President Updates — April/May 2020

In this video, President Melissa gives a summary of the virtual Board meeting in April, Council of Representatives (COR) update, and the NAD’s position statements and advocacy letters addressing gaps during COVID-19 [view Howard’s AHA video from April 2020 explaining further]. 


MELISSA: Hi, I’m Melissa and I have three things to discuss with you today. First, we planned to host our quarterly Board meeting in Montana last April but unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic happened, we needed to prioritize everyone’s health and cancelled our visit. However, we still held our Board meeting virtually. We hope to visit Montana someday!

Video cuts to screen-recording of Board members waving hello during a Zoom meeting, Board members all appear in gallery view layout.

MELISSA: Our virtual meeting happened on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Each day, we scheduled our meeting in four hour blocks. We had a two hour block first then had a break for one hour before resuming the other two hour block the same day. Having a one hour break is crucial to avoid video conferencing fatigue. Second, we continue to plan for the Council of Representatives (COR) meeting. Last month, we announced that we are not going to Chicago and stopped planning for the conference. However, we continue to plan for the COR meeting as the Bylaws require us to host this COR meeting during even-numbered years. We’re required to host the forums, official meeting, bylaws amendments discussion, and the elections. The Board has been busy to consider all the important factors to make it possible for the NAD to host these four events during the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring everyone is safe and healthy. We have decided to host the COR meeting virtually. However, this requires careful planning and attention to even the smallest details. We want to consider that it is inclusive to everyone including groups like DeafBlind people and deaf seniors to ensure they can fully participate in the virtual COR sessions. We need to include input from people from those communities who have experienced virtual meetings. COR meetings have such a complex structure, including the forums, involving members being able to share input. Delegates must be able to share comments during the meeting. The NAD also needs to host a virtual election. We will share our planning updates and details soon. Third, we recognize the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many of us — to address critical gaps, the NAD has developed three position papers and advocacy letters so far, we will release more soon. We’ve released guidelines for communication access at hospitals, telehealth, and PreK-12 Remote Education. You can view our guidelines at Howard also explained in detail regarding the NAD’s efforts on these position statements in his “Ask Howard Anything” video last April. Thank you.]