President Updates — February 2017

[Video description can be found below. If you use a screen reader and need to access the English or Spanish caption file transcript, go to “More…” and click on “Transcript”]

NAD President Melissa shares an update of meetings that took place in the past month with several national affiliates such as Deaf Women United, Deaf Women of Color, Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids, Council de Manos, National Black Deaf Advocates, Philadelphia Chapter Black Deaf Advocates, and Deaf Grassroots Movement.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION AND TRANSCRIPT: Melissa Draganac-Hawk stands in front of an off-white wall with a piece of artwork behind. A small white NAD logo appears on bottom right corner.

MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa and it’s time for another video for this month. It’s been a productive month for the NAD Board. Several committees have started to meet to discuss different issues and policies. We are also taking a close look at our five priorities to ensure we are on track. I have also had several meetings with specific individuals representing different organizations. This video report will focus on several national affiliates and our discussions. First, I met with Melissa Yingst Huber of Deaf Women United (DWU) and Melissa Locklear of Deaf Women of Color (DWC). We discussed how can we protect deaf women and children — we asked ourselves what kind of message do we want to America. We shared some ideas and have some plans for next year — we look forward to that. Next, I met with Sheri Farinha of Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K). We discussed a variety of important topics, one especially was about one of the NAD’s five priorities which calls for the NAD and LEAD-K to work together. Sheri and I discussed some ideas. We both recognize how important it is for the deaf community and key stakeholders to work together when a state submits a new bill. Next, I met with Rogelio Fernández, Jr. of Council de Manos. There were a lot of topics that came up; the most urgent one is about immigration. Rogelio and I clarified some expectations and responsibilities between both organizations. Suppose a deaf person needs some support with the immigration or deportation process as an immigrant, Council de Manos can support you. If a deaf person does not have an interpreter or is denied communication access during a meeting, contact the NAD. The NAD can provide some resources and/or appropriately refer you to an expert. Next, I met with Tim Albert of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) and Tywan Cropper of the Philadelphia Chapter Black Deaf Advocates — Joshua Beckman (NAD Vice President) also joined the meeting last Friday. A number of important topics were brought up. We especially discussed about how deaf people have experienced police brutality. We decided to implement a “Public Safety” committee to focus on that. I look forward to having both organizations work together. Finally, I met with Wes Arey, Philipe Wolfe, and Dawn Schriver of Deaf Grassroots Movement (DGM). We are already planning ahead for future legislative trainings and upcoming march events. However, I must emphasize that these meetings will not be the only time we meet; we will continue to have ongoing conversations. It is very important for different organizations to work together for deaf and hard of hearing people in America. Thank you.

Video fades to a soft white background with several different font types showing “NAD” very quickly. Copyright video ends with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo centered. Blue text below the logo appears, “A production of the National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2017 All Rights Reserved”.

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