AADB Today December 2011 Issue-


American Association of the Deaf-Blind
 We apologize for the extensive lengthiness of this newsletter, however to keep you all informed of what AADB is doing for the Deaf-Blind community, we feel it necessary to include all of this information.   Going forward, we will be sending out the newsletters on a monthly basis to keep the membership informed in a more timely manner!

Sincerely,

AADB Board and Committees


 


 

AADB is going GREEN! 

In an effort to be more eco friendly and to also help AADB in saving funds through paper, ink, and postage costs, we are asking that all members who have an email address to please be open to receiving correspondence from AADB electronically.

If you currently receive information from AADB via postal mail and want to help AADB save funds by receiving your information electronically, please contact Secretary Debby Lieberman at debbyaadb@mindspring.com.  

Thank you for supporting AADB and our environment!

 

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Meet the new Officers and Board members!

Recently, many changes have occurred within the Board of Directors and Officers. Please take the opportunity to learn about our new and current members in the link below:

Meet the Board of AADB!

Officers:

Jill Gaus- President

Lynn Jansen- Vice President

Debby Lieberman- Secretary

Mike Reese- Treasurer 

 

Board members at large:

Anindya (Bapin) Bhattacharyya

Karyn Campbell

Scott Davert

Mark Gasaway

Elizabeth Spiers

Kacie Weldy

Christopher Woodfill


Interested in what is going on within AADB and its programs?

Here are several online places you can check out to find out what is currently going on:

AADB-L:   AADB sponsors a listserv available to its members where people can discuss important issues in the deaf-blind community and offer feedback on AADB's programs and services. To subscribe to AADB-L, people can send a blank email to AADB-L+Subscribe@googlegroups.com 

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/39382590024  Join others on Facebook to discuss and share things about being Deaf-Blind!

 

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/AADB_Deafblind  Follow AADB on twitter and keep up with the latest news from AADB via Twitter!

 

Blogger:  http:// http://aadb-deafblind.blogspot.com/?zx=aae8b9f1fc0c3cd   AADB now has its own Blog!   Follow us on blogger! It's just one of the many ways in which we provide information to our membership.

 

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AADB Member wins prize, and…  Here is Your Opportunity to win a $100 pre-paid Visa Gift card!

Awhile back, AADB Board member Darran Zenger challenged AADB members to come up with $1000 in fund raising for a small prize.  Mr. Pellerin raised $1085 for AADB! 

Congratulations to René, who received a $25 Visa gift card for achieving this goal!

And now fellow Members....There is another prize, a Grand Prize of a $100 Visa Gift Card for the person who brings in the most amount of money for this Challenge! René proved he can bring in over $1000. What about you? 

The challenge will run until December 31st! At the end, whoever brings in the most money for AADB, will receive the $100 Visa Gift Card!

 

René shares how he did it:  “How I raised $1000 for AADB.”

Greetings AADB members,

I would like to take a few minutes to show you how I raised $1,000 in 7 weeks.

Remember Darran challenged each of us to raise $1,000.

On Facebook, I saw Darran’s post, asking his FB friends to donate.

I copy and pasted his donation plea into my email, I edited to my liking.

In email I use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy), and sent a request for donations.

 

The first three weeks I received $460.

A second email same message but added update how much I raised and thanks the folks who already donated.  (I removed the names who already donated).

I received additional donations and went up to $960.

The last person, a good friend of mine, came up to VT for vacation; he said oh I forgot to donate to AADB for me!

That last $100 deposited via website and total $1,060!

Some surprises in the donation amount from friends and families.

 

Below is the message I sent for you to copy if you like and let finish the CHALLENGE!

**************************************************************

Greetings Friends,

I made a pledge and to challenge one of members a goal to raise $1,000 for the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB), an organization I am a member of. This is the only non-profit, consumer based organization for those who are Deaf-Blind.

Specifically, I am raising funds to cover for Support Services Providers (SSPs) for our conference. They are our eyes and ears for an entire week that enable us Deaf-Blind to fully participate. Many put long hours during our conferences tirelessly.

Please help me reach my goal. Just $10 or more in donation will go a long way. It is tax deductible as AADB is a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

Contact me for further information or visit www.aadb.org  If you willing, please write a check, payable to AADB and mail it to me.  I will put all checks together and send it to AADB.  If you prefer to donate on line, that would be good too, just let me know of your donation so I can keep track my goal. The online donation does not currently permit you to list who you are donating in behalf of.

Thank you for your support!

Your name

 Address

  

Other news:
For next year, several members of the board are working on another Challenge with prizes for the individual who raises the most money for AADB in 2012. This Challenge would be separate from any of the other organized Fundraising Events.

Stay Tuned and Thank You all for your support!

 

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AADB's 2011 Symposium: A big success!

 

The American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) proudly held its first Walk-A-Thon and had over 600 total people in attendance at AADB 2011 National Symposium held in Fort Mitchell, KY.

Highlights of the AADB Symposium June 19-24, 2011 included:

Pre-Symposium SSP Training Workshops

Get Acquainted Party for the First Time Attendees

Sunday evening Opening Session with Keynote Speaker

Morning Workshops

Afternoon Business Meetings

Full day of exhibit hall

Technology Demonstration Room

Awards Lunch and Ceremony

Talent Show

Walk-A-Thon

Thursday evening Banquet and Dance

In addition to the above, for the teenagers and young adults there was special on-site programming tailored to their needs and interests.

Read more about the Teen and Young Adult Programs here:

Teen/Young Adult Program 

Educational workshop and "demo room" topics included:

Advocacy and Government Affairs

Technology

Leadership Training

Recreational and Leisure

Employment

A Tour sponsored by Deaf-Blind Explorers: a Trip to Kings Island, the most visited seasonal amusement park in the US, was scheduled for Friday, June 24.

The 2011 Symposium Exhibit Hall also offered participants the opportunity to check out the latest in cutting-edge technology and services for those who have a combined vision and hearing loss.

