Proposal – Establishing A Main Goal For
The American Association of the Deaf-Blind
The purpose of this proposal is to present a main goal that will help guide the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) with the development of a strategic plan for meeting AADB’s mission.
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.
Before developing the main goal, AADB needs to consider the following issues to carry its mission:
o Membership mandates: Support Service Providers (SSP(s)), Technology and Public Awareness.
o Relationship between AADB and the Deaf-Blind Community.
o Limited manpower (no paid staff at the Office) but depends entirely on volunteers.
o Financial Issues (income and expenses) and its history (990 and Audited Financial Statements).
o Ensuring adequate income to support AADB’s Mission.
The following questions also need to be answered
· Why does AADB exist?
· What are the gaps that have not been met in the Deaf-Blind community?
· How will the deaf-blind individuals benefit from our work in order to retain them as Members?
· How will the Public benefit from our work that will encourage them to support AADB’s Mission?
· How can AADB best help the deaf-blind community within the limited resources available?
· What about the Public’s misconception of the deaf-blind community?
How is this goal any different from other public information of the Deaf-Blind community?
While there are resources available, AADB should take the next step higher in promoting people who are deaf-blind as human beings, not just a statistic. The idea behind this goal is to give a personal touch by the deaf-blind people themselves, not the services provided.
People who are not deaf-blind often represent the deaf-blind community. This kind of representation tends to weaken the impact of what deaf-blind individuals really are, their abilities and the issues facing the deaf-blind community. In a nutshell, this goal is designed to bring out the best of the deaf-blind individuals and their community.
Possible Objectives and Strategies
To meet the goal, this proposal offers some possible objectives and strategies that AADB can take in developing a strategic plan.
Personal human stories by the deaf-blind on a variety of topics such as:
· Public Relations
Some examples of the article(s):
· Dispel the myths and misconception of the deaf-blind people and their community
· Prove that the deaf-blind can contribute to family, employment and society
· Give encouragement and hope to parents with a deaf-blind child or children that shows the deaf-blind can have a life.
· Success stories
Some examples of the media that can be used:
· Social Media
· Monthly Newsletters (AADB Today)
· City Newspapers
With the power of the Internet and mass media, such as AADB Today, there are many ways that AADB can get the message to the public.
How Will This Benefit AADB?
With careful planning, the biggest advantage of this goal is more visibility for AADB’s mission to serve the Deaf-Blind community.
This goal gives the public a clear understanding what AADB is going to do in addressing many issues that impact the Deaf-Blind community. Here are a few of many examples that would be impacted by this goal.
With a clear understanding of what AADB is doing, this goal should encourage most existing members, both Deaf-Blind and non Deaf-Blind, to be more involved in AADB’s affairs.
· Recruiting more new members as well as former members.
· Assist AADB with fund raising projects.
· Become board or committee members.
· Promote AADB.
· Give the members a feeling of “ownership” or stakeholder.
· Closer relationship with the board members.
When developing articles and materials that are related to SSP and Technology, this goal should partly meet the membership’s mandates which were created at the 2006 AADB conference in Baltimore, MD.
Employers, Family Members, Friends, Legislators, and Donors,
These groups of people will have a better understanding of whom the deaf-blind are and what they can do through a variety of promotional venues. The public will have a general overview of the issues facing the deaf-blind, including the true definition of a deaf-blind person.
Employers who have never hired the deaf-blind will have a better understanding of the deaf-blind individual’s abilities with which their contributions can benefit the company. Testimonies of employers who hired deaf-blind employees would be the living proof that the deaf-blind can do the job like other employees.
Organizations such as National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc. (TDI), American Council of the Blind ACB), American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and others can use our material to advocate on behalf of the deaf-blind. An additional bonus is that AADB can ensure consistent and accurate information. With AADB collaborating with these organizations, it would build stronger advocating partnerships.
Agencies such as Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, and other government agencies that provide services for the deaf-blind can use our organization to promote their services. This also will serve as a tool to educate the public and any entity that needs a better understanding of the deaf-blind community. AADB collaborative efforts with these agencies would surely improve the services that they provide to the deaf-blind community.
Hope and encouragement is always an issue for parents with deaf-blind children. The human life stories would give the parent the needed support, knowing that their child can have a life during their adult years.
There are possible funding sources that can be identified to support the AADB. These funds can be used for Internet, mass media, social networking, job fairs and others.
A few of many possible-funding sources:
· Telecommunication: FCC’s NDBEDP
· Employment: RSA, Department of Labor, HKNC, VR agencies
· Education: Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Department of Education, Ntional Consortium on Deaf-Blindnes (NCDB
A budget can be only created after a strategic plan is created.
In developing methods for evaluation, a strategic plan needs to be created.
AADB’s mission statement presently is:
To enable deaf-blind persons to achieve their maximum potential through increased independence, productivity and integration into the community.
At present the main goal appears to be in agreement with the Mission Statement. If the AADB board wishes to change the mission statement, it should be written in a way that most people could easily remember it.