National Association of the Deaf



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Tawny Holmes, NAD Education Policy Counsel, gives an update! She discusses the Education Advocates program, various policy work, and the Education Strategy Team (EST).  Further information can be found: www.nad.org/EducationAdvocates. Video description and transcript is available here. If you're reading this from your mobile, view the video here.
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NAD President Chris Wagner invites you to join us at the next Biennial NAD Conference!  If you're reading this from your mobile, view the exciting announcement here. Check out our #NAD2016 Conference website here!
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NAD Board Region IV Representative David Reynolds from the Education Strategy Team (EST) and NAD Appointed-Board Member Alicia Lane-Outlaw from the Outreach Committee give a brief update.  If you're reading this from your mobile, view their report here. Also available are reports from Region I, Region II, Region III, and Region IV
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NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum gives an update about streaming media in the air.  The AHA Series is also available at www.nad.org/AHA.  If you're reading this from your mobile, please view the video here.

With 2016 underway, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is thrilled to recognize Lauren Searls this month. She recently won an important court case against Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) after they withdrew their job offer upon learning that ASL interpreters are needed as a reasonable accommodation.

Lauren is a deaf registered nurse (RN). Today, she works at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. Prior to arriving at Strong Memorial Hospital, she studied at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland and completed her education at Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH). Eventually, she was offered a job with JHH but later JHH rescinded the offer after her request for ASL interpreters. JHH claimed it would be a direct threat to patient safety and cost. That didn’t stop Lauren – she filed a complaint of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Finally, on January 21, 2016, the United States District Court in Maryland ruled in favor of Lauren. The court found that Lauren has the right to accommodations, including an ASL interpreter, and that job duties are not altered or shifted to colleagues. Furthermore, the Court found that Lauren’s track record as a registered nurse in Rochester disproved JHH’s concerns that being deaf posed a direct threat to patient safety.

Lauren was born in Maryland and now lives in Rochester, New York. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry from Simmons College in Boston; got her Nursing Degree from Johns Hopkins University; and is now studying to become a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Rochester. She has a dog named Lola and a cat named Atlas, and both get along smashingly! Her hobbies include playing ice hockey and traveling the world, she’s been to India, China, the Philippines, Israel, Scotland, England, Egypt, and more!

The NAD thanks Lauren for helping to pave the way for future deaf and hard of hearing medical professionals.

The 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 pretty lucky to have you rootin’ for us.  We extend our warm wishes for a prosperous new 2016 to you and yours! If you're reading this from your mobile, watch the video here.

As we watch 2015 come to a close, we are excited to recognize Darlene Ewan as this month’s #NADhandwave recipient!  A Washington, D.C. native, Darlene is an educator of the deaf and her passions include advocacy for deaf people and deaf youth.

Darlene obtained her Master’s in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College (now known as McDaniel College) after her undergraduate career at Gallaudet University. She worked at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center; the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia; the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick; the Marie Phillip School in Framingham; the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis; and currently lives on the island of O’ahu where she is a teacher at the Hawai’i School for the Deaf and Blind (HSDB) in Honolulu. This year, Darlene was a coach for the HSDB Academic Bowl Team!

Besides her career background, she is a fervent volunteer for the community.  Darlene is currently the vice-president of the Aloha State Association of the Deaf (ASAD) and served as the ASAD delegate to the 2014 NAD Conference in Atlanta. Her desire to advocate on local and state levels is to improve the quality of life for deaf people. She was part of the community effort to convince the State of Hawai’i to pass HB1272 – which requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations to have open-captioned movies during at least two showings per week! This law will take effect in the New Year, on January 1, 2016 – what a great time to be living in Hawai’i!

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, exercising, and spending time with Makoda, her dog. Thank you, Darlene, for your presence and persistent advocacy efforts!

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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NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum briefly wraps up the year 2015 and invites the community to consider presenting, exhibiting, sponsoring, volunteering for the NAD Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  You can find preliminary information at www.nad.org/2016phoenix. The AHA Series is also available at www.nad.org/AHA. If you're reading this from your mobile, watch the video here.

