December 30, 2010
Dear Supporters of AADB,

As 2010 draws to an end, AADB welcomes 2011 with renewed hope.

During 2010, AADB has faced very difficult times. We were forced to downsize the office and programs, and lay off four people on the staff in its wake. As the unpaid interim executive director, I was the only person left behind, working almost every day and doing the work of five people. Against all odds that seem impossible, AADB is still running and doing business as usual with very, very limited resources.

Thanks to those who opened their hearts, the donations have increased, improving AADB's financial picture for the last two months. For the first time in several years, the incoming donations have surpassed our outgoing expenses. However, AADB is still not out of the woods yet.

Deaf-blind Americans need AADB to be their "voice" and advocate for their needs so that they are not forgotten or left behind on the national level. AADB is the only national consumer advocacy organization of, for, and by deaf-blind people. That means we understand completely the needs for equal access and respect, and the struggles to live a good life and avoid the terrible feeling of isolation that comes with not being able to communicate, understand what others are saying, and getting around in our daily lives. Without AADB, who will advocate for deaf-blind people?

The deaf, hard-of-hearing and blind people are very fortunate to have national advocacy organizations to advocate on their behalf. AADB is the only national advocacy organization that speaks on behalf of the deaf-blind community. How did AADB make a difference? By reminding the other organizations that deaf-blind people are out there. We are happy to say that they have listened. In return, they have collaborated with AADB in advancing the lives of deaf-blind people. This is to show that deaf-blind people need AADB.

Did you know...

  • that AADB was the first organization to establish the Support Service Provider (SSP) program? When? At the 1980 AADB National Convention when the word "SSP" was coined by Roderick Macdonald, the first president and founding father of AADB. He wanted to give the volunteers who helped deaf-blind people access the convention by guiding and assisting with communication a name that recognizes the vital work they do.
  • that AADB also provides technology training? With the assistance of Helen Keller National Center's staff member Anindya "Bapin" Bhattacharryya who is deaf-blind and well known for his technology skills, training on deaf-blind technology was done at the 2006 AADB National Conference in Maryland. This training session called "Bapin's Lab" was so popular that plans are underway to have it again in the upcoming 2011 AADB Symposium and future conferences.
  • that AADB has been actively involved in advocacy and public awareness? With the help of many supporters, we were able to get Congress to pass legislation that will begin a $10 million national deaf-blind technology equipment distribution program under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

These are just a few of many things that AADB has been doing over the years. Our goal is to expand the Technology and SSP programs beyond the conferences, in order to reach out to deaf-blind people who cannot get the needed assistance elsewhere. In addition, we need to expand our awareness and advocacy efforts to ensure that deaf-blind people participate in and have equal access to their community.

For AADB to accomplish our goals we need your help. Consider partnering with AADB by making a gift that will enrich the lives of our people who are deaf-blind. Give today! Make a tax-deductible donation by:

  • online at http://aadb.convio.net/donate
    (You also have the option of setting up automatic monthly donations using credit/debit cards, paypal, or bank draft)
  • phone at 301-830-6162 voice or VP
    (if you are calling by voice, a sign language interpreter will come on the line to assist our conversation)
  • or mail to:
    AADB
    8630 Fenton St., Suite 121
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

Thank you so much for helping AADB and deaf-blind people everywhere to have a good start in 2011. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly. We wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011!

With Warm Regards,

Randall Pope,
Interim Executive Director
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