National Association of the Deaf

2008 Conference Priorities



2008 NAD CONFERENCE PRIORITIES

Updated July 5, 2010

Members at the 2008 NAD Conference in New Orleans voted on the top 30 priority proposals to be sent to the Council of Representatives (CR) (delegate assembly). Of these, CR delegates selected the top 20 priorities of the NAD for the 2008-2010 term of office. These are listed below in rank order (with several ties), with assignments for follow up action. These supplement long-range strategic goals established by the NAD Board of Directors and ongoing or emerging priorities (usually issues-oriented) addressed by the NAD Board and headquarters staff.

TITLE: Captioning in Movie Theaters
CR RANK: 1
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-001
INTRODUCED BY: Larry Forestal (Arizona)
SECONDED BY: Jim Oster (Arizona)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall advocate for all first-run movies to be shown with captions, preferably on-screen (open) captions, in all movie theaters across the nation.
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Ongoing.
A federal district court judge in Arizona ruled that movie theaters are not required to display captions because captions alter a movie by changing audio content into visual content. This decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This is the first time any U.S. Court of Appeals has considered a movie theater access case for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The NAD filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief urging the Court to rule that the ADA requires movie theaters to display captions to ensure that deaf or hard of hearing individuals can participate fully and equally in the experience of going to see a movie. The U.S. Department of Justice later filed an amicus curiae brief urging reversal of the lower court’s decision. On January 13, 2010, the Court heard arguments to help them decide this case. The judges seemed inclined to decide that the display of captions is required. The judges also seemed to think it was the right thing to do. One judge told the movie theaters’ lawyer, “You can . . . be the good guys, or you can be dragged kicking and screaming and look like jerks.” On April 30, 2010, the Court issued a favorable decision, reversing the lower court decision and remanding for trial. The NAD also notes that legislation to require movie theaters to display captions was introduced but did not pass in Kentucky and Maryland.

TITLE: Certified Deaf Interpreters
CR RANK: 2
CODE: 2008-LA-BRD-001
INTRODUCED BY: Dawn Watts (Ohio)
SECONDED BY: Delynn Saunders (Arizona)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall investigate the reason there are insufficient Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) across the nation. Further, the NAD shall work closely with RID on modifications to CDI written and performance exams.
ASSIGNMENT: NAD Board of Directors (NAD-RID Leadership Team)
STATUS: In progress.
The NAD is represented on a two-year NCIEC (National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers) task force funded by RID aimed at improvements to the CDI testing system. The work of this task force is ongoing.

TITLE: Protect State Deaf Schools
CR RANK: 3
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-001
INTRODUCED BY: Ralph Singleton (California) & David “Jerry” Wilding (Idaho)
SECONDED BY: Nancy Carroll (California)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall develop and issue a position statement supporting state residential schools for the deaf and reiterate the importance of their existence.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Education Subcommittee)
STATUS: Completed.
The Education Subcommittee, within the NAD Public Policy Committee, drafted a position statement on schools for the deaf which was approved by the NAD Board of Directors and published through the NAD website.

TITLE: Federal Recognition of ASL
CR RANK: 4
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-002
INTRODUCED BY: Larry Forestal (Arizona)
SECONDED BY: Glenna Ashton (Florida)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall pursue, as part of its long-range plan, federal legislation recognizing American Sign Language as a natural and legitimate language of deaf Americans. Further, the NAD shall investigate legal precedents, as well as historical reviews of other nations that have enacted legislation with respect to their sign languages.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Civil Rights and International Subcommittees)
STATUS: Completed.
The Civil Rights and International Subcommittees researched legal precedent within the United States for recognition of languages and conducted a historical review of other nations’ legislation and actions to recognize their respective sign languages. The subcommittees determined that the United States has never officially recognized any language, not even English. In this respect, the United States has a very distinct nature from other nations in how it handles the recognition of languages. Focus should be on implementing recognition of American Sign Language as a language appropriate for credit in schools and colleges to encourage an increase in the number of students studying ASL, in addition to implementing standards for the use of ASL interpretation within the legal and medical fields.

