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The NAD is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.
Updated: 1 day 4 hours ago


November 30, 2017 - 9:25pm

Net neutrality has become a hot topic across the country this past week.  What does it mean for the deaf and hard of hearing community?

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up rules to require net neutrality. These rules require all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat equally everything you do on the Internet, including videophone (VP) relay programs, captioned telephone services (IP-CTS), video calling services like FaceTime and Skype, or videos with closed captions.  Right now, you can use your internet connection for anything you want to do.

But this might change!

The FCC meets on December 14, 2017 to vote on dropping the net neutrality rules that the FCC set up in 2015.  This means, for example, ISPs could block you from using FaceTime.  This really did happen before 2015, and could happen again.  The ISPs could also block, intentionally slow down, or charge more to use search engines, download or upload videos (including calling people via video), or checking emails.

However, relay services and other protections in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal accessibility laws will not go away just because net neutrality goes away.  Also, even if net neutrality is removed, the FCC will continue to require ISPs to tell you what services they will limit so you can choose to buy services from the ISP that will give you what you need.  The FCC plans to keep this requirement.

The repeal of net neutrality is too risky and may block Internet applications and programs that deaf and hard of hearing people need.  That’s why we have supported and continue to support net neutrality. We are asking the FCC to keep the net neutrality rules.

Share your questions and concerns with the FCC by December 7, 2017:

  • File your comments online in the Wireline Competition Docket #17-108
  • Call the ASL Consumer Support Number: 844-4-FCC-ASL (844-432-2275)

Organizations behind this Joint Statement:

  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
  • Association for Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA)
  • Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO)
  • California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCASDHH)
  • Clayton H. Lewis (an advocate for individuals with cognitive disabilities)
  • Deaf Seniors of America (DSA)
  • Gallaudet Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (Gallaudet RERC)
  • Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
  • National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH)
  • Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI)
  • The Trace Center, University of Maryland – College Park (Trace Center)

TD Ameritrade Collaborates with the NAD to Make its Websites More Accessible

November 27, 2017 - 3:24am

TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (“TD Ameritrade”) (Nasdaq: AMTD), in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf (“NAD”), has agreed to make its content more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing by providing closed captioning for its online video and audio programming.

TD Ameritrade strives to deliver a meaningful investing experience to its diverse client base and is committed to ensuring that its programming is easily accessible to self-directed investors and independent registered investment advisors, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. With the guidance of the NAD, TD Ameritrade has agreed to make significant modifications to its websites, desktop trading platforms, and mobile applications over the course of the next 20 months. These modifications include the addition of closed captioning and/or transcripts to video and audio content, including the extensive educational resources that are available both on the retail and institutional sides of the business. As part of this effort, TD Ameritrade has adopted the closed captioning standards provided in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
Millions of investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have turned to TD Ameritrade’s (Nasdaq: AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them decide how – bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 40 years. TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade’s newsroom or for more information, or read our stories at Fresh Accounts.

Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA ( (

Bryan Cave LLP assisted TD Ameritrade in collaborating with the NAD to make its websites accessible.

About the NAD
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), founded in 1880, is the oldest national civil rights organization in the United States and is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The NAD was shaped 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 interest represented at the national level. The NAD’s mission is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of 48 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in this country. The NAD seeks to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have full and equal access to every aspect of life including banking, technology, employment, education, health care, mental health, law enforcement, judicial and legal systems, and many other areas.

Stein & Vargas, LLP and the Austin Law Group assisted the parties in collaborating to make the TD Ameritrade websites accessible.

2018 Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship

November 22, 2017 - 9:03am

A first-hand experience with government advocacy and legal activism at one of the most innovative law and advocacy centers in the country wants you to join the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center as an intern this summer — made possible with the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship stipend awards.

Interested applicants are asked to submit their application online by Friday, January 19, 2018.

Qualified applicants will spend the summer at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland where they will participate actively in 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 a nominal financial stipend to qualified applicants. Chosen applicants are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and related needs during the internship.

Past Scholarship recipient, 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, and became a licensed attorney in Texas!”

