National Association of the Deaf -

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

News from - May 11, 2022 - 9:46am

It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! What are you doing to celebrate? NAD Board members, Justin and Laura, share some ideas — join us! #APAHM

NOTE: The NAD does not own, benefit, or use the “Stop Asian Hate” shirt for promotional purposes. Justin and Laura are wearing the “Stop Asian Hate” shirts to promote APAHM and recognize that all microaggression, hate, and other forms of physical/verbal abuse against the AAPI community must stop. The “Stop Asian Hate” shirt was designed by Deaf Asian artists, Christine Sun Kim, Ravi Vasavan, and Meeya Tjiang in collaboration with Staple Pigeon company in an effort to raise funds to combat Asian racism and hate during the pandemic in 2020.


LAURA: Hello, I’m Laura!

JUSTIN: Hello! I’m Justin. It’s May and the NAD wants to recognize and celebrate…

LAURA: We’re celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)! APAHM is a public celebration that recognizes the contributions that AAPI community have done for culture, history, and achievements in the US.

JUSTIN: First, want to learn some Asian “bing” that may surprise you?

JUSTIN: Putting clean dishes in the dishwasher.

LAURA: “Are you 1.5 generation?” That is such a common question asked in the Asian community. That question means the person wants to know whether you moved here from an Asian country. If not, you’d be 2.0 generation, which meant you were born and raised here. If you ask me, I’m a proud 2.0 generation! JUSTIN: We take our shoes off when we enter our home.

LAURA: Wait, you thought us Asians are good at math? That’s not true. Even though I’m a math teacher, I still learn about math every day!

JUSTIN: You think all Asians are strict with school or at work, and that’s our culture? Nah, I’m chill.

LAURA: “Where are you from? No, where are you really from?” That’s a commonly asked question we get — people want to know our background. You can ask it simply, “Where is your family from?”

JUSTIN: Please follow and support Deaf AAPI content!

LAURA: Also, please share any other Deaf AAPI content that you know! Thank you!

2022 Call for Candidates

News from - May 3, 2022 - 12:31pm

The NAD is thrilled to release the call for candidates for eight different positions.

  • four executive board positions available for a term of two years, 2022-2024: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer
  • four region board positions available for election for a term of four years, 2022-2026: Region I (northern states), Region II (mid-western states), Region III (southern states), and Region IV (western states)

Please review the NAD Election Standards and Procedures and email if you have any questions.


MELISSA: Hi! I’m Melissa Draganac-Hawk, I am the Board Liaison for the Elections committee. On behalf of the Elections Committee, we are pleased to announce a call for candidates to serve on the NAD Board. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to consider applying for a position. We’re looking for people who are passionate about advocacy. The NAD is looking for people who wish to improve the quality of life of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in the US. There are four executive board positions available for a term of two years, 2022-2024: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. There are also four region board positions available for election for a term of four years, 2022-2026: Region I (northern states), Region II (mid-western states), Region III (southern states), and Region IV (western states). You may wonder about the general expectations to serve on the NAD Board. The NAD Board meets in person four times a year in different states, our typical schedule is Wednesday-Sunday. We also meet virtually every month. About 4 hours or more per week is expected, whether it’s to join virtual meetings, respond to emails, work on different projects, and more. Each Board member also will serve as a Board Liaison for a committee or membership section. There are two requirements for candidates: 1) You must be a NAD member for at least the last two years. 2) You must be a member of either a national organization that is membership-based and affiliated with the NAD or a State Association that is affiliated with the NAD. If you’re considering to apply, please be sure to review the Elections Standards and Procedures. If you have any questions, please email Good luck!

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Planning #NAD2022 in Florida

News from - April 29, 2022 - 7:31am

As we continue to plan our conference in Florida, we want to share what we’re doing. Email if you’re interested in being an ambassador for any of the three lounges or if you’d like to help out with the tentative June 30th event. Learn more about our conference at

[VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Sean, Angela, and Lizzie take turns signing to the camera with on-screen text on the right. The NAD logo appears as a watermark on the bottom right corner.

