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.

Aoi Bae

Aoi Bae is from Germantown, Maryland.  She works at the NAD as a Clinic I student attorney through the Civil Rights for Persons with Disabilities Clinic at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she is a second year law student.  She is interested in health, trade and finance law.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Rochester.  She is half-Japanese, half-Korean, and is fluent in Japanese.  She enjoys reading (especially historical fiction), cooking, baking, and traveling overseas.

Wendy Brehm

Wendy Brehm is a sophomore at the University of Baltimore, and is studying Pre-Law. This is her second summer as an intern at the NAD. Her favorite hobbies include dancing and writing. Wendy enjoys interning with the NAD because it is similar to her dream career. She wants to become a lawyer and specialize in the field of Disability Rights. Interning at NAD has had a strong influence on Wendy's life. She now feels even more empowered to make a difference, because NAD makes such a powerful difference, Wendy has had the opportunity to learn ways she can do it, too!

Hopie Flieger

Hopie Flieger is from Bethesda, MD and is a sophomore at George Washington University (GWU), double majoring in Speech and Hearing Science and Philosophy.  She is excited to be an intern with the NAD Law and Advocacy Center because she hopes to attend law school after she graduates and one day become an advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing community.  Hopie was a competitive gymnast for ten years and when she's not interning or in class, she works at the GWU Fitness Center.

Thomas Fuller

Thomas Fuller grew up outside of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Stevenson University, where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. Thomas worked for ten years at the National Aquarium where he was fortunate to work with both guests and animals from all over the world. Currently, Thomas is a second-year law student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. After school, Thomas hopes to use his law degree in the political and public policy fields.

Rashad James

Rashad James is a third year evening law student at the University of Maryland School of Law. He works at the NAD as a student attorney through the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law Clinic. Prior to law school he obtained his Master’s in Sociology at North Carolina Central University and his Bachelor’s in Sociology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He is also a professor of sociology at the Community College of Baltimore County. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Rashad plans to pursue a career in legislation/public policy.

Brian Keith Lucas
Brian Keith Lucas is pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree at the Charlotte School of Law in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before starting law school, he was an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Specialist at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. In his role, he performed technical edits and researched employment cases law before drafting Final Agency Decisions (FAD) and Final Order (FO), and reviewed and organized thousands employment complaint files to ensure completeness for further processing. Before USDA, after graduating from Gallaudet University with Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in May 2008, he worked primarily at the United States Mint, as an Administrative Assistant, to directly support the Director of the Workforce Solutions Department and assisted leaders in maximizing the workplace culture. Outside of work, he has used his leadership skills in various volunteer capacities such as President of the Alumni Corporation Board of Delta Sigma Phi; National Representative on behalf of the President of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA); and participated as a special guest and keynote speaker at Gallaudet University and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Vincent Kong

Vincent Kong was born in Queens, New York City and lived for 13 years until his family moved to Maryland. He just graduated with associate degree in Design and Imaging Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He creates his own original drawings and illustration by hand using various traditional media. He is passionate about the arts and graphics in all forms. He chose a path that turned his passion info a profession. Vincent is very eager to learn and improve his skills. He loves new challenges!

Alyssa Leonhardt

Alyssa Leonhardt is a student attorney in the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law Clinic at the University of Maryland Law School, where she is a third year student. Alyssa has previously worked as a law clerk for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III and as a litigation paralegal at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. When Alyssa is not camped out in the library, she can be found on the kickball field or shamelessly eating a big cheeseburger.

Jennifer Love

Jennifer Love is from Perris, California. She just graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with Bachelor Science Degree in Sociology and Anthropology, and Communication. She will be attending at Brockport University this upcoming fall of 2015 to pursuit her Master Degree in Liberal studies and Human Resources. She works at NAD at the Front Desk and helps out with social media. She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking and hanging out with her two dogs, Shelby and Trip.

Julie Love

Julie Love is from Perris, California. She is a graphic design intern. She is currently a student at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She used to work for Student Life Team (SLT) at RIT. The Student Life Team’s purpose is to support campus environment and academic partnerships, which promotes transformational community and individual students activities, learning and growth. She enjoys playing basketball and volleyball as well as socializing with friends on campus. 

