News from

Subscribe to News from feed
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 15 hours ago

Police Sued for Acts Against Deaf Mother and Twin Daughters

December 22, 2021 - 2:05pm

LAS VEGAS, December 22, 2021 — The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and McLetchie Law, on behalf of Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth and her eleven-year old twin daughters, filed a complaint yesterday asking a federal judge to order the North Las Vegas Police Department (NLVPD) to cease unlawful and discriminatory practices. The complaint also asks NLVPD to implement policies and procedures that will ensure effective communication and a meaningful opportunity to participate in and benefit from NLVPD’s services. The complaint seeks damages for the harm Ms. Hollingsworth and her young daughters experienced when the police created an unnecessarily traumatic encounter.

The complaint asserts the NLVPD violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and other statutes during an interaction with Ms. Hollingsworth. Ms. Hollingsworth is an African American deaf woman who uses American Sign Language (ASL) as her primary means of communication. 

On the evening of April 7, 2021, while sitting in their car waiting for a friend, Ms. Hollingsworth and her two daughters were approached by a defendant, Officer Michael Rose, of the NLVPD. Ms. Hollingsworth and her children repeatedly informed Officer Rose that she is deaf and Ms. Hollingsworth requested the use of written notes. Officer Rose was wearing a neck gaiter covering his mouth and much of his face during the entire encounter making it impossible for Ms. Hollingsworth to try to lip read. Even when informed that Ms. Hollingsworth is deaf, Officer Rose proceeded to speak to Ms. Hollingsworth with his face covered and demanded Ms. Hollingsworth respond to his inquiries without providing her with any means to communicate. Officer Rose even complained about Ms. Hollingsworth’s effort to sign with her daughters. At most points during the interaction, Ms. Hollingsworth was unaware that Officer Rose was even speaking to her because she could not see his lips. Officer Rose refused to use pen and paper to communicate with Ms. Hollingsworth and made no attempts to provide a qualified ASL interpreter. Instead, Officer Rose sought to rely on Ms. Hollingsworth’s eleven-year-old daughters and push them to “interpret” for him while they were crying in fear for their mother and themselves.

As eleven year olds, Ms. Hollingsworth’s daughters were untrained as interpreters, and could not interpret between ASL and English effectively, especially during a traumatic situation. Officer Rose’s insistence on using them to interpret caused the situation to escalate unnecessarily. When the children cried in fear and Ms. Hollingsworth repeatedly expressed confusion, Officer Rose responded by yelling at the children when their mother didn’t comply with his commands. Ms. Hollingsworth had no way to understand these commands, particularly because her daughters were not able to sign the majority of Officer Rose’s commands to her.  

Ultimately, Officer Rose used unreasonable force for a situation he created.  At no time during this interaction did Ms. Hollingsworth or her young daughters pose any danger to Officer Rose or anyone else.  Ms. Hollingsworth was not cited or arrested for any crime. Because Ms. Hollingsworth could not understand him, Officer Rose violently forced Ms. Hollingsworth from her car, shoved her to the ground, and cuffed her behind her back while her daughters watched in horror and cried for him to stop.

Andrea “Dre” Hollingsworth said, “My daughters and I went through a horrible experience at the hands of the North Las Vegas police, especially when they refused to show their lips, tried to force my traumatized young daughters to interpret, and forcefully pulled me out of my car to cuff me. I hope this lawsuit stops them from doing this to anyone else ever again.”

The complaint addresses the erroneous idea that family members can or should be used to interpret in situations involving deaf persons. Federal disability rights laws expressly require the provision of “qualified interpreters” which mandate impartiality and preclude the use of family members. Using family members, let alone young children, as interpreters is not appropriate because of their emotional and personal involvement, which affects the ability to interpret effectively and accurately and impartially. Children who are forced to act as interpreters for their parents often feel guilty and responsible when communication goes badly and suffer trauma as a result.

