Implementing Nothing About Us, Without Us

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) has planned a wonderful conference schedule for the 51st Biennial NAD Conference in Louisville, Kentucky on July 3-7, 2012 with special emphasis on protecting education for deaf and hard of hearing children and enhancing our political skills.

“This year’s theme, ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us,’ is so important in today’s political world. Many decisions are made about the future of the deaf community without our input. This must change. We must be involved in the political process and with decisions affecting the education and welfare of our deaf and hard of hearing children,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins.

Gov. Daugaard official photo

Politics and deaf education are the central focus of 2012 NAD Conference. A dedicated track of workshops from Wednesday, July 4 through Friday, July 6 is devoted to educating and training individuals to become effective educational advocates for their respective states and schools for the deaf. This training will enable all educational advocates to return home and train other deaf and hard of hearing people and allies to become educational advocates as well.

Colin Allen

C2012 WFD Colin Allen photo low res

More importantly, our keynote and plenary presenters will share critical information on the best way to carry out our organization’s mission and uphold the theme of this year’s Conference. On July 3 at 4 pm, World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) President Colin Allen will provide a keynote presentation covering the latest developments in deaf education throughout the world at the Opening Ceremonies. He will describe our community’s involvement in the political process on national and international levels and how we can collaborate with the WFD to promote quality education for all deaf children everywhere.

Dr. Ronald J. Stern, New Mexico School for the Deaf Superintendent and the President of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) will provide a plenary presentation on Wednesday July 4 at 3:45 pm. He will discuss the status of deaf education in the United States and outline the steps we must take to protect the future of deaf children through the Child First campaign, a joint partnership between the CEASD and NAD to amend federal laws in order to ensure a more appropriate education for each deaf and hard of hearing child.

Then on July 6 at 3:45 pm, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard will explain how our community can become more involved in the political process. Mr. Daugaard became the Governor in 2011, and was the Lieutenant Governor from 2003 to 2011. From 1997 to 2003, he was a South Dakota State Senator. Governor Daugaard is the son of deaf adults, and he worked as an interpreter many years ago. His experience in both the deaf community and the political process provides him with unique insights into how we can position ourselves to be part of the decision-making and the political system.

Ron Stern

Ron Stern

All three 51st Biennial NAD Conference presenters will provide us with critical information and strategies necessary to become a stronger part of the political system. Some question the choices for plenary presenters of the NAD for this conference, and we acknowledge the merits of these disagreements. There are always many reasons for us to avoid new approaches to changing and improving our political position. We believe our community should face the opposition and push for change.

“While there may be some disagreements, the deaf community can agree on what needs to be done for deaf education and for our rights throughout everyday life. We can only achieve true equality if we are united and become politically savvy in advancing our civil, human and linguistic rights,” said NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum.

Come to the NAD Conference in Louisville, Kentucky on July 3-7, 2012 and join us achieving our ideal of “Nothing About Us, Without Us!” For more information about the 2012 NAD

Conference, visit: http://www.nad.org/louisville