American Association of the Deaf-Blind

A New Beginning


December 2007

In this Issue:

  • In Memoriam-Dick Bell
  • New! "AADB Today"
  • New Staff at AADB
  • Irene Jankowski Memorial Fund
  • Advocacy Opportunities
  • RX Label-Enable Campaign
  • FCC Comments on Deaf-Blind Relay Service
  • AADB in Action
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Update on National Task Force on Interpreting
  • Outreach . Last Call for AADB Lifetime Memberships . See's CANDIES . Shop and Support AADB . Contact AADB!
In Memoriam--Richard "Dick" Bell This issue of the "AADB E-News" is dedicated to Richard "Dick" Bell, an AADB board member from 1984 to 1990, who passed away on December 2, 2007 of prostate cancer. Dick Bell was a key player in the formation of the Texas Deafblind Association in 1981, and served as president of TDBA in 1984. Through the years he served as TDBA president, parliamentarian and board member. Mr. Bell represented the Texas deaf-blind community on a number of task forces and ad-hoc committees regarding services for people who are deaf-blind. He enjoyed bowling and travel; he traveled often to various AADB conferences and TDBA meetings. Mr. Bell was a popular and enthusiastic person, who was famous for his humor and his love of people. New! "AADB Today" Clip Art: picture of a cup of coffee and glasses sitting on a newspaper Starting in early 2008, the "AADB E-News" will become a new monthly publication called "AADB Today." This will expand on the present E-News, and include information about AADB happenings, deaf-blind community happenings, and articles spotlighting various members of the deaf-blind community. We want to present more in-depth information in a more timely manner to our public. This free publication is available to anyone who wishes to receive it. For more information, contact the AADB Office. Meanwhile, The Deaf-Blind American will be published two times a year. New Staff at AADB We now have a new administrative assistant at AADB. Say hello to Katie Logan, who started at AADB in December, just before this issue went to press. She graduated from Towson University in Baltimore in 2005 with double degrees in Deaf Studies and Psychology. She loves to read and cook, and is also a dancer. She has danced since age three, and can perform jazz, ballet and hip-hop. Welcome aboard, Katie! Irene Jankowski Memorial Fund The family of Irene Jankowski has established a memorial fund to honor the memory of Irene who passed away November 5, 2007. Irene had optic atrophy and was deaf-blind for much of her adult life. She led an active life and participated in several deaf organizations in Michigan and Florida. The purpose of this memorial fund is to support AADB in its efforts to educate the public about the deaf-blind and low vision community. Donations to this fund can be made by check or credit card to AADB and are tax-deductible. Please contact the AADB Office for a donation form or for more information. Advocacy Opportunities RX Label Enable Campaign American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has just launched a new campaign--the "RX Label Enable Campaign"--to ensure that people with vision loss can access the vital information available to all consumers via prescription labeling and related documentation enabling them to take medications safely, effectively and independently. To achieve this goal, AFB is reaching out to consumers experiencing vision loss, policymakers, federal regulators, doctors, the pharmaceutical industry, retailers, assistive technology providers, and public and private insurers to promote solutions, build consensus and take action. Individuals who have had trouble reading prescription or over-the-counter medication information can share their stories with AFB by answering a short survey. This is available on the AFB website at People can then find the survey by clicking on the link: "Having Trouble Taking Your Medicine?" Deaf-Blind Relay Service The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on a petition for clarification concerning the provision of a deaf-blind relay service. For more information, contact Alan Amann via email at, or at (202) 418-1022, TTY: (202) 418-2540. People can also go to these websites: AADB in Action Fundraising Committee Update--One committee has been set up to work on a Celebrity Luncheon, which will take place sometime next year. Another committee is selling the world famous, top quality See's CANDIES. Want to buy candy for your loved ones? Shop and support AADB! Picture of SEES Walnut Square Bar Caption: 1 dollar each Picture of SEES Peanut Brittle Caption: 5 dollars each Picture of SEES Awesome Nut and Chew Bar Our fundraising program will donate a percentage of the net proceeds to AADB!?Please contact Emily Vera if you want to purchase candy at or (510) 656-5974 TTY/Voice. National Task Force on Interpreting Update--The National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) has recently completed a letter in response to an inquiry from an interpreting student on how to become an interpreter skilled in working with deaf-blind people. This letter is now being revised for general use and will soon be available on AADB's website. Work groups are still gathering information and materials to define and support effective practices in deaf-blind interpreting. For more information, contact Rhonda Jacobs at Outreach AADB Booth - AADB was busy increasing awareness by having an exhibit at four events in November and December: Deafness Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA), Northern California Association of the Deaf-Blind (NCADB), both in San Francisco, CA; the ASL Expo in Frederick, MD; and the Potomac Chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf / Maryland Association of the Deaf conference in Rockville, MD. We had a great turnout on all the exhibits and many people signed up for the "AADB E-News." They also had many questions about AADB's programs and services, deaf-blind culture and the deaf-blind community, and opportunities for working as interpreters and support service providers. Upcoming Events We are always looking for upcoming events in the deaf-blind community. Do you have any conferences, camps, recreational activities or other special events coming up? If so, we would love to include them in future issues of "AADB Today." Please send any announcements to the AADB Office. We want to hear from you! Last Call for AADB Lifetime Memberships This is your last chance to become an AADB lifer! We are offering a special lifetime membership for $500, available until December 31st. You can contact the AADB Office for more information, or to get a form. Become an AADB lifer today! Shop and Support AADB! Logos: Finish Line USA Today Barnes and Noble Need more gift ideas for your family and friends? Shop and support AADB at the same time! It's easy to do. Just go to our website at, and click on the marketplace link on the home page. Now, you're ready to shop at your favorite stores! Merchants make donations to AADB when customers buy their products and services through this shopping link to AADB. Contact AADB! AADB is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization and depends on the generosity of donors to keep its ograms running. Donations are tax-deductible and can be designated in memory of a loved one, in honor of someone's special occasion, and/or for any AADB services. For a donor and/or membership form, please contact the AADB Office. Thank you for your support! American Association of the Deaf-Blind 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Email: Phone: 301-495-4402 TTY/VP 301-495-4403 Voice Website:? Editor: Elizabeth Spiers; Layout and Design: Chad Metcalf Copyright © 2007 American Association of the Deaf-Blind Picture of Julie Shafer wearing goggles and smiling We provide goggles that simulate what it is like to be deaf-blind. One of our attendees, Julie Schafer, is enjoying herself at our exhibit booth at PCRID conference a few weeks ago. Our mission is to ensure that all deaf-blind persons achieve their maximum potential through increased independence, productivity and integration into the community.