“This lawsuit is being taken to ensure that no other deaf or hard of hearing person will ever again experiences the disrespect and brutality that occurred here, and also to stop the use of children to interpret for deaf parents and family members.” said Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD CEO.

“The North Las Vegas Police Department has a responsibility under federal statutes – and the Constitution – to train its officers to prevent the very discrimination that occurred here,” said Maggie McLetchie, one of the lawyers on the case. “Deaf and hard of hearing people should not be subjected to violence, seizure, and indignity because police officers won’t communicate with them and are hostile to them.”

The National Association of the Deaf, established in 1880, is the nation’s premier organization safeguarding the civil, human, and linguistics rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the U.S.

McLetchie Law is a boutique law firm serving prominent and emerging businesses, media entities, and individuals in Nevada and California, including in civil rights cases. 

2022, we’re ready for you!

December 20, 2021 - 7:41am

YOUR SUPPORT has carried us through the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, and we are grateful to you for making it possible for the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have equal access to programs and services.

Your support has enabled us to engage in:

– Responding and assisting more than triple the number of people served – from 1,300 per year in pre-pandemic times to 4,000 per year during the last two years;

– Ensuring that all government officials constantly provide ASL interpreters for all health threats and disaster information – leading to the White House providing ASL interpreters on a daily basis;

– Prevailing after litigation in reaching an agreement with a federal agency to re-establish a centralized interpreting system to appropriately serve its deaf and hard of hearing employees;

– Advocating for continued communication access under pandemic conditions for health care, telehealth, education, remote work, court proceedings, and the wearing of masks;

– Providing leadership training to deaf and hard of hearing youth through a virtual Youth Leadership Camp and to deaf and hard of hearing organization officials through a virtual NAD Leadership Training Conference; and

– Promoting hiring of deaf and hard of hearing people in all industries, including as authentic actors of deaf roles in the media.

The demand for our work has tripled, and we are doing our best to provide services and assistance to everyone. We need YOUR SUPPORT to continue this work! Giving is easy! Visit to make an online gift or send your check to our address. The NAD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

All of us at the NAD wish you a healthy and happy new year!

NAD Reaches Settlement with White House For All Press Briefings to be Interpreted in ASL

December 16, 2021 - 12:47pm


Issara Baumann, 202.942.6682

Lizzie Sorkin, 301.587.1788

Washington, DC, December 16, 2021 — The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and several deaf individuals have reached a settlement with the President of the United States and other White House officials to conclude a lawsuit over the Trump White House’s failure to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters during press briefings related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The settlement follows a landmark court ruling in September 2020 that ordered the White House to provide interpreters for all such briefings. As a result, in November 2020, a White House press briefing was broadcast live with an ASL interpreter for the first time in history. Today, the NAD and the White House dismissed the lawsuit.

The settlement was reached in light of a new policy, adopted by the White House in April 2021, to provide ASL interpreters for all press briefings conducted by the President, Vice President, First Lady, Second Gentleman, or the White House Press Secretary. Most importantly, the policy is not limited to press briefings that address the coronavirus pandemic; it applies to all press briefings. The ASL interpreters can be viewed as part of the White House’s official broadcasts on, and recorded versions of the briefings with interpreters can be viewed on the White House’s YouTube page. The policy—like the court’s order—also requires the White House to provide the video feed of the interpreter to the broadcast television networks, to enable them to include the interpreter in their live broadcasts as well.

“Our historic achievement last fall in obtaining a federal court order compelling the White House to provide ASL interpreters for coronavirus briefings is now bolstered by the current Administration’s new policy expanding this access to all press briefings. The Biden-Harris Administration is to be commended for setting a new bar for full communication access for all deaf and hard of hearing people in the country,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, Chief Executive Officer of NAD.

“For too long, the Trump White House shut deaf Americans out of its press briefings, including those about the coronavirus pandemic,” said Ian S. Hoffman, a partner at the law firm of Arnold & Porter who argued the case on behalf of the NAD. “The deaf community deserves access to all communications from the highest levels of their government, so we applaud the new White House policy and its commitment to provide ASL interpreters for all press briefings.”