SEAN: We remain firm in our support for the deaf and hard of hearing community in florida, especially deaf BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ folks.

ANGELA: What are we doing #NAD2022 to make sure all feel welcome?

LIZZIE: First, we have no tolerance for hate. Anyone who violates the conference conduct policy will be removed immediately.

SEAN: We have three dedicated lounge spaces for attendees who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and DeafBlind. We are looking for ambassadors for these three lounges. If you’re interested, email

ANGELA: We have inclusive restrooms available for everyone and anyone to use.

LIZZIE: We are currently looking into possible options to host a rally or an event on June 30th. We are exploring permit options and possible limitations for those who want to participate. If you’re interested in helping with this event, email

SEAN: We have training available for people interested in anti-racism work, understanding LGBTQIA2S+, and best practices for DeafBlind inclusion.

ANGELA: We created a list of local restaurants and businesses that welcome BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ folks.

LIZZIE: Conference attendee badges will show their pronouns.

SEAN: If you’re flying alone, let us know – we can figure out safety options to get you from the airport to the hotel and back to the airport.

ANGELA: And more. We will continue to share updates on any of those plans and be transparent with our process.]

The NAD Supports You

News from - April 21, 2022 - 10:00am

The NAD remains firm in our support for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community in Florida, especially Deaf BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ folks. The NAD Board and conference planning team are making every effort to ensure that all BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ conference attendees feel as welcome and safe as possible at our conference. The NAD will proceed with safeguards and plans to achieve this goal. 

We welcome everyone and anyone that stands with the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ deaf communities to attend our conference this summer in Orlando, Florida.

[Video description and transcript: The NAD Board and CEO are seated together, in a circle, each wearing a navy polo with the NAD logo – some are on the couch, some are on the floor, in various positions but all facing the camera. Each person shares one statement to the camera. The NAD logo appears as a watermark on the bottom right corner. 

LINSAY Jr.: Everyone has a right to feel and be safe.

HOWARD: We support civil and human rights for all.

KEVIN: I support you.

JENNY: They think we’re not human? Actually, we deserve the right to exist.

LAURA: We’re here for you.

STEPHANIE: No matter your skin color, you are valued.

KIRSTEN: We stand strong with you.

LISA: I’m thrown but we’ll get through this together.

JACOB: Together, we can stay proud.

JAMES “DINO”: You are loved.

MILMAGLYN: You’re not alone, we’re with you.

MICHELLE: From birth – we have different thoughts, perspectives, and feelings. This makes us united as one.

JUSTIN: Through our veins and our heartbeats, we are the same – and we accept you. 

MELISSA: Different communities must come together to support one another through love.

Video fades to next clip with all board members either seated or standing, with President Melissa in the middle.

MELISSA: To the BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ communities…

ALL: we support you.]

Resisting Oppression in Florida

News from - April 1, 2022 - 5:43am

Earlier this year, the NAD released the call for our 56th Biennial NAD Conference inviting people to join us in Orlando, Florida this summer. We were excited to finally gather after not being able to in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, there have been some oppressive legislative changes that are affecting some of us deeply, in the state of Florida. We wanted to share our opposition to these laws.

Earlier in March, Florida passed a law banning Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools which means teachers are not allowed to discuss racism or our whitewashed history. The NAD opposes that law as we believe strongly that such important conversations and dialogue are important for the dismantling of racism everywhere but especially in schools. This law affects all students in Florida. Our work is not done, anti-racism work requires individual and group work. Our conference this summer will include important conversations about race and privilege through training and workshops. We commit to providing opportunities for BIPOC-only space as well as creating opportunities for dialogue. 