View the list of Exhibits & Vendors that were present here:

Exhibits & Vendors

 

View the Symposium Schedule and Workshops held:

2011 AADB Symposium Schedule 

 

A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU is extended from AADB to all of our sponsors of the 2011 AADB Symposium.   It could not have happened without their support and generous donations of services and funding.

Gold Sponsor

Dr. Barry Berlin   In memory of Louis & Jennie Berlin

  

Silver Sponsors

Sorenson VRS

Verizon

 

Bronze Sponsors

Gallaudet University

HumanWare

Jill Sprinkle

Rochester Institute of Technology

T-Mobile

Zia Access

Also, a most gracious and sincere THANK YOU to all of the tireless, amazing, and dedicated Support Service Providers, Team Leaders, and Interpreters, who worked very long and intense hours during the week of the 2011 AADB Symposium.

This week could not have happened without their tireless work and the sacrifices that were made to be the eyes and ears for the Deaf-Blind during this week!  THANK YOU again for all that you do and have done for AADB!  You are all too numerous to list out, but know that you are sincerely appreciated for the work you have done!


 Membership Questions and Answers from the Board & Committee Chairs

 On the AADB-L, the list open to AADB members only, the membership is able to ask specific questions to the Board and Committee Chairs.  There is a deadline each month in which these questions are to be submitted and then on the 10th of the following month, a report will be posted back to the AADB-L and other media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and the AADB blog to post these questions and answers for all to see.

October Questions and Answer

No questions were submitted

 

November Questions and Answers

To Jill (President)
Some no reports?  (Some committees have not given reports last month.)

Yes you are correct and there were 3 that did not give reports last month. When I send a reminder to the chairs/co-chairs that their reports are due on the 1st of the month and to get to me by the 5th, I compile them and send to the board for final approval. If a report is not sent, then it is not submitted.

Please read below for the answers of the 3 committees:
When you read the Law and Policy committee reports you will see why reports were not turned in last month.

(Mike R.) Money
Is there a budget? Read below in the FC report

How much balance with the AADB checking & saving?
As of 8 November, we have a total of $39,731.81 in checking and $76.87 in savings.

No report from the Finance committee?
A report was not sent out for October because just a few days prior to it being due, I was called away to attend to a private family matter, which took several days past the deadline.

How much rent for office? Per month, it is currently $2,979.68.

(To Mark) -- Memberships - Who (is) overseeing this? Are we keeping the membership up to date?

Mark: The Networking and Recruitment committee is not responsible for keeping track of membership or of keeping the memberships up to date. I believe this responsibility is for the Multimedia Committee or another committee.

(To Debby)
As for the memberships, Debby Lieberman is tracking the memberships she's received since June and will be sending Kacie Weldy the information to enter into our membership database very soon.

(To Mark)
How much is the member (ship) due?
Mark: Membership types and dues are listed below:

Membership Type: (Check One)
ACTIVE (deaf-blind & permanent USA resident)
___ 1 year - $15.00
___ 2 years - $25.00
___ 3 years - $30.00

ASSOCIATE (non-deaf-blind supporter & USA resident)
___ 1 year - $15.00
___ 2 years - $25.00
___ 3 years - $30.00

INTERNATIONAL
___ 1 year - $30.00
___ 2 years - $50.00
___ 3 years - $60.00

ORGANIZATION (Non-Profit)
___ 1 year - $75.00
___ 2 years - $125.00
___ 3 years - $150.00

ORGANIZATION (For-Profit)
___ 1 year - $125.00
___ 2 years - $200.00
___ 3 years - $300.00


René to FRC:
Fund Raising - Is there a goal set to how much we will raise?

This was sent to the FRC chair with no response.  

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AADB Committees are hard at work

Find out more here!


September Committees Report

Here is the monthly report that was promised by Sept 10th. This is exciting because everyone is hard at work to improve AADB. If you have any questions, please remember to contact Janie Neal at smokyladytn@yahoo.com she will compile the questions and get them to us. Or you can contact the committee chairs directly.

 AADB Board of Directors

 **********************************************

5-Year Strategic Planning Committee Report:

Submitted by Mark Gasaway (mark.gasaway@comcast.net) and Karyn Campbell (karynaadb@wowway.com)

We have been having great and eventful discussions on many topics related to this planning. The work is going well and we will plan to work on goals for accomplishing what we would like to accomplish as time approaches. At this point, we are seeking to change the confidentiality forms so that we will be able to get the general membership more involved at the Committee Level of working in and with AADB.

The 5YSPC Mission:

To devise and implement a strategic plan that will improve AADB's standing in the public sector.

The 5YSPC Action Plan:

To work on a one-year plan that can be revised as things go and get better for AADB. We are thinking to make this a one-year or two-year plan and not go for the five-year planning as yet because AADB is on fragile ground. There are two types of planning, goals-based and issues-based, with issues-based being what we decided to go with first as AADB has many issues right now. We decided to take this route after reading information from www.npmanagement.org, which discusses the two types of planning. Issues-based typically is done for a shorter time line than is goals-based. Maybe we can look at goals-based planning in a year when there are not so many issues as we have now. 

Here is a list of issues collected by the committee with agreement on them for the most part.

1. Finances.

A. Timelines of financial information.

B. Amount of money AADB has.

2. Communication.

A. With membership.

B. With donors

3. Trust between members and board and vice versa.

A. Information to members - opening up communications.

B. Involvement of members in committees.

4. Leadership.

A. Need to train new leaders.

5. Board issues.

A. Lines of authority.

B. Fiscal policy.

C. Orientation for new board members.

6. Conduct of meetings.

A. General Business meetings at symposium.

B. Board meetings.

 

Advocacy Committee:

Submitted by Karyn Campbell (karynaadb@wowway.com) and Scott Davert (aadbscott@gmail.com)

This committee is still forming as two invites still need to go out. We will discuss a mission statement and action plan this month.   Anyone who has ideas for issues which need to be tackled separate from the FCC, please contact Karyn Campbell, chairperson at karynaadb@wowway.com with “Advocacy Committee” in the subject line. We will definitely follow up on the NLS issue. Also let us know if there are any issues you are having with VRS in terms of appropriate dress or service. We can take it as an action item to follow up on any issues that are brought to us.

