Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NAD and AADB respond to Belgium's Euthanasia of Deaf-Blind Twins

For immediate release:

NAD and AADB respond to Belgium's Euthanasia of Deaf-Blind Twins

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the premier civil rights
organization for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States, and the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB), the national consumer organization dedicated to the rights of the deaf-blind community, join forces to express their grave concerns that a national government has failed to provide meaningful support in life for its citizens, particularly those who are deaf and becoming blind as well as taking on other disabilities.

These concerns relate to Belgium, where deaf twins Marc and Eddy Verbessem had sought voluntary euthanasia, persisted in seeking it after their initial request was denied, and ultimately secured this tragic result.

The NAD and AADB take offense with how the media has reported this story.

Facts have emerged that the twins sought death not because they both were deaf and becoming blind, but most likely because they experienced a number of other physical challenges and pain. Nevertheless, why these twins sought vigorously to die rather than to live as deaf-blind individuals with other physical problems cannot be fully known, but the press has purported that the twins believed it better to be dead than deaf-blind. The NAD and AADB dispute this characterization and strongly reject this public perception. We urge governments and society to consider three factors that impact the legitimacy of any acts of euthanasia:

1. There is a lack of awareness of the quality of life for deaf-blind
people. Governmental and medical support of the Verbessems' request for euthanasia reflects a view that life as a deaf-blind person with
disabilities has lesser value. This is deeply troubling and requires an
examination of biases within the medical profession and within government officials. Numerous studies show that people with disabilities report their own quality of life to be much higher than others perceive. For this reason alone, physicians should be wary of requests to assist any person's dying based on assumptions about disability or its onset. A great deal of public discussion is happening on this story without addressing or touching upon these biases against disability. The NAD and AADB urges for discussion about how society's views of disability influence the thought process of a person who acquires a disability.

2. People who are deaf-blind, including those with other disabilities, can
have rich and fulfilling lives. Often it is not the disabilities themselves
that interfere with the wellbeing and enjoyment of life, but the lack of
support for people with disabilities, including lack of awareness about what is needed and available resources. Whether the Verbessems were aware of the many options for people with multiple disabilities is not clear, but it is
critically important to increase awareness about the needs of people with disabilities. This information must be accessible in a variety of formats to ensure that all people, including deaf people who use sign language,
understand that their lives have value and that they can get support.

3. People who are deaf-blind, including those with other disabilities, need to get support and to know their options. While it is unknown if the twins' decision to be euthanized was free from overt coercion, subtle coercion
exists when a society devalues people with disabilities by not actively
removing barriers and discriminate against them in education, employment, and enjoyment of life. Governments and courts should resolve questions of support and access for deaf-blind people, or any other people with disabilities, before sanctioning any requests for euthanasia.

"All deaf-blind people are part of the great diversity of people in the
world and society has a responsibility to ensure deaf-blind individuals are valued and provided with the same level of support as any other group or individuals," said NAD President Chris Wagner. "With such appreciation,
individuals who become deaf, blind, deaf-blind, or disabled would not seek death but life."

"We are very saddened and concerned that the story of the deaf twins
becoming blind has been blown out of proportion by the media," said Jill
Gaus, AADB President. "Many deaf-blind individuals live productive and
fulfilling lives in the workplace, at home, in society, and in all parts of
life. The advancement of new technologies has made it easier for deaf-blind individuals to have access to all information and to interact with family, friends, co-workers and others."

Anyone who needs information about services for deaf-blind individuals can contact the AADB at www.aadb.org or by email to AADB-Info@aadb.org.
Individuals seeking information from the National Association of the Deaf can go to www.nad.org or send an email to nad.info@nad.org.

Appreciation goes to Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Ph.D, an expert on deaf bioethics who assisted in addressing the ethical issues wrought in this important international issue.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year From AADB!

