Deafhood Foundation
249 W. Jackson Street, #303
Hayward, CA 94544-1811

May 30, 2012

National Association of the Deaf
Bobbie Beth Scoggins, President & Howard Rosenblum, CEO
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910
email: bobbiebeth.scoggins@nad.org, howard.rosenblum@nad.org

Dear Bobbie Beth and Howard,

It is with great and deep concern Deafhood Foundation writes this letter to you both. Please share this with the rest of the board.

Our concern is in regard to NAD’s invitation for the South Dakota governor, Mr. Dennis Daugaard, to be a plenary speaker at your July 3-7 conference. Deafhood Foundation’s mission is to achieve economic and social justice for all Deaf people and our vision is to provide opportunities to ending economic exploitation of Deaf people and recreating an audism-free society where everyone experiences full humanity and celebrates Sign Language.

It has always been Deafhood Foundation’s assumption that NAD upholds a similar vision in its role as a “premier civil rights organization” of, by and for the Deaf.

However, in the light of recent furor over NAD’s providing a platform to Governor Daugaard at the conference to teach the Deaf attendees how to participate in the political process while holding oppressive records against LGBT, Muslims and women and evidently doing nothing to ensure Deaf children the right and option to a culturally (Deaf) and linguistically (ASL) sound education through a residential Deaf school, the Foundation respectfully asks NAD to take a bow and correct this unintentional mistake. The Foundation specifically asks NAD to disinvite Mr. Daugaard and invite someone else with a record of true civil rights activism within the political process. This request is made in the light of aiming for “everybody to experience full humanity” and including Deaf people of all walks, especially Deaf LGBT, Muslims and women in this particular situation.

Please stand in solidarity and in respect with ALL Deaf people because we ALL continue to be marginalized with people like Daugaard running our political offices, with audism and other -isms back on the rise, and have the courage to be an organization that is OF, FOR AND BY Deaf people.

Yours in Deafhood,

(signed)

George “Butch” Zein
Organizing Chair

  1. Well signed. I truly this would help NAD to reconsider about inviting the South Dakota governor as a guest speaker and replace him with someone who has a heart for humanity and human rights. I’ve already decided not to attend and plan not visiting Kentucky where my friend live. Someday later on I will 😀 Thank you Butch Zein and Ella Mae Lentz 🙂

  2. Ron Southwick says:

    I think it was good to have Mr. Daugaard speak. I satand with his point of view regarding mot to make NAD support LGBT. We do not need that devisive group to cause problems in and for NAD. It does not mean we are against gay or lesbian but the LGBT is very devisive and not a good group to represent us in NAD. We can respect all people but do not have to allow such bitterness to invade NAD. Let them be represented as individuals not as a group.

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