 

Fundraising Committee, FRC:

Chairs: Bapin Anindya Bhattacharyya (bapintechguru@gmail.com) and Darran Zenger (darranzenger@gmail.com)

With FRC reports submitted, nonprofit organizations are recognized for their accomplishments most desired by members and donors. These accomplishments are yet to be seen and time will demonstrate the success of the FRC’s current and future activities. It is essential for the FRC to cultivate new partnerships with other communities and recognize important donors.

The FRC has decided to focus on four topics of fundraising for the short and medium terms. Those are FCC, SSP, Information Clearinghouse, and Technology.

The following fundraising strategies were discussed and considered:

1. FRC needs to know what type of database with all names of donors AADB currently has. A letter will be drafted and sent along with AADB’s newsletter to each donor close to the time of holidays.

2. FRC is researching on a system for donors to send money to AADB by texting.  We are looking to set up a program that if a donor is impressed enough about the existence of AADB, he or she can text to a number where 10 dollars will be charged their phone bill. The collecting company will send a check consisting of all monies donated thus far to AADB on a monthly basis.

3. A poster will be developed and the FRC will ask anyone willing to help with putting up a copy of the poster in his/her community in hopes of attracting potential donors.

These are the first three fundraising projects to push forward in hopes of raising funds to keep AADB operating. The FRC needs to make sure to connect all potential donors to AADB’s mission and its purpose for serving consumers who are deaf-blind. The projected timeframe for raising sufficient funds for AADB’s short-term survival is 3 to 6 months. Results from each fundraising project will be presented in future FRC reports.

In addition, Darran Zenger is currently working with his city for a biker ride fundraiser during the city’s Pony Express Days to be held in the spring of 2012.

Another fundraiser going on is Darran’s $1,000 Challenge for SSPs. This is still going thru October 31st. He welcomes everyone to join in the $1,000 Challenge to get money for our SSPs for the symposium and future conferences.

 

Law Committee:

Submitted by Maricar Marquez (maricar_marquez@hotmail.com)

Under the new administration of President Jill Gaus and Vice President Lynn Jansen, I have been appointed to chair the AADB Law Committee. The Law Committee consists of two board members: Mark Gasaway and Chris Woodfill. The committee is believed to be well-balanced with various backgrounds of knowledge and expertise.

The committee has briefly discussed the AADB bylaws and incidents at the AADB business meetings in June 2011. Our current goal is to review the current bylaws and changes that were proposed prior to the symposium. In addition, we will review what had been made by active members at the business meetings. If necessary, the Law Committee may make amendments to the current bylaws prior to the next symposium.

I have been in communication with Secretary Debby Lieberman about the suggestions and other items that were passed at the business meetings. At this point, Ms. Lieberman is still working on gathering what is needed for the Law Committee.

The discussion at the recent business meetings at the AADB symposium was the highlight of the proposed bylaws changes. Apparently there were few suggestions to the proposed changes but nothing has been passed. In order for the Law Committee to better understand the outcomes of the business meetings, I am requesting a copy of summary of valid suggestions, motions, or any other items, at all possible, as soon as they become readily available.

 

Multi-Media Committee

Submitted by: Co-Chairs: Scott Davert (aadbscott@gmail.com) and Kacie Weldy (kcweldyaadb@yahoo.com)

Mission: To provide IT support with the membership database and the AADB.org website. Also, to provide continuous updates, notifications, information, and resources to the members of AADB and all others who have an interest in being involved in the actions and various roles of AADB. These will be provided, but not limited to the following means of public relations, communications, and various media platforms such as: Email, Facebook, Twitter, AADB Blog, AADB.org website, Newsletters, AADB Today, mailings, and any other means deemed necessary.

Subcommittees:

IT committee - This committee provides direct support for the website maintenance and interfacing with the membership database. Also provides support to the board and Executive committee with the decision making processes regarding commitments and system interfaces for credit card transactions and online payments. This committee will also make the use of volunteer outside consulting in regards to technological aspects of setting these processes up for optimal use of AADB resources.

Activities and tasks performed:

1. Requested and acquired majority of Board member bios and started set up of new web page for updated board info.

2. Started set up of updated AADB.org home page.

3. Started set up of Committees web page.

4. Requested information from 2011 Symposium leadership for information to create a highlights web page of the symposium - with various facts and information.

5. Obtained passwords for Convio, Common Grounds, Fusemail, Website Host Server, and performed resets as needed.

6. Began research of various options for on-line payments, membership database management, and email functions.

7. Enlisted the help of a volunteer consultant of web designing to assist with researching options and set up.

Short term goals:

1. Work with the Board and Executive committee to determine and establish a more cost effective means for maintaining the membership database, and credit card & on-line payments.

2. Updating the AADB.org and Convio website information with current data.

Long term goals: Timely updates to the AADB website and membership databases and possibly changes to the website for more accessible formats.

 

PR committee - This committee is responsible for all mailings going out to the general membership, including but not limited to the AADB Today, board election forms, conference general information, proposed changes to policies and procedures, and all other information. The members of this committee will be responsible for compilation and creation of documents to be sent out in all means necessary to be accessible in print or electronic formats. They will then be responsible for setting up the printing, and distribution of these documents either electronically, in Braille, or in print. The focus of this committee is to be able to distribute the information in all possible accessible formats.

Activities:

1. Set up AADB Blog on Blogger.com

2. Posting of AADB updates to Facebook, Twitter, and AADB blog.

3. Working with ITC to establish connection with membership database and prepare for a mailing in the near future.

4. Emails sent in attempt of recruitment of members.

5. Receipt of several offers of help to create Braille documents/print large print documents/stuff envelopes.

Short term goals:

1. Facilitate and establish an open line of communications between the Board and Executive committee and the general membership - both on-line members and those not on-line.

a. Set up a team of people to create an informative mailing to be distributed to the membership informing of the changes and happenings of AADB since the Symposium, the proposed bylaw changes, and the financial state of AADB.

 b. Distribute this mailing no later than November 1st.

