National Association of the Deaf -

Seeking Front Desk Assistant

News from - August 24, 2021 - 7:14am

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) seeks an enthusiastic and dedicated Front Desk Assistant to work at its Silver Spring office to support the Office Manager with Front Desk communications. The ideal candidate should have a friendly and easy going personality while also being very perceptive and disciplined. The Front Desk averages about 10-15 calls and emails per day, we’re looking for someone who has a fantastic customer-oriented approach. 

Position open until filled, candidate will start as soon as possible.

  • Will work with and report directly to the Office Manager; 
  • Greet and welcome guests;
  • Answer questions and address complaints;
  • Answer all incoming calls and redirect them; 
  • Review, sort, and forward emails;
  • Cover Front Desk shifts;  
  • Complete urgent requests; and
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Have at least a high school diploma or Equivalency Certificate (GED), with a college degree preferred.
  • Show a strong commitment to the NAD mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people;
  • Capable of comprehensive strategic thinking and have rapid problem-solving skills to effectively handle crisis communications;
  • Handle frequent calls in a professional and positive manner;
  • Fluent in American Sign Language, with an ability to sign clearly and patiently, and in English, with an ability to write and edit quickly and clearly; and
  • Familiar with the deaf and hard of hearing community, its culture and heritage.
  • Have access to high speed internet and video conferencing at home.

If interested, please send your cover letter, resume, list of references, communication samples, and any other relevant materials to with the subject “FRONT DESK ASSISTANT INTEREST – [insert your last name]”.

Cogswell Macy Act Update 2021

News from - July 27, 2021 - 6:29am

We need your support! NAD Education Policy Specialist, Sarah, explains the goals of the Cogswell Macy Act (CMA) and ways you can support deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students in the U.S.

[TRANSCRIPT & DESC: Sarah stands in the middle of the screen.

SARAH: Hi! I’m Sarah, the Education Policy Specialist at the National Association for the Deaf (NAD). I’m thrilled to chat with you today about an important opportunity for you to support deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students in the U.S. You may have already seen information about the Cogswell Macy Act (CMA), a bill which the deaf, DeafBlind, and blind communities are trying to pass to become law. Maybe you’re curious for more information, or want to know how to get involved — this video is for you! The NAD has since supported the Cogswell Macy Act since 2012. The goal behind the CMA is to improve services and education opportunities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and DeafBlind. I’ll share some important things that this bill includes:

  • Increase training for teachers and other special education professionals so they are qualified to work with deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students.
  • Require more appropriate and specific data tracking through appropriate evaluations and assessments, which will give us better data and information to best support our deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students.
  • Encourage states to develop quality improvement services, such as requiring language goals to include measured progress in acquiring American Sign Language (ASL) as well as English, which leads to national expectations for quality services for deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students.
  • Protection for special education placements for DHH and DB students, including deaf schools and deaf programs for DHH students.
  • Require interpreter training programs to prepare students for the educational interpreting field and move them towards educational interpreting licensure.

Change outdated terminology in current educational law from “hearing impaired” to “deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind.”

I shared a few important things that will positively impact the future of deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students, we need your help to make these proposed changes a reality! There are several ways you can help!

1. Contact your legislators — your senators and representatives, both. Don’t know who your legislators are, or you’re not sure what to say? Visit for guidelines and different examples of what to say.

2. Share information about the Cogswell Macy Act with your friends, family, and colleagues and share information on social media.

3. If you’re involved at a school or an organization, ask them to provide a letter of support and share with your legislators!

Remember, your stories matter and can contribute to a better future for deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind children! Thank you!]

Three New Additions to the NAD Family

News from - July 21, 2021 - 9:18am

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) welcomes three new team members: Andrew Biskupiak joins the Front Desk as a Front Desk Assistant, Sarah Honigfeld as our Education Policy Specialist, and Marlene Valle as our Social Media Contractor. 

Andrew Biskupiak

Originally from Connecticut, Andrew grew up in Maryland. He graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Government and International Studies in 2016, and then obtained a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Studies with a concentration in Cultural Studies in 2020. He enjoys spending his spare time playing volleyball, hanging out with dogs, and watching reality TV.

Sarah Honigfeld

Sarah is a Deaf adult who works as a bilingual ASL-English Early Childhood Education and Early Intervention Consultant. Her preferred pronouns are she/her. Sarah lives in Colorado, where she attends the University of Colorado Denver for her doctorate in Leadership in Educational Equity. She works closely with various schools, community programs, and state agencies to provide bilingual, family-centered programming for deaf or hard of hearing infants and toddlers and their families. Her academic background includes a Masters in School Counseling from Gallaudet University and a Certificate in Infants, Toddlers and Families: Leadership, also from Gallaudet University. Sarah’s special interests include family language planning, ASL/English bilingual programming for Early Childhood, and family centered practices. In her free time, Sarah enjoys exploring the mountains of Colorado with her partner and their rescue dog, Honey.

Marlene Valle

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Marlene graduated in Marriage and Family Therapy at California State University of Northridge (CSUN). She has a passion for traveling, wildlife & nature, human rights, and mental health. Marlene believes in the power of storytelling for social impacts and creating connections between humans around the world. She shares her passions as a content creator and a founder of Mira We Rise, a digital platform where Latine/x Deaf communities and their loved ones share their stories. Marlene loves relaxing in a hammock, reading books, and learning many new things, such as languages.

We are excited to have Andrew, Sarah, and Marlene with us as we continue the hard work ahead.  


The NAD was established in 1880 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 interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.