Are you interested in first-hand experience with government advocacy and legal activism at one of the most innovative law and advocacy centers in the country? Apply now to intern at the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center this summer! You can get an NAD internship, thanks to the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship stipend awards.

The application deadline is February 19, 2016.

Qualified applicants will spend the summer at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland where they will participate actively in NAD advocacy efforts to protect the civil, human and linguistic rights of the American deaf community. Preference will be given to students pursuing careers in law, public policy, nonprofit management or related fields. This scholarship provides financial stipends to assist qualified applicants with travel, housing, transportation and related needs during the internship.

Last year’s Scholarship recipient Tyler Pugeda thanks the NAD for the experience, “I decided to apply for the scholarship to see whether or not I wanted to pursue a legal career. As a result, I've grown personally and professionally. I strongly recommend this experience because you will learn how the NAD operates and have many opportunities to network -- I even met President Obama! I thank the NAD for giving me this invaluable opportunity.” 

 

 

 

 

Photo on left: Tyler stands on the far left among other interns
and staff in front of the U.S. White House.

 

Photo on right: Tyler stands inside the U.S. White House.

 

Past Scholarship recipient in 2012, Lisa Bothwell shares her encouragement for other interested applicants, "I was fortunate to be able to work with the lawyers at the NAD.  I did legal research on transportation, employment, and effective communication. I graduated from the College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana.”

Another recipient, in 2013, Hayley McLemore shares gratitude for the experience, "I first learned of the Scholarship from my Dad and realized it was a great opportunity for me to be able to experience legal advocacy within the deaf and hard of hearing community.  During my internship, I was able to discover different issues related to accessibility and deaf and hard of hearing rights.  The internship was very helpful for me to narrow down my career goals."

Alexander Van Hook was a recipient in 2014 and was thrilled with the opportunity. "The internship gave me a look at how the NAD works as an organization, and I became more informed on current issues key to Deaf people. It was also a step for me to explore what I want to do for my future.”

Stipend Disbursement & Internship Duration

  • Duration of summer internships shall be on a full time basis for no less than 10 weeks and no more than 15 weeks per year.
  • Determination of the stipend amount for each qualified applicant is based on the length of the internship and the Application Criteria below. For example, a qualified applicant studying in law school (Juris Doctor degree) who commits to the entire length of the summer internship may be eligible for the full $6,000 stipend. Up to two qualified applicants studying for their Bachelor’s degree may receive stipends of up to $3,000 each.
  • Applicants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meals. The NAD is located near the Silver Spring Metro station, which allows for convenient transportation throughout the DC Metro area (MD/DC/VA). Applicants are also responsible for their own automobile parking fees, if applicable.

Application Criteria
Applicants seeking Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship consideration must be currently enrolled in academic studies toward graduate or undergraduate degrees within the following or related fields:

  • Law (Juris Doctor degree)
  • Public Policy (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree)
  • Nonprofit Management (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree)

Applicants will be screened on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Deaf or hard of hearing;
  • Demonstrated commitment to and advocacy for public service - specifically civil, human and linguistic rights of the American deaf community;
  • Evidence of leadership abilities and potential for continued growth in leadership skills;
  • Excellent research, writing and presentation skills; and
  • Strong academic and extracurricular credentials.

Applicants must supply the following information as part of their application package:

  • Cover letter and rationale for application
  • Full name
  • Permanent address
  • Phone number/s
  • Email address/es
  • Educational institution name and mailing address
  • Proof of status as a current student, including academic and financial standing
  • Official transcript listing academic courses and grades awarded
  • Expected year of graduation, degree and field of study
  • Contact person at educational institution, e.g., internship or employment coordinator
  • Anticipated start/end dates of summer internship
  • Resume detailing employment history, internships, co-op experience, etc.
  • Description of community activities, especially those pertaining to advocacy and leadership within the deaf and hard of hearing community
  • References (minimum of three)

Applicants must indicate their area/s of internship interest:

  • Education
  • Early intervention
  • Health care and mental health
  • Employment/vocational rehabilitation
  • Sign language as a human right
  • Technology/telecommunications
  • Transportation/travel
  • Other (specify)

Application Deadline
Applications for the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship must be submitted electronically to [email protected] no later than Friday, February 19, 2016. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.  