TITLE: ASL as a Deaf Child’s Human Right
CR RANK: 5 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-GOV-001
INTRODUCED BY: Ralph Singleton (California)
SECONDED BY: David Reynolds (California)
PRIORITY: American Sign Language is a deaf child's human right. The NAD shall include this right in its bylaws to reflect the original rationale for the establishment of the NAD, so that it is evident in print format.
ASSIGNMENT: Governance Committee (Bylaws Committee)
STATUS: Completed.
This priority was referred to the Bylaws Committee, charged with review of and making recommendations on proposed bylaws amendments for 2010 NAD Conference consideration. It was determined that the mission, vision and values clearly reflect the position of the NAD on ASL and human and linguistic rights. The NAD has and continues to support U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD). More recently, the NAD wrote a strongly worded letter to the 21st International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED) calling for recognition of signed languages as an essential human right. Also, ASL as a human right has been incorporated as one of the goals in the NAD Vision 2020 strategic document.

TITLE: National Agenda for Mental Health
CR RANK: 5 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-003
INTRODUCED BY: Liz Hill (Alabama)
SECONDED BY: Judith Gilliam (Alabama) and Region III Conference
PRIORITY: The NAD shall promote a national agenda for mental health, with emphasis on: a) services provided in ASL as a civil/human right, b) statewide coordination to ensure a continuum of services, c) life span developmental approach to services delivery, and d) clearinghouse resources on the NAD website.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Mental Health Subcommittee)
STATUS: Completed.
The Mental Health Subcommittee has deliberated on the optimal means to promote the national agenda for mental health, and the result is a Mental Health Bill of Rights for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. This bill of rights approach is modeled after the Deaf Child Bill of Rights and incorporates the emphasis proposed in the conference priority of services provided in ASL as a civil/human right, statewide coordination to ensure a continuum of services, and life span developmental approach to services delivery. A sample bill of rights has been posted on the NAD website for state associations and advocates to develop legislation within their respective states, along with a supporting statement that explains the purpose and background for the bill of rights.

TITLE: Bilingual-Bicultural Emphasis in Deaf Education
CR RANK: 6
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-004
INTRODUCED BY: Ralph Singleton (California)
SECONDED BY: David Reynolds (California)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall establish a task force to develop strategies for bilingual-bicultural emphasis within all university deaf education programs, working closely with the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH), state associations, and appropriate agencies and organizations. Results of these efforts shall then be shared widely, including with the U.S. Department of Education and state departments of education.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Education Subcommittee)
STATUS: Completed in part, task force to be established.
The newly formed Education Subcommittee completed three critically necessary position statements in support of the strategies desired in this priority. These position statements were submitted, reviewed, and approved by the NAD Board (Schools for the Deaf, Dual Language, and EHDI). Now that these three position statements are in place, the Education Subcommittee will form a task force to develop such strategies.

TITLE: Early Intervention and Parent Education
CR RANK: 7
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-005
INTRODUCED BY: Rachel Bavister (Virginia)
SECONDED BY: LaDonna Larson (Virginia)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall promote parent education and participation in early intervention programs nationwide. Further, the NAD shall develop resources to assist parents in making informed and educated decisions for their deaf and hard of hearing children.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Education Subcommittee)
STATUS: Completed in part; ongoing efforts.
The NAD provided three workshops at the March 2009 national EHDI conference geared to advocacy issues, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and deaf-hearing partnerships. The NAD participated in a workshop and, for the first time, hosted an exhibit booth during the March 2010 national EHDI conference. The NAD produced and distributed material on “EHDI Programs and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community: Working Together” at the conference and produced a vlog for consumers – both available on the NAD website. This is part of an ongoing effort to educate EHDI professionals on the importance of providing opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing babies to acquire ASL and involving deaf and hard of hearing people in all aspects of EHDI programs and services. Also, the Education Subcommittee completed position statements on early intervention, dual language, and deaf education, which were approved by the NAD Board of Directors and are available - on the NAD website.

