NAD Board Candidates

President Candidates

Melissa Draganac-Hawk

Melissa Draganac-Hawk
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

a) Fundraising Activities

My first foray into fundraising for NAD was as a teenager in 1987 for the Youth Leadership Camp. This experience was an extraordinary one and continues to motivate me to this day. I participated in extensive fundraising efforts for the NAD through receiving numerous honorariums from speaking engagements over the last four years as a part of my responsibilities as the President of the Board of Directors. Over the years, the NAD fundraising efforts that I have spearheaded include:

Liaison – Corporate, non-profit, and individual sponsorships for various NAD events, January 2008 – present
Committee member – Biennial NAD Conference Live Auction, July 2010 and July 2012
Coordinator – NAD Fundraising event in Philadelphia, April 2009
Hostess – Fundraising House Parties for NAD, February and March 2009

In addition, I have handled fundraising sponsorships for national organizations such as Deaf Women United (DWU) and National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing, now renamed Council de Manos. I also coordinated beneficiary-specific efforts such as cake auctions to raise funds for select individuals to attend biennial DWU Conferences.

b) Membership Recruitment

I have had many opportunities to meet and engage Deaf people of diverse backgrounds through my involvement in numerous organizations. In my current role as the President of the Board of Directors, I have been specifically cognizant of my unique position as a Person of Color and utilized that to enhance participation in NAD programs and activities. Previously, I was a key player as a Board Member in persuading the NAD Board to grant complimentary affiliate membership to organizations for people of color. I was given the responsibility of welcoming the affiliates and their members to NAD, a role I enjoyed as I believe NAD should reflect the actual diversity within the Deaf Community in America.

c) Service on Local, State and National Boards and Committees.

The below reflects a selection of boards and committees I have been involved with over the years that relate to the Deaf Community or the NAD and its mission:

National Association of the Deaf:
President, 2016-present
Vice-President, 2012-2016
Appointed Board Member, 2008-2012
Co-Chair, Diversity Strategy Team, 2008-2012
Committee Member, Youth Strategy Team, 2008-2012
Vice-Chair, Chief Executive Officer Search Committee, 2009-2010
Director, Miss Deaf America Program, 2007 & 2008
Artistic Director, Miss Deaf America Pageant, 2000 & 2002

Other Non-Profit Organizations:
Advisory Committee, Deaf Women United, 2015-2018
Expert Member on Sign Language and Deaf Studies, World Federation of the Deaf, 2013-2015
Workshop Coordinator, National Deaf People of Color Conference, 2013
Representative on behalf of NAD, Executive Director Task Force, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, 2012 -2013
Expert Member on Deaf Women, World Federation of the Deaf, 2009-2011
President, National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing (now Council de Manos), 2008-2013
Consultant, Tri-State Latino Association of the Deaf in Philadelphia, PA, 2008-2010
Executive Director, Deaf Women United, 2007-2009
President, Deaf Women United, 2005-2007
Vice-President, Deaf Women United, 2003-2005
Vice- President, DakotASLTA, Sioux Falls, SD, 2006-2007
Vice-President, San Diego Chapter- American Sign Language Teachers Association, 2003-2004

Educational Institutions:
Co-Chair, Midwest Conference on Deaf Education, Sioux Falls, SD, 2007
Panelist, Deaf Women’s Leadership Program, Gallaudet Leadership Institution, Gallaudet University, 2005

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

I am running for president because I believe in the rights of deaf people to have communication access and be treated as equal members of society. This includes specters of education, employment, and places of public accommodations. The NAD provides a central location for state associations, organizations serving the deaf, and community stakeholders to work together to develop and further position statements and legislative actions to enhance lives of deaf and hard of hearing people. The organization also functions as a political incubator for the next generation of leaders.

I would like to continue working on the programs and activities occurring the last four years under my presidency and to add three areas of focus for the next two. We need to address the effects of Systemic Racism through development and implementation of an Action Plan, a process that could then serve as a model for State Associations and Organizational Affiliates. We need to review the provision of services for senior citizens and how accommodations are made available for deaf and hard of hearing. There are numerous programs designated for the elderly but oftentimes there are no provisions planned or made for the necessary and lawful accommodations to include deaf and hard of hearing seniors. The third area would be to ensure the availability for exposure to sign language for deaf and hard of hearing children and their caregivers. This will also strengthen their understanding of how to advocate for the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing child.

I am running for president so we can achieve these goals.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

This is a review of my background and experience with deaf and hard of hearing organizations over the last 31 years including fourteen with the NAD. I will begin with the professional side. My first involvement was with an ASLTA chapter as I had just begun my career as an ASL Professor then. Since that time, I have been involved in implementation of a degree Interpreter Training Program; established a conference for teachers and educators of deaf children; and founded a conference for parents and caregivers of the deaf to learn about advocacy and rights of the deaf. As a community volunteer, I was involved with Deaf Women United for six years and an enduring highlight of that was the cooperative effort with Gallaudet University to establish the Deaf Women Leadership Seminar. I was also very involved as a board member for five years with the National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing, now renamed Council de Manos. During this period, I coordinated the workshop series for the National Deaf People of Color conference.

The leadership qualities that I have gained and demonstrated through those years can be summarized as:

-Goal Oriented
-Ability for Strategic Planning and Problem-Solving
-Able to Bring Diverse Personalities Together
-Build Genuine Rapport with Individuals
-Strong Team Player

I look forward to continuing my service for the next two years.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

The top priorities for the NAD the next two years will be defined by recent events which have significantly altered life in the United States. With stay-at-home and other orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been significantly more barriers in schools, places of employment, and public services. In quick review of corporate, public and government processes to respond to the pandemic, the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals are often not considered or relegated. The NAD will need to function as a watchdog to ensure that the deaf and hard of hearing receive every due accommodation.

