American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) E-Newsletter
June 17, 2017
Jenée Alleman, President
René Pellerin, Vice President
Christopher Woodfill, Secretary
Mark Gasaway, Treasurer
Board Members, Nicole Alleman, Ryan Bondroff, Mindy Dill, Sarah Goodwin, and Tara Invidiato
President’s Corner: Jenée Alleman-Goodman
Happy Father’s Day and Happy Summer to all of you!
I am sure some of you are going to DeafBlind camps this summer. Please be safe and enjoy yourselves! Going to camps with fellow DeafBlind folks is usually a good way to rediscover yourself and learn more about your identity as a DeafBlind person.
The AADB Board has decided we will not do the in-person board retreat as we felt we were running out of time trying to work and plan with Gallaudet University. However we have decided we will have two online video conference calls in the next few months to discuss what we need to do to help AADB grow. We will release meeting minutes after each meeting. We are also working on updating the website. The website work itself is a beast and we are trying our best to recreate and update the website, periodically. Hopefully you’ll see an improved website before the end of September 2017!
Again, be safe this summer and have a fabulous time whatever you do!
Spotlight Items: By Tara Invidiato
Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) is having a fantastic fundraiser with the National Family Association for the Blind (NFAB) in New York City. The date is set for June 29, Thursday starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. The two organizations will provide hands-on activities for youths and adults. There will be a wine tasting event with your eyes covered by sleep shades! For more information, look into the newsletter on HKNC website – http://www.helenkeller.org. Register and join the fun meeting other DeafBlind and advocates that represent and support the services of HKNC and NFAB. Should any DeafBlind individuals wish to register and need assistance, please contact
2. Technology savvy news! The DeafBlind members of AADB had a very insightful discussion on the how and what to do for 911 emergencies. From the discussion it seems the best way for DB to call 911 is to use Sprint IP Relay, which has improved their app on mobile phones. Register on http://www.iprelay.com to enroll your profile information and begin making calls independently!
Notably, the FCC is still working on making Real Time Text to integrate with mobile phones and to reach 911 effectively. However, the general public can text the number of “911” in the text messenger but it may prolong the processing time for the operator to receive the transmission due to high volume of emergency calls via text. AADB recognizes the new innovative designs of expanding the DeafBlind accessibility to make calls and to empower their independence. The community thrives on the ever so popular Video Relay or Video Phone technology. The DeafBlind now, more than ever before, can use any of these services right off their fingertips!
3. Conference Alert!
Perkins.org has announced preparations for a 2018 international themed conference set for April 15, 2018. It takes place in Cape Cod, Massachusettes. The Network of the Americas, is looking for presenters that need to submit abstracts due June 30, 2017. Don’t miss out this opportunity to make a difference and spread the word! For more information – http://www.perkins.org/get-involved/events/dbi#page-title.
Advocacy Committee: René Pellerin, Chair
In our last newsletter, we discussed what is happening with the Federal budget for rest of the fiscal year which ends September 30, 2017.
President Trump’s admiration has submitted Fiscal Year 2018 budget. This budget begins October 1, 2017 and ends September 30, 2018. The budget proposal is a big concern and features deep cuts in many programs. Congress did not like it but that is a start on the budget negotiations. Congress will work on the budget throughout the summer and early fall. Note: Congress will be in recess in August. We don’t know what the future looks like with this new budget plan.
Media Committee: Mindy Dill, Chair
The media committee attempted to develop a new AADB logo which was presented to the AADB membership to vote. The majority of members did not like the logo. We are currently using the old logo for now. AADB business page is on Facebook now so please like and follow https://www.facebook.com/AADB1937/ for latest updates. The old AADB Facebook group will be closed on July 4, 2017 as we use AADB business page from now on. The AADB website is now in the process of being updated with work continuing. AADB will have open board meeting in the near future so be on the lookout for the meeting date and information on how to observe the
meeting in progress!
Secretary Highlights: Christopher Woodfill
The Secretary information will be posted in the “Meeting Minutes Section” on the AADB website and available in the August newsletter.