Ritchie R. Bryant
Melvin L. Patterson
Timothy B. Riker
New board members from left to right: Ritchie R.Bryant, Terri Waddell-Motter, Timothy B. Riker, Kristen M. Weiner and Melvin L. Patterson.
249 West Jackson Street #303
Hayward, CA 94533-1811
March 28, 2013
With much excitement, the Deafhood Foundation board is pleased to announce five new members. Joining the board are:
1. Ritchie R. Bryant, Professor, American Sign Language and Interpreting Training at Austin Community College, Austin, TX
2. Melvin L. Patterson, Sorenson TV Co-host, Video Editor, and Actor, Roseville, CA
3. Timothy B. Riker, Visiting Lecturer at Brown University, Adjunct Instructor at Bristol Community College and Certified Deaf Interpreter, Massachusetts
4. Terri Waddell-Motter, School Psychologist, Indiana School for the Deaf, Indianapolis, IN
5. Kristen M. Weiner, Founder and Owner, Deafhood Yoga, Walnut Creek, CA
They will join the current board at its April Board meeting in Sacramento, CA. Current board members are Butch Zein, Organizing Chair; Ella Mae Lentz, Recording Chair; Judy Gough, Finances Chair; Kevin Clark, Fundraising Chair; Kathy Say, Marketing Chair, Marilyn Jean Smith, Marvin Miller, and Mel Carter.
The Deafhood Foundation was created and incorporated in February 2009 by volunteers. It is a young foundation with the goal of providing annual grants to increase the understanding of Deafhood by both individuals and organizations.
In May 2012, the Foundation presented its first grant to Washington State Association of the Deaf for its Deaf Teen Leadership Camp. This year, the Foundation is set to give a grant of $5,000.00 to a deserving program or individual to be selected from the proposals submitted for the Board.
Along with providing grants, the Foundation also engages in consulting, outreach, and networking. The website www.deafhoodfoundation.org is available to anyone who wishes to know more about the foundation. Deafhood Discussions (www.deafhood.us) provides an ASL version of Dr. Paddy Ladd’s book “Understanding Deaf Culture: in search of Deafhood” and includes various other relevant videos and articles. It has been drawing audiences daily. As part of our outreach, the Foundation has produced a play called “The Deafhood Monologues” in California with more performances being set up in other places such as Washington D.C. this coming March 29 and April 5, 2013. For more information about the play, go to www.deafhoodmonologues.com.
Contact: Kathy Say: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the event web site at: tilden5k.eventbrite.com
A message from the Deafhood Foundation urgently encouraging people to write or call the U.S. Senators to support ratification of the UN CRPD (United Nations’ Convention on Rights for Persons with Disabilities) before the hearing this coming Thursday, July 26, 2012. It also exposes the untruths by Theresa Bulger who recently issued an alert to OptionSchools, AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and those practicing the Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) to oppose the CRPD. For the complete alert from Bulger, go to this link: http://deafhoodfoundation.org/vlog/2012/07/bulgers-letter-opposing-un-crpd/
To see a great sample letter and more information on examples of the CRPD that mentions Deaf people, signed languages, their cultures, go to www.audismfreeamerica.blogspot.com.
For another sample letter plus a list of the senators to write and/or call IMMEDIATELY on Wednesday, July 25, and that’s TOMORROW/TODAY, go to this NAD link: http://www.nad.org/news/2012/7/urgent-support-ratification-convention-rights-persons-disabilities-today
First, let us thank you for assuming this important job as delegates, making important decisions for NAD and the community. As you prepare for the NAD Conference, we request you to consider these. Dr. Paddy Ladd, the author of Understanding Deaf Culture: in search of Deafhood (2003) urges us all within 10 years to build a mountain big enough to ensure survival of Deaf culture and its products: arts, literature, history, ideologies based in the Deafhood framework. (link)
Have we built enough? Indeed, we have built a lot but it is not enough. The next few years will be crucial. NAD is now at the crossroads with two options on hand:
- Maintain the status quo, hanging on to the existing laws that view Deaf as people with a disability rather than as a cultural and linguistic minority, or
- Take a compassionate, bold and truthful approach to encourage and challenge Deaf people from all kinds of backgrounds to celebrate being Deaf and to stand up against audism and other oppressive -isms.
Next year, 2013, will be the 100 year anniversary of the precious & prophetic film, The Preservation of Sign Language, created by a NAD President, George Veditz. 100 years that film had journeyed through dark moments as result of the 1880 Milan ICED Conference and witnessed the amazing gains achieved since the early 1970′s such as
- recognition of American Sign langauge as a true language
- the explosion of general public’s interest in learning ASL
- job opportunities in teaching ASL and interpreter education programs
- the huge increase of Deaf people obtaining advanced degrees
- the videophone and video relay services industry as well as other options in telecommunications and electronic access.
However, it has become bizarre and uncanny to witness a repeat of assaults upon ASL-English bilingual education and Deaf leaders in several American Deaf schools, assaults in name of Auditory Verbal Therapy (or Listening & Speaking Language) that disregard the benefits of ASL and positive Deaf identity and promote inhumane, unjust, and audist thinking and practices upon Deaf babies, children and their families, and ultimately the whole Deaf community.
It’s also become a time of increased frustrations of many Deaf Americans in finding gainful employment among other struggles just because they are Deaf and use American Sign Language.
You, delegates, have the power to change things with quicker and bolder action — to create a new team to work with the NAD CEO to speed up the building of the mountain.
We urge you to consider each candidate (as well as each proposal) with courage, conviction, and vision. It will be critical this year. It may make or break NAD.
That said, the Deafhood Foundation has requested our delegate to vote for Sheri Ann Farinha to be NAD President. We believe she has the best qualities and experience to do this job. For the other members of board and the proposals, we ask you to vote for those that have the most potential for this urgent mountain building task. Please vote for board members with best potential to appreciate and utilize social media in order to quickly inform and mobilize the Deaf community and our allies. Vote for those that we can most trust to be watch dogs against this new Oralist onslaught as well as to push for legislation that is centered in culturally positive view of Deaf people and American Sign Language.
For Unity in Deafhood,
Board of Directors
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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.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,
George “Butch” Zein