The NAD will need to address the serious issue of Systemic Racism and collaborate with various organizations to determine the best way to address both the cause and effects to ensure a future of full inclusion. And to become a wholly welcoming organization, we will also need to resolve the barriers that BIPOC individuals may feel as members and potential members.

I would also like to reverberate my platform from the campaign in 2016 that NAD is YOUR organization. Your ideas and concerns are critical and brought to NAD through the Council of Representatives. This group is composed of four types of delegates: organizational affiliate, state association, individual members, and sections. As a group, they determine the priorities for NAD, specifically its Board of Directors and the Headquarter, to follow in their daily operations over the next two years.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

The NAD can continue its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people by focusing on the value of American Sign Language. NAD was founded in 1880 by deaf people who believed sign language was in imminent threat of vanishing due to various external pressures. This has resulted in 140 years of advocacy work in many areas: education, employment, public service, media and technology. The underlying element connecting these is the need for communication access for deaf and hard of hearing people. The NAD must fight against every instance of ineffective communication to ensure a barrier-free experience for deaf and hard of hearing people.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

There are two ways we can ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders. The NAD recently began an effort to develop a Strategic Plan for the next few years. We will need the ideas and input of State Associations and Organization Affiliates in this process.

Secondly, when I became President the past two elections, I reached out to every State Associations and national organization. If elected again, I will continue to contact these entities. Those interactions allow me to review NAD priorities and issues with other key stakeholders. And through these meetings, I am able to identify ideas and opportunities in which our organizations can successfully collaborate. My contact has not been limited to those historically linked to deaf and hard of hearing communities but include special interest events and groups with goals that align to the NAD mission to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people.

Vice President

Amy Gomme

Amy Gomme
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

Fundraising activities
Being a part of the non-profit sector, I know how much of an impact fundraising has on an organization and the community. I have been a part of fundraising activities which range from selling raffles to large sporting events and auctions. I’ve been involved behind the scenes and in the front line as well. My experience includes preparation of events, writing donation letters, developing videos and flyers for social media, recruiting and obtaining raffle items, and emceeing.

Membership recruitment:
I strongly believe that membership is driven by NAD’s ability to create a meaningful human connection which is person-centric and continuous. While we may contact via social media or technology, we also have to connect with individuals of every socioeconomic level. Each individual strives for that connection and to see that the NAD board as individuals who represent them and share similar struggles and goals will help build our membership.

Service on local, state, and national board/committees
New Mexico Association of the Deaf (5 years)
I started as a secretary for 2 years and was elected for President for 3 years. During my time with the board, I developed an organizational website for NMAD where our members have better access to the information that is distributed by NMAD. I worked with the community and the board on trying to figure out how we can push for open captioning in movie theatres.

Raices del Rio Grande (formerly New Mexico Hispanic Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (6 years)
I started as Director of Social Media and Web, and then was elected Vice President, my position for the past 4 years. I’ve participated with events, as well as giving out scholarships to Latinx students.

New Mexico School for the Deaf Alumni Association (5 years)
I was previously the Chairperson for the Reunion that was to occur this year (2020). I worked with the alumni to support or contribute to any changes that needed to happen within the school campus.

National Association of the Deaf (2 years)
I am currently the Region IV Board Member serving the wonderful western states within the region. I also am the board liaison for the Diversity Strategy Team (DST).

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

As an individual who grew up in the rural part of New Mexico and as someone who has been serving on the NAD board for the last 2 years, I recognize that there is a large population that is not well represented or served. Many regions serve a large population that is very diverse, but not evenly represented. Many of us share similar experiences and struggles, which are not often acknowledged. Change cannot happen unless it’s from the inside out. I believe that in order to make structural changes within the NAD, it has to start with policies and guidelines. My knowledge and expertise makes me a great candidate for contribution to NAD, where there needs to be more youths involved, more persons of color, and people who represent the community as a whole.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

I’m a proud young female, Latinx, Deaf, and native New Mexican who was born into a family of immigrants. My education includes rural mainstream schooling as well as attending a school for the Deaf. This experience helped shape my understanding of the value of our Deaf schools while exposing me to the experience of being the sole Deaf student in a mainstream school. After college, I worked my way up the ladder in the nonprofit sector. My journey has led me to the Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA), as the Deputy Director. I have gained much insight on how policies and guidelines can internally strengthen an organization. When an organization is maintained and the gears of change properly greased, so much progress can happen. Each individual has their strengths and it is vital to elevate those strengths in order to make a more united front for the NAD. I’ve experienced first hand how when you have the continuous support of one individual, you feel motivated and empowered to do so much more. One of my strengths and what I consider an important tool in difficult conversations such as racial injustice or gender inequality is the ability to coordinate the internal board/group dialogues, where difficult conversations need to happen and the coordination of the appropriate facilitators as well as discussion groups are essential. I have been able to do this both in a leadership role and as a member of a larger group of peers. The work I do often requires a calm and coordinated approach to addressing the internal dynamics of a group of people while working towards a meaningful change.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

Priorities are established during COR and I will commit to carrying out those priorities. With that being said I believe strongly that there are several things that we need to start focusing on. This includes:
Revisiting all of the internal procedures and guidelines to better reflect equality, diversity, and inclusion.
For some time, we have seen a lack of representation from the BIPOC community, cultures, and diverse marginalized groups in the interpreting, educational, and leadership roles. NAD needs to address the lack of upward motion in these areas.
Incorporating diversity training for sections and committees so they can be more well informed and become more inclusive in their membership base. Diversity topics would include topics that have been done previously, but revisited for any further additional topics and more widespread.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