Happy New Year from AADB!!!
We are passing this on to be sure you are aware of this new program....
New Federal Program Provides Communications Technology to
People with Vision and Hearing Loss
The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) provides a wide array of assistive technology to people with combined vision and hearing loss. This new program from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the result of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act – a law championed by Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor and Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey.
Any person who is considered deaf-blind as defined by the Helen Keller National Center Act can receive free communications equipment if their income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Find details at www.fcc.gov/NDBEDP.
The FCC has chosen Perkins and Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) to head up the national program effort and work with partners in every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To spread the word about the program, Perkins and HKNC have created a campaign called, iCanConnect.
“The mission of the Helen Keller National Center is to enable each person who is deaf-blind to live and work in his or her community of choice. This critical technology access program accelerates those efforts,” said HKNC Executive Director Joe McNulty
Perkins President Steven Rothstein believes accessibility is critical to civil rights and equality for people with disabilities. “NDBEDP and iCanConnect are not simply about individuals who have vision and hearing loss getting easier access to the telephone, computer or email. It’s about their right to be contributing, involved members of society. And without equal access to today’s communication technology, that’s simply not possible.”
NDBEDP provides a wide range of specialized and “off-the-shelf” hardware, software and applications. Products include braille displays, computer screen readers and even iPhones and iPads with built-in accessibility features. The program also provides one-on-one training to help people use the equipment to its fullest.
“Having this technology – this ability to participate and interact with others, and remember your value and place in the world – is so significant,” said Jerry Berrier, an access technology consultant who is blind. He is working with Perkins to help manage the NDBEDP database and train consumers.
“We estimate that there are 1.5 million people in the U.S. who are deaf-blind. We believe about a million or more are eligible for this program. We’ll be changing lives,” said Betsy McGinnity, director of Perkins Training and Educational Resources Program.
To learn more, go to www.iCanConnect.org or call 1-800-825-4595.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Update and Information on Preparedness

As you may be aware, Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac is expected to make landfall in several states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the western parts of Florida within the next 48 hours. .

The AADB Board of Directors put together some information that covers the latest on the hurricane and includes helpful information on where people can look for help and prepare for an emergency. Please pass this on to anyone who can use this information, especially other deaf-blind people.

This information can also be used by other people who may experience a disaster of any kind, not just people impacted by a hurricane. We hope this will be useful for all.
Please pass this on to other people who can benefit from this information.

Thanks for your help!
The AADB Board


Red Cross Responding To Isaac Across Several States
SOURCE American Red Cross
Shelters Opening Today in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is preparing for what could be a large disaster response spanning multiple states and is already starting to help the millions of people whose communities are under warnings from Tropical Storm Isaac.

Red Cross disaster workers are responding throughout the Gulf region, providing shelter and help in Florida and preparing to open evacuation shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

As of Monday, August 27, the Red Cross:
· Deployed more than 1,500 disaster workers across the Gulf Coast to help with Red Cross efforts.
· Sheltered hundreds of people Sunday night in Florida. More than 560 people spent Sunday night in Red Cross and community shelters after Isaac brought heavy rain, power outages and flooding. Overall, the Red Cross opened 22 shelters and supported 20 community shelters overnight.
· Put dozens of shelters on stand-by along the Gulf, where evacuations have already been ordered in some area. Shelters are likely to open in the area throughout the day.
· Sent mobile kitchens and truckloads of relief supplies to Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. More than 50 pre-positioned support trailers are ready with supplies.
· Activated more than 150 emergency response vehicles (ERVs) in those states and from around the country to help.
· Continued to help in Florida where flooding continues. Red Cross disaster workers will continue to help those affected by opening shelters, providing meals and distributing relief supplies like personal hygiene and clean-up items.

People who may be in the path of Isaac should stay informed about the storm and leave the area if authorities direct them to do so.

· If someone needs to find a shelter, they can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter , call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check their local television, radio and newspaper. The free Hurricane App features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. It can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
· The Red Cross Safe and Well website is a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
· People should restock their disaster supplies, and fill their vehicle's gas tank. They should also get ready to bring anything inside that can be picked up by the wind such as lawn furniture and bicycles. Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you don't have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.

Tropical Storm Isaac is predicted to trigger a large and prolonged disaster response with major flooding across several states. People can call, click or text to donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Watch Hurricane Isaac update from Miami-Dade County, Florida -- ASL interpreter provided


Note: text is also provided below-
Officials in Miami are urging residents and tourists not to take tropical Storm Isaac lightly. They say the time to prepare is now.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez: “As you know, the National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning update for Florida. South of Olmstead and a hurricane watch for the rest of Miami Dade County.
We therefore urge all residents and businesses to closely monitor the storm and complete their personal hurricane preparations.

Given its current track, tropical storm force winds from Isaac are expected to begin impacting South Florida as early as tomorrow morning.