Another recipient, Hayley McLemore shares gratitude for the experience, “I realized this 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 — I’d like to get into legal advocacy after I graduate!”

Also a past recipient, Alexander Van Hook states, “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.” Today, Alexander Van Hook is a graduate student at American University.

In the Summer of 2016, Lily Esquer-Horta worked closely with Tawny Holmes, NAD Education Policy Counsel, on various projects to study the needs of diverse students and their families. Some of her responsibilities included social media posts and policy projects related to the language and communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing mainstreamed students.

The recipient for the Summer of 2017, Nida Din just started her second-year attending the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas. After finishing law school in the next two years, Nida plans to advocate to promote a fully accessible world for deaf people.

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.

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:

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018 – Applications are screened for completeness and satisfaction of criteria by the NAD, and eligible applicants’ documentation are shared electronically with the Scholarship Committee;
  • Friday, February 9, 2018 – Top applicants are selected by the Scholarship Committee, and interviews are scheduled within 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, February 23, 2018 – Conclusion of interviews; the NAD conveys final recommendations to Scholarship Committee;
  • Monday, February 26, 2018 – Committee selects scholarship recipient/s;
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – the NAD informs scholarship recipient/s

About the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship

Established by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) at its 50th Biennial Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the 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 J. 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 committee has a simple, straightforward objective – to raise 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, the scholarship fund relies on individual, organizational, corporate and foundation support to further its goals.  Donate online or via mail/fax, and select the “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.  Members include Nancy Bloch, Chair; Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood, Vice Chair; LeWana Clark, Shane Feldman, Jerry Nelson, Annette Posell, Julie Rems-Smario, Jackie Roth, Bobbie Beth Scoggins, and Chris Wagner, with President Melissa Draganac-Hawk and Chief Executive Officer Howard A. Rosenblum as ex officio members on behalf of the NAD.

President Update — November 2017

November 22, 2017 - 8:20am

NAD President Melissa gives an update about her visit to WFD in Budapest, the NAD and RID relationship, and the next NAD Board meeting in Hawaii.

NAD Youth Ambassador Update

November 22, 2017 - 6:01am

Tanea shares what conferences and community services she’s done since March. #NADYAP

Are You Our Next Youth Ambassador?

November 21, 2017 - 1:14pm

Are you Passionate? Ambitious? Driven? You just might be our next Youth Ambassador! Apply by February 1st (or by January 15th to earn bonus points).

Explore and apply!

#NAD2018 Call for Workshops

November 14, 2017 - 6:46am

We want you to share what you know, experienced, want, or discovered at the next Biennial NAD Conference this July in Hartford, Connecticut! #NAD2018

Submit your workshop interest!


#NAD2018 ASL Theme

November 10, 2017 - 7:41am

As we continue to plan and organize events for the next Biennial NAD Conference this summer in Hartford, Connecticut — we’d like to share our theme! The ASL talent is Laurent Clerc himself; iIllustration done by Yiqiao Wang with story concept decided by the NAD Board.

Deaf Citizen’s Lawsuit Proceeds Against Oklahoma

November 10, 2017 - 7:07am

Denying Deaf Citizen Access to State Senate and House Implicates First Amendment Rights

Oklahoma City, OK – A federal court has ruled that claims filed against the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Senate, the Oklahoma House of Representatives and state officials for discrimination against a deaf citizen may proceed. In a critical victory for citizen engagement and equal rights, the Court held that denying a deaf citizen captioning that is necessary for him to access state legislative proceedings available to others implicates the First Amendment and the fundamental right of access to political proceedings.

In 2015, Johnny Reininger, Jr. who is deaf, requested that the Oklahoma Senate and House caption their proceedings that are streamed online. Reininger, who closely follows state politics, needs captioning in order to have meaningful access to the streamed content that is available to other citizens who can hear. Although the legislature initially agreed to caption the online content in response to Reininger’s requests, it later retracted its promise to caption. Reininger filed suit in October 2016 seeking captioning of the legislative proceedings that are streamed online, but the State, Senate, and House moved to dismiss Reininger’s case, arguing that it could not be sued for disability discrimination because of sovereign immunity.

