#NADHandwave: December 2015


As we watch 2015 come to a close, we are excited to recognize Darlene Ewan as this month’s #NADhandwave recipient!  A Washington, D.C. native, Darlene is an educator of the deaf and her passions include advocacy for deaf people and deaf youth.

Darlene obtained her Master’s in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College (now known as McDaniel College) after her undergraduate career at Gallaudet University. She worked at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center; the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia; the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick; the Marie Phillip School in Framingham; the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis; and currently lives on the island of O’ahu where she is a teacher at the Hawai’i School for the Deaf and Blind (HSDB) in Honolulu. This year, Darlene was a coach for the HSDB Academic Bowl Team!

Besides her career background, she is a fervent volunteer for the community.  Darlene is currently the vice-president of the Aloha State Association of the Deaf (ASAD) and served as the ASAD delegate to the 2014 NAD Conference in Atlanta. Her desire to advocate on local and state levels is to improve the quality of life for deaf people. She was part of the community effort to convince the State of Hawai’i to pass HB1272 – which requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations to have open-captioned movies during at least two showings per week! This law will take effect in the New Year, on January 1, 2016 – what a great time to be living in Hawai’i!

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, exercising, and spending time with Makoda, her dog. Thank you, Darlene, for your presence and persistent advocacy efforts!

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) gives monthly #NADhandwaves to people in our community. This is great opportunity for the NAD to recognize exemplary people for the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to progress. If you know someone who deserves a #NADHandwave, submit your suggestion online!


The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.