National Association of the Deaf - NAD.org
The NAD Youth Strategy Team excited to announce a huge milestone — the NAD Youth Section (NADYS) has become an official section under the NAD!
The NAD’s new Policy Institute will be studying deaf and hard of hearing people’s accessibility experiences across a variety of categories. First up, live professional sporting events!
Do you watch live professional sporting events (such as football, basketball, hockey, and soccer) at sports venues? We need your input!
After a brief video montage of the visit, President Melissa shares a summary of the NAD Board meeting in Wisconsin. Enjoy the photo album and learn what other regions are up to:
Are you interested in joining the NAD Board? President Emeritus T. Alan Hurwitz encourages you to apply! #NAD2018 #NADboardAPPLY
The Florida Legislature concluded a session last month that made national headlines. The Florida House and Senate passed new gun control measures after the Parkland shootings and debated new sexual harassment rules spawned by allegations that resulted in the resignation of a powerful state senator in the midst of his gubernatorial campaign. This legislative activity was covered gavel-to-gavel on television and on the legislature’s websites.
Deaf and hard of hearing people, however, were not able to understand much of the legislative activity because the state failed to caption the proceedings. As a result, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and disabled rights advocate Eddie I. Sierra of Miami are suing the State of Florida, the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Senate, the Florida Channel and various other defendants for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The complaint was filed in Miami in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
In July 2017, Sierra sent both the House and Senate letters asking them to caption the proceedings in the 2018 legislative session. He never received a reply.
“I’ve been politically active for many years. I pay attention to issues impacting the elderly and people with disabilities,” Sierra said. “I haven’t been able to participate in the Florida legislative process for many years because the videos on the House and Senate website aren’t captioned. This year I said enough is enough. I’m tired of begging for my rights as an American and I decided to do something about it.”
According to Johns Hopkins, there are 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in America. That means one in five Americans has hearing loss.
The NAD is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
“When we were presented with the facts of this case, we knew that we had to be involved,” said NAD Chief Executive Officer Howard Rosenblum. “This case was especially shocking because Mr. Sierra and others in our community were being excluded from participation in the legislative process. Not only civil rights are being violated, but their basic rights as Americans are being violated. This had to be put to a stop.”
The NAD and Mr. Sierra are represented by Miami-based civil rights law firms J. Courtney Cunningham, PLLC, and Scott R. Dinin, P.A. They are joined by Stein & Vargas, LLP, a Washington, D.C. firm that specializes in fighting disability-based discrimination and Marc Charmatz, Esq. a senior attorney with the NAD.
We’re excited to partner with Deaf In Government, National Deaf Education Conference, and RID Region I — amazing workshops are in the works for #NAD2018!
President Melissa shares a summary of the Deaf Grassroots Movement Rally, encourages you to submit a priority proposal, and is excited about the next Board meeting in Wisconsin.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), as the nation’s premier organization safeguarding the civil, human, and linguistic of deaf and hard of hearing Americans, invites applications for a Staff Attorney position within the NAD Law and Advocacy Center. This position will involve interviewing individuals, screening cases, and filing lawsuits and complaints on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.
The key mission of the NAD Law and Advocacy Center is to represent the NAD across a broad range of civil rights and discrimination issues including education, early intervention, employment, healthcare, rehabilitation, technology, telecommunications as well as access to public entities and accommodations.
The responsibilities of this Staff Attorney position include, but are not limited to:
- Contact and communicate with consumers seeking legal or advocacy assistance as part of the client intake process;
- Provide appropriate information and referrals to consumers who are not accepted as clients for further legal representation or advocacy purposes;
- Conduct outreach in the deaf and hard of hearing community about legal issues;
- Conduct research and analysis of specific legal and policy questions;
- Prepare memoranda, opinions, and position statements as necessary;
- Stay up to date with the latest trends affecting the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people;
- Work with the NAD Law and Advocacy team on intakes, advocacy work, and litigation cases to ensure timely completion of all required tasks;
- Represent clients zealously in all approved cases that the NAD undertakes in furtherance of its mission;
- Engage competently in all aspects of litigation and administrative advocacy in the course of representation;
- Continuously advance skills through CLE-authorized courses and trainings;
- Coordinate and collaborate with other organizations and individuals to advance the NAD interests in support of its mission, vision, values, and strategic goals;
- Collaborate with partnering law firms on litigation cases;
- Represent the NAD at conferences, on advisory committees and panels, and through workshops and presentations;
- Identify and pursue opportunities for growth through grants and other funding; and
- Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the CEO.