TITLE: Coverage for Hearing Aids and Related Services
CR RANK: 8
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-006
INTRODUCED BY: Natalie Beckman (New Jersey)
SECONDED BY: Joshua Beckman (New Jersey)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall advocate for health insurance coverage of hearing aids, ear molds, batteries and related services for deaf children and adults, with no restrictions.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Civil Rights Subcommittee)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The Civil Rights Subcommittee has collected data on what some states have been able to achieve legislatively to mandate health insurance coverage of hearing aids, and will develop recommendations from this information. A report was submitted to the board at its quarterly meeting (January 2010). The NAD supported, through coalition advocacy letters, retention of provisions for health care reform introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 3200) which would require health insurance coverage for “essential benefits.” Section 122 of H.R. 3200 says “essential benefits” include “well baby and well child care and oral health, vision, and hearing services, equipment, and supplies at least for children under 21 years of age,” as well as “rehabilitative and habilitative services.” The NAD continued to advocate for this coverage as Congress debated health care reform, but the measure was not included in the final bill that was signed into law. The Public Policy Committee will develop recommendations for further actions, which may include advocacy through the HHS advisory committee established to implement health care reform, for Medicare coverage, and for state mandates for insurance coverage for hearing aids, such as the effort underway in Illinois.

TITLE: State Deaf Schools and Early Intervention Resources
CR RANK: 9 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-007
INTRODUCED BY: Ruth Ann Schornstein (Pennsylvania)
SECONDED BY: Shelley Gillis (Pennsylvania)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall work with the U.S. Department of Education to require all states to provide information and resources about schools for the deaf as an educational option.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Education Subcommittee)
STATUS: Completed in part; ongoing efforts.
The Education Subcommittee has completed two position statements that address two parts of this issue: one statement in support of state deaf schools and one statement in support of early intervention actions. Both have been approved by the NAD Board of Directors and are now online at the NAD website. The NAD continues to work with the U.S. Department of Education to develop requirements for the states with respect to schools for the deaf.

TITLE: Preservation of American Deaf History and ASL
CR RANK: 9 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-LFS-001
INTRODUCED BY: Cathy Haas, Library Friends Section (California)
SECONDED BY: Alice Hagemeyer (Maryland)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall establish a task force to develop strategies for preservation of American Deaf History and American Sign Language.
ASSIGNMENT: Library Friends Section
STATUS: Shift in focus recommended.
This task force has been established, under the auspices of the Library Friends Section. The Section has prepared a proposed priority for renaming the Section to focus on History and Culture.

TITLE: DTVs and Closed Captioning
CR RANK: 10 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-004
INTRODUCED BY: Ralph Singleton (California)
SECONDED BY: David Reynolds (California)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require closed-captioning capability for all televisions (including those 13” and under), with tie-in to digital TV transition to go into effect on February 17, 2009.
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The NAD is a founding member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT). One of the provisions of the COAT agenda, which was also reflected in H.R. 3101 (introduced June 2009), is to expand the scope of devices that must have caption decoder circuitry or caption display capability under the Television Decoder Circuitry Act from the present requirement of television sets with screens that are 13 inches or larger, to include video devices of all sizes that receive or display video programming, including recording and playback devices, and video programming distributed over the Internet. This legislative effort could not be undertaken in conjunction with the DTV transition which went into effect in June 2009, because DTV transition legislation had already been passed by Congress. The NAD continues to play a leading role in COAT to ensure passage of this legislation by the 111th Congress. In November, Marlee Matlin, NAD spokesperson for accessible broadband and Internet media, met with key legislators to advocate for passage of H.R. 3101. In addition, the FCC demonstrated support for this and many other provisions in H.R. 3101 by including those provisions in the National Broadband Plan delivered to Congress in March 2010. The NAD conducted a community “virtual legislative day” to coincide with meetings by the NAD Board with key legislators on April 15, 2010. A companion bill, S. 3304, was introduced in May 2010. Both bills are receiving increased support for passage to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ADA. On June 30, 2010, the House Subcommittee voted favorably to move H.R. 3101 to the Committee on Energy and Commerce for further consideration.