I am therefore asking that you listen to the following recommendations:

Make sure you gather your hurricane supplies now if you have not already done so.
- You should have three days worth of supplies such as non-perishable food, water, for each person in the household.
- You should begin putting up your shutters now. Even tropical storms can cause significant damage. You shouldn’t wait until the last moment to protect your home.”

Links to refer to for information on how to prepare for emergencies and find assistance:

Find open shelters:

Register or Search the Safe and Well Listings

Find your Local Red Cross:


Emergency Preparedness List- By Elizabeth Spiers
Building an Emergency Kit: Checklist

General Emergency Kit Items:

· Water: amounts will vary. Individuals should decide what amount they should store comfortably inside the home and be able to transport to other locations. They should have enough water for three to seven days.
· Food: at least a three-to seven-day supply of non-perishable food
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· First aid kit
· Whistle to signal for help
· Dust mask, bandanna or cotton t-shirt to help filter air
· Moist towelette for sanitation
· Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
· Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
· Plastic sheeting and duct tape: to shelter in place
· Unique family needs: prescription medications, glasses or contact lenses, infant formula or diapers, pet food/supplies, and important family documents
· Plastic for important family documents (Another option is to scan them on a CD and take the disk with you. You can protect this CD with a password. Keep important family documents in a safe deposit box at your bank.)
· Garbage bags and plastic ties: for personal sanitation
· Extra pair of socks
· Extra cash and credit cards

Items Specifically for Deaf-Blind People:
· Hearing aid or cochlear implant batteries
· Extra hearing aids (if you have them)
· Sunglasses
· Extra pair of glasses and/or other optical aids
· Mobility cane (extra pair if you need/have one)
· Batteries and charger for pagers or cell phones
· Note pad and pen for communication (have dark felt tip pen and high contrast paper handy if you use them)
· Communication cards describing the best way to communicate with you
· Braille communication cards (if you use them)
· Business cards of SSPs, interpreters, service agencies
· Food, water and medicine for guide dogs or other service animals or pets

Source: General Emergency Kit Items: Modified with permission from Christine Seymour, CEPIN/TDI, “Are You Ready?” September 2005, Page 4.

Source: Items Specific for Deaf-Blind People, Mary Polly Easley, Telecommunications Access of North Carolina, North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Hurricane Safety Checklist
- from the American Red Cross
Hurricanes are strong storms that cause life- and property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes.

Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane.

What should I do?
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
- Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
- Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.

What supplies do I need?
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Flashlight
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAAWeather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage

What do I do after a hurricane?

- Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Let Your Family Know You’re Safe
If your community has experienced a hurricane, or any disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website available through RedCross.org/SafeandWell to let your family and friends know about your welfare. If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.

Monday, June 25, 2012

AADB June Members Questions

Questions from the membership:

Mark and all,

I am completely lost. I know the request to stop this discussion was made, but I'm looking at Debby's email with the draft. I then see an email from Mark stating as such that he had the final copy but his computer crashed in February.... Did this motion pass or not? I do not see a vote at the end of Debby's email. If this was the draft of a meeting minute not yet produced and there has been further meetings then the proposal in its entirety is invalid as per the RRO process and therefore is out of order. I request the meeting minutes of the aforestated motion with the final vote affixed to clarify whether or not this proposal is valid.


Heather Grizzle


There was some confusion about the motion made to approve AADB’s Main Goal Proposal. The motion was passed, not at a meeting, but in accordance with by EVP (Electronic Voting Policy) in Nov. 2011. The EVP process is detailed in AADB’s Policy and Procedure Manual. It allows us to conduct business between board meetings.

The motion and the proposal are below.

Motion: Mark Gasaway, (Mike Reese) moved that the AADB Board of Directors approve and accept the AADB Main Goal Proposal developed by the Five Year Strategic Plan Committee.

Proposal: Establishing A Main Goal For The American Association of the Deaf-Blind AADB Five Year Strategic Plan Committee


This purpose of this main goal is to help guide the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) with the development of a strategic plan for meeting AADB’s mission.

The main goal is:

To bring public awareness of the abilities of individuals who are deaf-blind to contribute to society in all aspects of life. In other words, focus on the deaf-blind individual’s abilities, not their disabilities.

AADB June Committee and Board Reports

Dear AADB Members,

There have been some good changes happening within AADB.

