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August 2010 Archives



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NAD Conference Info!


An Evening with William Jefferson Clinton

Virginia Moore, Executive Director with the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), invited Sharon and a few other Commissioners and staff to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center on Friday, August 13, 2010. By accepting this invitation from KCDHH, Sharon was also looking forward to meeting the former U.S. President, William Jefferson Clinton! This was a very unique opportunity to be able to experience great people of our time. Sharon was also able to meet another famous person, Kassie DePavia, who is also known from the famous soap operas of daytime, “One life to live”. Ms. DePaiva did the opening remarks.

Image of Commissioners at a dinner table.
KCDHH Commissioners, staff, and others at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center.

Image of Sharon White and Kassie DePavia.
KAD President Sharon White and Actress Kassie DePaiva

Vote for Deaf Toddlers! Vote today for Clerc’s Children, Inc. to Win a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project Grant

Santa Monica, CA August 18, 2010 - Clerc’s Children, Inc. was accepted into Pepsi’s Refresh Project 50K category, which allows people across America to vote for top ten refreshing idea in enhancing America to receive the grant. Out of thousands of submissions, Clerc’s Children project was accepted for the August 2010 entry. Since the contest launch, Clerc’s Children shot up from 1,000th place to 37th place, a considerable feat, attesting to the power of people’s votes. Clerc’s Children hopes to inspire the community members to become dedicated voters and vote daily in August to elevate Clerc’s Children to top ten and win the $50,000 grant.

Read more...

A Word from KAD President Sharon White

Greetings and welcome to the Kentucky Association of the Deaf (KAD) website. I would like to take this moment to share with many of you that we, Kentucky Association of the Deaf (KAD) are very excited to announce that the 51st Biennial National Association of the Deaf (NAD) conference will be held in Louisville, Kentucky. The dates have already been set for July 3-7, 2012. Along with the 51st Biennial National Association of the Deaf (NAD) conference we will have “DeaFestival”! This is a first time EVER event this huge for our Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, Deaf-Blind community of the Commonwealth of Kentucky!

If you have never been to a "DeaFestival" event before, please go to www.deafestival.org. You still have time to attend this year's event on September 4th in Horse Cave, Kentucky!

As your Kentucky Association of the Deaf (KAD) President, I’m thrilled to be a part of this event! I believe this will be the year for Kentucky to “Shine in the Spotlight”! KAD needs YOUR help! We have much work to do ahead of us and I believe in “teamwork”! Together we can do this as one to bring Kentucky to the front of the map!

--
Sharon D. White
KAD President

Senate Improves S. 3304, Action Needed to Pass Bill This Week

Submitted by NAD

Advocacy works! The U.S. Senate improved S. 3304, adopting some of the elements of H.R. 3101 and "hotlined" the bill to be passed by unanimous consent this week. Call your Senators TODAY. Ask them to support passage of S. 3304.

S. 3304 is the sister bill to H.R. 3101. Both bills are called the "Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act." H.R. 3101 passed the House on July 26 by a vote of 348 to 23. In addition to the support of the original co-sponsors -- Senators Pryor (D-AR), Kerry (D-MA), Dorgan (D-ND), and Conrad (D-ND) -- S. 3304 is also supported by Senators Hutchison (R-TX), Ensign (R-NV), and Schumer (D-NY).

We did not get everything we want in H.R. 3101, but we did get an improved S. 3304.

Like H.R. 3101, S. 3304 will:

  • Require access to Internet services that are built-in to mobile telephone devices, like smart phones, if achievable.
  • Authorize the FCC to require 7 hours per week of video description on the top 4 network channels and top 5 cable channels nationwide.

Like H.R. 3101, S. 3304 will also:

  • Require captioned television programs to be captioned when delivered over the Internet.
  • Require accessible advanced communications equipment and services.
  • Allocate up to $10 million per year for equipment used by individuals who are deaf-blind.
  • Require televised emergency information to be accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision.
  • Require devices of any size to be capable of displaying closed captioning, delivering available video description, and making emergency information accessible.
  • Require accessible user controls for televisions and set-top boxes, and easy access to closed captioning and video description.
  • And more.

Contact your Senators TODAY. Tell them to support the passage of S. 3304.

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org

51st Biennial NAD Conference
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

DOJ Needs Your Comments on Proposed ADA Updates

Submitted by NAD

On July 26, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued four advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRMs) calling for public comments about proposed updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which would affect the rules for websites, movie theatres, 9-1-1 services, and equipment/furniture manufacturers. The DOJ uses ANPRMs to announce rules that it plans to change and seek input from the public to help shape the new regulations. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) urges the deaf and hard of hearing community to tell the DOJ what our community needs in each of these four ANPRMs, you can help to update the ADA and ensure a more accessible future.

The NAD helped to pass the ADA twenty years ago. Our efforts to educate the public, advocate on Capitol Hill, and pursue carefully chosen lawsuits have helped to ensure that the ADA is regularly updated and enforced. In 2008, we helped to pass the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) which updated and clarified parts of the ADA.

The ADA is one of our most powerful tools in the fight for equality in all areas of life. However, accessibility is not static. As the needs of our community constantly change with technology, the ADA must change also. As DOJ Attorney General Holder noted, technology is constantly moving forward and, ?just as these quantum leaps can help all of us, they can also set us back-- if regulations are not updated or if compliance codes become too confusing to implement.? ADA updates ensure that the law remains relevant and powerful, protecting us in all areas of our lives. It is our privilege and duty to provide input on such updates in order to ensure that they continue to break down barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The four DOJ ANPRMs each ask for comments on a different issue. We encourage you to answer as many of them as possible. They would like to hear from you about how to improve access to:

  • Websites: The DOJ recognizes that many organizations, both public and private, now use the internet to perform important functions which need to be accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. Tell them what rules would make websites more accessible to you (mention Internet video captioning!).
  • 9-1-1- Centers: 9-1-1 centers are considering using Internet technology to take 9-1-1 calls not only by voice, but also by text or video. The DOJ would like advice on making 9-1-1 services directly available to deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Movie Theaters: Many movie studios produce captioned versions of their films and captioning technologies are available for theaters to install. However, it is still difficult for most deaf and hard of hearing people to walk into a movie theater and have access to captioned entertainment. The DOJ would like to know what would make movie theaters more accessible.
  • Equipment and Furniture: The DOJ is interested in making new rules to ensure that equipment/furniture is built such that all people can make use of it.

Each of these four topics affects the way that deaf and hard of hearing people access their communities, and each is important to moving us forward. The NAD applauds the DOJ for giving us the opportunity to help shape the rules which affect deaf and hard of hearing people every day. Please take the time to thank the DOJ for their hard work and admirable effort, as well as to provide input on the four questions presented above. The NAD will produce vlogs to explain the DOJ ANPRMs and the NAD position on each. The NAD will also directly provide comments to the DOJ ANPRMs and share them on our website. Twenty years after the passage of the ADA, we can help the DOJ renew its spirit and strengthen its powers for the next twenty years -- and beyond!

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org

51st Biennial NAD Conference
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

Senate Passes S. 3304 by Unanimous Consent!

Submitted by NAD

The U.S. Senate passed the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (S. 3304) on August 5, 2010, by unanimous consent! Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of advocates across the country and in Washington, DC, the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), of which the NAD is a leader and steering committee member along with other disability organizations, secured a monumental step forward in accessible technology. Earlier this week, Senator Pryor (D-AR) introduced an amendment to improve S. 3304. S. 3304, as amended, was passed by U.S. Senate by unanimous consent. Like H.R. 3101, which was passed on July 26, 2010, S. 3304 will also:

  • Require captioned television programs to be captioned when delivered over the Internet.
  • Authorize the FCC to require 7 hours per week of video description on the top 4 network channels and top 5 cable channels nationwide.
  • Allocate up to $10 million per year for equipment used by individuals who are deaf-blind.
  • Require televised emergency information to be accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision.
  • Require accessible advanced communications equipment and services, such as text messaging and e-mail.
  • Require access to Internet services that are built-in to mobile telephone devices, like smart phones, if achievable.
  • Require devices of any size to be capable of displaying closed captioning, delivering available video description, and making emergency information accessible.
  • Require accessible user controls for televisions and set-top boxes, and easy access to closed captioning and video description.
  • And more.

For more information, see the section-by-section summary of what S.3304 (as amended) will do for us at http://www.coataccess.org/node/9776.

S. 3304 will now go to the House of Representatives. Our coalition, COAT, supports and expects the House will pass S. 3304 soon. Job well done, everyone! Like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 20 years ago, we are making history now!

Note: As soon as a final copy of amended S.3304 is available COAT will post and announce it on the COAT website.

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org

51st Biennial NAD Conference
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

President Obama to the Federal Government: Hire More People with Disabilities!

Submitted by NAD

On Monday, July 26, during the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the ADA, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing plans for the Federal Government to hire more people with disabilities. This order move will not only provide jobs to many disabled individuals, but also make the federal government a "model employer of individuals with disabilities", which will encourage private employers to follow their example.

While signing the order, the President praised the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as ?one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in the history of this country.? However, he acknowledged that more must to be done to enact the spirit of the law in our everyday lives, starting with the government?s hiring practices. Even more important than the President's hopeful words; however, were the measurable objectives which he attached to them. The Executive Order compels agencies to develop strategic plans and calls for hiring managers and human resource employees to be trained to accommodate disabled applicants and workers. It also requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to assist other offices in hiring those with disabilities and report their progress both to the president and to the public.

As a member of the Justice for All Action Network (JFAAN), a coalition of disability rights organizations, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) has long advocated an executive order of this nature. While our proposed executive order included the creation of a Commission on People with Disabilities, Employment, Economic Empowerment and Social Security, which was not present in the President?s order earlier this week, the order nonetheless included many provisions which the NAD believes will be beneficial to our community. The order represents a step forward and we are grateful to President Obama both for allowing us to be involved in an ongoing discussion with his administration, and for issuing an order that will help to employ members of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

For more information, review President Obama's order.

Michael K. Berger
Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives

National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org

51st Biennial NAD Conference
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

NAD Establishes Scholarship in Honor of Departing Chief Executive Officer

From NAD E-News

On July 26, 2010, the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 3101) with a vote of 348 to 23. The NAD thanks U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), for authoring, introducing, and championing H.R. 3101 and Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Joe Barton (R-TX), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Jay Inslee (D-WA), and Cliff Stearns (R-FL), for their leadership in this bipartisan effort. The fight is not over just yet. Here’s why…

H.R. 3101 has key provisions that will greatly improve access for the deaf and hard of hearing community:

  • Captioned television programs that are shown again on the Internet must still be captioned. If we miss a program on television, we can later watch the show on the Internet with captions.
  • Captions must be displayed on all devices that show television programs, regardless of size. The old rule was that a device must be 13 inches or larger, which will no longer be true.
  • Captioning controls must be easier to find and turn on/off via on-screen menus and remote controls. We would no longer have to struggle with this.
  • Captions must be displayed on programming that is recorded using DVRs and similar recording devices. We can count on pass-through of captions for later viewing.
  • Reliable and interoperable technologies must access 911 services. We can have peace of mind knowing that we can quickly obtain emergency help.
  • Communications equipment (up to $10 million per year) must be provided for deaf-blind people. This is a very necessary and long-overdue provision.
  • Internet telephones must be hearing aid compatible.
  • Relay services must enable communication with anyone, including between TTY and videophone users.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must establish Telecommunications Relay Services Policy Advisory Council. The FCC will also report to Congress about access to improved relay service technologies; suggest ways to increase relay services in the workplace, and update equipment in public facilities and government offices.

Clearly, passage of H.R. 3101 in the U.S. House of Representatives on the 20th anniversary of the ADA was an historical event. We are very excited.

But we must be honest – we did not get everything we wanted. Congressional members told us that they are not ready to consider rules that require captions for shows that are shown on the Internet and not on TV. This provision was opposed by the cable and television industry. We are disappointed that they did not want to do the right thing.

Fortunately, we did get something through our efforts as co-founder and steering committee member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) to address captioning of programs that are shown only on the Internet -- H.R. 3101 will require the FCC to study this issue and make a recommendation to Congress. This is an important requirement because it keeps the issue alive and makes sure the FCC pays attention to it.

We also lost another part of H.R. 3101 to allow discounts for low-income people to have broadband access so they can use Internet based relay services such as Video Relay Services (VRS).

The NAD is committed to keep fighting for captioned Internet programs and for affordable broadband access after adoption of H.R. 3101 by the Senate.

Our champion, U.S. Representative Markey, emphasizes that his support for communication access on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing people for over two decades will not stop with H.R. 3101. He said that he remains committed to working with us in the future to ensure full and equal access to all telecommunications technologies, equipment, and services.

Act Now to Protect Your Rights!

This is a critical time for advocates to take action to protect our civil, human and linguistic rights.

We have a big problem at this time. H.R. 3101 has been sent to the U.S. Senate but the U.S. Senate has a similar bill – S. 3304. This bill is not as strong as H.R. 3101, which requires the FCC to report and recommend to Congress on captioning for video programs that are shown only on the Internet -- S. 3304 does not require this. We must preserve our hard fought victory with the recent House passage of H.R 3101 and make sure it is adopted by the Senate.

Contact your two U.S. Senators right now – call, fax and send email (http://www.nad.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=425&qid=1016089). Tell them to adopt H.R. 3101 because it is stronger and much better than S. 3304.

Together, we can do it!

--
The National Association of the Deaf
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819
United States

NAD Establishes Scholarship in Honor of Departing Chief Executive Officer

From NAD

At the 50th Biennial NAD Conference in Philadelphia, a special announcement was made on July 7, 2010 during the Welcome Ceremony by Barbara Jean "BJ" Wood, Annette Posell, Julie Rems-Smario and Jerry Nelson. With the approval of and on behalf of the NAD Board of Directors, they announced the establishment of a scholarship fund in honor of departing Chief Executive Officer Nancy J. Bloch, who has served the American deaf and hard of hearing community for 18 years.

The Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship is designed to grant stipends to qualifying deaf and hard of hearing students who seek to uphold the mission and values of the NAD during their internship at the NAD headquarters. Preference will be given to students pursuing law, government policy, non-profit management or related degrees. The number of stipends provided each year be given on a funds available basis.

NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins said, "Please join us in honoring 18 years of dedicated service by contributing to the "Nancy J. Bloch Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship" fund. With your support, we can preserve Nancy's legacy as testimonial to her desire to invest in the future of young deaf and hard of hearing leaders and advocates so that they, too, can pave the way for others to follow.

BJ Wood, in making the announcement during the Welcome Ceremony, challenged attendees to give a total of $18,000 by the end of the conference. She explained that donors would receive navy blue ribbons for their conference badges saying "Thank You, Nancy" in silver; these were sponsored by John Ziev, senior associate with Blue Moon Company.

During the four days of the conference, hundreds of attendees donated to the fund, displayed their blue ribbon and thanked Nancy for her dedicated service. Towards the end of the Closing Ceremony on Saturday, July 10, 2010, BJ Wood announced that a total of $34,400 was raised - almost double the goal of $18,000. This was a most heart-warming experience by all at the ceremony, especially for Nancy. And, this is only the beginning. The scholarship committee, with Nancy as its new honorary chairperson, will continue to raise funds from individuals, organizations and corporations to ensure that this new scholarship provides opportunities for student interns at the NAD for many years to come.

Interested persons wishing to donate have the option of making a $18, $180 or $1,800 tax deductible contribution, either as a one-time payment or in monthly installments over a year's period. Donors can also contribute any amount they wish. To make an online donation, visit http://www.nad.org/donate-now and insert "Bloch Scholarship" in the field for memorial and honor donations. Alternatively, donation checks can be mailed to the NAD at 8630 Fenton Street Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819; checks should be made payable to the NAD with the notation "Bloch Scholarship" in the lower left corner.

Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org

51st Biennial NAD Conference
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

National Night Out!!

From Anointed Hands

Where: Morty’s Comedy Joint 3625 E. 96 Street Indianapolis, IN.
When: Show starts August 3,2010 at 8:00 P.M.
*ASL Interpreters will be provided*

American Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 20 years ago this month. Come out and help us celebrate where EVERYONE can enjoy a good time! Comedians for the night will be Jodi White.. Micheal McDaniel.. Vince Morris and our MC for the night will be Reno Hype. If you can’t make it to the show, but you would like to give a donation that will be gladly accepted. The show is not just for seniors, but a night for clean fun for everyone! Tickets can be purchased at the door or by contacting me via email at lisa.warren@ouranointedhands.com or by phone (317) 362-9636 (v/or text).

Jodi White.. Micheal McDaniel.. Vince Morris and our MC for the night will be Reno Hype. If you can’t make it to the show, but you would like to give a donation that will be gladly accepted. Show is not just for seniors, but a night where EVERYONE can have a good time. Ticket cost is $15.00....

National Night Out flyer


Thank you,
Anointed Hands
"Bridging the Gap...Keeping Communication Accessible"
(317)362-9636 voice/text
(866)327-327-2915 vp
lisa.warren@ouranointedhands.com
www.ouranointedhands.com