National Association of the Deaf

NAD Responds to Community Discussion on Governor Daugaard

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The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) wishes to respond to the outpouring of concern, opposition, and support regarding the choice of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard as a plenary presenter during the 51st Biennial NAD Conference to be held July 3-7, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. As announced previously, Governor Daugaard is unable to attend the NAD Conference.

In line with its topmost priorities, the NAD remains committed to working with elected officials, legislators and policy makers in red and blue states, to save our deaf schools and the educational rights of our deaf and hard of hearing children. Collaboration is necessary with deaf leaders and advocates dealing with rapidly dwindling budgets and changing priorities in certain states.

The NAD is also committed to equal rights for every member of the deaf and hard of hearing community, including those who are also members of other communities. Our focus this year is on creating an inclusive conference with more diverse presenters, emcees and luncheon keynoters than at any previous conference, and ensuring the success of our youth luncheon, our senior citizens luncheon, and our first-ever GLBT luncheon, all of which have been planned well in advance of the conference. We recently released a comprehensive statement in support of marriage equality.

It was never our intention to make any individual feel marginalized at our conference, and the NAD apologizes to those who feel that our plans had this effect. We reiterate our call to action for the entire diversity of our community to work toward achieving equality in all aspects of life. We ask you to join us in promoting and advancing the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people across the nation.

Established in 1880, The National Association of the Deaf is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States. The NAD is shaped by the deaf leaders of today who believe in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, congregate on issues important to them, and represent community interests at the national level with American Sign Language as a core value.

The advocacy scope of NAD is broad, impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more, transforming the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. On the international front, NAD represents the United States of America in the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an international human rights organization.

The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations.

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