NAD can achieve its mission by continuing to do what they’re doing, but with more feedback and involvement from the BIPOC community. We can do this in many ways but the way forward is by having the NAD reserve space at the table for the BIPOC community. Their struggles deserve to be acknowledged and efforts should be made to work to preserve, protect, and promote that part of culture as well. There is so much diversity within our Deaf community which involves DeafBlind, Late Deafened, DeafDisabled (Deaf+), and the LGBTQIA+. The NAD needs to be inclusive of these communities and their needs as well.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

Collaboration and Presence needs to happen by ensuring that all three are in constant touch with NAD’s regional representatives. With NAD’ regional representatives’ involvement with the three groups, they would feel acknowledged. This means monthly email blasts, monthly conference calls, frequent pulse checks to see if there’s anything that needs attention, and showing up to various events without any invitation that may be hosted by these groups. For example, based on my experience, when the NAD board came to New Mexico for their board meeting, it truly invigorated the community to become more involved with NMAD. Presence really makes a difference in our community.

Richard McCowin

Omaha, Nebraska

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

NAD 1980-2020
Vice President – 2018 – 2020,
Region 2 Representative – 2010 – 2018,
Served various NAD committees – 2010-2020
5-Time NAD Delegate since 1980

National Black Deaf Advocates – Member since 1982.
Vice- President – 2005-2007,
Served on NBDA Regional Conference Committee – 2001 – 2003

National Deaf Interpreter – Member since 2017
Served on ByLaws Committee – 2018 – 2019

Nebraska Association of the Deaf – Member since 1975.
Held all positions including President – 2003-2009

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

Treasurer

Michelle Cline

Michelle Cline
Hudson, Massachusetts

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

Michelle has been involved in leadership positions for over 20 year including but not limited to NJ ADARA, NJAD, NAD, and several other organizations. In the past 10 years, Michelle has held the following leadership positions.

New Jersey Association of the Deaf
President (2011-2015)
Past President (2015-2019)

Key achievement is to work collaboratively with NJRID to host two successful biennial conferences, reaching out to different stakeholders within New Jersey Deaf Community. Championed LEAD-K and Deaf Child Bill of Rights which was finally signed into law in 2019. Membership and fundraising efforts increased during this time to ensure visibility and aiming to tie in all communities together to enjoy pursuit of economic, educational, and privileges as citizens of NJ.

National Association of the Deaf
Region 1 Board Representative to NAD (2014-2018)
Treasurer (2018-2020)
Committees served on:
Employment, participant – (2012-2014)
SAAC, Region 1 Representative – (2012-2014)
Mental Health Committee Liaison (2014-2016)
Public Safety Liaison (2016-2018)
National Family Campaign Liaison(2018-2020)
Liaison for National Deaf Education and SAAC (2018-2020)

Co-Founder of New Jersey Deaf Advocacy Project – domestic/sexual abuse program – 2013-2017.

ADARA – Breakout 2020
Co-Chair of Conference (2019-2020)
Program Chair

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

I feel that my experience with organizations, both professionally and personally has allowed me to understand budgets and finances. I feel I continue to qualify for the title of being a treasurer for NAD. It is my passion to be ‘Making A Difference’ and I wish to continue to do so by running for office as a Treasurer.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

As the first elected woman Treasurer in 2018, I continue to feel that I am qualified for the job as a Treasurer and contribute my knowledge and skills to further the NAD mission. As an Executive Director of Walden School and experience with different organizations budgets and finances – this will solidify NAD position for years to come. In the middle of a pandemic, different organizations are struggling financially. we need to maintain NAD fiscal goals of the organization and strive to further our purpose as ONE diverse community to ensure equity, inclusion, and access for all DEAF Americans.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

NAD continues to fight for the rights of equal access for Deaf Americans. There continues to have inequity for many in the areas of education, employment, and more.

What I envision as our priorities are two-fold.

Internal – what we can to as an organization to improve equity and inclusion for ALL Deaf Americans – how can we change as an organization SERVING all walks of life, including those who are BIPOC, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and much more. NAD is perceived to benefit only the white group – which has benefited from these policies in place. We need to ensure inclusion of all individuals who can benefit from policies and access as deaf individuals.

Every two years, we have priorities that the delegates put forth asking the Board and Headquarters to focus and invest in, often there are little funds associated with these mandates.
Need a dedicated staff person focusing on the development of funds, grants, and fundraising to achieve these goals set forth by the delegates of NAD.

As an individual – it is my passion that priority focuses on deaf education and mental health for all. Our children is suffering in many places, whether they are mainstream, only deaf child in their school, or in deaf schools – children experiences significant challenges, including trauma, that impacts their ability to learn or their mental well-being. Children should have the right to acquiring language on age level by the age of 5. Children should also have access to mental health services in the home or in the community when needed, in a language and cultural manner that addresses their mental health needs.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

The everreaching goal is large – ultimately access to language is a human right – every deaf child should have access to visual communication, and we matter. Companies and/or organizations has goals to eradicate deafness – we are here to stay. Through steadfast work in different means – social justice, legislation, and policy work – these goals can be achieved

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

It is my goal as a servant leader to help and promote others into abilities to collaboratively achieve a common goal. There are so many things that draw attention away and it is my purpose to help stay focus on the goal and figure how to best achieve the goal with different stakeholders’ views.

I envision when there is a situation/dilemma:
Identify strategy to address
Identify stakeholders to be a part
Make sure everyone is at the table
Find resources that would best address the situation/dilemma
Make sure everyone is at the table

Secretary

Jenny Buechner

Jenny Beuchner
Madison, Wisconsin

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

I have served on many organizations through various capacities. See below for my experience in fundraising and service on boards and committees.