 

Long term goals: To provide accessible, timely, and routine distribution of information to the general membership.

1. Set up a team of people to create and/or compile articles to go out in the next and future AADB Today.

2. Provide to the general membership timely and informative mailings of board elections and proceedings, FCC updates and technological updates affecting the Deaf-Blind.

 

Network and Recruitment Committee:

Submitted by Mark Gasaway (mark.gasaway@comcast.net)

Networking and Recruiting. What does that mean? It means the committee will be geared toward:

1) Networking with other individuals or organizations to promote AADB and help with collaboration.

2) Recruiting individuals to become members such as a membership drive and talk about how organizations can become members as well.

The Mission of the NRC:

To promote AADB in terms of networking and recruiting as an organization that can be referred upon to help people with both a hearing and vision loss.

I would like at least two more members from the West or Northwest area. So if you know anyone, please let me know. Makes it easier for us to spread out over the country.

The Action Plan:

We will need to update the membership forms and AADB brochures to make sure we all have the necessary tools and resources to help this committee achieve the goals set forth here.

Some of the goals:

1) Each member try to recruit at least 5 new members to join AADB AND one organizational member in 2 - 3 weeks, perhaps mid-October.

2) Try to attend a meeting where you can network with individuals and organizations, telling them about AADB. It can help if you also mention how AADB has helped you or what AADB has done for you.

I believe these two goals are enough to begin with on the first full month of the committee. But if other members want to share some goals, please let us know.

Thanks all, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to bring them up!

 

Office Committee:

Submitted by Lynn Jansen (lynnaadb@aol.com)

The Office Committee has been keeping track of all the Account Receivables and Account Payables, organizing info for QuickBooks, and is still looking into subleasing the current office located in Silver Spring. The goal is to complete the 1st and 2nd Quarter Reports by the end of September.

Also, we are working with the Landlord to try to lease or sublease the office.

 

Finance Committee:

Submitted by: Mike Reese (mikeraadb@gmail.com)

Since July, this is what has been happening within the committee:

The committee, (myself as chair, Jill, Lynn, Dorothy, and Jeff Bohrman), are in discussion on the responsibilities of the FC and developing the mission statement from those.

Some names have been submitted in regards to volunteers to be added to the committee, and are being checked out prior to being invited to be on the committee. Other names will be forthcoming. This will be completed by next month's report.

I have been involved in answering several member and board questions regarding how much $$ there is in our accounts.

 

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October Committees Report 


5-YEAR STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE
Co-chairs: Mark Gasaway and Karyn Campbell


The committee has added some new members in the last month. One of these members has brought forth a proposal that is being worked on by three members of the committee. This will then be brought to the whole committee for further comment. This deals with a main goal for AADB and has potential to deal with some of the issues facing AADB. It does not replace dealing with the issues discussed previously by the committee.

 
The issues that were raised within the committee have also been further discussed with resolution on one part of one of these issues. Confidentiality form is no longer required for committee members. It will still be required for board members, volunteers and staff. The reason it is required for volunteers is that they may be handling confidential information such as membership information or website material. Revision of this form has been referred to the Law Committee.


A time line has been proposed for the issues and action plans for these issues. Fundraising seems to come up quite a bit in discussions. The organization needs money in order to carry out its mission.


And speaking of the AADB mission, there are also discussions within the committee of changing the mission statement to fit in with the main goal when the above mentioned proposal are presented to the full committee. We are not yet sure how much the mission statement may change, if at all, but the changes, if any, will be done by the Law Committee, and voted on by the membership as well.

 

FRC (FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE) Report
Submitted by Co-Chair Darran Zenger

 
Since Bapin is out of the country and will not be back in time to contribute to for this report I am going to go ahead and write up a report and would like to seek input from everyone here to ensure we cover everything. I'm mostly going to bullet items of what has been going on this past month:

Delta Gamma national fraternity (sorority) has a philanthropic giving program that focuses upon blindness. We will investigate further on their efforts and see if they would broaden to include deaf-blind.


We have provided feedback for Development on the Direct Mail letter. The letter should be mailed out no later than the end of October, or first week of November.

Darran has awarded a $25 Visa Gift Card to René Pellerin who was the first to bring in $1,000 for the Challenge. The Board has extended that Challenge until December 31st, and the Member that brings in the most money will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card.

 
Multi-Media Committee Report
Co-Chair: Scott Davert, NY
Co-Chair: Kacie Weldy, IN

Mission: To provide IT support with the membership database and the AADB.org <http://aadb.org/> website. Also, to provide continuous updates, notifications, information, and resources to the members of AADB and all others who have an interest in being involved in the actions and various roles of AADB. These will be provided, but not limited to the following means of public relations, communications, and various media platforms: Email, Facebook, Twitter, AADB Blog, AADB.org website, Newsletters, AADB Today, mailings, and any other means deemed necessary.

Sub committees
IT committee - This committee provides direct support for the website maintenance and interfacing with the membership database. Also provides support to the board and Executive Committee with the decision making processes regarding commitments and system interfaces for credit card transactions and online payments. This committee will also make use of volunteered outside consulting in regards to technological aspects of setting these processes up for optimal use of AADB resources.

Activities and tasks performed:
1. Board of Directors’ page updated
2. AADB.org home page updated with new information and blogger button to go to the blog page.
3. Updated Accountability links with the 2009 and 2010 financial forms.
4. Initiated gathering of AADB Financial reports for 2008, 2009, and 2010.
5. Started set up of Committees web page.
6. Started set up of various pages for 2011 Symposium highlights.
7. Started set up of Policies and Procedures Manual page.
8. Started update of Bylaws page.
9. Research of various options for on-line payments, membership database management, and email functions.