President Updates June 2021

News from - July 14, 2021 - 2:33pm
[English and Spanish transcript available at the end of this page]

President Melissa shares updates about the NAD’s ongoing commitment to anti-racism work, 2018-2020 and 2020-2022 Priorities, and the NAD Leadership Training Conference (NLTC) to happen virtually during September 19-25, 2021.

English Transcript

MELISSA: Hello, I’m Melissa. This video provides an update for the past few months. This month, July, takes me back to a year ago when the NAD Board came together to meet and discuss racism in America, and how it is everywhere including within the Deaf community as well as other communities. Together, we agreed this anti-racism work requires our commitment. Since then, each of us individually and as a group, started the work. This process included reading books, watching movies and documentaries, engaging in group discussions with different people, attending workshops, participating in webinars, and more. TFurther, the NAD does not tolerate any -isms such as linguisism (criticism of any language including how one signs), sexism (putting down any person because of how they identify with either gender or as non-binary), audism (criticizing or diminishing a person for being deaf), and other forms of oppression. There have been many -ism type of situations within our community and we do not accept or tolerate those actions. We must continue our work by recognizing and supporting marginalized communities and reduce these -isms in different areas within our community, including within the NAD. 

The second thing I wanted to discuss was that the NAD Board had a virtual meeting last April, and we discussed the 2020-2022 Priorities. We also discussed our remaining action items for the 2018-2020 Priorities. When the COVID-19 Pandemic happened, a lot of our tasks for 2018-2020 Priorities were put on hold. We switched gears to focus on developing different policies and share COVID-19 related information with the deaf and hard of hearing community. Now, we’re shifting back to complete our tasks for 2018-2020 Priorities. The next virtual NAD Board meeting will happen on July 30-August 1. We will livestream our meeting on Saturday, July 31st on Facebook. We’ll share updates about this livestream soon. 

The last update I have for you is regarding the NAD Leadership Training Conference (NLTC). We typically host NLTC in person but as I announced in an earlier video, we have decided for safety reasons to host NLTC virtually. We’re excited to share our plans. We usually host it on a weekend but with our virtual approach, we decided to stretch it to a full week! We’ll begin on Sunday, September 19th and end it on Saturday, September 25th. We have a kick-off presentation planned for Sunday the 19th. We have different workshops planned for Monday-Friday. And then on Saturday, we will have longer training sessions. We will share NLTC details soon, so be on the lookout for more information! Thank you for watching!

Spanish Transcript

MELISSA: Hola, soy Melissa. Este video proporciona una actualización de los últimos meses. Este mes, julio, me remonta a hace un año cuando la Junta de la NAD se reunió para discutir el racismo en Estados Unidos, y en todas partes, incluso dentro de la comunidad sorda y otras comunidades. Juntos, acordamos que este trabajo contra el racismo requiere nuestro compromiso. Desde entonces, cada uno de nosotros individualmente y como grupo, comenzamos el trabajo. Este proceso incluyó leer libros, ver películas y documentales, participar en discusiones grupales con diferentes personas, asistir a talleres, participar en seminarios web y más. Además, la NAD no tolera ningún -ismo como el lingüismo (crítica de cualquier idioma, incluida la lengua de señas), sexismo (menospreciar a cualquier persona por cómo se identifica el género o como no binario), audismo (criticar o disminuir una persona por ser sorda), y otras formas de opresión. Ha habido muchas situaciones en nuestra comunidad y no aceptamos ni toleramos esas acciones. Debemos continuar nuestro trabajo reconociendo y apoyando a las comunidades marginadas y reducir estos -ismos en diferentes áreas dentro de nuestra comunidad, incluso dentro de la NAD.

La segunda cosa que quería discutir era que la Junta de la NAD tuvo una reunión virtual en abril pasado, y discutimos las Prioridades 2020-2022. También discutimos nuestros elementos de acción restantes para las Prioridades 2018-2020. Cuando ocurrió la pandemia de COVID-19, muchas de nuestras tareas para las Prioridades 2018-2020 quedaron en suspenso. Cambiamos de tema para enfocarnos en desarrollar diferentes políticas y compartir información relacionada con COVID-19 con la comunidad de personas sordas e hipoacúsicas. Ahora, estamos retrocediendo para completar nuestras tareas para las prioridades 2018-2020. La próxima reunión virtual de la Junta de la NAD tendrá lugar del 30 de julio al 1 de agosto. Transmitiremos en vivo nuestra reunión el sábado 31 de julio en Facebook. Pronto compartiremos actualizaciones sobre esta transmisión en vivo.

La última actualización que tengo para ustedes es sobre la Conferencia de Entrenamiento de Liderazgo de la NAD (NAD Leadership Training Conference, NLTC). Por lo general, organizamos NLTC en persona, pero como anuncié en un video anterior, hemos decidido, por razones de seguridad, realizar NLTC virtualmente. Estamos emocionados de compartir nuestros planes. Por lo general, lo organizamos un fin de semana, pero con nuestro enfoque virtual, ¡decidimos extenderlo a una semana completa! Comenzaremos el domingo 19 de septiembre y lo finalizamos el sábado 25 de septiembre. Tenemos una presentación inicial prevista para el domingo 19. Tenemos diferentes talleres previstos para lunes a viernes. Y luego, el sábado, tendremos sesiones de entrenamiento más largas. Pronto compartiremos los detalles de NLTC, ¡así que esté atento para obtener más información! ¡Gracias por ver!

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September 18, 2021 - 10:47am

September 18, 2021 - 10:47am