Fundraising:
Multiple online fundraisers for Deaf Women of Chicago 2019-Present
Fall Fundraiser for Deaf Unity 2015-2017
Annually I host a gathering at my house to raise funds for the NAD and other non-profit organizations
Facebook Fundraising for the NAD

Boards:
National Association of the Deaf Board (Region II Board and Secretary): 2013-2020
Deaf Unity (President): 2016-2017
Wisconsin Association of the Deaf (President): 2009-2013
International Alumnae of Delta Epsilon Sorority (Vice President): 3 years
Delta Epsilon Sorority (President and Corresponding Secretary): 2 years
Junior NAD (Secretary): 1 year

Committees:
Deaf Women of Chicago DWU 2021 Conference Planning Committee: 2019-Present
WSD Alumni Association Hall of Fame Service Award Committee: 2014-Present
National Association of the Deaf State Association and Affiliate Committee (SAAC): 2010-2014
Wisconsin Association of the Deaf Conference Planning Committee: 2009, 2011, and 2013 conferences

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

I believe in the NAD mission, to preserve, promote, and protect the human, linguistic, and civil rights of deaf people. Since having served on the board for the last six and a half years, I do not feel that my work is done, after many years in pursuing the mission of the NAD. If I can continue to serve on the board, I can continue the good work for our community of Deaf people.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

In support of my interest in joining the NAD Board, I will share my experiences. I have a wealth of various experiences within non-profit organizations. I have a great understanding of how non-profits work and how they operate. I have been involved in organizations since I was in high school. Back in high school I was involved with Junior NAD, and Student Body Council. In college I was involved with my sorority, Delta Epsilon, serving in various leadership roles including (corresponding) secretary and president. After graduating from college, I didn’t sit back, but rather became involved in various local organizations including the local deaf club and the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf, which I led as president for 4 years. I have also participated in many non-profit organizations as a volunteer and serving on committees. Examples include Deaf Women of Chicago and the Wisconsin School for the Deaf Alumni Association Hall of Fame, in recognizing individuals and their contribution and leadership. My knowledge and understanding of non-profits is rich, also because I have experience in being an executive director for a small non-profit. Because of that I have an understanding of how non-profits operate, which is similar to the NAD. Similarities include having staff employ, and how they operate. My knowledge from that experience can be applied to the NAD as a board member. I have served on the NAD Board for six and a half years which has been a rich experience and has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years through the work of committees and sections through my relationship with the individuals involved. The experiences I just shared reinforces why you should have me continue to serve on the NAD board.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

In the recent months we have been through a lot including the pandemic which as a worldwide effect on everyone, and the Black Lives Matter movement, which brought to light the major issues on racism here. I strongly believe that those two areas previously mentioned should be priorities of the NAD. The NAD has done some work over the last few months in processing what racism is, and what it means for us. That internal processing on racism must continue. We must unpack as individuals, as well as collectively as an organization. We must also look at the work the NAD does including policy and legislative changes, and acknowledge racism within our work, as well as how we will dismantle racism. That work must continue within the NAD. Regarding the national emergency with the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, we have seen that deaf people do not have equal access to information. This is not a new problem as we already know, but this pandemic has made it clear that we do not have full access. The work the NAD has done thus far must continue to ensure that all deaf people have access to communications and information. Those two areas I believe are the most important priorities that the NAD should focus on in the next two years.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

In order for the NAD to achieve its mission, we must listen to the stories from people. These stories have a power to them. We must share these stories with people who make policy decisions. For instance, our legislature. They need to hear that deaf people are still being oppressed and not treated equal. Without these stories, it will make it harder to get the point across about our experiences of inequality. In order to get these stories, we must listen to the community and engage in dialogue. The NAD cannot work on its own, as it is not just a small group of people. The NAD belongs to the deaf communities, and your stories are a valuable part of our work.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

The most important thing is to maintain communication among members, sections, organizations, committees, affiliates, state associations, and stakeholders. Communication with them is imperative. Open dialogue and open communications means we can learn what their needs are and what they have, as well as ours and work together. Without communication, it is impossible to maintain that relationship. As a Board member of the NAD, I could keep the lines of communication open with people, state associations, members, and various groups. That is what I believe to be most important.

Region Board Representative for Region I

Jacob Leffler

Jacob Leffler
Baltimore, Maryland

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

Fundraising Activities

I have volunteered at several fundraising events for several organizations such as Deaf Youth USA (DYUSA) in 2011 when we held a gay pride event. We raised funds to send our DYUSA representatives to the World Federation for the Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS) Camp. When I was involved with Jr. NAD, my high school class, and my class at Gallaudet, we also did a lot of fundraising to support the club.

Membership Recruitment

I have experience with membership recruitment with the Employees with Disabilities group at my Agency when we re-vamped the group. I was able to recruit around 50 new members. I talked with people, introduced them to the group and illustrated how they can contribute to the group and how they can benefit from the group. When I was the Secretary and President of Jr. NAD at my school, I was able to recruit several members and empowered them to do the necessary work. I try to make every person feel like they are able to contribute something thus improving their self-esteem. I consequently mentored and supported them.

With Deaf in Government, I along with 3 other people changed the plan from in-person webinars to hosting webinars virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the webinars virtually, this has allowed us to expand our membership by 400 members when we began in March 2020.

Service on local, state, national board and committees

I have served on several Boards and committees on various levels. I served on the Board for Deaf Youth USA as Vice President and Interim President from 2010-2012. I was on the board with Federal Employees with Disabilities (FEDs) as their liaison between the Hill and the organization from 2012-2014. I also served on the following NAD Committees: Employment Taskforce (2012-2014), Outreach (2014-2016), Governance (2016-2018), National Employment Resource Center (2016-2020 – Chair 2018-2020), and Bylaws (Chair 2018-2020).