Citing the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances and the right of access to information conveyed via internet broadcasting about state legislative matters, the Court rejected the State’s arguments and held that the important issue at stake was a citizen’s right to participate in the political process and to have meaningful access to the tools necessary for such participation.

The Court decision clears the way for Reininger’s case to proceed. He is hopeful that the legislature will soon take steps to provide him and other deaf citizens with equal access to the information necessary to meaningfully participate in the political process. “When I don’t have access to legislative proceedings, my ability to be an informed voter and to hold my elected representatives accountable is restricted,” said Reininger.

Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, heralded the decision as a important one for every citizen saying, “This Court decision confirms that participation in government is an essential right for all Americans.” He added, “When elected officials deny people access to information about the political process on the basis of disability, their actions threaten the constitutional rights of everyone and must be stopped to ensure equal access for all.”

Reininger is represented by the National Association of the Deaf, Stein & Vargas, LLP, and the Oklahoma Disability Law Center.


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.

Stein & Vargas, LLP is a civil rights firm based in Washington, D.C. and committed to the principle that all people have full and equal access to all parts of society.

The Oklahoma Disability Law Center is a system of protection and advocacy for people with disabilities in the State of Oklahoma.


  • National Association of the Deaf
    Lizzie Sorkin
  • Oklahoma Disability Law Center
    Melissa Sublett
  • Stein & Vargas, LLP
    Mary Vargas

The NAD Welcomes New Director of Youth Programs

November 7, 2017 - 12:53pm

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is excited to welcome Chanel Gleicher, our new Director of Youth Programs! Chanel will oversee all four NAD youth programs: College Bowl, Jr. NAD, Youth Ambassador Program, and Youth Leadership Camp.

Chanel, a Maryland native, is passionate about youth leadership. Chanel received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with minors in Writing and Graphic Design from Gallaudet University and holds a Masters’ degree in Project Management and concentration in Leadership from Northeastern University. Chanel has participated in several of NAD youth programs personally and professionally. She won the last title of Miss Deaf America at the 2012 NAD Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Through the experience, she found her love for volunteering and completed over 200 hours of volunteering for various organizations. She has participated in the NAD Youth Leadership Camp both as a student and as staff. She has also served as a Board Member for the Maryland Association of the Deaf (MDAD) and as a delegate for the US-Indonesia Youth Leadership Program. In her leisure time, Chanel and her fiancé, Ryan, enjoy exercising, travelling, and rooting for the Ravens. They also enjoy spending time with their husky pup, Coco. Chanel looks forward to work with NAD Youth Programs and our deaf youth leaders!

“We are delighted to have Chanel Gleicher join the NAD team as our Director of Youth Programs, and we know she will bring a new perspective and energy to all of the youth programs,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD CEO. “We look forward to her leadership in channeling the talents and promise of all deaf and hard of hearing youth across the country.”

“I am beyond thrilled to share my knowledge and passion in working with our deaf and hard of hearing youth by empowering and strengthening their leadership and advocacy skills,” Chanel commented.

Chanel is with the delegates at the Jr. NAD National Conference in Ashland, Nebraska this week. After the Jr. NAD Conference, Chanel will meet with individual committees for College Bowl and Youth Ambassador Program to continue planning for the next Biennial NAD Conference in Hartford, Connecticut. Additionally, she will also jump in and get started on preparations for the next Youth Leadership Camp this summer. Her sleeves are rolled up and she’s ready!


The NAD Youth Leadership Programs prepare young deaf and hard of hearing Americans to become future leaders and advocates by increasing their self-determination, sense of community, and thirst for knowledge. These programs include the Jr. National Association of the Deaf (Jr. NAD) chapter network and biennial conferences, the annual NAD Youth Leadership Camp (YLC), the biennial Youth Ambassador Program (YAP), and the biennial College Bowl (CoBo) competition.


EHDI Changes Explained

November 2, 2017 - 6:12am

NAD Education Policy Counsel Tawny Holmes explains some of the changes with the new EHDI Re-authorization for today’s Facebook Live discussion at 4p ET. Tawny takes a moment to answer some FAQs, some of which shares the process of how the amendments happened and the next steps now that the EHDI bill has been signed by the U.S. President.