Conclusion: Our best option is to stay with Convio and Common Ground for the time being as it is currently the best option for our needs in respect to the costs of maintenance and the costs that would be incurred to migrate to a new system and still have these features.

Short term goal
Update the AADB.org and Convio website information with current data.

Long term goal:
Timely updates to the AADB website and membership
databases and possibly changes to the website for more accessible formats.

PR committee - This committee is responsible for all mailings going out to the general membership, including but not limited to AADB Today, board election forms, conference information, proposed changes to policies and procedures, and all other information. The members of this committee will be responsible for compilation and creation of documents to be sent out in all means necessary to be accessible, in print or electronically. They will then be responsible for setting up the printing, and distribution of these documents either electronically, in Braille, or in print. The focus of this committee is to be able to distribute the information in all possible accessible formats.

Co-Chair: Scott Davert
Co-Chair: Kacie Weldy

Activities:
1. Recruited a member to the committee for mailings and compilation of articles.
2. Posting of AADB updates to Facebook, Twitter, and AADB blog.
3. Connection with the membership database has been made; now working on confirming records of members and donors to include in the mailing in the near future.
4. Emails sent in an attempt to recruit members.


Short term goals:
1. Facilitate and establish an open line of communications between the Board and Executive committee and the general membership- both on-line members and those without email.


a. Set up a team of people to create an informative mailing to be distributed to the membership of the changes and happenings of AADB since the Symposium, the proposed bylaw changes, and the financial state of AADB.
b. Distribute this mailing no later than November 1st.

 


Long term goals:
To provide accessible, timely, and routine distribution
of information to the general membership.

1. Set up a team of people to create and/or compile articles to go out in each AADB Today.


2. Provide to the general membership timely and informative mailings of board elections and proceedings, FCC updates and technological updates affecting deaf-blind people.


NRC (Network and Recruitment)
Committee Chair: Mark Gasaway


The Networking and Recruitment Committee have gotten underway and we are now reviewing the membership forms for membership at all levels for AADB.

We may be working with some others on new brochures but I need to find out and will alert the committee when I do.

We are also about to begin discussions on how we can do membership drives successfully in different sections of the USA. A report on this aspect should be forthcoming in the November report.

The committee is looking for a few more members to join. If you are interested please let me know at

 


Office Committee Report
Chair: Lynn Jansen


During the month of September, Jill and Lynn were in the AADB office for eight days to continue to clean up and to get things organized. Some of the tasks done were to put important papers in proper storage (some of them at the Gallaudet’s archives), to donate the office furniture to Deaf Reach (www.deaf-reach.org), to have the old computers cleaned up and donated to a local church, and to reorganize the filing system for donors, membership, accounting, and other important documents. We are still working on updating QuickBooks. Thanks to the volunteers who came in to help out with moving furniture and boxes and shredding papers. We are also researching our options for telephone service to save money. This includes landline, fax, VP, TTY and online services. We will be going back in a few weeks to continue to clean out the office and are looking at other office space as an option.


While in Silver Spring, Jill and Lynn held meetings with several non-profit organizations and agencies. They met with Howard Rosenblum and Andrew Phillips from National Association for the Deaf (NAD), Claude Stout from TDI, Joe McNulty from Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), Steve Rothstein from Perkins School for the Blind, and Greg Hlibock, Rosaline Crawford and a several other people from FCC. The purpose of our meetings was to introduce ourselves, to let them know that AADB is being restructured, and is moving forward. We asked many questions and talked about how we can collaborate and partner together with them in AADB’s future endeavors. They are very supportive of AADB and are behind us all the way.


Respectfully submitted by Lynn Jansen



Report from the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting

The National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) was established by a motion at the 2005 RID conference to address the communication access needs of deaf-blind individuals. The mission of the task force is to establish a standard of effective practice to ensure the quality and availability of interpreters for deaf-blind people. The NTFDBI is a collaboration among RID, AADB and the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC). Other member organizations are the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT), the National Alliance of Black Interpreters (NAOBI), and the National Family Association of the Deaf-Blind (NFADB). The Task Force also includes consumer and interpreter members as well as representatives of stakeholder organizations.

Since its inception, the task force has undertaken a number of projects and trainings to address issues of skills, instructor resources, information and resource availability and dissemination. Among the accomplishments thus far:
two face-to-face meetings to move the work of the Task Force Bibliography of Deaf-Blind Interpreting, done in conjunction with DB-LINK, the information arm of NCDB

- a national survey of interpreter educators and program administrators on deaf-blind interpreting education


-the development of a Curriculum Guide for Infusing Deaf-Blind Interpreting into an Interpreter Education Program

-a paper titled “Deaf-Blind Interpreting: Many Paths on the Road,” which lists many ways for interpreters to become involved with the deaf-blind community and develop their skills as interpreters and Support Service Providers

-training sessions and presentations at numerous regional and national conferences on working with deaf-blind people, curriculum infusion and results of data gathering

-the establishment of a website -

 

 
-several information gathering sessions with interpreters and interpreter educators regarding needs, programming, challenges and future steps

-the establishment of an e-mail distribution list used to send out periodic announcements of trainings and conferences

-the development and teaching of a deaf-blind mentorship program to prepare interpreters for working at the AADB symposium in 2011. This was a collaborative effort with the Gallaudet Regional Interpreter Education Center, the Western Regional Interpreter Education Center, the CATIE Center and AADB.

Future Steps:
Information was gathered from stakeholders at the last Conference of Interpreter Trainers conference in 2010 to inform the future work of the Task Force. The next step is for the Task Force to have another conference call to discuss these items and set the course for future work.

