National Association of the Deaf

November 2012 Board Report

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Greetings! My name is Chris Wagner, President of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).  I am pleased to share some updates on the NAD Board's activities. 

It has been nearly five months since the successful 51st Biennial NAD Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Since then, we have been focused on a number of activities including a Town Hall meeting at our first NAD Board meeting at the Bay Area in California.  We would like to thank California School for the Deaf at Fremont, California Association of the Deaf, Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency, and San Francisco Deaf Club for the warm welcome and hosting a great event.

California residents had the opportunity to share their concerns within the deaf and hard of hearing community with the NAD Board. From there, we began developing relationships with different national organizations so we can determine how we can best collaborate and share resources.

Our next action item is to work with committed volunteers for over 20 committees within the NAD. Committees are comprised of different people from all walks of life who work together to discuss various issues and developing strategies to address them.

I want to highlight three important committees. First, the Education Strategy Team (EST) is led by NAD Board member Tawny Holmes.  They have already begun its work. and Tawny will share the EST updates with very soon.

Second, the Employment Task Force, which consists of different experts in the field of employment including colleges and universities and employers.  They will address issues on unemployment and under employment of deaf and hard of hearing people across America.

Third, we are focusing on youth strategies, including increasing youth participation.  Joshua Beckman, who represents our youth as a appointed NAD Board Member will focus on different ideas on how we can improve the Junior NAD and Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) and collaborate with our colleagues at DYUSA (Deaf Youth USA).

As you can see, the NAD is busy! We have also addressed other recent issues, including Hurricane Sandy and disaster preparedness.  We want to look at how we can improve disaster preparedness for deaf and hard of hearing people. We also want to express our thanks to the government entities – local, state, and federal – to ensure that full access is possible for all of us. But our work is not finished. We need to continue this effort.

We are now preparing for our next NAD Board meeting set to take place from January 17-20, 2013 in Atlanta, GA.  Keep an eye out for more information on our Atlanta meeting.

In closing, on behalf of the Board of Directors and their families as well as the staff and their families at NAD, we would like to wish you, your family and friends a happy and great Thanksgiving!  Let's be thankful for what the NAD, its staff, volunteers, members, and supporters have done for deaf and hard of hearing Americans. Thank you!

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