I also was Chair of my Agency’s Employee Resource Group – Employees with Disabilities from 2012-2017, focusing on recruitment, policy change, and any topic that affected employees with disabilities. I also was the Vice President of Deaf/DOT (Department of Transportation) from 2011-2012. I left Department of Transportation to work with my current agency.

I was active in advocacy efforts with the Empire State Association for the Deaf and local Buffalo Club. I currently am the Secretary for the Maryland Association of the Deaf.

During my high school years, I served as Secretary and President of Jr. NAD and Class President from 2002-2006. During my Gallaudet years, 2006-2010, I was involved with Student Body Government in different capacities and served on several committees. I also was the Class Secretary from 2006-2008.

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

I thought to myself, I want to contribute more to NAD and make a difference in my community. I have a passion for NAD to help them to become a stronger organization and I believe that I can bring a different perspective to the table, especially youth. That’s why I decided to run for the Board. I believe that I can help Region 1 be stronger and best Region that NAD has. I also want State Associations and Affiliates to work together toward a goal to achieve for the community.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

I grew up in the State of New York and then moved to Gallaudet University, and now in Maryland. I have been in Region 1 my whole life. I have been an advocate since I was born. I have advocated on many different levels to ensure that we have equal access.

I have a strong understanding of legislation and how politics work as I have a degree in Government, and Masters in Public Administration from Gallaudet University. I have experience as a liaison because it is my role at work and my role when I served on the board.

I also have strength in communication, team work, and collaboration with people and community. I believe that everyone has something to contribute that we all can benefit from. I also can bring the youth perspective to the table as we need more youths to be active and participate.

With my experience in leadership, non-profit organizations, advocacy organizations, and thinking outside of the box. I can bring this experience to the table as a Region 1 Representative.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

There are so many important issues that are very concerned to me and to the community. I believe that top 3 important issues that NAD should focus on during the next two years are: Communication Access, Language Deprivation, and Organization Leadership.

Communication Access – NAD should ensure that prisoners are getting equal access with videophone, qualified interpreters, and more. Every state should have qualified interpreters and advocate and push for the interpreter licensure bill. NAD also should ensure that there is communication access regarding the healthcare/telehealth, emergency press conferences, and anything that has impact on lives/safety of Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing community,

Language Deprivation – We need to promote and expose ASL to several places and access to language. We also need to address the audism in the system.

Organization Leadership – We need to have tools and resources how to help leaders become stronger and how to lead an organization. Improving the communication and collaboration between NAD, State Associations, Affiliates, and Members needs to be a priority. This also includes ensuring that there is a diversity perspective on every level.

However, Delegates at the Council of Representatives will determine the top priorities for NAD for the next two years.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

NAD has been working to achieve the mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people since 1880. But what we can instill more is to rally to involve Members, hear their feedback, empower them to help and volunteer with NAD, and work with State Associations and Affiliates closely on issues of national impacts. NAD also needs to continue to build on the relationship with State Associations, organizational Affiliates, Government Agencies, and Members and communicate with them. With that relationship, NAD/State Associations can have a seat at the table and advocate for our mission as well.

Our basic rights to sign language are constantly denied from time to time in the areas of employment, legal, the medical settings, educational settings and in other places – because of that, NAD must continue to work and fight for our rights.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

uch and share best practices, resources, and tools that have worked for them. Communication methods can be used in many ways such as eblast, vlogs, conference calls, and more. I also want to explore opportunities for Members to get involved and encourage State Associations and Affiliates to communicate with them on NAD’s efforts.

Region Board Representative for Region II

Linsay Darnall, Jr

Linsay Darnall Jr
Omaha, Nebraska

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

  • Founder, BisonTV, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C., 2003
  • President, Student Body government, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C., 2003-2004
    • As the president of the SBG, we raised our balance from $7,000 at the beginning of my term to $42,000 at the end of the term.
    • We saw the increase of students involvement and funded to continuance of the BisonTV.
  • President, Nebraska School for the Deaf Alumni Association, 1994-2012
    • We saw the membership increase from 75 to 219 and the revenue has grown tremendously through various fundraising activities ranging from booster clubs to formal gala on the New Year’s Eve that saw the earning over $5,000 in half an hour during an auction.
  • Editor, The Nebraska Journal, 2004-2009
  • Co-founder/ board member, Nebraska Deaf Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, 2001-present
    • We saw over thousands of visitors and was able to sustain our museum through various fundraising activities.
  • Member, Fulton3, Structure Committee, National Association of the Deaf, 2005-2006
  • Board Member, Region II Representative, National Association of the Deaf, 2006-2008, 2016-present
  • Board Liaison to establish NAD Youth Section, National Association of the Deaf, 2016-2018
  • Board Liaison to Deaf History and Culture Section, National Association of the Deaf, 2016-present
  • Board member to NAD Strategic Committee, National Association of the Deaf, 2016-present
  • Board Liaison to Rapid Response Team, National Association of the Deaf, 2018-present
  • Board Member, Nebraska Hands & Voices, 2011-present
  • Board Member, Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee, 2011-present
  • Vice-Chair, Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee, 2014-2016
  • Chair, Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee, 2016-2018
  • Advisor, Junior National Association of the Deaf, Nebraska-Iowa Chapter 2005-present
  • Advisor, National Junior National Association of the Deaf Conference, Ashland, NE, 2017
  • Parliamentarian, Midwest Athletic Association of the Deaf business meetings
  • Consultant, Midwest Athletic Association of the Deaf, By-Laws Revision Committee, 2011
  • Board Member, Gallaudet University Regional Center Advisory Board, 2013-2014
  • Director, Hatrak Experiential and Self-Reliance Outdoor Program, NAD Youth Leadership Camp, 2006-present