TITLE: Youth Programs Task Force
CR RANK: 10 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-005
INTRODUCED BY: Sara Bianco (Illinois)
SECONDED BY: Joshua Beckman (New Jersey)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall establish a task force to restructure Youth Programs for greater efficiency and accountability, promotion of consistency among participating state associations, and provision of resources and support to foster youth efforts by participating state associations.
ASSIGNMENT: Youth Strategic Team
STATUS: Completed.
The Youth Strategic Team is has completed its review of the various Youth Programs of the NAD and has made its recommendations to the NAD Board

TITLE: Action Alert System
CR RANK: 11
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-006
INTRODUCED BY: Steve Lovi (New York)
SECONDED BY: Ann Cooper (Kansas)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall establish an action alert and information-sharing system so that state associations, affiliates, and general membership can take action on urgent issues of importance.
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Completed.
The NAD has had an “action alert” system/mechanism as part of its web database and website management system. State associations, affiliates, members, and the general public may sign up to receive notices about new information posted on the NAD website, including Latest News and Blogs postings, through RSS feeds and e-mail. The NAD is also actively engaged in social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Recent experience, however, demonstrated that the most effective means of notifying people to take action on urgent issues of importance was accomplished by means of an e-mail blast to every person in the NAD database. We expect to use this (e-blast) mechanism for all future “action alerts.”

TITLE: Health Care Systems
CR RANK: 12
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-007
INTRODUCED BY: Alicia Epstein (Maryland)
SECONDED BY: Al Sonnenstrahl (Maryland)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall aggressively push for health care systems to provide reasonable accommodations such as interpreting and CART for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing.
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The NAD continues to advocate for accessible health care. This area has consistently arisen as one of the top consumer issues addressed by the NAD Law and Advocacy Center. Since the 2008 NAD Conference, the NAD has taken the following actions related to health care:
• Clinical Radiologists - Filed complaint with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that, on two separate occasions, Clinical Radiologists refused to provide qualified sign language interpreter services to communicate with a patient who is deaf-blind. This case was successfully settled.
• Cuevas v. Palmetto General Hospital - Filed complaint alleging failure to provide qualified sign language interpreter services necessary to communicate effectively with a deaf couple. This case was successfully settled.
• Sorace v. St. Agnes Hospital - Filed complaint against hospital in Baltimore alleging failure to provide qualified interpreter services, and refusal to accept relay calls or schedule an appointment. This case was successfully settled.
• Eaton v. Upper Chesapeake Medical Center - Filed complaint in Maryland federal court alleging failure to provide sign language interpreters or effective communication. This case was successfully settled.
• Posner v. Adventist Health Care - Filed complaint alleging failure to provide qualified sign language interpreter services to ensure effective communication.
• King v. Walker Baptist Medical Center – Filed complaint in federal court in Alabama alleging failure to ensure effective communication with a deaf couple during their 20-plus visits to the hospital.
• Heisly v. INOVA – Filed complaint in federal court in Virginia alleging failure to ensure effective communication with a deaf couple.
• Provided written and in-person comments to the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) to advocate for increased research on mental health in the deaf community. See www.icdr.us for more information about ICDR.
• Issued the following position and advocacy statements (prepared by the NAD Public Policy Committee):

  • Culturally Affirmative and Linguistically Accessible Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health Services for Deaf Children
  • Video Remote Interpreting Services in Hospitals
  • Use of Video Remote Interpreting in the Medical Setting