AADB’s Office Lease

We have been able to release part of the AADB office, so our chances of leasing out the other half is better. This has decreased our rent by half so this helps with our finances. We were previously paying $2979.68 each month towards the lease. Now, our new rent is $1499.58 and this lease will end on March 31, 2013.

AADB Elections

We have set up an Election committee and the board has approved Blaise Delahoussaye as chair and Janie Neal has been very active with this committee. Please look soon for the details on the election process and nominations!

From the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting:

NTFDBI has been meeting to work with all our new members to advance our mission of establishing a standard of effective practice to ensure the quality and availability of interpreters for deaf-blind people. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please send an e-mail to NTFDBI@gmail.com.

Committee Reports

The committee chairs have been in discussion on how we can better serve AADB and its membership. The majority of the committee chairs supported one suggestion: to provide committee reports on a quarterly basis. Most non-profit organizations report on their committee activities three to four times a year.

We feel strongly that the efforts and time of putting together and sending the reports to the members via email and/or postal mail on a monthly basis has become an inefficient use of AADB’s limited resources. We need to use our time and resources effectively to tend to the committee tasks and duties on hand, and more importantly on fundraising, membership growth, and advocacy and support within the Deaf-Blind community. Therefore, to more effectively utilize the resources we have, the next report will be sent out in September, 2012 and will be sent out quarterly from now on.

The majority of the committee chairs also agree that the reports should continue to be one of the privileges of an AADB membership. Therefore, beginning with the September, 2012 report, these reports will only be posted on the AADB ListServ and mailed to current members only. If people wish to receive the reports from AADB then they must become members of AADB and show their active support of AADB through membership.

In regards to the members’ questions, we will continue to have RenĂ© Pellerin compile any questions from the membership, from the AADB ListServ or contact can be made with any of the AADB Board Members to submit questions. Then we, the committee chairs, will answer these to the best of our ability and will report these back to the membership with the quarterly reports.

The AADB Board and Committee Chairs

FC (Finance Committee Report)

Since last month's report, we have completed the temporary budget for review by the board. The data entry and the 2011 final financial budget created from QuickBooks have been just completed. The Finance Committee will next be reviewing this information from QuickBooks prior to having the entire Board review and approve it. By the next report, we will be able to report exactly what funds are available overall as well as in each part, such as restricted funds, general funds, and so on.

Mike Reese
AADB Treasurer

Office Committee Report:

Lynn Jansen, Chair

Since the board has raised more money, the rest of the SSPs who requested refunds from the AADB Symposium were sent checks in the mail.

Now that the office lease is reduced in half until April 2013, we can focus more of our attention to working with Convio/BlackBaud and their Senior Account Manager to see if we can get rid of some of the database expenses.

For the last month, we have received and answered one fax, 35 phone calls and 102 email messages.

MMC-Multi-Media Committee Report

Chair: Kacie Weldy, IN
Sub committees

IT committee –
Activities and tasks performed:
1. Continuing the process of compiling of donor information from 2010 donations received via postal mail from March through October.
2. Reports ran for data entry and administrative functions, including but not limited to membership expiration dates, duplicate records management, and online transactions to be entered into QuickBooks.

3. Numerous IM meetings with various board members in relaying of information, reporting of findings, and validation of results compiled.

4. Updated AADB Home page with new information.

5. Continuing of organization of all AADB files obtained from the Office Computers into a retrievable format.

7. Revision of the short draft of the March IT report to reflect accurate information of Convio/Common Ground research. Continued work on revision within the Review Committee to complete the long draft of the March IT report.

8. Administration of the AADB-L list.

PR committee –
Chair: Kacie Weldy
1. Posting of AADB updates to Facebook, Twitter, and AADB blog.

2. Approval of requests to join Facebook
3. Compilation and updating of membership database of member preference requests.
5. Continuing work on updating state organizations, agencies, and deaf-blind ListServs listings on the AADB resources page.

Election Committee Report:

Submitted by Janie Neal

The Election Committee is submitting, to the board for approval, a request to form a subcommittee to assist the Election Committee with tasks such as printing, brailling, posting announcements and other tasks as needed.

Networking and Recruitment Committee report:

The committee members have been notified and the membership drive proposal will be sent this week, at which point we will begin working on recruitment.


