American Association of the Deaf-Blind

January 2009.

In This Issue:

AADB in Action

  • New! More President/Vice President Candidates
  • President/Vice President Elections
  • AADB Board Meeting

Advocacy Updates

  • Obama-Biden Transition Team Meeting
  • Action Needed! Video Relay Service
  • Movie Captioning
  • Captioned Radio

Happy New Year!

AADB in Action

New! More President/Vice President Candidates

The Jill Gaus and Mike Reese Team

Jill Gaus

Jill Gaus
Enlarged Photo

Michael Reese

Mike Reese
Enlarged Photo

Jill Gaus and Mike Reese have announced that they are running for president and vice president respectively. Ms. Gaus is currently a board member and chairs the fundraising committee for AADB.

Jill Gaus and Mike Reese Bio

The Dan Arabie and Timothy Jackson Team

Dan Arabie

Dan Arabie
Enlarged Photo

Timothy Jackson

Timothy "Hulk"
Enlarged Photo

Dan Arabie and Tim Jackson are the other two candidates running for president/vice president respectively.

Dan Arabie and Timothy Jackson bio

If you cannot access the website, you can contact the AADB Office.

President/Vice President Elections

The AADB Office will soon be sending out ballots to active (deaf-blind) members by March 1st. Deaf-blind active members only can vote for president and vice president. They must send in their votes by May 1st (postmarked). The winning president/vice president team will be announced in early June, and will begin their terms on July 1, 2009. Members, here is your opportunity to pick the best candidate for President/Vice President!

If you wish to vote, you will need to become a member of AADB. The application can be found at our membership page or you can contact the AADB Office.

AADB Board Meeting

In November 2008, the AADB Board had its first meeting via videoconference. Most board members used communication facilitators (CFs) to participate in the meeting. Since many of the board could not see video relay interpreters, they needed CFs to copy the signs of the video relay interpreters to them tactilely or within five feet. This meeting was quite successful and the board members were able to complete everything on the agenda. Special thanks to Hawk Relay for providing CFs to make it possible for AADB to have a board meeting via conference

New ads policy

The board members passed a new ad policy for The Deaf-Blind American, "AADB Today" and AADB's website. As a result, all three will be featuring ads in 2009. They also passed new membership rates for organizations. Businesses now can join AADB for 75 dollars/year, while non-profit organizations can join for 50 dollars/year.

Election Chairperson

Also, Blaise Delahoussaye from Maryland was voted Elections Chair for the committee that will count election ballots for AADB president and vice president in spring 2009.

AADB V-Log Project

AADB will soon be offering video logs (V-Logs) on our website for the first time. We would love to hear stories about your experiences! We are currently looking for people who want to participate. People who are interested can contact Brian Nielsen, our intern at AADB, at, 301-495-4402 TTY/VP, or 301-495-4403

Obama-Biden Transition Team Meeting

US President Barack Obama

Photo Caption: United States President Barack Obama is standing in front of the US Capitol. Enlarged Photo

In December, AADB, along with organizations like the National Association of the Deaf and the Hearing Loss Association of America, participated in an Obama-Biden transition team meeting focusing on issues related to deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened and deaf-blind people. Each organization was given two minutes to comment on top issues. AADB advocated for national SSP services and accessible technology, which are currently the two top needs of deaf-blind Americans.

Written recommendations were submitted on how deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and late-deafened people could be included in all aspects of civil rights, housing, employment, health care, telecommunications and transportation. To view the recommendations in its entirety, go to

Action Needed! Video Relay Service

AADB in Action

For deaf-blind people: have you used video relay services recently? If so, are you delighted because you could participate in a video relay call with the assistance of a CF? Frustrated because CFs are not available to help you access video relay calls? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to hear about your experiences using CFs during video relay calls. Please send your comments on your experiences by email or mail

Thomas Chandler, Chief, Disability Rights Office
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Please send a copy of your comments to Gregory Hlibok (also at the FCC), Attorney-Advisor, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs, IMPORTANT! The more letters the FCC receives, the better they understand the need for CFs to help deaf-blind people access video relay calls. Please send your letter TODAY!

Movie Captioning

AADB signed on its support to a “friend of the court” brief filed by National Association of the Deaf urging the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to rule that the ADA requires movie theaters to display captions to ensure that deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind people can participate fully and equally in the experience of going to see a movie. For more information go to

Captioned Radio

AADB also signed on its support in the reply comments filed by Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI) urging the FCC to require the incorporation of HD Radio functionality in devices capable of receiving an SDARS transmission from Sirius XM Radio Inc.satellites. HD Radio technology allows for the transmission of captioning signals for terrestrial radio broadcasts, which currently are largely unavailable to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind.

Past Issues of AADB Today

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Like what you see? Consider making an online donation to AADB at our website, or contact AADB at:

8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

301-495-4402 TTY/VP; 301-495-4403 Voice
301-495-4404 Fax