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CAD President Report 2013-15

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CAD President Report 2013-15

September 27, 2015 

Dear Deaf Californians,

CAD’s Nonprofit Status Restored
During past two years, CAD Board of Directors have worked hard to restore CAD’s nonprofit status. For a while there was a discussion about whether CAD should be saved We opted to save it because of its rich history- nearly 110 years of promoting, protecting and preserving Deaf Californians' signed language rights as well as human and civil rights. Under the leadership of CEO Sheri Ann Farinha, NorCal Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing played an instrumental role in helping us to restore CAD with incredible resources, including their CPA, Dale Sloss. While reviving CAD, there was never a moment of rest for this team of Board officers. We reached out to six different parts of California by paying out of our own pockets. The Deaf communities in California have been so supportive such as offering us meeting rooms and places to stay. 

CAD’s Outreach Effort
CAD Board held their board meetings at the following areas: Sacramento at Sheri Farinha’s home for the Board retreat, Irvine at University High School with help from their Junior NAD officers, San Diego at UCSD, Sacramento at CAD’s ASL Festival, Los Angeles at NCOD-CSUN right before attending the NCOD Gala, and Oakland at DeafHope’s office. Our Directors of Northern California and Southern California, Alyce Reynolds and Erika Thompson visited several organizations and groups of people to create community connections. I recently went to Riverside to support the Deaf Senior Citizens by presenting at the Mayor’s office about the importance of “Nothing About Us Without Us” and attending the town-hall meeting hosted by CAD’s Southern California Chapter, which took place at C.O.D.I.E.

LEAD-K and SB 210
The Board is also directly involved with Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), a national campaign to end the epidemic of language deprived Deaf children. CAD is proud to have the honor as the first state to start this campaign, which includes California’s Senate Bill 210 (SB 210). SB 210 received unanimous and bipartisan support throughout the entire legislative process. Currently, the bill is about to be signed by Governor Brown. When SB 210 is signed, all Deaf babies will finally be monitored to make sure that they are acquiring language at age-appropriate milestones between the ages of 0-5. At the same time, the parents will be consistently informed about where their Deaf child is at with language acquisition, so they can make sure that their Deaf child is Kindergarten-ready at the age of five. This will end the generations of epidemic language deprivation. 

California Home for Deaf Adults
CHAD which has been a crucial part of our Deaf community services for Deaf adults requiring assistive care. With the current condition of CAD's building in Arcadia, it's no longer feasible to keep renting it out to CHAD. The building is currently on market with the plan to honor the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was signed by the past CAD President, Ralph Singleton, and CHAD President, Scott Hostetler. The CAD Board continue to receive feedbacks and suggestions from the Deaf community, especially in southern California, about the future plans for services like CHAD.

First All Deaf Women CAD Board
One of CAD’s past President, Marcella Meyer, taught me to always toot my horn because no one else will. Thus, I need to say this—the current CAD Board of Directors is the first all-Deaf women board in CAD’s history. Additionally, I am the first Deaf woman president in 24 years. The last woman President is Sheri Farinha, who won in 1989; she also became our Past President consultant for 2013-15. Our Board retreat was facilitated by a past NAD President, Dr. Roz Rosen. It is a rare coincidence to have this level of Deaf women leadership and it should not go unnoticed, because of the incredible level of work this team has invested to rebuild CAD and to pull together the Deaf People of California. This group has restored CAD and there is no other way to state this fact. This group also has a pivotal role in developing LEAD-K and lobbying for SB 210. With this said, our goals for CAD are ambitious. 

CAD’s Work Is Not Done
Two years of volunteer work is not enough. We still have to push for more effective early intervention services for Deaf babies, better communication access at the hospitals, more job opportunities, accessible and safe meetings for parents concerned about Deaf education, and opportunities for Deaf Senior Citizens seeking assistive care services. We also must seek sustainable financial means to mobilize our activism, so we can preserve, promote, and protect our linguistic, civil, and human rights for all Deaf Californians. Our work is not done. 

Julie Rems-Smario, CAD President, 2013-15

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