Screening and Selection Process
The respective points of contact for the NAD Headquarters and the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Committee shall coordinate screening of applicants and selection of recipients.

The screening and selection process is delineated as follows:

  • Monday, February 22, 2016 – Applications are screened for completeness and satisfaction of criteria by the NAD, and eligible applicants’ documentation are shared electronically with the Scholarship Committee;
  • Friday, March 4, 2016 – Top applicants are selected by the Scholarship Committee, and interviews are scheduled in the next few days. Local applicants will be interviewed in person at the NAD Headquarters. Remote interviews will be conducted via video or phone for those who reside outside the greater MD/DC/VA area;
  • Friday, March 11, 2016 – Conclusion of interviews; the NAD conveys final recommendations to Scholarship Committee;
  • Monday, March 14, 2016 – Committee selects scholarship recipient;
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016 – the NAD informs scholarship recipient

About the Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship
Established by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) at its 50th Biennial Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship encourages and enhances the NAD and its distinguished history of advancing professional opportunities for young deaf and hard of hearing individuals pursuing careers in law, public policy, nonprofit management and related fields. Many NAD interns, inspired by their passion and experiences at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, have gone on to become successful leaders and advocates in their respective communities.   

Nancy Bloch served the American deaf and hard of hearing community diligently for nearly 19 years as Chief Executive Officer of the NAD. In 2011, when her tenure ended, the scholarship in her name was created to honor Nancy’s life-long commitment to invest in the future of young deaf and hard of hearing advocates so that they, too, can pave the way for others to follow in the future.

About The Scholarship Committee 
The Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship committee has a simple, straightforward objective – to fundraise a specified amount each year to ensure funds are continually available to support annual disbursement of internship stipends and re-investment for fund growth purposes.

Currently supported through generous individual contributions made during and since the 50th Biennial NAD Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the Scholarship fund relies on individual, organizational, corporate and foundation support to further its goals.  To donate online or via mail/fax, visit www.nad.org/donate and select the button for “Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Fund” in the Donor Designation section to ensure that your contribution is directed appropriately. Scholarship Committee members welcome inquiries from individuals and groups interested in donating to the scholarship fund.  

Scholarship Committee members include Nancy Bloch, Chair; Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood, Vice Chair; LeWana Clark, Shane Feldman, Jerry Nelson, Annette Posell, Julie Rems-Smario, Jackie Roth, and Bobbie Beth Scoggins, with President Chris Wagner and Chief Executive Officer Howard Rosenblum as ex officio members on behalf of the NAD.

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Today, Chris and Donna Cantrell filed a lawsuit against the Mountain States Health Alliance regarding its hospital Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) in Johnson City, TN. The complaint alleges that JCMC refused to provide qualified sign language interpreters to allow the Cantrells to participate in their daughter’s medical care during a six-month period as she died of cancer and the Cantrells spent nearly every moment by her side. Due to the lack of interpreter services, the Cantrells’ 21-year-old daughter Sydnei had to attempt to facilitate communication on her own deathbed, being the sole person to try to convey complex and sensitive information to her parents, including the doctors’ conclusion that she had no chance to live.

“This case represents a tragic situation that happens too often; healthcare providers refuse to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing individuals regarding the care of their loved ones,” stated Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf. “No parent should have to bury their child, but to force a dying daughter to interpret for her deaf parents is inexcusable. We have brought this case to ensure that this will never happen to anybody, ever again.”

The National Association of the Deaf and Disability Rights Tennessee are representing the Cantrells in this lawsuit, seeking a policy change that will prevent this situation from recurring and compensation for the Cantrells’ emotional distress. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. 

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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.

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT), a designated federal Protection & Advocacy System, is dedicated to protecting the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

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