NAD Strengthens Governance System

Silver Spring, MD – The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) announces steps to strengthen the governance and finance controls for the organization for a stronger and more effective advocacy organization. The board will be adopting a stronger governance system leading up to and at the upcoming 57th Biennial NAD Conference in Chicago July 1-6, 2024.

“We are taking these steps to make the NAD a stronger organization,” said President Jenny Buechner. “Those steps will improve our internal and external processes while increasing transparency for members and other stakeholders.”

President Buechner and the Board commissioned the services of a Deaf team of outside independent expert consultants to examine the NAD’s internal practices and processes. Their goal was to help the NAD to better serve its mission to “preserve, protect and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened people in the United States of America”.

The team of expert consultants identified potential areas of improvement in policies, procedures, and guidelines; they also made specific recommendations. Those recommendations will be shared at a series of upcoming town hall meetings next month, initially with the State Associations and Affiliates and then with the general public which will also be available via livestream. The NAD Board will also be proposing specific governance changes for approval by the Delegates at the 2024 Biennial NAD Conference in Chicago this summer. 

One specific area of focus is to strengthen the organizational systems of accountability so that members and supporters can be confident in the NAD’s work. Those include initiatives to bolster the transparency of the governing process while working to ensure that future partnerships and sponsorships are aligned with the NAD’s mission, as well as providing clear guidance for Board members, staff, and contractors.  Financial controls and reporting processes will also be made more robust. 

The organization is also in the process of reviewing its relationship with the National Football League (NFL). The NAD is in the process of establishing an independent committee of experts to support this relationship. Among the mandates for this committee will include the development of the talent selection process, with the goal of making the NAD more equitable and transparent.

Recommendations by the outside consultants will also require improvements to the internal operations, policies, and procedures of the NAD. There will also be training for current and future NAD Board Members who are responsible for the oversight of the NAD. Some of these initiatives will be on the agenda at the NAD Conference in Chicago. 

Delegates at the conference in Chicago will establish the priorities for the NAD to work on for the next two years. There will be an election to fill specific positions on the Board. Community leaders from across the nation will be there, working together to collectively build these priorities, elect the next group for board leadership, and identify leading mandates for the next two years. 

More information about the conference can be found at

About the NAD

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened people in the United States. The NAD represents the estimated 48 million Americans of these communities, and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.