#NADHandwave: November 2013

rachel zemach

Her name was brought to the NAD’s attention this month and we are excited to award Rachel Zemach this month’s #NADHandwave! Rachel earned a Bachelors degree in International Studies and got her credentials in Deaf Education from San Francisco State University in 2003.

She later went on to work for the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) from 2003 until transferring to the California School for the Deaf (CSD) earlier this year. During her time with WCCUSD, she taught elementary school and currently works with CSD high school students in the Special Needs Department teaching English/Language Arts.

Rachel taught at Harding School in El Cerrito for ten years. The very reason she deserves a #NADHandwave is because she advocated for deaf students to have access to American Sign Language (ASL) in that school system. Rachel made sure the students had ASL in their curriculum, social lives, and families. She even helped the students discover CSD and supported the parents’ decisions to have them to transfer to CSD.

She was willing to outsource herself as a teacher so the Deaf kids can be in the optimized Language Rich Environment at CSD. She now teaches at CSD where she is celebrated and where she is celebrating the children.

Besides her lifetime dedication to Deaf Education, Rachel enjoys art — specifically, tiling and mosaics, and is the parent of two children.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) gives monthly #NADHandwaves to people in our community. This is a great opportunity for the NAD to recognize people who do the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to move. If you know someone who you’d like to nominate for a #NADHandwave, you can submit your suggestion on www.nad.org/contactus!

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 Americans. 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.

From the NAD, we appreciate your hard work and commitment to deaf students in the US. Rachel, congratulations on receiving this month’s #NADHandwave!