AADB Today -- Communication Facilitators (CFs) Petition, 2011 National Symposium and More...
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American Association of the Deaf-Blind

April 28, 2011

In this Issue

AADB In Action

  • Communication Facilitators (CFs) Petition

Symposium News

  • Deadlines for Early Bird Registration and Hotel Reservations
  • AADB Raffle First Drawing Soon!
  • AADB’s First Annual Walk-A-Thon
  • AADB Silent Auction at the Symposium
  • AADB Awards
  • Got Talent?
  • Limited Financial Assistance for AADB Symposium's First Timers

Communication Facilitators (CFs) Petition

by Randall Pope, Interim Executive Director

On April 5th, the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) filed a petition in rulemaking with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The petition is a legal argument, asking the FCC to validate Communication Facilitators as a legal service for the Deaf-Blind people in using Video Relay Services (VRS), under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

For the past several years, VRS and video phones (VP) have exploded as the number one phone services used by deaf and hard of hearing people, surpassing the aging TTY. This service has simplified phone conversation, allowing the users to communicate with others in their native American Sign Language or other sign language modes. Unfortunately many deaf-blind people are unable to use VP service due to their vision loss.

To assist deaf-blind people in using VP, the Communication Facilitator (CF) acts as a third party who copies the signs from the screen and relays them to a deaf-blind person in their primary communication mode. Once the information is received, the Deaf-Blind person can sign directly to the caller, like any phone conversation.

The Communication Facilitators petition is the first major step in making Video Relay Service available for deaf-blind people with limited or no vision. After FCC approval, the rulemaking process begins in developing the CF program. Many questions will need to be answered as the program progresses. But AADB will be there every step of the way to ensure that all deaf-blind people will have equal access to all telecommunications now enjoyed by most Americans.

To view the petition please visit:

If you cannot access the web please contact Randall Pope at:

Email: randy.pope@aadb.org
Phone: 301-830-6162 (VP or Voice)
TTY Phone: 302-495-4402

8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Be sure to check our future editions of AADB Today.

AADB would like to personally thank our supporting partners for helping make this petition a reality.

Thank you for your support.

Symposium News

This edition of AADB Today has lots of symposium news: Raffle drawing, Walk-a-thon, Silent auction, AADB awards, Talent show, and Financial assistance for first-time delegates. Keep reading for more information.

Deadlines for Early Bird Registration and Hotel Reservations

May 5th is the last day to register for the symposium at the Early Bird discount rate. After May 5th registration fee will go up to $400.

Have you reserved your hotel room yet? You have until May 17th to reserve your hotel room and then hotel will release the blocked rooms.

For more information about making reservation, please follow this link,For more information about making researvation, or contact Lynn Jansen at: Email: LynnAADB@aol.com orphone: (513) 242-4171 (Voice)

AADB Raffle First Drawing Soon!

First drawing for a beautiful luxurious suite at the Drawbridge Inn Hotel during the week of the Symposium and a drawing for a free banquet ticket will take place June 1st. If you have not yet purchased your raffle tickets, please do so now. You can go on line to the AADB Store and purchase raffle tickets or contact Dorothy Walt directly through email at dorothyaadb@juno.com or contact me by phone if you do not have email.

Call: 206 324 9120 and leave a message with your name, contact info and reference AADB raffle tickets and Dorothy will call you back. All are welcome to buy tickets. The final drawing for other prizes will take place June 20th.

AADB’s First Annual Walk-A-Thon

Come on out and get some exercise and help AADB at the same time. We are looking for real walkers and virtual walkers for our Walk-A-Thon. This year in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky in conjunction with the 2011 symposium, AADB will be launching its first annual Walk-A-Thon on Thursday morning, June 23rd. This event is a .8 mile walk to a local park and a .8 mile walk back to the Drawbridge Inn Hotel.

Come join us and help raise money for the AADB Symposium. It requires a large amount of money to fund the Volunteer Support Service Providers (SSP)/Interpreters’ meals and lodging in exchange for their services to help all the Deaf-Blind Delegates attending the week-long American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) National Symposium (Conference).

The cost to participate is either $20 per walker, $30 per family or at least $50 worth of pledges. Hats will be given to all walkers. The three people bringing in the highest amount of pledges will receive a prize.

For more information, please feel free to contact anyone on the Walk-A-Thon Committee:

AADB Silent Auction at the Symposium

The donations for the Silent Auction are well underway! There will be quite a smorgasbord of items to bid on, from little gift cards all the way to extravagant spa treatments! There's still plenty of time to send in your donations, though! Deadline is May 15 for shipping to Judy Groner for those who are not attending the Symposium. Otherwise, those that are attending and wish to bring their donations with them may drop them off onsite on Saturday, June 18 from 1 to 4 pm or Sunday, June 19 from 9 AM to 5 PM. For more information, contact Jill Gaus jagaus@sbcglobal.net or Judy Groner JAGron514@aol.com, Silent Auction coordinators.

AADB Awards

Are you eager to know who has been chosen to win one of AADB's four awards presented during the Awards Ceremony luncheon on Thursday, June 23? Well, all award winners have been selected so make plans to attend the luncheon and find out who these winners will be!

This will be an exciting event so don't forget to attend and enjoy the suspense!

Mark Gasaway,
Awards Committee Chair

Got Talent?

Artists, Musicians, Poetry Writers, Comedians and more! Would you like to show off your talent? Here is your chance to wow and surprise many people! We have an audience for you! During our AADB National Symposium, we will have a Talent Show on Wednesday night, June 22nd. Sign-ups will be on Monday night and we will have things prepared for the big night of entertainment. The time and place to meet will be listed in the program book to be handed out to all the participants on the day of arrival of the symposium.

Limited Financial Assistance Available for First-Timers to AADB 2011 Symposium

The family of the late Jack Wright and American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) are pleased to offer grants to make it possible for deaf-blind individuals with low income to attend the AADB 2011 National Symposium for the first time. Three grants of $900 each are available to help recipients with expenses to attend the symposium, primarily for the registration and banquet fees, and the remainder for partial support of lodging, meals, and/or travel.

To read the full announcement, get information on how to apply, and download an application, go to: http://aadb.org/conference/2011_symposium/jw_announcement.html or contact Jamie Pope at popejamie@comcast.net or by mail at:

8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Not Attending the Symposium? Still Want to Help?

If you are not attending the Symposium, you still can help AADB by making a gift. Our primarily need is to support our Support Services Providers (SSPs), the most important service for deaf-blind people. Without the SSPs, deaf-blind people will not be able to access both visual and communication information. The SSPs are the key people who make both visual and communication accessible to all deaf-blind people.

If you wish to help, just make a donation online or send your gift to our office. The address is at the bottomo of our newsletter.

Thank you for your support toward AADB

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  • 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121
    Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
  • TTY: 301-495-4402
  • VP: 301-830-6162
  • Voice: 301-830-6162
  • Fax: 301-495-4404
  • Email: aadb-info@aadb.org
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