President Updates — March 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 about Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, tips for meeting with your legislators, and the next NAD Board meeting during April 13-15 in Hartford, Connecticut.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION AND TRANSCRIPT: Melissa Draganac-Hawk stands in front of a yellow wall. A small white NAD logo appears on bottom right corner.

MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa and this is my video for the month of March; I will cover three topics. First, on March 1st, the NAD joined as CEASD and AFB hosted Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. Many schools for the deaf and blind schools came together to discuss and rally for the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act. That Act will help improve the IDEA for deaf and blind children. People met with their legislators or their staff in their legislative office. The purpose behind that day was to lobby for the passage of the bill. It was very inspiring to see students’ participation that day. This leads me to my next topic, I’ve been asked to explain what the process looks like when lobbying for a bill with a legislator or representative. First, we must share how much of an impact a bill will have on deaf people. Next, share specific information with your legislators including statistics and any information that will help your legislator (who was elected to represent you) or their staff realize the positive impact of the bill if passed. Keep in mind, these meetings are often with the legislator’s staff rather than the legislators who are often busy in Congress. Before the meeting, you must ask for an interpreter in advance. Once you sit down and meet, it is your opportunity to explain the bill and why it is necessary. Personal stories are so important to help the legislators realize the proposed bill’s impact through your experience, not theirs. Questions are also important. You should ask questions like, “What are your plans on this bill?”  Then once the meeting is over, thank them before leaving then follow up with an email that thanks the legislator or the staff for their time. After that, it is important to keep an eye on the bill to know when it will be up for a vote. Once a date is scheduled for the vote, email your legislator again. Let them know you’re aware of the bill’s status and that you look forward to the legislator’s support on the bill. That will help remind them of your initial meeting. Now, my last topic — the NAD Board will be meeting next month in Hartford, Connecticut on April 13-15. We are excited about hosting an ASL competition on April 15th for the deaf community, all are welcome to join! Prizes will be given! I look forward to seeing you there. 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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