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

Change and Impact are the reason why I am running for the board position. These two words at the real reason why I am enthusiastic to serve you. With my experience, I have seen changes which is good and I believe the continued changes will bring more impact diverse individual Deaf people. With my interest to serve, I want to make sure to see the results to happen.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

For more than 30 years, I have experience of serving various committees and board from local, state, to national level. My experience includes fund raising, membership recruitment and developing support from outside groups for the cause, and making a difference by bringing in results. I believe that my experience will bring to NAD a strong growing organization that will become an household name that we all can know and trust.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

The top three issues we need to work on is 1. Racism. We need to root out racism and that will begin with me, then the NAD, and the system itself. We must work till we get rid of racism. 2. We need to find ways to raise funds so we can provide monetary support to the NAD headquarters to work everyday to ensure that we have a good life. 3. We need to collectively agree on a clear vision so that we can call ourselves a true community that involve people of diverse background.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

Connection. That’s how we can ensure our mission’s success. In any leadership entities or positions, we muse develop relationship with various people that will guarantee that any threats to our rights shall be protected. We are truly an unique community that include diverse people from different background that are to be valued. The one way we protect our values are to make connections with people in government and all the way to individual people.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

Communication and Involvement are important ways to develop collaboration with different group of people. I want to make sure as a board member that we will continue that cooperation and dialogue with you. I also wanted to make sure that you are involved in the process that we all collectively can feel like this is like a one big family and that NAD is your home. Any way we can ensure that each of your state associations and affiliates can achieve your results in conjunction with the national impact as well.

Region Board Representative for Region III

Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose
Clearwater, Florida

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

Youth Leadership Camp Business Manager (1993 and 1994)
– Monitored budgets, expense reports, or other financial data
– Helped campers to establish fundraising or participation goals for special events
– Secured commitments of donation from corporate donor (REI) for camping equipment to help with Hatrak Survival Program (HSP) for two years
– Attended NAD conference as an exhibitor in Knoxville, TN to promote organizational goals or solicit donations to help YLC Alumni Association funds

Student Body Government President (1997-1998)
– Monitored progress of 50th SBG Anniversary, homecoming, Gallaudet/RIT weekend and Rock Festival fundraising budgets
– Supervised fundraising student staff, including volunteer members
– Developed strategies to encourage new or increased contributions from other student organizations
– Developed fundraising activity plans that maximize participation and minimize costs.

Florida Association of the Deaf President (2017-2019)
– Attended community events, meetings, and expos to promote FAD goals
– Planned and directed special events for fundraising, such as silent auctions and annual event Deaf Awareness Day at Aquatica
– Coordinated the site where we delivered of materials, supplies, or donations for fundraising events such as Deaf Awareness Day at Aquatica
– Prepared presentations to communicate fundraising program data with the FAD board and the members

B. Membership Recruitment

Student Body Government President (1997-1998)
– Created and implemented annual membership plans and events
– Prepared and administered SBG budget
– 50% membership growth through recruitment, retention and reinstatement efforts, increasing participation rates in volunteering at social events and partnership with DC Association of the Deaf
– Contacted student organization representatives, university officials, and local community leaders to increase awareness of our SBG organizational causes, activities, and needs

Florida Association of the Deaf President (2017-2019)

– Supported the FAD Board in facilitating membership marketing opportunities: promotional e-mails, research, renewal notices and membership packets
– Increased prospective members with the use of social networking tools: Facebook and Twitter
– Launched the FAD Kitchen Talk first e-newsletter, Hurricane and State Election FB pages
– Attended community events, Town Hall and expos in the state of Florida to promote membership and member programs/services
c. Service on local, state and national boards and committees, and length of service on each

  • Gallaudet University Student Body Government Committees (1983-1987 and 1994-1997) and they were: Homecoming Spirit Week Class of 1988 representative and I led my class to win the HC Spirit Week twice; Gallaudet/RIT sports; Rock Festival; Election week and traditional event – Mum’s day
  • Tucson Association of the Deaf Committees (1990-1995) and they were: FAAD Basketball Tournament; AAAD Softball Tournament; Social Event and By-Laws
  • DC Association of the Deaf (1997-2001) and they were: Board member at large and NAD delegate (1998 and 2000)
  • – Florida Association of the Deaf President (2017-2019)

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

As a member of National Association of the Deaf, a current educator for 6th-12th grade level and college level, and an advocate for the deaf community, I passionately believe that free and equal rights is the backbone of a democracy, and we must therefore do our part to protect, support and develop our deaf stakeholders at all levels.

I possess a combination of skills, knowledge and experience with legislative and policy as I have been involved in politics since 6th grade and I also hold a BA degree in Government from Gallaudet University.

I listen to the membership, understanding the budget and finances of the organization, debating and executing proposed ideas, dedicating the time required to do a thorough in-depth job, and most importantly, balancing the various passionate interests that meets our Deaf stakeholders’ needs.

I believe my education, leadership background, experience within the community, and energy and enthusiasm in all that I do will add positively to the mix on the National Association of the Deaf Board.