The following committee reports were not submitted:

5YSP (5-Year Strategic Planning Committee), SSP, Policy, and Law

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Revised March 2012 IT Report

Hello all,

The AADB Board wants to express our sincere apologies to the Members, specifically to Randy and Jamie Pope and to Darran Zenger, for giving the impression of pointing blame towards them in regard to the March 2012 report. This was not our intention. We are providing an amended report to reflect more accurate and unbiased information. Please see the amended report below. It has been revised with the assistance of Mr. Pope and Mr. Zenger.

Both Randy Pope and the AADB Board want to acknowledge to the Members that we erred in how we handled both contracts because of a series of communication breakdowns that occurred between ourselves and the contract administrators. We did not follow through with the contract administrators. The Board did not become aware of the full scope of this information until February 2012 and after obtaining further clarification from Mr. Pope and Mr. Zenger through the IT Review Committee.

As a result, the contracts were renewed and AADB is financially committed through the year 2013. We are at this time seeking legal advice on how to handle these contracts.

Again, we want to extend our apologies to the Members, Mr. Zenger, and Mr. and Mrs. Pope.

The AADB Board of Directors

Revised March 2012 IT Report

NOTE: Convio and Common Ground are professional database and content management services.

I conducted research into the details and contractual agreements of Convio and Common Ground to see if AADB could reduce operating expenses.

I learned:

1. The original contract for Convio was signed in November 2007.

2. Cost for the three year contract totaled $53,960 with $2,400 due each quarter.

3. The contract has four levels of usage based upon:
- the number of secure web pages
- the number of email contacts within Convio
- the number of credit card transactions per month
- the number of emails sent out in a month
- the number of system users.

4. Common Ground had an annual contract of $2,400.
AADB reached Level 2 beginning March 2011 which additional fees of $200 per month where added. The increased usage was due to the 2011 Symposium.
A former board member, Darran Zenger, had contacted Convio in October 2011 regarding these fees. He resigned before the inquiry was answered. AADB continued overage fees until February 2012.

When I made contact with Convio and Common Ground, I learned that AADB was exceeding its allotted usage levels and immediately resolved this by deactivating pages to the 2011 Symposium.

In order to cancel the contract, 60 days notice was required prior to the end of the contract. If not, the contract would renew for another 3 years. In December 2010 no notification was given to Convio to cancel this contract due to the 2011 Symposium. AADB is currently contracted until December 2013.

The contract for Common Ground was signed in January 2009. The same cancellation term that applies to Convio also applies to Common Ground. The contract had renewed and will expire January 2013.

When expiration dates approach, AADB will submit notification to cancel these services. At the same time, AADB will continue to find lower, more cost-effective services to meet our needs.

The Review Committee is now working on the full IT report. Once it is ready, it will be available upon request.

Respectfully submitted by:
Kacie Weldy
AADB Board Member

Sunday, May 20, 2012

AADB May Board/Committee Report

Members and friends of AADB:

I wanted to let all of you know that Scott Davert has resigned from the AADB Board of Directors due to his job and personal life. Let’s all wish Scott the best in his future endeavors. Thank you, Scott, for all of your hard work!
I also wanted to thank Elizabeth Spiers for all of her hard work compiling monthly reports and getting them out these past two months.
A new committee has been set up called the AADB Review Committee. This committee is reviewing the IT Committee report sent to members in March to revise the report and add more accurate and complete information. This committee consists of Jill Gaus, Randy Pope, Elizabeth Spiers, Kacie Weldy, Mark Gasaway and Darran Zenger.

The membership form that Randy Pope and I had worked on a few years ago has been given to the Networking and Recruitment committee. This committee will start working on this.

The accountant who has been working on QuickBooks is almost finished; minor changes need to be done. Once this is complete a 2012 budget will be reviewed and voted on again to override the temporary budget that was voted on and passed a few months ago. Also, once the CPA is working on the Form 990 and as soon as this is finished and reviewed, we will inform you this is available and be posted on the website.

An Election Committee is being set up at this time. I have asked two Active (Deaf-Blind) members if they are willing to become Co-Chairs. As soon as this committee is set up, we will announce the chairs and a call for nominations will be made.