Arnold & Porter, an international law firm dedicated to pro bono litigation and equal access issues, co-counseled with the NAD in representing the NAD and the deaf individuals: Carlton Strail, Graham Forsey, Debra Fleetwood, John Rivera Jr., and Corey Axelrod.

Ian S. Hoffman led the team at Arnold & Porter and argued the case in August 2020 before U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Arnold & Porter team also included Nora Ellingsen and John “Jay” Swanson. Marc Charmatz and Howard A. Rosenblum from the NAD were also part of the legal effort.

About the National Association of the Deaf

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), established in 1880, is the nation’s premier civil rights organization safeguarding the civil, human, and linguistics rights of 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the U.S., including hundreds of thousands whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL).

About Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter is a law firm with a long history of fighting for equal access to justice through its pro bono efforts. In recent years, Arnold & Porter has represented deaf clients seeking access to legally required accommodations in a variety of contexts including federal prison, state supervised release programs, and homeless shelters. With nearly 1,000 lawyers practicing in 13 offices around the globe, Arnold & Porter serves clients across 40 distinct practice areas. The firm offers 100 years of renowned regulatory expertise, sophisticated litigation and transactional practices, and leading multidisciplinary offerings in the life sciences and financial services industries.

President Updates – November 2021

December 15, 2021 - 11:55am

President Melissa shares updates regarding the five current priorities. In case you missed it, please make sure you fill out our survey about racism in the deaf community.

Spanish Transcript

MELISSA: Hola, soy Melissa. Este es mi video mensual y compartiré las actualizaciones sobre nuestras cinco prioridades actuales. Antes de entrar en eso, si desea obtener más información detallada sobre nuestras cinco prioridades, puede ir a y hacer clic en la pestaña “ABOUT” y buscar “Priorities” en el submenú. Verá las cinco prioridades enumeradas con más información en esa página.

Ahora, compartiré actualizaciones sobre cada prioridad. Primero, comenzaré con “Lograr la equidad en la educación para sordos”; el comité se ha reunido varias veces. Los miembros del comité representan a diferentes organizaciones en la comunidad sorda, incluidos representantes de programas para sordos, escuelas para sordos, maestros, padres, administradores, universidades, personal de la NAD y la Junta de la NAD. El comité discutió las experiencias de los estudiantes sordos y espera poder compartir diferentes ideas con usted en los próximos meses.

La siguiente prioridad es “Campaña para destacar los efectos adversos de la privación del lenguaje”. El comité tiene varios miembros, incluidos investigadores, padres, personal de escuelas para sordos y quienes trabajan en hospitales. El comité tiene la tarea de tres cosas. Uno es desarrollar un proyecto de ley modelo. En segundo lugar, el comité revisará nuestras declaraciones de posición y actualizará nuestro sitio web para que sea más familiar. Y tercero, desarrollar módulos de capacitación para personal profesional, padres y defensores de la educación.

La siguiente prioridad es “Desmantelar el racismo en la comunidad sorda”. El comité se reúne con frecuencia y discutimos cómo desarrollar un plan de estudios. Creamos una encuesta y la publicamos en la comunidad sorda. La información recopilada de esta encuesta ayudará al comité a desarrollar un conjunto de herramientas que ayudará a capacitar tanto a personas como a grupos pequeños o grandes. Hemos progresado y estamos trabajando duro. Si llenó la encuesta en las últimas semanas, ¡gracias! Si no lo ha hecho, complete la encuesta.