• The NAD met twice with the Obama transition team. Health care was the focus of one of these meetings, which included John Podesta, co-chair of the transition team, where we raised the importance of access to effective communication. Further, the NAD provided a comprehensive document listing priorities and recommendations of deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, and deaf-blind consumers.
• The NAD submitted comments to The Joint Commission’s “Proposed Requirements to Advance Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-Centered Care for the Hospital Accreditation Program.” Advocated for inclusion of specific requirements on effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

TITLE: Removal of DOT Requirement
CR RANK: 13
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-008
INTRODUCED BY: Noella Kolash (New York)
SECONDED BY: Teresa Rogers (South Carolina)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for removal of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Section 391.41(b)(11).
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The NAD learned that the Medical Review Board for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration met. Our understanding is that they concluded that there are no good studies to show that deaf drivers are not an increased risk, but the Medical Review Board voted to keep the rule as it currently stands. However, we also heard that the Medical Review Board also moved and voted to proceed with an expert panel to look at this question in a more empirical manner. We are following up to verify that report and participate in any way possible with the expert panel. Update: At a meeting of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in July 2009 the NAD advocated to change commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements for interstate transport. Specifically, the NAD told the DOT:
• There is no evidence that the ability to hear makes a person a safer driver;
• The forced whisper test is not a valid measure of hearing ability and does not bear any relationship to the experience of operating a commercial motor vehicle; and
• There are reliable means of receiving auditory information visually in a vehicle cab.
Further, the NAD requested that DOT establish and implement a system through which deaf and hard of hearing drivers who meet other established criteria are permitted to obtain a CDL valid for interstate transportation. The NAD offered its assistance in developing this system. The DOT is currently reviewing its physical assistance requirements. The NAD continues to monitor this process, provide information and feedback as needed, and advocate for otherwise qualified deaf and hard of hearing drivers to obtain a CDL.

TITLE: ADA Restoration Act
CR RANK: 14
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-009
INTRODUCED BY: Dean DeRusso (New York)
SECONDED BY: Steve Lovi (New York)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall advocate for the passage of the ADA Restoration Act (ADA Amendments Act, HR 3195, was recently passed by the House of Representatives; now awaiting Senate action, S. 1881).
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Completed.
The ADA Amendments Act was signed into law on September 25, 2008 and went into effect on January 1, 2009. This priority action is now complete.

TITLE: Communications and Video Accessibility Act
CR RANK: 15
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-010
INTRODUCED BY: Dean DeRusso (New York)
SECONDED BY: Steve Lovi (New York)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall advocate for the passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 6320 has been introduced in the House of Representatives; companion Senate bill has not yet been introduced).
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Law and Advocacy)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The NAD continues to take a leading role in the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) which is spearheading efforts to pass the “21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.” The bill was first introduced in 2008 (H.R. 6320). It was reintroduced in June 2009 (H.R. 3101) after achieving consensus with and support from Verizon, AT&T and US Telecom. Our champion in the House, Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), is no longer Chair of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Efforts are underway to gain the support of the new Chair, Representative Frederick Boucher (D-VA), who replaced Markey as Chair of the Subcommittee. Markey continues to support the bill. In the meantime, we continue to meet with various industry groups and congressional staff to discuss and seek support for the bill in the House. Also, the NAD has secured the support of Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin to serve as a spokesperson for the NAD on broadband/Internet access, including H.R. 3101 efforts. As a result of Matlin’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the NAD, ABC.com announced that it will provide captions for all of its online long-form programming. The FCC demonstrated support for many provisions in H.R. 3101 by including those provisions in the National Broadband Plan delivered to Congress in March 2010. The NAD conducted a community “virtual legislative day” to coincide with meetings by the NAD Board with key legislators on April 15, 2010. A similar bill, the “Equal Access to 21st Century Communications” (S. 3304), was introduced in the Senate in May 2010. Both bills are receiving increased support for passage to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ADA. On June 30, 2010, the House Subcommittee voted favorably to move H.R. 3101 to the Committee on Energy and Commerce for further consideration.