 


Current membership of the Task Force:
Co-chairs:
Rhonda Jacobs, AADB Representative; Maryland
Susanne Morgan Morrow, RID Representative; New York

Members:
Aimee Chappelow Bader - Deaf-Blind; Kansas
Ashley Benton - Deaf-Blind; North Carolina
Janice Cagan-Teuber - Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Massachusetts
Jane Hecker Cain - Conference of Interpreter Trainers; Maine
Richelle Frantz - Interpreter; Washington
Jill Gaus - AADB Board; Michigan
CM Hall - National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers; Oregon
Richard Laurion - National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers; Minnesota
Michelle Moore - National Alliance of Black Interpreters; North Carolina
Ellie Savidge - CDI, Washington
Pearl Veesart - National Family Association of the Deaf-Blind; California
Jeanette Ocampo Welch - Interpreter; Massachusetts

RID Board Liaison:
Lewis Merkin, CDI - Member at Large, New York


SSP Committee Report
Chair: Elizabeth Spiers


Currently, we have several members working on the committee. Some are experienced SSPs, some are beginning SSPs, and some are deaf-blind people who use SSPs. The committee has been working on goals and objectives, listed below. The next step we will take is to survey SSP programs around the country to identify how they train their SSPs and what they include in their curricula.

Mission
Provide a mechanism for standard training and certification of support service providers.

Short Term Goals
- Educate the public about the roles and responsibilities of SSPs, as well as the need for SSPs as a service, so they can begin to be recognized as a profession.

-Collect information on SSP training and curricula from SSP programs around the country to see how SSP programs are training SSPs.

-Collect data and report the outcomes of various SSP trainings.

-Examine curricula used by SSP programs to see if any could be used as a master curriculum (with or without modifications).

-Identify needed modifications (if any). Examples may include deaf-blind people with other disabilities, wheelchair users, deaf-blind people who don't sign, people who use service animals or personal assistants.

-Identify SSPs and provide a list of available SSPs for board meetings and events.

-Provide SSPs for board members and events.

Intermediate Goals
-Identify deaf-blind events around the country where deaf-blind people use SSPs through newsletters, e-news, listservs or other media.

-Identify trainer for SSPs.

-Collect data from training sites and instructors.

-Set up at least one training for SSPs who are working at a deaf-blind event or conference.

-Identify funds and scholarships for SSP trainings; consider providing continuing education unit credits for SSPs as an incentive.

 

Long Term Goals
-Provide a standard certification and training process for SSPs through AADB so they can begin to be recognized as a profession.

-Define SSP responsibilities using standard curriculum or training

-Use standard SSP curriculum with continuing education credits.

-Set up temporary listing of approved SSP trainers

 

Return to Table of Contents

 


 

November Committee Report 

 

FRC-Fundraising Committee:
Nothing was submitted from the FRC chair,
Anindya (Bapin) Bhattacharyya.


From Jill, President:
A Donor Letter was typed up by Elizabeth Spiers and Mark Gasaway, it was turned over to the FRC and changes were made to the donor letter. It is now within the board for final approval and Kacie Weldy who is working with the database will be launching a campaign via email and snail mail to get the donor letter out.

FC-Finance Committee:
Mike Reese, chair


The FC has worked on mainly the draft 2012 budget, which will be completed in mid November and a letter was drafted to send out to a couple of potential candidates to join our committee. By December, we hopefully will have a new member (at least) on our committee. As for the committee's mission and goals, they have been discussed, and a draft is being written up, which will be completed in mid November as well. As the Treasurer, I also put together a spreadsheet of the banks' statement info for August and September for the FC to review along with the draft of the 2012 budget, which is now being revised (as mentioned earlier.)


5YSPC-5-Year Strategic Planning Committee Report:
Karyn Campbell and Mark Gasaway, co-chairs


Over this past month, we have been discussing a proposal for a main goal for AADB. This goal can be used to direct the activities of a number of committees including fundraising.

This proposal was put together by several members of the committee, discussed among the committee and is being submitted to the board for their consideration. The results of any board action should be known by the next report.

Law Committee
Maricar Marquez, chair


The Law Committee consists of me as a chair along with Kacie Weldy and Chris Woodfill. The Law Committee has formed a new sub-committee, “Internal Procedure Committee” chaired by Debby Lieberman. The sub-committee will handle AADB policy and procedure manual.

The Law Committee will review proposed bylaws changes that were addressed at the AADB national symposium. The members voted and passed to hold the proposed bylaws changes until the next symposium. It has not been determined when the next national symposium will be held; therefore the Law Committee is making considerations to amend the proposed bylaws changes. You will be notified of future updates.


PC-Policy Committee:
Chris Woodfill, chair


The motion to restructure the policy/procedure and the advocacy committees has been voted on and passed by the board. Now, there is a policy committee which was merged with the advocacy committee. The procedure part has been relabeled internal procedure and placed under the law committee as a subcommittee. Technology and FCC are placed in the policy committee as subcommittees. The policy committee and the subcommittees are not fully up and running at this time. It is the intention of the chair of this committee to have it up and running during November.


MMC-Multi-Media Committee Report
Co-Chair: Scott Davert, NY
Co-Chair: Kacie Weldy, IN


Mission: To provide IT support with the membership database and the AADB.org <http://aadb.org/> website. Also, to provide continuous updates, notifications, information, and resources to the members of AADB and all others who have an interest in being involved in the actions and various roles of AADB. These will be provided, but not limited to the following means of public relations, communications, and various media platforms: Email, Facebook, Twitter, AADB Blog, AADB.org <http://aadb.org/> website, Newsletters, AADB Today, mailings, and any other means deemed necessary.

Sub committees
IT committee - This committee provides direct support for the website maintenance and interfacing with the membership database. Also provides support to the board and Executive Committee with the decision making processes regarding commitments and system interfaces for credit card transactions and online payments. This committee will also make use of volunteered outside consulting in regards to technological aspects of setting these processes up for optimal use of AADB resources.

Activities and tasks performed:
1. Board of Directors’ web page updated
2. Updated Publications web page with the 2009 and 2010 issues of AADB Today
3. Began set up of files for 2011 AADB Today issues to be linked on the Publications web page.
4. Continued set up of Committees web page
(Many changes have occurred with regard to committee chairs, so we have been waiting for the final word on who is on what committee).
5. Continued set up of various web pages for 2011 Symposium highlights.
6. Posted the Policies and Procedures Manual web page.
7. Posted updated version of Bylaws web page.
8. Began the process of updating Common grounds with donor and membership information since it was last updated in June.