Forever yours,
Jill Gaus, President

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee Report
Mike Reese, Chair; AADB Treasurer
Since last month's report, we have completed the temporary budget for review by the board. The data entry and the 2011 final financial budget created from QuickBooks have just been completed. The Finance Committee will next be reviewing this information from QuickBooks prior to having the entire Board review and approve it. By the next report, we will be able to report exactly what funds are available overall as well as in each part, such as restricted funds, general funds, and others.

Fundraising Committee Report
Jill Gaus with CM Hall Co-Chair
We are still looking for another Co-chair for the Fundraising committee, if you are interested please contact Jill Gaus.
I, Jill will be in touch with CM Hall in the next couple of weeks to discuss other fundraising ideas. I have been contacted by another website called HealthLine; they would like to interview me in regards to see what they can do to help AADB. I will be doing more research on this and will take this before the board for approval.

5YSPC-Five Year Strategic Planning Committee:
Mark Gasaway, Co-Chair
Karyn Campbell, Co-Chair
The survey subcommittee of the 5-Year Strategic Planning Committee put out a survey on what AADB's priorities should be. Rene Pellerin and Sar McMillan co-chaired this subcommittee. Corrina Veesart, Heather Grizzle and Carlie Grippi were members of this subcommittee and we thank them for their service.

The Survey Committee will be collecting responses and share them with the chairs of the Strategy Planning Committee.

If anyone has any questions, please contact:
Karyn Campbell - karynaadb@wowway.com
Mark Gasaway - mark.gasaway@comcast.net

Networking and Recruitment Report
 Mark Gasaway, Chair
I have received a membership and recruitment proposal done some years ago by two individuals with connections to AADB. I am first reviewing the proposal on my own and then will send it to committee members for their review before starting to relate goals and such in the proposal to the best way to recruit new members.

We will then put any developments into a new report.

Office Committee Report:
Lynn Jansen, Chair
The accountant has finished entering all the necessary information into QuickBooks and we are now reviewing the financial statement for the year 2011. Because the financial report is not ready yet, the CPA filled out a form 8868 to IRS for a three months extension to send in the required Form 990 that was due on May 15, 2012.
We are still in contact with a pro bono lawyer to seek legal advice on how to handle the lease and other contracts that AADB no longer needs. For the last part of April and the first week of May, we have received and answered 4 VP calls, 17 phone calls and 78 email messages.

Reports not submitted:

No membership questions were submitted.

Update from the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting
The National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) has had some recent changes in membership. One of the co-chairs, Susie Morgan Morrow, who has been the RID representative to the Task Force since its inception in 2005 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Task Force, has stepped down. We wish to thank her for her six years of service and the significant contributions she has made to the accomplishments of the Task Force. CM Hall, who has been one of the representatives to the NTFDBI from the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC), along with Richard Laurion, will add another hat and be our new RID representative and co-chair. She brings experience in both interpreting and teaching interpreting with deaf-blind people and is also the secretary of the RID Deaf-Blind Member Section. She will serve along with Rhonda Jacobs, who remains as the AADB representative and co-chair.
We are please to announce six new members of the Task Force:
- Bryen Yunashko, Illinois
- Patrick Galasso, Vermont
- Joan Pellerin, Vermont
- Keri Ogrizovich, Vermont, RID CDI representative
- Steven Collins, Maryland, RID CDI representative
- Jan Humphrey, Florida, CIT representative
We also have a new RID staff liaison:
- Matthew O’Hara, Virginia
They will be serving along with continuing members:
- Ashley Benton, North Carolina
- Jill Gaus, Michigan, AADB Board liaison
- Jeanette Ocampo Welch, Massachusetts
- Janice Cagan-Teuber, Massachusetts, RID Board liaison
- Pearl Veesart, California, NFADB representative
- Richard Laurion, Minnesota, NCIEC representative
- CM Hall, Oregon, Co-chair, RID representative; NCIEC representative
- Rhonda Jacobs, Co-chair, AADB representative
We are very much looking forward to working with all our new members to advance our mission of establishing a standard of effective practice to ensure the quality and availability of interpreters for deaf-blind people. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please send an e-mail to NTFDBI@gmail.com.

Jill Gaus President
American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB)
Email: jagaus@sbcglobal.net or AADB-Info@aadb.org
Web: www.aadb.org 

If you would like to support AADB, please go to www.aadb.org and send a donation of any amount there. Your support is much appreciated as it will improve quality of life for all deaf-blind Americans.