Peter Lucas-Roberts

Peter Lucas-Roberts is from Walla Walla, Washington. He works at the NAD as a summer legal intern and is a rising second year law student at George Washington University Law School. Peter also serves on the executive board of the Equal Justice Foundation at GW Law. Prior to coming to law school, Peter completed an MA in International Human Rights from the University of Denver. He plans to pursue a career in public interest or international human rights law.

Tyler Pugeda

Tyler Pugeda hails from Orange County, California! He is a junior, double majoring in Mathematics and Philosophy at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN).  At CSUN, Tyler is actively involved in Deaf CSUNians, Student Philosophical Society, and Pre-Law Association -- where he found his love of leadership, philosophy, and law. Tyler has been recently elected to be the president of Deaf CSUNians for the next upcoming school year 2015-2016. He also coordinated the first-ever Deaf CSUNians Ambassador Program and participated in the CSUN College Bowl team which competed at the NAD College Bowl at #NAD2014. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys pondering about mathematics and reading philosophical writings. Because of his deep interest in Deaf Philosophy, Tyler has presented on "Metaphysics of Audism" and "Relation Between Sign Language and Thought." He knows English, ASL, and Latin. Currently, Tyler is independently learning Spanish, which he believes will be of use when he travels around the world someday. After completing his undergraduate studies, Tyler plans to attend law school in the East Coast and may join a J.D./M.A./Ph.D program in Philosophy. Tyler aspires to be an attorney that defends linguistic, civil, and human rights of every deaf, hard of hearing, Late Deafened, Deaf-Blind, and Deaf-Disabled individual.

Bethany Weiner

Bethany Weiner is a recent college graduate is currently an intern for the NAD, in the Communications Department. Prior to becoming an intern for the NAD, Bethany worked as a student tour guide at her alma mater, Gallaudet University, where she pursued her B.A. in Psychology. Bethany enjoys trying not to fall off her unicycle, mini road trips, and dance parties by herself.

Jake Whitaker

Jake Whitaker was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. From an early age, Jake has loved the game of baseball, especially the Dodgers. He began playing baseball at 5 years old and continued playing through community college. He graduated from Oak Park high school in 2007 and received his undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University in 2014. Jake was a history major and wrote his senior thesis on the relationship between McCarthyism and the decline of organized labor in the United States. He began law school at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2014. Jake plans on graduating in the spring of 2017 and hopes to be a litigator specializing in torts. Even though Jake no longer plays baseball, one of his favorite ways to spend his free time is to watch the Dodgers. He is also very interested in politics and spends a lot of time following the news. He love the outdoors and goes hiking as frequently as possible.

 

On this month of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is only fitting that the NAD recognizes L. Dara Baldwin as this month’s #NADhandwave recipient. Dara is well-known within the Washington, DC metropolitan area, as well as nationally, as a dedicated advocate for all civil rights including disability rights. While she has advocated on many issues including passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 and has done so with her mastery of social media outreach, the NAD thanks Dara for her tenacious support on seeking accessible emergency televised announcements in ASL and captioning.

Any time there is a snowstorm alert, a tornado warning, or a “stay-indoors” advisory due to a shooting or possible terrorist attack; Dara is there with admonishments to government authorities for failing to have an ASL interpreter in clear view on television next to governors, mayors, and other government officials. She has repeatedly told DC government officials, including mayors, for years that there is no excuse for not making emergency announcements on television accessible given the large number of deaf and hard of hearing people living in the DC metro area. Dara has made use of her twitter account and blog to make such issues public as an ally.

Dara Baldwin was born in Torrejon, Spain, and acquired her desire to serve the community from her parents. She is currently the Public Policy Analyst for the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), which is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legal advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. In her capacity, she is responsible for advocating on behalf of all people with disabilities on federal legislative issues. Prior to this current role, she was a policy analyst for the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and an ADA compliance specialist for the DC government.

The NAD thanks Dara for her staunch support of our civil, human and linguistic rights including the right to be safe during emergencies with full access to information that is shared with everyone else.

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 for the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to progress. 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 NAD Outreach Committee invites YOU to fill out a community survey. NAD Outreach Committee member Tracy Ivy shares your reply will help the committee make recommendations to the NAD Board to improve your NAD experience. If you're reading this on your mobile, watch the video here.

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For June's AHA segment, Howard A. Rosenblum discusses Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). The AHA Series is also available at www.nad.org/AHA. If you're reading from your mobile, you can view the video here.

