*Posting from NAD Website*
I want to take this opportunity to extend warm wishes to you and your loved ones for this year’s holiday season and New Year, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Board of Directors and staff.
This past year has been one of ups and downs. Ups in the way of accomplishments. Downs in the way of economic difficulties. We opened the year with a staff furlough and with your support were able to reinstate salaries to normal levels. As this year draws to a close, we have had to put another furlough into effect. The beating heart of the American deaf community is in dire straits, yet our resolute and dedicated staff continues to advocate for our civil rights and fiercely pursue our mission.
During this past year, the NAD has…
- Advocated against closures or budget cuts for schools for the deaf and for appropriate measures to ensure that each child’s Individualized Education Program and placement is appropriate.
- Met with Obama administration staff and key policymakers on civil rights, employment, education, health care, telecommunications and technology.
- Fought for improved VRS interoperability, integrity and quality, with real 10-digit telephone numbers and E911 access.
- Moved forward on accessible broadband services and Internet media advocacy efforts with Marlee Matlin as our celebrity spokesperson.
- Gathered support for the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 3101, with companion Senate bill expected to be introduced in 2010).
- Filed complaints in federal courts on relay services access to banks, interpreting services in health care and judicial systems, and captioning access in stadiums.
- Promoted youth scholarship, citizenship and leadership skills development through conferences, ambassadorship travels, school and community activities and camp experiences.
- Launched a new website that is easy to navigate, with tie-in to Twitter and other social networking feeds.
- Began formation of a media studio to generate v/blogs with emphasis on youth and diversity.
Much has been accomplished to date. Our gratitude goes to members, donors and volunteers who have supported the board and staff in carrying out the above and many more. While significant gains have been made, the NAD can do only so much within its limited means.
Invest in the future of our community
Looking ahead to 2010, we face weighty challenges. The economic difficulties we are all experiencing have hit us hard – with zero operating reserves due to dwindling support, we have had to borrow funds, trim expenses to the bone, and we just recently cut staff time and salaries by 20 percent between January and March – all to ensure that your civil rights are not compromised. We hope this is a temporary situation and that level of protection that you deserve is not diminished.
How can you help? By being a member. By donating. These are the two ways you can help the NAD carry out its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the USA.
With your support, the NAD can make great things happen in the New Year!
Bobbie Beth Scoggins