Then, just this week, Florida passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law which bars staff from being able to discuss LGBTQIA+ issues with K-3rd graders in school. This bill takes away important dialogue from these kids. The NAD does not support this bill because it is wrong and ignores real life for many people and their families. What does this mean for kids with two moms or two dads? What does this mean for families who have young kids that identify as LGBTQIA+ or are still discovering their identities? How can students learn about their friends who have different identities? This terrible new law goes into effect on July 1st, which is the same day we have scheduled our traditional luncheon which is planned by the LGBT membership section. The LGBT Luncheon is held at every conference. We will also have gender-inclusive restrooms which the NAD started in 2017. We commit to creating LGBTQIA+ space at the conference.

The NAD Board and Team recognize the oppression of these Florida laws, and renounce them. We must protect the civil rights of everyone; any oppression of a single group leads to oppression of all of us. While we are working on details, we are committed to ensuring that the NAD Conference will include a protest against these laws in support of the communities that live in Florida and everywhere. 

With BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks on the NAD Board and Team, we understand that those two critical situations are affecting some of you and us very deeply. We have emcees, presenters, guest speakers, and award recipients coming to the conference. We’re planning on about 80 workshops, around 75 exhibitors, and expect many attendees to join us in Orlando. The NAD believes in supporting the deaf community in Florida and are working closely with the Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD). We have been hosting regional meetings every month and have discussed both laws with State Association presidents. 

We oppose any legislation that takes away basic human rights and we stand in solidarity with our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. We stand with you.

An Historic Oscars Celebration

News from - March 28, 2022 - 4:21pm

Last night, during the Oscars – history was made (more than once) for the deaf and hard of hearing community. The Academy nominated Audible for best documentary short film, Troy Kotsur for Best Supporting Actor, and CODA for Best Picture. This sent a message to everyone that our stories matter, authenticity casting matters, and intentional recognition was due.

Before the Oscars started, the Deaf community tuned in and saw Deaf stars on the red carpet. Never before, in the Oscars’ red carpet history, have we seen so many Deaf and hard of hearing representation on screen. Deaf stars included Nyle DiMarco, Lauren Ridloff, Marlee Matlin, Daniel Durant, Troy Kotsur, and Deanne Bray, among others. 

To witness Troy Kotsur winning an Oscar was a powerful moment for all of us watching. Troy becomes only the second Deaf person to receive an Oscar, 35 years after Marlee Matlin received an award in 1987 for her role in Children of a Lesser God. Following Troy’s win, we watched CODA bring home the highest award possible in the film industry. CODA became the first film that touches upon Deaf Culture to win an Oscar for Best Picture. This historic achievement was a testament to the acting talents of Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin, and Daniel Durant. This showed everyone that excellence lies in taking on a different persona to convincingly and powerfully convey a story rather than acting disabled. For too long, the industry has rewarded actors and directors who have exploited the trope of faking sympathetic disabilities to win awards for themselves without bringing in Deaf people or people with disabilities to ensure authenticity.

We also watched little yet big moments besides the awards. We saw commercials that highlighted sign language. We saw Youn Yuh-Jung signing Troy’s name before speaking it. We saw Amy Schumer signing to the CODA cast. We saw the most powerful recognition in the Deaf community in the history of any large scale event, a thundering ovation with everyone inside the Dolby Theater applauding the Deaf way. 

Last night elevated the bar not only in Hollywood, but for the rest of us, outside. This is proof that sign language is here to stay.