Short term goal
Update the AADB.org and Convio website information with current data.

Long term goal:
Timely updates to the AADB website and membership
databases and possibly changes to the website for more accessible formats.

PR committee - This committee is responsible for all mailings going out to the general membership, including but not limited to AADB Today, board election forms, conference information, proposed changes to policies and procedures, and all other information. The members of this committee will be responsible for compilation and creation of documents to be sent out in all means necessary to be accessible, in print or electronically. They will then be responsible for setting up the printing, and distribution of these documents either electronically, in Braille, or in print. The focus of this committee is to be able to distribute the information in all possible accessible formats.

Co-Chair: Scott Davert
Co-Chair: Kacie Weldy

Activities:
1. Compilation of various pieces of new information for the Nov. AADB Today.
2. Posting of AADB updates to Facebook, Twitter, and AADB blog.
3. Working on securing means to mail out to those without email access and in need of various formats.
4. Emails sent in an attempt to recruit members.

Short term goals:
1. Facilitate and establish an open line of communications between the Board and Executive committee and the general membership- both on-line members and those without.
     a. Set up a team of people to create an informative mailing to be distributed to the membership of the changes and happenings of AADB since the Symposium, the proposed bylaw changes, and the financial state of AADB.
     b. Distribute this mailing no later than December 1st. (Goal has been revised due to technical issues.)

Long term goals:
To provide accessible, timely, and routine distribution of information to the general membership.

1. Set up a team of people to create and/or compile articles to go out in each AADB Today.
2. Provide to the general membership timely and informative mailings of board elections and proceedings, FCC updates and technological updates affecting deaf-blind


 

NRC Networking and Recruitment Committee:
Mark Gasaway, chair


October 31, 2011
The NRCommittee is looking into getting membership drives going and a new membership form is ready to go out.

In addition, we are going to see how AADB can become more visible among other organizations and agencies, as part of networking.

 


SSP Committee Report October 2010
Elizabeth Spiers, chair

During October, the SSP committee developed a short survey which will be sent to SSP programs around the country. The survey includes questions on what type of training is provided, what's involved in the training, who provides the training, how many SSPs are trained, how SSPs can continue their training afterwards (e.g., from mentor SSPs), and how the training is funded. This survey will go out to SSP programs in November. Also, the committee is responsible for providing SSP and interpreter support to the AADB board members for board meetings. Marilyn Fernandez-Trader is responsible for this project.


 

OF-Office Committee Report:
Jill is working with the Landlord about advertising the office space and the advertising has started, we will advertise with Craig’s list, FB, Twitters, Blogs, local newspapers, local business. If anyone can think of any other way to advertise please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Return to Table of Contents


 

Technology Today: What’s New in iOS 5 for the iPhone: from an Accessibility Standpoint by Scott Davert 

There are many enhancements to iOS 5 that are not directly related to accessibility.  Features such as the ability to now update your phone over cellular networks and Wi-Fi, Apple's new iCloud service, a feature called Reminders, iMessage which lets iPhone users communicate with one another via iOS’s own messenger program compatible with all supported iOS devices, a revamped notifications system, support for Face Time over 3g, and many more.  For more information from Apple regarding these features, see the appropriate link at the end of this article.  Several articles on the web already cover these features in great detail, so this write-up will not focus on the general features.  It will focus more on what's new for those individuals who are blind, deaf, and deaf-blind.  For more information on the basics of accessibility and how to use it with Apple’s mobile operating system, please see the appropriate link at the end of this article.

 

Under Settings/General, you will still find the accessibility menu.  It contains a lot more features which are now better organized.  For example, there are 3 different headings now: Vision, Hearing, and Physical/Motor.  We'll start with the enhancements to vision, and then discuss the other 2 headings in turn.

 

Vision

 

One of the liberating things about operating within the Apple environment with their desktop and laptop solutions for those who are blind has been the ability to walk up to any Apple machine running Mac OS X 10.5 or later, and press command F5 to launch Voiceover.  That same universal access has now come to Apple’s mobile operating environment.  With any device running iOS 5 or later, whether that’s an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, one can simply press the home button 3 times quickly to launch VoiceOver.  Not only is this good for trying products in a store, but it’s also great to know that one can now take an Apple product out of the box, and be up and running with it independently in seconds.  Unfortunately, for those who require Braille support and have no hearing or vision to pair their Braille display of choice, this does not help.  While it is true that one can connect a Braille display to a Mac computer through USB and it will begin running in seconds, this will not work for Bluetooth.

 

An issue that Verizon customers using Braille displays encountered in iOS 4 was that each time you wanted to use a Braille display; you had to go in to Settings/General/Accessibility/VoiceOver and manually repair the 2 devices.  It was not necessary to reenter the pairing code, but the display would not pair with the phone automatically like it did with all other Bluetooth devices.  An individual who did not have enough hearing or vision to reconnect the 2 devices had to rely on someone else to repair them, or go without access to their iPhone.  This has been fixed in iOS 5.  It was tested with the Refreshabraille 18, Focus 40 Blue, and BrailleNote Apex Braille devices.  Now the only pairing issue, which is with both the Verizon and AT&T versions of the phone, is that you must repair the display once the phone is set into “airplane” mode and then turned back off.  Bluetooth is disabled in airplane mode already.

 

VoiceOver in iOS 5 is much clearer.  This is because the text-to-speech engine was upgraded to a higher sampling rate.  This text-to-speech engine will install after iOS 5 has been installed and once a Wi-Fi connection is available.  iPhone 3GS users have reported some sluggishness with the new voice, but for iPhone 4 users this shouldn't be an issue.  The old "Compact Voice" is still available, and can be toggled off and on within the VoiceOver settings.