I like to get involved in my community and know what is happening, either by participating in or reading about various topics, issues and events. Energy and enthusiasm is an asset in any organization or group, and the NAD board is no exception. I want to add my energetic and enthusiastic dynamic to the Board and use it to work with staff, members, and community to create positive and desirable outcomes for NAD.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

  • Gallaudet University SBG President and Student Congress Speaker
  • Florida Association of the Deaf President
  • Jr. NAD Sponsor (Arizona School for the Deaf and Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind)
  • Hosted Jr. NAD Western Regional conference in Tucson, AZ (1994)
  • Hosted Jr. NAD National conference in Orlando, FL (2015)
  • YLC staff and Business Manager (1991-1994)
  • Delegate for DCAD (2) and FAD (1) at NAD Conference – (San Antonio, Texas (1998), Norfolk, VA (2000) and Hartford, CT (2018)
  • Gallaudet University Student Congress, DC Association of the Deaf and Tucson Association of the Deaf By-Laws committee
  • Delta Epsilon Chapter Advisor for three years

I’m a good listener, an inventive mind, a hard worker, a reliable leader, very collaborative and a proactive problem solver.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

My vision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years

Vision #1 – Right now at this very moment I would do everything in my power to raise Deaf and Hard of Hearing community morale. Systematic racism have to be part of this conversation, as is making sure our Deaf and Hard of Hearing community really understand and feel supportive with each other. Other things that should be part of this conversation include communicating openly and effectively with local, state and national deaf and hard of hearing organization members and treating them like professionals, and listening to and implementing their feedback. I also would want to see change is the relationship between Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members and the law enforcement. There is a lack of trust between DHH community members and the law enforcement, partially because of the lack of transparency, the lack of follow through on requests for sign language interpreters and lack of action on issues that affect everyone at all levels.

Vision #2 – With the current health issue (COVID-19 pandemic) is affecting our Deaf schools and DHH programs all over our nation, we need to provide more support, it’ increasing school safety and virtual distance learning for our DHH students. We need to make support that effort and look at increasing school safety and virtual distance learning in many different ways. We need to make sure that every teacher has great training in school safety and virtual learning. One area where our NAD is not getting enough support, that could be an area of potential collaboration between the state association and their respective state government on consultation services by providing best ways for DHH’s safety and virtual distance learning to DHH students. This will be critical over the next few years.

Vision #3 – The non-member and members of NAD take a participative interest in virtual community forums three-four times through the year. The NAD Board should attend to show community interest, to get an understanding of issues, and know how final conclusions are determined. This is the time for non-members and members to speak with equal voice about concerns, suggestions, and directly influence the NAD Board with the pertinent committees; via public forum. Reliance upon others for restatement of issues can sometimes lead to misunderstanding, some biased; which can create inaccuracies. Participation is the single best way to reflect the wants, needs, and desires of our Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

I teach Deaf Culture class at a local community college and I emphasize to my students that we the deaf people value communication, access to information, understand our experience as a deaf person and accept us as normal and equal as others. That’s easy part to the audience of hearing students.

I feel we should include our underrepresented groups especially black, indigenous and people of color as we need to have a tolerance and intercultural dialogue on the same level. We need to encourage ourselves to have mutual respect and understanding them by being able to engage and preserve their identity.

With all groups equally, we should continue to have a tolerance and intercultural dialogue often so we can respect their views because we all are equally contributing deaf and hard of hearing community members. They should feel safe and be able to fully participate in our NAD organization as long as we provide them the protection.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

We are already in the digital age of communication by using the Zoom platform that we could take advantage in ensuring collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders who have a vested interest in the success of our NAD organization.

Communication is an essential key in being visually with being consistent in the messages through e-mails, vlogs, meetings, website and electronic messaging.

We involve them to provide needed input, certain decisions, creative brainstorming or compromises in the process on initiatives. With this, greater understanding leads to greater ownership.

Engaging stakeholders in the process helps build ownership within the NAD organization. For those stakeholders who are not involved in the process, we make sure we communicate with them what our plan is and they can contribute their desired feedback on our plan at no reservations.

Building commitment through the stakeholder engagement is an important element of the planning process. The key to a successful collaboration is to always allow for a certain amount of flexibility and preparation to compromise. The process will lead us to a rewarding result.

Michael Swoboda

Mike Swoboda
Austin, Texas

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

In 1972 I was the co-founder of NorthEast Association of the Deaf (NEAD) in San Antonio, Texas and served in various positions, including NEAD President for period of time before relocating to Austin, Texas in 1996 due to my wife’s position. Prior to that, I served on the San Antonio Mayor’s Committee with People of Disabilities from 1986-1990 and on the SA Mayor’s Task Force “Target 90” for four years to improve access in the city of San Antonio. I first became a member of the Texas Association of the Deaf around 1982. My membership has been active, then lapsed several times over the years due to moving out of state and other situations. More recently I became active again in TAD in 2015, and developed and was appointed as the TAD CDOL Community Development Outreach Liaison and travelled across Texas to educate and advocate for the Texas Deaf Community. In 2017, with the NAD regional concept in mind, I made a motion to revise the Texas Association of the Deaf ByLaws to create 5 Regional Representative positions to work in the regions where they resided. This made a big statewide impact on the Deaf Community in Texas and helped to educate folks more on what TAD is about. I became President of TAD in August 2017 then again re-elected again in 2019. Since 2015, I have steadily increased the number of TAD members, and initiated a number of successful fundraising activities. These include the TAD Emergency Assistance Fund created to help DHH Hurricane Harvey survivors in 2017, raising more than $7,500 and the recent TAD Symposium (Sympo), which received more than $11,500. Our TAD “Unpacking” series had received more than $4,500 so far and is expected to

I first joined the NAD in 1996 when my wife, Patti Singleton was appointed to chair the 1998 NAD Convention in San Antonio, TX. We worked together with NAD, TAD and the San Antonio Local Committee to promote the convention, which was a huge success with more than 2,500 deaf and hard of hearing people in attendance. Since 2017 I have attended and participated in various NAD-sponsored training activities, such as the NAD Leadership Training in 2017 and 2019, participated in the COR, and was at the 2018 NAD Convention and plan to be involved in this year’s convention as well.