TRANSCRIPT: What an incredible moment at the Oscars! We saw a lot of Deaf representation at the Oscars. First, the Academy nominated the most ever towards Deaf culture storylines – one for Audible and three for CODA. Then we were blown away that CODA won all three awards! We also had other Deaf Culture visibility during the Oscars such as commercials highlighting sign language, emcee Amy Schumer signing to the CODA cast and then signing “Good night” when wrapping up the Oscars at the end. Last year’s winner for Best Supporting Actress, Youn Yuh-Jung, signed, “Congratulations,” as she gave the award for Best Supporting Actor for this year to Troy Kotsur. We saw history in the making as Troy became the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar! Troy shared a beautiful acceptance speech about his experience and journey getting there. Thank you Troy for your story. CODA became the first deaf film to receive the Best Picture award. Thanks to those involved with CODA for elevating deaf awareness, highlighting Deaf Culture for the world to see, especially for Hollywood. Troy is the second Deaf person to receive an Oscar. Thirty-five years ago, Marlee Matlin (who is also in CODA) won an award in 1987. Its been too long since then. It’s time to raise the bar and make sure that everyone knows that Deaf people can act. Deaf people can write. Deaf people can direct. Deaf people can produce. Deaf people can do anything behind the scenes. It’s time now, thanks to CODA for elevating this for all to see. We saw its impact. As Troy and CODA won their respective awards, everyone in the audience applauded the Deaf way. They understand now that Deaf people can. This was a powerful moment. Thank you everyone who was involved and to the rest of the Deaf and hard of hearing community, we must continue to advocate and raise the bar even higher. Congratulations to all of us!

In Memoriam: Jack R. Gannon

News from - March 21, 2022 - 12:49pm

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) remembers Jack Randle Gannon, who passed away on March 14, 2022. He was 85 years old. 

(Photo Credits: NAD Archives)

Jack worked closely with the NAD to chronicle the history of our Deaf Community, and was well known for his book, The Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America, which the NAD published in 1980. With Jack’s beautiful writing style and ability to capture our heritage, this book garnered attention from thousands of readers across the nation. Jack also spent extensive time researching and interviewing people around the world to write World Federation of the Deaf: A History, also published by the NAD in 2011 in collaboration with the World Federation of the Deaf. Jack went on to write four more books in his life with support from his wife. Jack has inspired many Deaf authors and his work was cited everywhere.

“With his talent, Jack Gannon captured so much of the Deaf heritage both in the USA and the world,” said NAD President Melissa Draganac-Hawk, “Though he will be missed, his remarkable work has inspired countless Deaf writers.”

Jack was born on November 23, 1936, in West Plains, Missouri, and attended Missouri School for the Deaf in his formative years. He studied at Gallaudet College, where he met his wife, Rosalyn, and graduated in 1959. Both Rosalyn and Jack taught at Nebraska School for the Deaf from 1959 to 1968. In 1968, they moved to Maryland and he worked as Director of Alumni and Public Relations at Gallaudet. Eventually, he became Special Assistant to the President for Advocacy before he retired. Jack has received numerous awards and honors and was recognized for his advocacy work for Deaf citizens including the National Association of the Deaf’s Distinguished Service Award and WFD’s International Solidarity Merit Award, First Class in 2011.

Donna (NAD Member and Donor Relations Specialist), Jack, and Rosalyn smile together at the 2013 Deaf Seniors of America Conference.

The National Association of the Deaf has lost a friend but Jack R. Gannon’s spirit will carry on through his work.

NAD Acknowledges Community Concerns About Super Bowl LVI

News from - February 24, 2022 - 3:00pm
Transcript available at end of this page.

NAD President Melissa responds to the community regarding concerns about Super Bowl LVI viewing experience.

