American Association of the Deaf-Blind

March 2010

AADB in Action

Snowfall of the Year

Whew, what a month this has been! The Washington, DC area got hit with two record snowstorms on February 5-6, and again on February 9-10. Altogether, we got a total of over 30 inches of snow. The AADB Office was closed for a few days following each snowstorm, but now we are back in action. We have been dealing with huge snowdrifts, but are continuing with our activities. Read on to find out more!

AADB Symposium Update

We know you are eager to get the news about when and where the AADB Symposium will be. Jamie Pope, Executive Director, is still negotiating the symposium site contract. There are a couple of issues that need to be agreed on before the contract is finalized. As soon as everything is in order with the contract, we will announce far and wide where the symposium will take place. Please sit tight! Announcement coming soon!

AADB Spring Board Meeting

The AADB Board of Directors will have a board meeting at DeSales Conference Center in Brooklyn, Michigan on March 19 to 21. Visitors are welcome to attend the open sessions; however, AADB will not provide interpreters or other accommodations. Meals and lodging are also the responsibility of visitors. If you would like to attend, please contact Jill Gaus at to reserve a seat and get more information.

Southeast Regional Deaf-Blind Teens/Young Adults Retreat

Jamie Pope, Executive Director, presented at the Southeast Regional Teen/ Young Adults Retreat over Martin Luther King (MLK) Weekend in Brandon, FL, near Tampa. Jamie was excited to talk to 18 smart, outgoing deaf-blind young people at the retreat. These teens and young adults, along with their parents, came from FL, GA, KY, SC, TN, and TX. Some are in high school; some have finished high school and have jobs or are going to college. The retreat was jam-packed with workshops, socials and recreation activities, including an entertaining talent show in which many of the deaf-blind teens and young adults participated. They should try out for the TV show “America’s Got Talent”!

One highlight from Jamie's presentation is from Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" theme. The teens and young adults were asked to dream about what they want to accomplish in their lives or on behalf of the national deaf-blind community. After each one said, "I have a dream and my dream is...", everyone applauded and cheered. Some dreams they mentioned included going to college, setting up a business, working in the computer field and starting a family.

Jamie also presented to the parents on how to get their deaf-blind teens and young adults involved in preparation for successful adult living. In addition, she talked to the teens and young adults and their parents about how interpreters and support service providers (SSPs) assist with the independence of deaf-blind people from the viewpoint of a deaf-blind person.

These deaf-blind teens and young adults are awesome and have a bright future! Special thanks to the wonderful support from their families and professionals from the education system. Go for your dreams!

For more information on the retreat, please contact Emily Taylor-Snell, Coordinator, Florida Outreach Project:

Fundraising Opportunities

Want to help AADB grow and become stronger? Here are some ways you can get involved! The AADB Board of Directors is exploring new and exciting ways to raise funds to support AADB. The Board of Directors is excited to announce all of the fundraising committees that have been set up and approved by the board.

Listed are the subcommittees. If you are interested in any of these, please contact the committee chairs.

  1. House Parties
    Hold a house party in your home to raise funds for AADB!

    Contact person:
    Mark Gasaway,

  2. SSP Training CD
    Create a CD type video to sell so that students in Interpreter Training Programs (ITP) and other interested individuals can benefit from the video showing how to be an effective SSP.

    Contact person:
    Lynn Jansen,

  3. Wine and Cheese Gatherings
    Have wine and cheese events every two or three months across America OR have two of these gatherings in Ohio in the spring of 2011 to raise funds and awareness for AADB.

    Contact person(s):
    Jeff Bohrman,
    Paul Molloy,

  4. Registration Raffle
    Approximately $550 is available to use for the next AADB fundraising event. This money can be used to create a raffle style giveaway.

    Contact person(s):
    Dorothy Walt,
    Lynn Jansen,

  5. Silent Auction
    Items that will be auctioned off should bring in money at an event somewhere, perhaps in Michigan. Maybe people could have at least two silent auctions in different locations and different dates in Michigan.

    Contact person:
    Jill Gaus,

  6. Sporting Events
    Attend a pro or college baseball, football, or basketball game and announce over the PA system that you would like to raise funds for AADB. Logistics for this event must be worked out carefully with management or university system of the home team involved in this activity.

    Contact person:
    Mark Gasaway,

  7. Fundraising Event
    A special event with a famous person is in the planning phase. This event may become a huge affair and the fund raising committee should work with Jamie Pope at the AADB Office, and Anindya Bhattacharyya (Bapin), who are taking the lead on this project.

    Contact person(s):
    Anindya Bhattacharyya (Bapin),,
    Jamie Pope,, and
    Jill Gaus,

  8. Personal Long Distance Walk
    A 100-mile walk is being planned to raise funds and awareness for AADB and deaf-blind people world-wide. This would most likely be a fall 2010 event over a five day period.

    Contact person:
    Mark Gasaway,


In the January 2010 issue of AADB Today, we gave an incorrect link to the You Tube video describing the life of Louis Braille. The link in the html version we provided last month had a parenthesis at the very end, which has been removed. The correct link is:

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

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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