La siguiente prioridad es “Eliminar las barreras a la atención de calidad para las personas mayores sordas”. Esta prioridad está en su tercer año. Durante los primeros dos años, nos enfocamos en recopilar comentarios de las personas mayores sordas para comprender más sobre lo que les gustaría, lo que les gustaría aprender más sobre la vivienda, cómo planificar su jubilación y comprender más sobre los cuidadores. Desarrollamos varios recursos para abordar esas brechas. Ahora, estamos mirando a nivel estatal y federal. Estamos analizando diferentes agencias de envejecimiento en diferentes estados para comprender cómo funciona su sistema. Trabajamos en estrecha colaboración con la organización Personas mayores sordas en los Estados Unidos (DSA) y la Asociación Nacional de Agencias Estatales de Personas Sordas e Hipoacúsicas (NASADHH). Los tres grupos están trabajando en estrecha colaboración para descubrir cómo abordar las brechas a nivel estatal y federal y cómo pueden satisfacer las necesidades de las personas sordas e hipoacúsicas.

La última prioridad es la “Declaración de derechos sobre el cuidado de acogida”. El comité tiene la tarea de dos cosas. Una es desarrollar un proyecto de ley modelo para que las asociaciones estatales lo implementen en su estado. El proyecto de ley modelo es para apoyar a las familias sordas e hipoacúsicas en el sistema de cuidado de acogida temporal, para ayudarles a conocer cuáles son sus derechos. La otra tarea es desarrollar una declaración de posición para que cualquiera la use.

Eso resume las cinco prioridades en las que estamos trabajando hasta ahora. Continuaremos trabajando en estas prioridades antes de presentar el informe final en julio de 2022. ¡Gracias!

English Transcript

MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa. This is my monthly video and I’ll be sharing updates for our five current priorities. Before I get into that, if you’d like to learn more about our five priorities and with detailed information, you can go to and click on the “ABOUT” tab and find “Priorities” in the sub-menu. You’ll see all five priorities listed with further information on that page. 

Now, I’ll share updates for each priority. First, I’ll start with “Achieving Equity in Deaf Education” — the committee has met several times. Members serving on the committee represent different organizations in the deaf community, including representatives from deaf programs, deaf schools, teachers, parents, administrators, universities, NAD Staff, and the NAD Board. The committee discussed deaf students’ experiences and look forward to sharing different ideas with you in the next coming months ahead.

The next priority is “Campaign to Spotlight the Adverse Impacts of Language Deprivation.” The committee has various members including researchers, parents, schools for the deaf staff members, and those who work at hospitals. The committee is tasked with three things. One is to develop a model bill. Second, the committee will review our position statement(s) and update our website to be more family friendly. And third, develop training modules for professional staff, parents, and Education Advocates. 

The next priority is “Dismantling Racism in the Deaf Community.” The committee meets often and we discussed how to develop a curriculum. We created a survey and released it in the deaf community. Information gathered from that survey will help the committee develop a toolkit that will help train individuals as well as small or big groups. We’ve been making progress and are working hard. If you filled out the survey within the past few weeks, thank you! If you haven’t, please fill out the survey!

The next priority is “Eliminating Barriers to Quality Care for Deaf Seniors.” This priority is in its third year. During the last term, its first two years, we focused on gathering input from Deaf Seniors to understand more about what they’d like, what they’d like to learn more about housing, how to plan for retirement, and understanding more about caregivers. We developed several resources to address those gaps. Now, we’re looking at state and federal levels. We’re looking at different aging agencies in different states to understand how their system works. We work closely with Deaf Seniors in America (DSA) and the National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH). The three groups are working closely together to figure out how to address gaps at the state and federal level and how they can meet deaf and hard of hearing people’s needs.

The last priority is “Foster Care Bill of Rights.” The committee is tasked with two things. One is to develop a model bill for State Associations to implement in their state. The model bill is to support deaf families and deaf and hard of hearing in the foster care system — to help them know what their rights are. The other task is to develop a position statement for anyone to use.

That about sums up the five priorities we’re working on, so far. We will continue to work on these priorities before giving the final report in July 2022. Thank you!