[TRANSCRIPT] MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa with this month’s President Updates. I have a few things I planned to discuss but I’ve decided to hold that to another video and instead, discuss community concerns about Super Bowl LVI. Last week was a challenging week for us in the deaf community. The NAD Board became aware of community concerns through social media, videos, emails, and Front Desk inquiries from individuals and organizations. Many of you participated in different dialogues sharing your perspectives and experiences. The Board acknowledges your concerns. We met and realized that our feelings and experiences mirror yours. I’d like to share my experience watching the performances this year. On that day, I looked for and downloaded the app I needed to watch the ASL Performers. Just before the game started, I looked for Sandra Mae Frank and found the link in the app. I was prepared and ready but ended up watching a black screen while the TV broadcast showed that the song already started. I tried to navigate the app but then I saw Sandra for a few seconds on TV, I wish she was on TV longer. I tried to find Sandra’s performance in the app but it was over. Fortunately, a friend had a recording of Sandra’s performances and sent it to me. For the halftime show, I wanted to be sure not to miss it and had set it ready in the app. What a thrill it was to see Wawa and Sean performing! I noticed the lighting wasn’t great and the captioning kept dropping, which made me compare the captioning experience on TV. I was taken aback and felt disappointed. I shouldn’t have felt that. The NAD Board and I recognize your difficulties and we understand. With that, I encourage you to contact the broadcasting network and share your feedback. We can share our concerns with them so they can improve for future viewing experiences. The NAD is always looking for opportunities to elevate the legitimacy of our language, American Sign Language (ASL). We will continue to advocate for accessibility by working with the rotating broadcasting networks CBS, NBC, and Fox. We thank the community for bringing concerns to our attention because you care. Thank you.

Join us at #NAD2022 in Orlando!

News from - February 11, 2022 - 8:01am

President Melissa invites you to the 56th Biennial Conference in Orlando, Florida on June 30-July 4, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Explore the #NAD2020 website to learn about Orlando, the conference schedule, our workshop partners, and more! However, registration details aren’t ready yet – we will update you as soon as it is finalized. Note: Delegates have a separate link to book their hotel rooms as we have a designated hotel block just for Delegates. We will closely monitor all hotel room reservations to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to reserve rooms, thank you for understanding!

We recognize that this event may be the first large in-person event for many people. We are monitoring the CDC recommendations and are closely working with the Hyatt Regency Orlando Hotel to ensure our event is safe, protected, and welcoming for all. 

We are preparing for a successful in-person 2022 Biennial NAD Conference with opportunities for professional development, training, networking, governance meetings, receptions and exciting evening events. 
The Conference will officially begin with an Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 1! On Saturday, July 2nd, we will once again host the exciting College Bowl Finals featuring brilliant students from across the country. Then we will close out the conference on Sunday, July 3rd, with a revamped Pitch Competition (formerly known as the Youth Ambassador Program) that will feature a night of networking and presentations and talent from the future leaders of our community! There’s nothing like Orlando to make one feel like a kid again.


[VIDEO DESCRIPTION AND TRANSCRIPT: NAD President Melissa S. Draganac-Hawk is standing in the middle of the screen with a blue backdrop.

MELISSA: I’m thrilled to announce that we will host our 56th Biennial NAD Conference in Orlando, Florida during June 30-July 4, 2022. Our ASL theme is “LOOKING BACK, DREAM, and LOOKING FORWARD, ANTICIPATING!” We’re excited! However, we’ve also outlined some COVID-19 protocols which are available on our website. We will continue to monitor CDC’s updates; if they release any updated information that affects our conference, we will let you know. I’m excited to have this conference happen with many different things that are included such as our NAD@night evening events, Exhibit Hall, the opportunity to meet people, and our variety of workshops! We’re eager to have two organizations join #NAD2022 as a workshop partner, National Deaf Education Conference (NDEC) and Deaf in Government (DIG). Exciting times ahead! You can check out for more information, especially to find the hotel link to book your rooms! Registration isn’t ready yet but we’re working hard on it! See you there!]

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Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show To Be First To Feature ASL Performers, On And NBC Sports App

News from - February 4, 2022 - 11:34am

The National Football League (NFL) and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) are honored to bring an elevated accessibility experience to the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show with talented American Sign Language (ASL) artists. Viewers can access this elevated experience on and the NBC Sports app. 

For the first time in its history, the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show starring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar will include ASL artists. Famed Deaf musicians Warren “Wawa” Snipe and Sean Forbes will sign the Halftime Show. Super Bowl LVI will take place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2022.

