National Association of the Deaf

About the Law and Advocacy Center



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The NAD Law and Advocacy Center educates, advocates, and litigates on behalf of and to empower deaf and hard of hearing people.

Information

We are a clearinghouse for general legal information about deaf-related issues.  This information is available to deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their families and friends; to organizations serving deaf and hard of hearing people; and to employers, government agencies, service providers and businesses.  We provide information online at www.nad.org and respond to hundreds of emails and calls every month for information, advocacy support, legal advice, representation, and referral. 

Advocacy

We advocate on legislative and public policy issues of concern to the deaf and hard of hearing community, particularly at the national level and often in collaboration with other national organizations.  We cover a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, captioning, early intervention, education, employment, emergency preparedness, health care, technology, and transportation.  You can learn more about issues of interest to you and the deaf and hard of hearing community through the links on many of our website pages.  On these pages, you will also find more information about action the NAD has taken on these issues and how you can get involved. 

Legal Representation

Our attorneys represent deaf and hard of hearing individuals in disability discrimination civil rights cases that are carefully selected to establish powerful legal principles of equality and equal access (also known as impact cases).  The selected cases are those that present the best mixture of legal and factual issues, with the potential of having the widest possible impact and benefit for the deaf and hard of hearing community.  Cases are selected without regard to client income or NAD membership status.  Courts may award attorney fees and costs to the successful party in civil rights cases.  Settlement agreements may also provide for the payment of legal fees and costs.  Our attorneys may serve as co-counsel with private attorneys who are licensed in other states, but only on a limited, court-approved, case-by-case basis.  Our attorneys also consult with lawyers who represent deaf or hard of hearing clients. 

Recent NAD Action Highlights

  • In preparation for the new Obama administration, the NAD, along with other deaf-related organizations, met with representatives of the President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team, and submitted recommendations for addressing areas of concern to the deaf and hard of hearing community.  The NAD also submitted recommendations as part of a disability coalition.  The NAD met with the Obama Transition Team to explore administration priorities for health care reform.  
  • Once the Obama administration took office, the NAD advocated for provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also called the Economic Stimulus Bill) to ensure quality education for deaf and hard of hearing children, vocational rehabilitation services, full employment, and accessible broadband technology.  
  • The NAD continues to meet with the Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy and others in the Obama administration to address concerns of the deaf and hard of hearing community.