Experience and Qualifications
Applicants must possess the following:
- Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of issues related to the advancement of the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals;
- Litigation experience including but not limited to handling client intake, conducting discovery, writing and filing complaints/motions/briefs, and handling administrative hearings and/or trial court proceedings;
- Excellent writing and research skills, strong analytic capabilities, and demonstrate ability to analyze statutes and case law;
- Strong working knowledge of constitutional issues, including litigation, legislation, and other issues involving civil liberties and civil rights;
- Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree required;
- Bar licensure in Maryland required within one year of accepting position;
- Work well with the NAD Law and Advocacy team at NAD headquarters as well as independently;
- Significant litigation experience preferred;
- Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) required;
- Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills; and
- Proactive in identifying areas of need and diligent in completing tasks pursuant to deadlines.
The NAD, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, offers a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits package and flexible work environment. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Deadline: March 30, 2018
Applicant cover letter, resume, three references, and three writing samples must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12:00 PM EST on March 30, 2018.
The NAD is an EEO/AA employer. For more information about the NAD, visit www.nad.org.
Huntington Station, NY – Ryan Griske of Lindenhurst, New York, filed suit today in federal court against Western Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) for discrimination based on disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the New York State Human Rights Law. BOCES, a state operated educational program that provides adult education, refused to provide interpreters so that Griske, who is deaf and uses sign language, could access a plumbing class.
Griske wanted to learn plumbing skills so he could do repairs around his home. He repeatedly attempted to enroll in the Plumber I adult education class offered by BOCES. Instead of providing sign language interpreters, BOCES required Griske to provide proof that he would arrange for his own sign language interpreters for the class. Both federal and state law require BOCES to provide and pay for sign language interpreters.
Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf said, “Law schools, medical schools, and universities are following the law and providing interpreters for deaf students. It is unacceptable that in 2018 any program would refuse equal access and then ask a deaf person to pay to bring his own interpreters.”
Griske said, “Everyone can go into BOCES and take any kind of class. Why am I being treated differently just because I am deaf? I just want to learn plumbing but BOCES will not allow me unless I bring my own interpreter even though this is against the law.”
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.
- National Association of the Deaf
- Stein & Vargas, LLP
Do you know someone who has done a lot for the deaf and hard of hearing community? Here’s your chance to make sure those who have done so much get the recognition merited by their work. Each award has a different purpose, and you can recommend someone specific for each type of award that best fits their contribution.
Deaf roles belong to deaf actors (#DeafTalent), hearing actors must stop misappropriating those roles. #AskHoward
President Melissa shares self-advocacy tips and Deaf Grassroots Movement march and rally updates. #NADboard
Howard explains the difference between Advocacy Letters and Position Statements. #AskHoward
The awful HR 620 passed in the House. That bill is bad for our rights. The fight is not over. Now, HR 620 goes to the Senate. The Senate may decide to vote or not vote on it.
- Find out which way your Representatives voted — “aye” means they supported the awful HR 620 while “nay” means they were against the bill.
As we continue to plan and organize events for the next Biennial NAD Conference during July 3-7, 2018 in Hartford, Connecticut — we’d like to share our theme! The ASL talent is Laurent Clerc himself signing EDUCATE / PASS-IT-ON / SHARE; iIllustration done by Yiqiao Wang with story concept decided by the NAD Board.
((blushes)) we love you too. #NADlove
Last week we sent out a call for help to contact Representatives to vote NO on H.R. 620.
Today – we still need your help. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) this week. You need to tell your Representatives that this bill would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); any attack on the ADA is a threat to our civil rights! As a refresher, watch Howard’s AHA from April 2017 sharing how this bill attacks our rights.
Would you want to go to a bank, a restaurant, or a hospital, and be told that you could not get in until you send a letter first, explaining why they are not accessible and give them time to find a way to let you into their facility? We should not wait to be able to access a bank, a restaurant, or especially a hospital! If this bill passes, those businesses and other places that are not yet accessible will not comply with the ADA until someone sends a letter explaining why they are not accessible. These businesses and other places should already be accessible.
YOU MUST DO SOMETHING: a letter template is available in Word to download (check your download folder for the file) or you can copy/paste from here. Find your Representative here. We cannot allow Congress to attack this bill – tell your Representative to vote NO on HR 620.
Your deaf child can have it all! The NAD along with many national organizations and universities are here to support deaf children in receiving this gift. We are excited to launch the….
That’s right! We’ve got videos, a toolkit, infographics, and more resources for parents and families with a deaf child as well as community members. #giftoflanguage
Howard explains the difference between the Board and the staff at the NAD. #AskHoward