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

I believe strongly in encouraging the younger generation to step up and be involved in helping “Grow the NAD”. Many of us older, ahem, more mature/experienced folks are soon ready to retire in our current roles. I want to ensure that the NAD stays in good, strong hands and am willing to run for the NAD Region III position, but if another individual decides to run for this position, I will totally support them in doing so! I will always continue to be involved with TAD and the NAD in many ways, in giving back and helping others.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

My 15+ year job at Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas including 5 years as Handicapped Employment Program Manager, gave me excellent training in managing, delegating, and advocating for people. My years with the San Antonio Mayor’s Committee and Task Force, plus my deep involvement with the NEAD, gave me valuable experience with the broader Disability Community, included Blind, mobility-challenged, as well as whole the Deaf Community in advocating and fighting for our rights. I also worked for several years with SAILS – San Antonio Association for Independent Living as Deaf Support Specialist, and in the Texas Valley, with 22 counties, and cities such as McAllen and Edinburg, with VAIL – Valley Association for Independent Living, which gave me great exposure to working with the Hispanic population, People of Color, Mexican Sign Language, and the broad spectrum of disability groups. And finally, for 13 years, both as Behavior Manager and as Residential Specialist at the Texas School for the Deaf, gave me a understanding of the educational challenges faced by the DHH community.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

  1. Recruit more BIPOC – while everyone’s lives matter, the NAD needs to be more proactive in including more Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in all levels of NAD and the state associations.
  2. Communication Access, including 9-1-1 and ASL Interpreting with all broadcasted transmissions, especially in Government
    and emergency situations.
  3. Encourage more work to include the DHH Grassroots population, especially those who are not always college-educated

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

NAD needs to provide advocacy training workshops, materials, and videos to educate deaf/hard of hearing/late-deafened/deaf-blind people who have less education or are not aware of their rights and how their needs can be met. This will help improve the overall quality of life for all individuals especially with their families, children, their education, workplace, and social interactions.

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

To strengthen and improve better working relationships with all State Associations, by collaborating with stakeholders in promoting more effective communications, transparency, unity and diversity. This will make ourselves stronger instead of being in different divisive groups. Effective listening (open eyes) are an important communication tool for all levels of our work.

Region Board Representative for Region IV

James Christianson Jr

James Christianson Jr
Ferndale, Washington

Explain in detail your current and previous experience

Hola a todos – This is James Christianson as known as Dino. I born in California and raised by my mother’s Mexican family. I have light skin, but my heart of Mexican won’t change. I have resided in Washington State and worked as a client advocate for Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center (HSDC) – remote office located in the city of Bellingham, north of Seattle. I am currently the camp co-director and facilitator of Deaf Teen Leadership camp over ten years in Washington State to educate Deaf high schoolers across Washington State and some outside of the state. I was on board of Washington State Association of the Deaf (WSAD) for ten years including being four years as president and four years as a treasurer. I hosted several fund raising events, recruited members to join the 111 years old organization, and coordinated events as chairperson, lead committee, and floaters.

I am currently servicing as a vice president for Salish Sea Deaf School (SSDS) located in Burlington, Washington for more than five years. I have been on advisory committee with a local hospital for five years, was on task force for medical interpreting for a couple of years. Also, I was board members as public relations, vice president, president and member at large for a local deaf organization called Northwest Washington Community of the Deaf for up to ten years in total including chairperson of every five year gala event.

Please share why you are a candidate for the NAD Board position that you are running for.

I have worked as a client advocate to assist individual to navigate various system and to assist system to learn how to provide better services to people with hearing diversity. My passion is to learn and to teach about political spectrum because there are so many people in each party. I have seen many young people with hearing diversity who are growing in different style and technology so fast. NAD needs to continue working with youths.

Outline your background and qualifications you bring and how this will contribute the NAD and your position as whole.

I have worked for the Deaf Teen Leadership camp over ten years as a camp counselor, challenge course facilitator and co-director. I can share my experience with NAD and State Associates to develop their own youth activities in leadership. I had rich experiences with local and state deaf organizations for many years and will bring them too NAD. I started my leadership skills at NTID/RIT in different organization – learned how to run meetings, to organize plans, to follow good leaders, and to have fun. I came from two deaf schools and public schools. I will share these experiences to everyone through NAD.

During recent years, there were many issues that the NAD addressed. What do you envision as the top three priorities for the NAD during the next two years?

My top three priorities must be to deal with our current pandemic situation with education system, technology, employments, etc. We keep continuing to identify more new barriers coming up for us to fight. And Captioning needs to be much available in every public places for people with hearing diversity, foreigners, seniors, children, and more. And education for deaf children including hard of hearing, DeafBlind, DeafPlus, and more, they must have high quality education to be equal with hearing peers. I was involved with wonderful Deaf leaders fighting for Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) for this Washington State and achieved.

How can the NAD achieve its mission to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people?

I have been very impressed with NAD because they were founded to fight for our linguistic rights for us since 1880. In today, the issue of our primary language has remained same in different ways. That’s what NAD have three Ps in its Mission Statement. I must continue supporting the mission to our best quality as such as our large needs like housing, medical, transportations, etc. Volunteers must be respected because of their life to give up to do for us. Each volunteer has different roles to do for their Deaf community!

As a Board member, how will you ensure collaboration between State Associations, Organization Affiliates, and other key stakeholders to effectively work with the NAD on national, regional, and local advocacy initiatives?

My goal for collaboration with them is more transparency by communicating in each other. My role will be a liaison to deliver concerning messages between NAD and them to success. I will make sure that everyone to contact each others to share different ideas, inputs, similar issues.

Hope you all will select me as a board member for western region. Muchas Gracias!