At Super Bowl LV last year, Wawa wowed the world with his ASL rendition of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful, with his performance viewed by more than 8 million people. Wawa has been a trailblazer as an acclaimed recording artist in the Hip Hop world and developed his own niche: Dip Hop, which he defines as “Hip Hop through deaf eyes.” Wawa is thrilled to return to the Super Bowl and fulfill his dream of bringing the beauty of ASL to the Halftime Show.

Sean Forbes is a long-time Deaf hip hop artist from Detroit who has produced several hit songs. In 2011 Sean released a music video called “Let’s Mambo” featuring Oscar award-winning actress and two-time Super Bowl pregame performer Marlee Matlin. In 2012 Sean released his debut album Perfect Imperfection and toured the world promoting it. In February of 2020, Forbes released an album called “Little Victories” which reached #1 on the iTunes and Amazon charts for a hip-hop album, and #1 on Amazon for nationwide album sales upon its release. Sean is the co-founder of DPAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network) a 501c3 nonprofit which showcases the talents of deaf performers worldwide and also ensures that music is artistically accessible to the Deaf Community. 

Viewers can enjoy the full ASL performances of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, as well as the National Anthem and America the Beautiful performed by Sandra Mae Frank, acclaimed Deaf actress from NBC’s “New Amsterdam,” on and the NBC Sports app. [Photo credit: Arthur Bryan Marroquin]

NFL Communications Original PR.

Media Contact

President Updates — January 2022

News from - February 1, 2022 - 9:15am
Transcript available at the end of this page.

President Melissa shares updates from the NAD Board meeting that was done in person earlier this year at the NAD Headquarters, Dismantling Racism in the Deaf Community priority and their first webinar in the series, “Real Talk, Good Action: The Healing Process,” and Steve Hamerdinger’s resignation as one of the Region III Board members.


MELISSA: Hola, soy Melissa con las actualizaciones para este mes. Del 12 al 15 de enero, la Junta de la NAD se reunió en persona por primera vez desde enero de 2020. ¡Fue increíble conocernos en persona! Tenga en cuenta que el verano y el otoño pasados nos comunicamos y discutimos nuestra voluntad de reunirnos en persona. Una vez que todos se sintieron listos, programamos la reunión para enero. Todos volamos a Silver Spring, Maryland y nos reunimos en la sede de la NAD. Seguimos las precauciones de seguridad de COVID-19. Fue genial vernos en persona por primera vez en dos años. Durante el fin de semana, tuvimos actividades de formación de equipos, discutimos las prioridades, compartimos actualizaciones de nuestros afiliados y asociaciones estatales, analizamos los próximos proyectos de ley y continuamos nuestra preparación para la Conferencia NAD este verano. ¡Fue un fin de semana productivo! Estamos ansiosos por la próxima reunión de la Junta. Me gustaría compartir una actualización de una de las prioridades, el desmantelamiento del racismo en la comunidad sorda. Primero, gracias a quienes completaron nuestra encuesta en noviembre pasado para ayudar al comité a determinar los próximos pasos. Los aportes de la encuesta nos ayudaron con dos cosas: desarrollar un plan de estudios de capacitación para organizaciones y organizar nuestro primer seminario web la semana pasada. El seminario web, ‘Charla real, buena acción: el proceso de curación’ tuvo un moderador y tres panelistas; Hicieron un trabajo increíble compartiendo sus experiencias y discutiendo cómo uno puede curarse del trauma racial. La verdad es que aprendí mucho de ellos. La serie continuará, por lo que habrá más seminarios web. Si se perdió el seminario web de la semana pasada, puede ver la grabación desde nuestro sitio web. También puede unirse a nosotros para el próximo seminario web. Los animo a unirse a la serie de seminarios web y compartir con sus familiares y amigos. Los invito a que nos ayuden a desmantelar el racismo en la comunidad sorda estadounidense. También quería tomarme el tiempo para agradecer a Steve Hamerdinger, nuestro miembro de la Junta de la Región III, quien recientemente renunció a la Junta. ¡Gracias Steve por tus tres años y medio de servicio a la Junta de NAD! Ese puesto permanecerá vacante hasta julio, cuando lo cubriremos a través de las elecciones en la Conferencia NAD. ¡Gracias por ver!


MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa with updates for this month. During January 12-15, the NAD Board met in person for the first time since January 2020. Keep in mind, we did check in with each other and discuss our willingness to meet in person last Summer and Fall. Once everyone felt ready, we scheduled the meeting for January. We all flew in to Silver Spring, Maryland and met at the NAD Headquarters. We followed COVID-19 safety precautions. It was great to see each other in person for the first time in two years. During the weekend, we had team building activities, we discussed the priorities, shared updates from our Affiliates and State Associations, looked into any upcoming legislative bills, and continued our preparation for the NAD Conference this Summer. It was a productive weekend! We’re looking forward to the next Board meeting in person. I’d like to share an update from one of the priorities, Dismantling Racism in the Deaf Community. First, thank you for those who filled out our survey last November to help the committee determine next steps. The survey’s input helped us with two things, develop a training curriculum for organizations and our webinar last week. The webinar, ‘Real Talk, Good Action: The Healing Process’ had a moderator and three panelists; they did an amazing job sharing their experiences and discuss how one can heal from racial trauma. Truthfully, I learned from them. The series will continue so there will be more webinars to come. If you missed it, you can watch the recording from our website. You can also join us for the next webinar. I encourage you to join the webinar series and share with your families and friends. I invite you to help us dismantle racism in the American Deaf community. I also wanted to take the time to thank Steve Hamerdinger, our Region III Board member who has recently resigned. Thank you Steve for your three and a half years of service to the NAD Board! That position will remain vacant until July, when we’ll have the elections at the NAD Conference. Thank you for watching!

National Deaf History Month Dates

News from - January 31, 2022 - 6:03pm
Transcript is available at the end of this page.

Based on the feedback from the NAD Deaf Culture and History Section (DCHS) and various stakeholders, including from organizations that represent marginalized communities within the Deaf Community, the NAD Board has chosen April 1-30 as the National Deaf History Month (NDHM). This decision is partly based on a mandate from our delegates that the NAD engage in efforts to dismantle racism within our community, and this requires ensuring that our historical lens must include the experiences of BIPOC Deaf People. The efforts of NDHM must celebrate and recognize all Deaf People in the U.S., especially BIPOC Deaf People.


MELISSA: This video is to address dates for National Deaf History Month (NDHM). A motion at the 2020 NAD Council of Representatives meeting requires the NAD Board to review and decide between two competing proposals for NDHM. The first and original proposed that NDHM happen annually on March 13 – April 15. The second proposed that NDHM happen annually on April 1 – April 30. Both sets of dates were previously approved by previous NAD Council of Representatives in different years, which led to a need to resolve this dispute. The NAD consulted with its Deaf Culture and History Section (DCHS) as well as various stakeholders regarding the dates of NDHM to determine the merits of each proposal. The proposal for NDHM to occur on March 13 to April 15 was designed to recognize specific dates such as: March 13th represents the date in 1988 when I. King Jordan became the first Deaf President of Gallaudet University; April 8th represents the date in 1864 when Gallaudet University was officially founded; and April 15th represents the date in 1817 (not 1816 as signed) when American School for the Deaf was opened. The proposal for NDHM to occur April 1-30 was designed to simplify and incorporate the celebration in one month and also to focus on overall celebration of American Deaf history from all parts of the Deaf Community rather than focusing heavily on the schools. Based on the feedback from DCHS and various stakeholders, including from organizations that represent marginalized communities within the Deaf Community, the NAD Board has chosen April 1-30 as the National Deaf History Month. This decision is partly based on a mandate from our delegates that the NAD engage in efforts to dismantle racism within our community, and this requires ensuring that our historical lens must include the experiences of BIPOC Deaf People. The efforts of NDHM must celebrate and recognize all Deaf People in the U.S., especially BIPOC Deaf People.