Visit Deaf Politics to read NAD’s response to Alec McFarlane’s Open Letter to the NAD. 

If you have any thoughts, comments, or questions regarding McFarlane’s letter or the NAD’s response, please comment on the Deaf Politics page.

 

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Upon Alec McFarlane’s request for wide dissemination, I am republishing his letter below.

An Open Letter to the National Association of the Deaf

The Board of the National Association of the Deaf
15 Members
The Library Friends Section
75 Members
The NAD Membership
Unknown Number of Members
The Deaf Community
Estimated at 35 Million People

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board

In regard to the actions taken by some NAD Board Members named herein, we are filing complaint and notice of intent to sue. The NAD Board, over a course of almost 20 years has actively oppressed, suppressed, and discriminated against the Library Friends Section of the NAD and the Deaf Community at large. We will present matters and evidence relating to the last two years and relative to the current Board.

We are calling for Article 4.14 and 4.13 due process hearings for the named individuals who sit on the NAD Board and we are calling for expulsion of these individuals on the grounds of Personal Conflicts, of Withholding Materially relevant information, of discrimination and of Civil Rights violations. Read the rest of this entry »

Zeroing In Our Focus

I want to clarify something from my previous post because there have been comments on Facebook-

I am not targeting individuals such as Soukup, Scoggins, Wagner, or Gilliam nor am I saying that CSD is an evil entity. What I AM saying is that the NAD, as an organization, has issues with transparency, communication, public relations, and I do have my concerns about the NAD leadership, as a whole, not maintaining firm boundaries to preserve the integrity of the organization’s leadership and election processes. My message to the membership is to monitor their delegates and the election processes in an effort to maintain adequate sovereignty, both perceived and real.

Our Spotlight Is On What? The NAD’s Election Committee and the Overall Election Process for NAD Board from now until Election Day.

That. 

Fostering Trust

Starting us off with a Tweet from Marlee Matlin, Deaf America’s leading celebrity and Oscar winner. “Trust is hard to earn when it is met with silence. Stay silent too long & people will reach their own conclusions. Be honest; be loud.”

I e-mailed the National Association of the Deaf on Tuesday, June 5th. This was my message: “Given the questions surrounding transparency with the NAD, we would like to know who the members of the election committee are.”

Mr. Rosenblum’s response as of 9:26 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6th:  “I am forwarding your request to President Bobbie Beth Scoggins for further discussion.”
As of the morning of June 8th (today), there has been no response. Why did I ask? Because community members have raised concerns about the integrity of the election process for the upcoming elections for the NAD Board.
What Do We Know?
Three of the 12 elected Board Officers of the NAD have close ties with Communication Services for the Deaf. That’s 25% representation. Current President Bobbie Beth Scoggins, Vice-President Chris Wagner, and Region III Representative Judith Gilliam have held or currently hold high-ranking positions with CSD or its affiliates. Chris Wagner is also a Senior Vice President at ZVRS. CSD remains a major shareholder in ZVRS. Wagner is now one of the two candidates for the Presidency. The NAD Presidency has been in the hands of individuals closely affiliated with CSD for 14 of the last 19 years. Those former Presidents also serve on the President’s Circle and influence decision making processes. Which means there will be not 1, not 2, but 3 CSD-affiliated folks advising the next President of the NAD.
According to what I have gleamed via multiple sources, two of the five election committee members are: Ben Soukup, the very face of CSD, and Bobbie Beth Scoggins, current NAD President who worked as Chief Operating Officer of CSD.*  I asked Rosenblum to release an official list of election committee members. Just for transparency’s sake. So that the community can sleep easy knowing the election processes are being held in a transparent manner and the best leader to best deal with contemporary challenges will be elected.
After 2 days of no response from Scoggins, I wonder just what there is to discuss.

Note: she is currently the chief operations officer of CSD. This Screenshot was taken May 27, 2012.

We should be able to communicate directly with our Board of Directors and especially our regional representatives. Our representatives need to be closer to the people and direct contact reminds them of who they serve and who entrusted them with their responsibilities in the first place. We need to have more transparent stakeholder participation.

Please communicate this with the NAD too that you agree you want to access your representatives directly.

I Sent This Following Message to the NAD via their Online Contact Form:

I demand that the contact information for our Board of Directors be made public. We deserve to be able to communicate directly with our Board of Directors. Our communications with the Board and our representatives should not be meditated through this medium (online contact form). I do not have faith that my messages are reaching my representatives on the Board. Given the lack of Transparency thus far, I do not have the confidence in Ms. Scoggins or individuals to meditate my communications with the Board. I am issuing a Call for Transparency and insisting that you make contact information available.

 

A few links to some letters written recently to the NAD:

The one written by Mr. Renteria includes some educational literature on some of the deeper issues we are discussing here: please take a moment to read through them.

From Dragosani Renteria, Founder of Deaf Queer Resource Center

California Association of the Deaf

Elena Ruiz

Stephanie Johnson

And many more available on the End One, End All Facebook Wall: