Deaf-Blind Young Adults in Action
Saturday, July 25, 2009
AADB participated in an advocacy training for six young deaf-blind adults in late June, led by the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC). AADB was part of a collaboration between HKNC, Texas Tech University, Gallaudet University and American Foundation for the Blind. Suzanne Ressa from HKNC and Amy Parker, a former HKNC regional representative who recently graduated from Texas Tech University with an Ed.D., led the training. The young adults who participated were Jason Corning (Wisconsin), Kelvin Crosby (California), Divya Goel (Florida), Virginia Jordan (Georgia), Crystal Morales (Texas), and George Stern (Florida).
The purpose of this training was to train deaf-blind young adults on effective advocacy skills, get information on key legislation issues related to deaf-blind people, and talk to their legislators about the issue(s) they selected. The key legislation issues at this training were: education for deaf-blind children, Helen Keller National Center, technology and support service providers.
AADB staff presented on legislation related to technology and support service providers, and mentored the young adults who spoke with legislators and legislative assistants.
One legislator with whom the young adults spoke was Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), who re-introduced the Twenty-First Century Telecommunications and Video Accessibility Bill on June 26th, which would make telecommunications and video services accessible to deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people. Not only that, but several young adults had a chance to meet President Barack Obama! To see a picture of the group with President Obama, visit this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Still-Thriving-and-Excelling-Long-After-Helen-Keller/
Also, Crystal Morales wrote an article describing her visit with President Obama. This article is available on http://www.nationaldb.org/CommunityVoices.php?vID=107
If people have trouble accessing the article or want to receive print, text or braille copies, they can contact the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness by phone: 800.438.9376; TTY: 800.854.7013; 503.838.8150, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.