 

With the language rotor, Arabic, South African English, and many other languages have been added.  The Web Rotor is now just called the Rotor.  Several new options have been added.  One of these is the ability to use vertical navigation instead of moving left to right across web pages.  This is a feature that many users of Windows-based screen readers will probably enjoy, since it puts web pages in a more familiar navigational system.  In addition, the ability to independently adjust the volume of VoiceOver is now included in the Rotor.  This comes in handy when you don't want VoiceOver coming on much more loudly than your music and interrupting the jamming of your favorite tune.  Also, a Rotor setting has been introduced which will allow the user to have all items shown, and a Rotor setting specifically to jump to searchable edit text boxes has been added as well.  A feature has also been added to VoiceOver called “Item Chooser”.  “Item Chooser” is useful when you wish to jump from item to item in bulleted lists, for example.

 

While we’re on the subject of navigation, several new options have been added to the “Quick Nav” function of VoiceOver.  One can now jump between links, form fields, headings, and many other settings on web pages with one-key navigation when “Quick Nav” is turned on.  To see a complete list of the “Quick Nav” commands available, please use the appropriate link at the bottom of this article.

 

Finally, the ability to add custom labels to buttons has been added to VoiceOver.  For those apps or web pages which contained unlabeled buttons that VoiceOver cannot identify, if you are able to identify these buttons, you can then name them whatever you would like in VoiceOver for future interpretation of these unlabeled elements.

 

One of many minor fixes in VoiceOver is that the calendar now works well with VoiceOver.  Before, when moving from day to day, VoiceOver would report that there were no events for that day, even if this were not true.  If you double tapped on that day, you could find out otherwise, but not just by scrolling through the different dates.  This is now fixed in iOS 5, and VoiceOver reports the proper number of items for each specific date.

 

While I wrote at the beginning of this write-up that I would not be covering the mainstream improvements, one of significant note is that when you receive notifications such as text messages, previous versions of iOS would read them out loud when the screen was locked.  That could pose some privacy issues or embarrassing moments if some conversations were overheard if speech is on but one can now turn the reading of notifications off when the screen is locked.

 

Hearing

 

There are a few new features for those who are hearing impaired.  IOS 5 has the ability to add custom vibrations to each of your contacts so that you can tell who is texting you without ever having to look at or listen to your phone.  This feature was designed with the deaf and hard of hearing population in mind, but can be useful for the rest of the iPhone populous as well.  In the past you could customize an alert in "Silent Mode" by setting it to a specific number of vibrations, now, it is possible to also use a pattern of both long and short vibrations to identify each contact.  No more needing to worry about who that text message you received was from while in a meeting.

 

Another feature for hearing impaired customers is an LED flash for alerts.  Some users prefer this to vibrations, so it's just another option for showing that you have alerts.

 

Have a mono ear piece? Can you only hear out of one ear? Ever wanted to have one ear bud in while listening to the environment around you? That’s now possible with the “Mono Audio” setting.  All sounds will be directed in to one audio channel, which eliminates the stereo effect.  Also, one can adjust the balance of the 2 audio channels in the iPhone if they wish to do so. 

 

One feature, however, is absent in the Verizon version of the phone but is in the AT&T version.  This is a mode called "Hearing Aid Mode".  Hearing Aid Mode is supposed to enhance the usability for those hearing impaired customers who utilize special coils in their hearing devices to pick up the sound of the phone.  This gives the hearing aid user the option to isolate the sounds coming from the phone from those in the environment around them.  However, as the iPhone is more than a phone, it produces a lot of interference with this mode of operation.  Hearing Aid Mode was developed to alleviate this issue.  As I have yet to test an AT&T iPhone, I am not sure how effective this feature is, only that it exists for AT&T customers, and does not for Verizon customers.  This, according to Apple Accessibility, is not an accessibility issue.  I inquired about this lack of Hearing Aid Mode to the accessibility team, and received the following explanation.

 

“Hearing Aid Mode reduces the transmission power of the cellular radio in the GSM 1900 MHz band, which may result in decreased 2G cellular coverage.  This only applies to the GSM technology.  You can find more information about hearing aid compatibility at the following page: <http://apple.com/support/hac>”.

 

What this means is that the additional interference caused on the AT&T version of the phone was not present on the Verizon version.  Therefore, no accommodation is necessary.

 Physical/Motor

 

A new feature called “Assistive Touch” allows those users with limited dexterity to set up different gestures that will tell the operating system to perform specific tasks.  This could range from answering a call to scrolling around the screen.  Also, it’s possible to determine what gestures activates icons on the Home Screen.  While this is a great feature, those using VoiceOver will not be able to take advantage of it, since VoiceOver intercepts all gestures.

 

One other feature within Assistive Touch is the ability to control the tracking speed of scrolling.  This is a feature that could both potentially help those with physical impairments and those who have low vision.

 

 Another added capability is to tell the phone where calls should be routed to.  For example, if you always use the speaker phone instead of the earpiece, you can specify where the call will go automatically.  While this is something that is under the Physical/Motor category, it could also come in handy for those wishing to use hearing aids that do not want to use the earpiece.

 

Conclusion

 

As one can tell from the length of the list of accessibility features, Apple has gone to great lengths to promote universal access of its products.  They have not only updated the operating system with VoiceOver and other features in mind, but have also added new features to these portions of their product.  I would like to commend them on their continued dedication to this access.  The best part about iOS 5 is that it is a free upgrade to all customers.  It is compatible with the following devices: iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, and the iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation.  Obviously, the iPhone 4S will come loaded with iOS 5, so no upgrade will be required.  

 

Other Resources:

Apple's "New features in iOS 5" page:http://www.apple.com/ios/features.html

Accessible iOS FAQ: http://aios.applevis.com/

List of “Quick Nav”, gestures, and other keyboard shortcuts 

http://axslab.com/articles/ios-voiceover-gestures-and-keyboard-commands.php

updating iOS Software:

<http://support.apple.com/>kb/HT1414

 

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__________________________________________________________

The Board of AADB sends wishes from our families to yours

a Happy and Joyous Holiday Season

and a Wonderful New Year!

 

 
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