.stk-a6b84a3{background-color:#0be3ff !important}.stk-a6b84a3:before{background-color:#0be3ff !important}.stk-a6b84a3 .stk-block-heading__text{text-shadow:0px 0px 100px rgba(71,73,79,1) !important;color:#000000 !important}.stk-2bf562f{background-color:#0be3ff !important}.stk-2bf562f:before{background-color:#0be3ff !important}.stk-2bf562f{box-shadow:0px 0px 0px 0px rgba(0,0,0,1) !important}.stk-2bf562f .stk-block-heading__text{text-shadow:0px 0px 100px rgba(71,73,79,1) !important;color:#000000 !important}

Lawsuit Challenges Inaccessibility of Major Podcast Platforms

December 14, 2021 - 11:22am

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:        
Lizzie Sorkin,, 301-587-1788
Emily Seelenfreund,, 510-665-8644

December 14, 2021– New York, NY—The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) have filed a lawsuit against three major providers of podcasts, SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora, to end their exclusion of deaf and hard of hearing Americans from each company’s extensive podcast streaming service. Read the complaint here.

Sirius XM bills itself as the “new destination for original, exclusive, and popular podcasts,” providing customers access to a slate of both original and third-party podcast content, including exclusive access to podcasts produced by Marvel Entertainment. 

Stitcher ranked #1 in Triton Digital’s Report of top Podcast Networks for August 2021, with 451 active original podcasts.  Likewise, Pandora’s podcast service offers users access to hundreds of thousands of podcast episodes.  Yet none of these multimillion-dollar companies provides transcripts for the plethora of podcasts available on their popular mobile applications.

Because Defendants do not make transcripts or captions available for any of the podcasts offered on their platforms, more than 48 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans are denied full and equal enjoyment of the content they offer their hearing users. These failures to provide equal access violate the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as state and local New York law. 

The NAD and five deaf Americans who wish to use each of Defendants’ podcast services but are excluded from doing so brought this action to end SiriusXM’s, Stitchers, and Pandora’s discriminatory business practices. 

Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the NAD, said, “Podcasts are the latest form of entertainment, and it is imperative that deaf and hard of hearing people not be left behind. SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora have a duty under federal, state, and city laws to ensure their podcasts are fully accessible.”

Plaintiff Mei Nishimoto said, “I want all podcasts to be accessible for myself, because I love to learn, and as a Deaf parent with a school-aged child, I need to screen what is appropriate for her age and interests, and advance her education.”

Plaintiff Dr. Amber Martin said, “Access to information and entertainment is as interesting and important to deaf and hard of hearing people as it is to others. There have been many times when someone told me about something they heard on a podcast and it sparked my interest but there was no transcript. It’s disappointing not to be able to participate in the conversations with friends, but especially frustrating to know that I’m locked out of a lot of information I’d like to have.”

Plaintiff Jamie Munro said, “Podcasts are now ubiquitous and serves as a wealth of information to everyone, except the deaf community. We cannot be excluded again and must have full access to knowledge that is already readily available to everyone else.”

Plaintiff Rebecca Alexander stated, “Requesting accommodations is not asking to be given information out of privilege. Having equal access to information, including from podcasts, is a fundamental civil right. I am also concerned about being precluded from a platform that has important commentary from people, myself included, because of inaccessibility.”

DRA staff attorney Emily Seelenfreund said, “SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora’s complete failure to consider access for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing is an embarrassment and an abject violation of federal and local disability law.”

About National Association of the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), a nonprofit established in 1880 by deaf and hard of hearing leaders, is the nation’s premier civil rights organization safeguarding the civil, human, and linguistics rights of 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.  

About Disability Rights Advocates
Founded in 1993, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is a leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with the full spectrum of disabilities in complex, system-change, class action cases. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to health care, employment, transportation, education, disaster preparedness planning, voting and housing. For more information, visit

Seeking #NAD2022 Workshops!

November 29, 2021 - 9:51am

The National Association of the Deaf invites YOU to submit a proposal for a workshop or panel to be presented in person at our biennial conference in Orlando, Florida  in July 2022! The NAD is thrilled to work closely with two amazing workshop partners, Deaf in Government (DIG) and the National Deaf Education Conference (NDEC).