TITLE: Exhibitions at Expos and Conferences
CR RANK: 16
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-011
INTRODUCED BY: Mike Berger (Illinois)
SECONDED BY: Jerrod Keim (Wisconsin)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall promote growth in membership through outreach exhibitions at expositions and conferences nationwide.
ASSIGNMENT: Membership Committee
STATUS: Completed.
The Membership Committee recommended diverse membership outreach and marketing strategies (the NAD had exhibits at DeafNation throughout 2009 and 2010) and provided support to the Headquarters on development of vlogs with the involvement of volunteer members and supporters).

TITLE: Immigration Access
CR RANK: 17
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-008
INTRODUCED BY: Lisa McNiven (New Mexico)
SECONDED BY: Luke Walker (New Mexico)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall take concrete steps to reform communication access to immigration offices nationwide.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Civil Rights Subcommittee)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The Civil Rights Subcommittee reviewed communication barriers within various federal services including the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) and Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) offices. The Subcommittee determined that, prior to any discussion with appropriate federal agencies, existing problems need to be identified that are commonly experienced by deaf consumers. Data from the community needs to be gathered to demonstrate a global problem with their offices. This includes surveys to gauge the extent of the problems and to gather empirical data that should convince federal agencies. The Subcommittee is also reviewing a recent legal victory that DREDF (Disability Rights Education Defense Fund) had against the Social Security Administration on access to blind Social Security consumers. The Subcommittee also reviewed a settlement agreement entered into between deaf consumers and the Chicago office of the Immigration Naturalization Services, now called the Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). The settlement agreement evidenced many common areas of complaints from deaf immigrants. Recommendation to the NAD Law and Advocacy Center to collect CIS problems and complaints to bring to the attention of DHS to resolve such problems in a global manner rather than individually.

TITLE: Disclosure of CI Risks and Outcomes
CR RANK: 18 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-PUB-009
INTRODUCED BY: Renwick Dayton (Oregon)
SECONDED BY: Teresa Rogers (South Carolina)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall advocate for public disclosure by manufacturers, medical professionals and other service providers about cochlear implant risks including, but not limited to, short- and long-term injuries, failures, and death, as well as short- and long-term outcomes with regard to communication, education, and social development.
ASSIGNMENT: Public Policy Committee (Civil Rights Subcommittee)
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The Civil Rights Subcommittee researched the medical information and risks of cochlear implant that are shared with patients and family members, and the level of disclosure required of doctors. The subcommittee also researched what authority and jurisdiction the FDA has over cochlear implants and the amount of information and risks shared with patients. The Subcommittee is working on an updated cochlear implant position statement (this document was last updated in 2000) and other possible papers to address this issue.

TITLE: Deafhood Training
CR RANK: 18 (tied)
CODE: 2008-LA-GOV-002
INTRODUCED BY: Ralph Singleton (California)
SECONDED BY: David Reynolds (California)
PRIORITY: The NAD board and headquarters staff shall receive Deafhood training. Further, state associations shall receive and/or host the same.
ASSIGNMENT: Governance Committee (State Association-Affiliate Committee)
STATUS: Completed.
Most of the members of the NAD Board of Directors have participated in Deafhood workshops on their own. Workshops for headquarters staff focus on basic Deafhood principles (spring 2009, completed), with audism to follow after this summer’s biennial national conference.

TITLE: Naming of Junior NAD Chapters
CR RANK: 19
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-012
INTRODUCED BY: Alicia Epstein (Maryland)
SECONDED BY: Al Sonnenstrahl (Maryland)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall revise its Junior NAD structure so that the names of all local and state Junior NAD chapters shall represent local and state associations.
ASSIGNMENT: Youth Strategic Team
STATUS: Completed.
The Youth Strategic Team has completed its internal review of Youth Programs (see 2008-LA-HDQ-005, above) and made its recommendations to the NAD Board of Directors.