Deaf and hard of hearing people live throughout the world, and many of them come to the United States in search of education, employment, and/or a better life. Demir Bekiri, this month’s #NADhandwave recipient, is one of those remarkable deaf individuals who came into the United States and not only found everything he was looking for, but also devoted his life to sharing the American Dream with so many others who came after him.

Demir was born and raised in Grncari, Macedonia, which was part of the former Yugoslavia. When he was 20 years old, he came to the United States and settled in Chicago. He did not know ASL or English, but found the deaf community in Chicago and quickly learned both languages. He met and married his wife Demetra, and had two sons. He also found work and had everything he could want.

But he saw many other deaf immigrants struggling with adapting to American life and becoming citizens. In 2003, he worked with other leaders to create an organization dedicated to assisting deaf immigrants, primarily from Eastern Europe but welcoming those from other parts of the world as well – Deaf European American Association of Chicago (DEAAC). 

Through this organization, he and other dedicated people created a school to train deaf and hard of hearing immigrants on English, ASL, American life, and passing the US citizenship exam. This program is called the Deaf Adults Education Access Program (DAEAP): http://www.deaac.org/#!blank/cxoj  Remarkably, this program has a 100% passing rate for every student to pass the citizenship examination!!

Demir is known in the Chicago area as having a huge heart, helping everyone in need, and never seeking recognition. Despite his humility, all deaf immigrants in the Chicago area know who he is and have elected him as President of DEAAC for nearly the entire existence of the organization.

The NAD recognizes his commitment and dedication to ensuring equal access for all deaf and hard of hearing immigrants, who deserve the same chance at life in the USA as all other immigrants.

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 for the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to progress. 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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How do you sign the "National Association of the Deaf"? We're curious to see if anyone has a better way of signing the organization's name!  Do you have an ASL sign idea to share with us? Send it in by July 1, 2015! The winning sign will be announced at the NAD Leadership Training Conference (NLTC) in Birmingham, Alabama this September. If you're reading this from your mobile, view the video here.
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In this month's AHA segment, NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum shares one of the things people have been talking about on Facebook, the appropriate use of ASL for the "National Association of the Deaf, NAD". If you're reading from your mobile, watch the video from here.

The NAD wishes to recognize Cathy Corrado as this month’s #NADhandwave recipient for her time and energy investing in the deaf and hard of hearing youth. Thanks to her efforts, the annual “Biztown” event which is part of the Junior Achievement program, has helped give many local deaf and hard of hearing students an opportunity to learn about business, economics, finances and life-skills.

Biztown, originally for hearing 4-6th graders, gives students a hands-on experience; they take on a role as a business owner, employee, taxpayer and consumer. This incredible program fosters the idea of learning outside the classroom.  Cathy recognized the need for deaf and hard of hearing mainstream students between 5th and 12th grades to participate in this beneficial opportunity. As a result, Biztown has given a positive impact for over 200 deaf and hard of hearing students! With Biztown, students are able to engage with each other, make new friends, discover a career, and share their goals with each other.  Prior to the one-day event, itinerant teachers and mainstream programs teachers spend about 6-10 weeks training their students on business-based and financial literacy-focused curriculum. Deaf and hard of hearing community members including vocational rehabilitation counselors, Starbucks employees, Boeing employees, and more are always invited to Biztown, as well.

Cathy is a trainer and consultant for Washington State's Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL). Her area of focus is literacy including reading, writing, and content areas.  Her responsibilities also include classroom assessment that helps guide instruction in the classroom.  Before arriving at CDHL, Cathy taught in a self-contained deaf and hard of hearing classroom for 28 years at the elementary level for Tacoma Public Schools.  She was also an itinerant teacher for 2 years where she worked with deaf and hard of hearing students who did not attend the self-contained program.  

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 for the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to progress. 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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We're waiting for you! Watch and learn what the five rounds look like from the 2014 competition. If you're reading from your mobile, watch here.

The NAD Board had a very successful weekend in Chicago, Illinois during April 15-19!  Amidst the busy and packed schedule to visit local schools and meet with the local deaf and hard of hearing community -- the NAD Board also had a very productive meeting. Enjoy the photos here!  Also, while in Chicago, the Board members shared their report -- you can view them below: