 

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