TITLE: Promotional DVD
CR RANK: 20
CODE: 2008-LA-HDQ-013
INTRODUCED BY: Rachel Bavister (Virginia)
SECONDED BY: LaDonna Larson (Virginia)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall develop and distribute a DVD to disseminate information about the NAD to state associations, affiliates, and other interested persons.
ASSIGNMENT: Headquarters (Communications & Outreach)
STATUS: In progress.
Headquarters plan for the new website includes a flash movie depicting the history and current structure of the NAD, which can also be made available in DVD format. Additional web sponsorship is needed to make this possible.

The following did not make the top 20 priorities (ranked). These were addressed during the 2008-2010 term, time and resources permitting.

TITLE: Testing Materials in ESL
CR RANK: 21
INTRODUCED BY: Karl Reddy (Vermont)
SECONDED BY: Beatrice Pfaff (Indiana)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall set up a special committee to work closely with ETS (Praxis, SAT), ACT and others to ensure English as a Second Language (ESL) access for deaf test-takers across the nation.

TITLE: Equal Access via Captioning
CR RANK: 22
INTRODUCED BY: Rachel Bavister (Virginia)
SECONDED BY: Harvey J. Corson (Connecticut)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall address the issue of captioning to afford deaf people equal access in movie theaters, on TV, including HDTV, videos and Internet streaming, DVDs, public information bulletins, and emergency broadcasts everywhere.
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
See NAD Priorities CR Rank 1, Captioning in Movie Theaters; CR Rank 10, DTVs and Closed Captioning; CR Rank 15, Communications and Video Accessibility Act, and CR Rank 24, Live CC for Local TV News. In addition, the NAD continues to advocate for captioning of announcements in airports, in-flight entertainment, announcements in stadiums (such as the NAD achieved for the Washington Redskins stadium and is seeking for Ohio State University sports venues), and state and local political campaign messages (either televised or on the Internet, such as the Maryland bill that was recently passed).

TITLE: Employment Task Force
CR RANK: 23
INTRODUCED BY: David Baughman (New York)
SECONDED BY: Alan McCall (Michigan)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall establish a task force to focus specifically on employment needs and issues of deaf and hard of hearing people and other persons with hearing loss.
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The NAD is part of a coalition of national disability organizations called the Justice for All Action Network (JFAAN) working to establish a Commission on People with Disabilities, Employment, Economic Empowerment and Social Security to develop new employment initiatives. The NAD is urging the Federal government to increase employment of deaf and hard of hearing people in the federal workforce. The NAD is also advocating for fully accessible state employment programs and services. Additionally, the NAD is promoting the inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing business owners as eligible for Small Business Administration loans and federal contracting opportunities. The NAD also produced a vlog on the Federal disability employment policy meeting with the US. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

TITLE: Live CC for Local TV News
CR RANK: 24
INTRODUCED BY: Jim Revell (Arizona), USADSF
SECONDED BY: Larry Forestal
PRIORITY: The NAD shall form a task force to address live captioning for local television news programs, especially for smaller cities and rural areas.
STATUS: Ongoing efforts.
The NAD, along with other consumer groups, filed a petition with the FCC in 2004 requesting, among other things, that the closed captioning rules be amended to expand the requirement for real-time captioning of local television news programs beyond the top 25 television markets. This issue remains as a high priority for NAD television closed captioning advocacy efforts.

TITLE: Vocational Rehabilitation Services
CR RANK: 25
INTRODUCED BY: Alicia Epstein (Maryland)
SECONDED BY: Al Sonnenstrahl (Maryland)
PRIORITY: The NAD shall advocate for the retention of the Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services position within the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitative Service Administration.

TITLE: Video Hotline System
CR RANK: 26
INTRODUCED BY: Tawny Holmes (Pennsylvania)
SECONDED BY: Manny Johnson (California)
PRIORITY: The NAD headquarters shall establish a hotline for police issues, starting with Mondays only, and a feedback line to provide input to NAD, starting with Wednesdays only, with the possibility of later expansion.

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