We also want to take the time to recognize many other organizations who also provided support to this success:
American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)
Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools & Programs for the Deaf (CEASD)
Council de Manos
– Maryland Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
National ASL and English Bilingual Consortium for Early Childhood Education
National Black Deaf Advocates
Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2)
NAD Education Advocates
NAD State Associations 
– And many others!


Ask Howard Anything / October 2017

November 1, 2017 - 5:58am

What to do when you think you face a legal situation? #AskHoward

President Updates — October 2017

October 31, 2017 - 5:50am

NAD President Melissa gives a recap about NLTC and encourages people to join DGM’s next national event on March 8, 2018.

Deaf History That — “Deaf Soldiers”

October 27, 2017 - 10:29am

Our last video of #deafhistoryTHAT series brings us way back to the Civil War. Were deaf people involved in the Civil War? You bet! #deafhistoryTHAT #ASLstories

The NAD and LEAD-K Partnership

October 11, 2017 - 12:26pm

NAD President Melissa and LEAD-K Campaign Director Sheri share the NAD and LEAD-K partnership.

EHDI Reauthorization Passed!

October 11, 2017 - 10:06am

NAD Education Policy Counsel Tawny Holmes shares good news regarding the EHDI Reauthorization.

President Updates — September 2017

October 11, 2017 - 7:08am

NAD President Melissa shares good news regarding the EHDI Reauthorization and the NAD’s disaster relief fund.

Avoidable Killings by Police Must Stop

October 10, 2017 - 6:55am

On September 20, 2017, Oklahoma City police officers shot and killed a deaf man, Magdiel Sanchez, when he did not hear their verbal commands. Both the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) condemn this horrific tragedy.

Mr. Sanchez was at home when the police arrived. Although the neighbors shouted at the police that Mr. Sanchez was deaf and could not hear them, the police officers took his life. The police failed to effectively communicate with Mr. Sanchez.  The OAD and the NAD stand with the Sanchez family as they seek justice.

Across the country, encounters between deaf people and police officers often lead to unnecessary injury or death because of miscommunication or lack of communication access.  In this past year alone, too many deaf and hard of hearing people have died at the hands of police who denied them effective communication. These tragedies must stop now.

Mr. Sanchez, and many others before him, should not have lost their lives. We ask the Oklahoma City Police Department, and other police departments in Oklahoma, to make sure such a tragedy will not happen again. The general approach by law enforcement of using lethal force when commands are not followed is dangerous for deaf and hard of hearing people, and even more so for deaf and hard of hearing people of color; they, along with deaf and hard of hearing people with disabilities, and DeafBlind people, have faced mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement. We ask for immediate system change to prevent any further loss of life due to lack of effective communication.

Law enforcement agencies must fundamentally change how they approach all individuals, including deaf and hard of hearing people. Trainings for police officers are not enough. And this change must happen quickly before any other lives are lost.

In 1978, the Oklahoma City Police failed to provide effective communication during the arrest of deaf individuals, and the OAD filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma City Police.The lawsuit led to formal training for the police on how to ensure effective communication between police officers and deaf and hard of hearing people. In January 2014, Pearl Pearson, a member of the Oklahoma deaf community, suffered serious injuries from his encounter with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol during a vehicle stop. And now, Mr. Sanchez died because Oklahoma City Police failed to understand that he was deaf. Continuing with the same training is not the answer.

“The OAD looks forward to working with the Oklahoma City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state to develop a different and safer system of policing for everyone, including deaf and hard of hearing people,” said OAD President Renee’ Sites.  Those who are interested in working with the OAD should contact them at

“To change the system across the country, the NAD is engaged in a public safety study to determine best practices for police officers,” said NAD President Melissa Draganac-Hawk. “Our findings will be used to develop best practice guidelines for all law enforcement agencies. Input from the community is welcome and should be sent to”

Everyone has a right and deserves to feel safe and protected; system change is needed to make that happen.


The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) promotes, protects and preserves the civil rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Oklahoma.

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.