National Association of the Deaf

2014 Conference Priorities

Delegates representing state association affiliates, eligible nonprofit organization affiliates and other groups voted on top priorities for 2014-2016 during the 52nd Biennial NAD Conference in Atlanta, GA. Most are tied to the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan; the NAD Board of Directors is responsible for follow up action. Periodic reports on progress will be posted here. Click on the upper right link for 2012-2014 Resolutions.

The Official 2014-2016 Conference Top Priorities (5) are as follows:

  1. Priority Code: 2014-GA-PUB-021
    2012-2014 Priority: Preservation and Advocacy of Relay Services (PARS)
    The NAD must undertake the following steps for the purpose of preserving Relay services:
    1) Strenuously object to the FCC’s destruction of the IP Relay marketplace and the FCC’s ongoing attacks against VRS including producing a white paper by December 31, 2014 arguing that the Commission’s TRS orders last year all threaten to curtail innovation and that the FCC is ignoring the pursuit of functional equivalence. (Produce White Paper)
    2) Take every possible step to obstruct and prevent FCC’s attempts to enact the Neutral Platform, including taking legal action. The NAD should identify the Neutral Platform for what it really is--a Government takeover of the competitive marketplace and thus the NAD should, from now on, re-label the neutral platform as the “Government Controlled Platform (GCP).” In the meantime, the NAD should continue to support and push for the reference platform, which will go a long way to addressing the various interoperability issues that bedevil the VRS industry. (Stop GCP)
    3) Argue that the continuing cuts in Reimbursement Rates for IP Relay and VRS serves only to further undermine the ADA’s functional equivalence mandate by harming the industry’s ability to innovate by creating new technology and features and its ability to provide quality CA service. The NAD must demand that the FCC bring rates back up to ensure quality and technology including undertaking legal action if necessary (Restore Rates)
    4) Take every possible step including, but not limited to legal action to demand that the FCC approve:
    a) skills-based routing,
    b) the approval of hearing signers to receive videophone numbers
    c) and the expense of CDIs in VRS settings as an exogenous cost beyond the normal reimbursement rates. (Quality and Access)
    5) Demand that the Congress and the FCC celebrate VRS as the biggest accomplishment of ADA and by doing so, call for Congressional attention on the FCC’s attack on the civil rights of Deaf and hard of hearing Americans as outlined above. The NAD should do so by asking for Congressional hearings and mobilizing grassroots activism by having members contact Congress and the FCC on all of the above issues. (Congressional Action)
    Vision 2020: Objective 2.3
  2. Priority Code: 2014-GA-PUB-033
    2012-2014 Priority: FEMA Communication to Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    Mandate that FEMA develop policies to assure that all Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens know exactly everything that is being communicated during all emergency broadcasts and briefings. FEMA will assure that there is a certified live interpreter and closed captions that mirror what is spoken.
    Vision 2020: Objective 3.2
  3. Priority Code: 2014-GA-PUB-049
    2012-2014 Priority:  Preservation of Mental Health Services that Meet the Needs of Deaf People

    Increasing Educational Opportunities to become Mental Health Counselors and create a Position Statement on the Impact of Managed Care on the future of Mental Health Services to the Deaf. The Mental Health section under the Public Policy committee will be tasked with two goals:

    A) Develop a position statement on Managed Care in Mental Health, which recommends specific minimum guarantees and guidelines in what support (access-based) Managed Care Entities will give Deaf people in need of Mental Health or Behavioral Health services.

    B) To establish a dialogue with higher education institutions along with federal entities for the purpose of expanding existing educational programs for developing Mental Health counselors with the intent of increasing the number of Deaf individuals becoming mental health counselors. Also include a discussion on possible funding streams for such programs, both existing and new, including stipends.

    Vision 2020: Objectives 1.3, 2.3, and 3.2

  4. Priority Code: 2014-GA-PUB-050
    2012-2014 Priority: Defining and Supporting the Education Strategy Team’s Focus for 2014-2016

    We move that the Education Strategy Team (EST) develop a strategy for keeping Deaf schools from closing, and focus on outreach to mainstreamed programs with emphasis on socio-emotional needs and language access; employment and participation of Deaf people at all levels of education; collaboration with national organizations on diversity issues in education; updating the model Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights with ASL-English Bilingualism; collaborating with Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) to provide support to state efforts to promote kindergarten-ready legislation; supporting the development of parent advocacy groups under State Association; and establishing a clearinghouse for information on successful Deaf schools.  The EST will collaborate with other NAD Committees and external organizations as recommended and as appropriate. 

    Vision 2020: Objectives 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, and 3.4

  5. Priority Code: 2014-GA-PUB-051
    2012-2014 Priority: Outreach to Deaf Youth including Mainstream School Students

    We move that NAD focuses on providing direct outreach to mainstream school programs by providing educational advocacy training to professionals and students with a focus on socio-emotional needs and language access, and creating a state association model for a Deaf Youth Day that focuses on what state associations can do for deaf and hard of hearing youth.

    Vision 2020: Objectives 3.2 and 4.2


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