American Association of the Deaf-Blind

September 2009

In this Issue

AADB in Action


AADB in Action

2011 AADB Symposium -- Ad-Hoc Committee Report

Mark Gasaway

Mark Gasaway
Ad-Hoc Committee Chair

The AADB Ad-Hoc Committee has been busy contacting many places and developing fundraising strategies. Committee members are Mark Gasaway, Chair, Dan Arabie, Anindya (Bapin) Bhattacharyya, Jeffrey Bohrman, Jill Gaus, Mary Hale, Timothy Jackson, Lynn Jansen, Maricar Marquez, Paul Molloy, and Randy Pope.

The committee is now in the early stages of researching sites and the members are confident that they will be able to find a suitable site very soon. Once the committee finds a site and finalizes a fundraising strategic plan for the symposium, recommendations will be sent to the board for approval.

A projected timeframe for sending these recommendations to the board is between the end of October 2009 to mid-November 2009. For up-to-date reports, please continue to check “AADB Today” once a month.

Update on National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting

The National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) had its second face-to-face meeting on July 31-August 1, 2009, just prior to the RID conference in Philadelphia. The purpose of this meeting was to identify goals and activities for the coming year. Members engaged in discussion about the top issues and projects on which the Task Force will be working this year. They decided upon three important issues:

  • Increasing faculty expertise:
    The goal is to have a face-to-face train-the-trainers workshop by the summer of 2010, and possibly online training.
  • Deaf-Blind interpreting as a setting:
    Educational efforts will aim to alter the perspective of interpreters, emphasizing that deaf-blind interpreting is not a ‘setting’, but represents a spectrum of consumers who utilize interpreting services in any and all settings.
  • Where do interpreters come from (in regard to both attitude and training):
    This question assumes that interpreters begin working with deaf-blind people because they meet a certain deaf-blind person and fall into interpreting for deaf-blind people. They then often become involved in the deaf-blind community which helps to develop trust between them and deaf-blind consumers. There is also the assumption that many interpreters don’t work with deaf-blind people because of various fears, resistance or lack of motivation. This is known as attitudinal barriers. The Task Force will work to confirm (or deny) these theories via surveys and focus groups. If they can identify what these barriers are and where they come from, they will develop strategies to change these attitudes and barriers so more interpreters will work with deaf-blind people.

Task Force members are looking forward to working on all of these projects and would like to hear from readers of “AADB Today” for comments and suggestions. Please contact us at

Broadband Access for People with Disabilities

AADB staff attended a broadband workshop in late August hosted by the Federal Communications Commission, which focused on broadband opportunities for people with disabilities. The FCC has a mandate to deliver to Congress by February 2010 a National Broadband Plan. The purpose of this workshop was to determine problems and issues faced by people with disabilities, challenges that manufactures face in making broadband accessible to them, and how to ensure that people with disabilities can use broadband services.

AADB mentioned that funding for broadband services for people with disabilities on low incomes, including deaf-blind people, were particularly important. Many deaf-blind people depend on broadband service to use video relay services and the Internet. They use the Internet to access news, including emergency services, and connect with other people; however, many deaf-blind people on low incomes cannot afford broadband service for this access.

Described and Captioned Media Program


In October, AADB will serve on the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) Advisory Board, which will take place at the National Media Market (NMM) in Lexington, KY, October 4 -7.  AADB, along with other advisory board members, will help advocate for students who are deaf-blind, blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing to have equal access to the educational media used in schools across the nation. Captions and description together provide equal access. For more information go to: or


Jack Wright Memorial Fund

Jack Wright

Photo Caption: Jack Wright

Did you know that September is the birthday month of the late Jack Wright? The Jack Wright Memorial Fund was established to provide financial assistance to deaf-blind people to attend future AADB national symposiums (formerly called national conferences) who otherwise could not afford to attend. Jack Wright believed in the power of deaf-blind people meeting and talking with each other to give them hope that they, too, can live a good life despite being deaf-blind. The most popular place where hundreds of deaf-blind people from across the country meet each other is the AADB national symposiums. If you would like to help spread hope and contribute to this fund, please write “Jack Wright” on the memo line of the check and send it to AADB. Thanks for your support!

For more information about Jack Wright...

AAHD Scholarship Program

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is proud to announce the creation of the 2009 AAHD Scholarship Program. The AAHD Scholarship Program will support students with disabilities who are pursuing higher education. Preference will be given to students who plan to pursue undergraduate/graduate studies in the field of public health, health promotion, or disability studies, to include disability policy and disability research. Please visit to read more about the Scholarship Program and to download the application.

People can also contact the American Association on Health and Disability, 110 N. Washington Street, Suite 328-J, Rockville, MD 20850. For additional questions, they can contact Roberta Carlin, Executive Director, at 301-545-6140 ext. 206.

Like what you see?

Become a member today. Visit our membership page on the website or contact our office.

Past Issues of AADB Today

Donate Now


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