OAD President, Chad A. Ludwig, will not run another term.

(Transcript)

OAD President, Chad A. Ludwig, will not run another term.

Since being elected in June 2013, I have served two full years as president of this amazing organization in partnership with the great team on the OAD board. This year, at the 45th biennial statewide conference in Eugene over the weekend of June 5th and 6th, an election will take place to appoint new officers. I will not be running for re-election.

We have accomplished so much during the past two years, it would be impossible to list everything. Here are a few of the major milestones:

  • We began new relationships and renewed previous ones with so many people, groups, organizations, businesses and government agencies.

  • We led a legislative effort to create an Office of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Services. The bill to create the Office is still live in our legislature and has not yet been passed. I will remain active on this issue until we get this bill passed in Oregon's current legislative session.

  • In December 2014, we invited the Oregon Deaf-Blind Service Task Force and Hearing Loss Association of Oregon Chapter to join with us in our first ever Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Legislative Awareness Day.

  • We effected a language amendment in Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 584-018-0165. Teachers licensed to teach in D/HH K-12 classrooms are now required to pass a sign language proficiency test at a level of 3 or higher, out of a maximum score of 5.

  • We partnered with the NAD, RID, and ORID to host Town Hall meetings in the community.

  • We held DeafFest to celebrate our community.

  • We implemented a new website that includes a community calendar, a resource directory, and an email blast.

  • In February, 2014, we began offering an email subscription through our new website. Before George's contacts list was merged with ours in March, 2015, our subscriber numbers had grown to 1,400. Today we have over 2,000 subscribers.

  • We grew the number of "likes" on our Facebook page from 123 to 1,400.

  • We led a membership drive that expanded membership from 67 to 210.

  • ... and we accomplished so much more.

Because we have come so far together, it is difficult for me to share with you that I have decided not to seek re-election as OAD president. My decision is purely for personal reasons. No one in the community and no negative experience as president has contributed to the decision. Does this mean my leadership days is over? Never. I will always be involved in the community in roles big and small, and right now, I want to steer my leadership to a different course. I will continue to be active in the Oregon Association of the Deaf, though in different roles. I intend to lead our media communications among Facebook, email, and our website, and to mentor the new president and board into their new term.

To the new board, I recommend that OAD host events throughout the state to mobilize and maintain community partnerships. I encourage OAD to pursue education reform. Our Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing children need you! The first orders of business on that front should be to build relationships with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the Oregon State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention board (EHDI), and to show Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing children who their role models are by visiting the Oregon School for the Deaf and all mainstream schools.

To the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Oregonians, I sincerely thank you for giving me this great opportunity to serve as your president where I was able to be a part of rapid growth and social change within our community. Let's not stop pursuing our dream, to enrich the quality of life for everyone in our community.

Come and join us make the difference during OAD conference on June 5 and 6.

Thank you!