News from NAD.org
The NAD invites you to join in promoting National Disability Employment Awareness Month! What are you doing to improve employment? #NDEAM2019
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) welcomes two new staff members, Andrea Vigil and Leah Wiederhorn! We are sad to bid farewell to two wonderful people who have gone on to new adventures. Our former Staff Attorney from 2013 to 2019, Caroline Jackson, moved to California and is now working for another law firm. Our former Outreach Specialist from 2018 to 2019, Teddy Dorsette, III, moved back home to Detroit, Michigan.Andrea
Andrea is our new part-time Front Desk Assistant! She will support our Office Manager, Sean Norman, to ensure smooth operations at the Front Desk. Andrea was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was former Miss Deaf Utah in 2008-2009 and competed in Miss Deaf America pageant at the 2010 NAD Conference in Philadelphia. At Gallaudet University, Andrea was involved in several organizations such as the Bison Crew Dance team, the Latino Student Union, and was a member of the Art Exhibition Showcase. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Digital Media in 2015. One of her favorite memories was being invited by the Toronto International Deaf Films Festival to share her short abstract film, “Colors.” She is a freelance videographer and enjoys making videos for clients. Andrea loves volunteering, traveling, and cooking.Leah
Leah joins the Law and Advocacy Center as a full-time Staff Attorney. Leah is responsible for litigating civil rights disability cases on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Prior to joining the NAD, Leah was a senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she litigated complex reproductive rights lawsuits around the country. Leah was an attorney at the Law Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Eisenberg and Baum, LLP, where she litigated complex discrimination lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, as well as applicable state civil rights laws. Leah previously served as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society, representing children in foster care proceedings and juvenile delinquency defense, among other Family Court matters. Leah was of counsel to the Law Office of Rankin & Taylor in Section 1983, Bivens, and Federal Tort Claims Act litigation and has also worked as a litigation associate at Rosin Steinhagen Mendel. Leah holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where she received the Professor Nancy H. Fink Family Law Award, the Brooklyn Law School Public Service Award, and the CALI Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. While at Brooklyn Law School, Leah was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and served as co-chair of Brooklyn Law School Students for the Public Interest. Leah received her B.A. in American History and Human Rights from Columbia University. In her free time, Leah enjoys reading literature, traveling, and watching independent films.
Andrea and Leah, welcome to the NAD!
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 Melissa reminds us why language is important. #IWDeaf2019
The Arkansas Association of the Deaf are excited to welcome #NLTC2019 attendees to Little Rock! Register at NLTC.NAD.ORG.
On August 13, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) – along with several other deaf and hard of hearing advocacy *organizations — filed joint comments with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), opposing many proposals created by HHS that would impact deaf and hard of hearing people’s ability to access healthcare free from discrimination.
A few examples of what the proposals include:
- decrease the number of healthcare businesses that must follow non-discrimination requirements
- remove the requirement that healthcare businesses must let people know that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability. This would mean not having to let people know they have the right to request interpreter services or other auxiliary aids and services, how to receive them, and the process to file a complaint when their requests are not met.
- seek comment on whether businesses with less than 15 employees to be excused from providing accommodations.
- removing requirements on VRI quality standards; this could lead to lower quality VRI services for deaf and hard of hearing users.
- remove the private right to sue for people who experience discrimination by a healthcare business; this would also limit remedies available to people who experience discrimination.
These proposals are problematic because if accepted, they would narrow and entirely remove the existing protections against discrimination; we oppose these proposals. Medical services are often denied to deaf and hard of hearing patients simply because of the communication barriers even with several federal laws and regulations requiring equal access! We cannot go backwards – deaf and hard of hearing people must have equal access to medical services without any barriers to healthcare. The HHS should not move forward with their proposed changes.
*The complete list of signatories of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Groups:
- American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB)
- American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA)
- Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA)
- California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (CCASDHH)
- Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO)
- Deaf Seniors of America (DSA)
- Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA)
- Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
- National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH)
- National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
- Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC)
- Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID)
- Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI)
Are you a community member interested in investing in your community? Are you on the board of a State Association or looking for professional development at work? Do you have ideas of how to improve your non-profit? Don’t know where to start? Join us at the NAD Leadership Training Conference (NLTC) to get started! Registration deadline is September 30, 2019. #NLTC2019
As some State Associations and organizations have their conferences, the NAD Youth Programs encourages them to include a Youth Ambassador Program in the program. Go ahead and select a youth representative (18 – 30 years old) to compete at the next NAD Conference in Chicago 2020! Psst… the winner gets $8,000! If you’re not sure how to get started, check out our FAQ page. If you already had your conference or do not have the time to add YAP to your program, FEAR NOT! Your organization can still select a representative, check out the guidelines.
Email NADYAP@nad.org to get started.