The NAD Conference includes fascinating workshops that share presenters’ knowledge and expertise with the deaf and hard of hearing community.  Presenters are listed on the website and in our event materials. Workshop topics, take-aways, and important discussion points are shared via social media during the conference. We have plenaries, workshops, and important panels that take place throughout the week. Past NAD Conference attendees have raved about how valuable and beneficial these workshops and panels are. We want you to submit your ideas to be one of our amazing presenters this summer!

We’ve put together things to consider as you get ready to submit your workshop proposal.

The deadline to submit your proposal is January 10, 2022. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email

President Updates — October 2021

October 29, 2021 - 4:08pm

President Melissa shares updates of the activities of the Board and the NAD since June.

English Transcript

MELISSA: Hi! I’m Melissa. This video shares updates of the activities of the Board and the NAD since June. The Board had its formal meetings virtually in July and October. Our meetings focused on planning the NAD Leadership Training Conference (NLTC) and our next Biennial Conference this summer, in 2022. We’ve had anti-racism training as part of our priority, Dismantle Racism in the Deaf Community. Our learning continues. I was excited to share our virtual meeting with the public through livestreaming on Facebook. This livestreaming allows the public to watch how the Board conducts its meetings, how we reach certain decisions, and how we share different perspectives with each other. I hope you had the opportunity to observe and learn how we do our meetings. We will continue to provide public viewing of our virtual Board meetings. Next, NLTC during the third week of September was a huge success, thanks to everyone who attended! We thank our ten sponsors for making this possible. We had ten workshops and we thank the presenters and panelists for participating in these workshops. We had three plenaries and share gratitude towards our plenary presenters and panelists as well. We learned from each other during the virtual NLTC event through chat, audience participation, and Q and A’s. For future workshops, we will have to see whether we’ll offer them virtually or in-person. And my final topic, as some of you know, the NAD has five priorities as voted on by the Council of Representatives (COR) delegates — hard to believe it’s been a year since then! I’ll share our priority updates next month, watch out for that. Thank you for watching! 

Spanish Transcript

MELISSA: ¡Hola! Soy Melissa. En este video comparto actualizaciones de las actividades de la Junta y la NAD desde junio. La Junta celebró sus reuniones formales virtualmente en julio y octubre. Nuestras reuniones se centraron en la planificación de la Conferencia de Capacitación de Liderazgo de la NAD (NLTC) y nuestra próxima Conferencia Bienal este verano, en 2022. Hemos tenido capacitación contra el racismo como parte de nuestra prioridad, Desmantelar el racismo en la comunidad sorda. Nuestro aprendizaje continúa. Estaba emocionada de compartir nuestra reunión virtual con el público a través de la transmisión en vivo en Facebook. Esta transmisión en vivo permite al público ver cómo la Junta conduce sus reuniones, cómo llegamos a ciertas decisiones y cómo compartimos diferentes perspectivas entre nosotros. Espero que hayan tenido la oportunidad de observar y aprender cómo hacemos nuestras reuniones. Continuaremos brindando acceso público a nuestras reuniones virtuales de la Junta. A continuación, NLTC durante la tercera semana de septiembre fue un gran éxito, ¡gracias a todos los que asistieron! Agradecemos a nuestros diez patrocinadores por hacer esto posible. Tuvimos diez talleres y agradecemos a los presentadores y panelistas por participar en estos talleres. Tuvimos tres plenarias y también compartimos nuestra gratitud hacia nuestros presentadores plenarios y panelistas. Aprendimos unos de otros durante el evento virtual de NLTC a través del chat, la participación de la audiencia y preguntas y respuestas. Para futuros talleres, tendremos que ver si los ofreceremos de forma virtual o presencial. Y mi tema final, como algunos de ustedes saben, la NAD tiene cinco prioridades según lo votaron los delegados del Consejo de Representantes (COR), ¡es difícil de creer que haya pasado un año desde entonces! Compartiré nuestras actualizaciones prioritarias el próximo mes, esté atento a eso. ¡Gracias por ver!