Today, I got my NAD Magazine in the mail. I couldn’t be any more thrilled when I saw that the overall theme was Election 2008! And I’m proud to say that Deaf Campaign 2008’s The Deaf Perspective blog was featured in the NADmag through an excellent interview! It was an excellent piece and I was very pleased with NAD’s emphasis on the current Election season. I highly recommend all of you to grab the magazine and start reading!
The cover was simple yet striking with a split-split combination of the Democratic Donkey and the Republican Elephant mascots. This is one of the most effective ways to reach out to the deaf community because the NAD is a well known and respected organization that has devoted itself to winning battles for the deaf. Issues of captioning, education, employment, law and the government, health care, transportation, housing, and public transportation are all covered by NAD under Legal Rights. Since its establishment in 1880, NAD has a long history of effective grassroots activism and networking among deaf citizens of America – even before when there was TTY, the Internet, or Video Phones!
The NAD’s continuous outreach to the deaf community reflects the vision of this blog: Despite our diversity, our differing back grounds, even different political stances, we all can come together to be a strong and respected force in American politics.
What has NAD done for the deaf community during Election season, else than releasing an Election-themed magazine issue? One of the best products out of the deaf internet space was NAD’s collaboration with DeafNation to host a video debate completely in sign language between four people who represent the two sides of political spectrum. Jeff Rosen and Liz Stone backed Barack Obama, while Robert Traina and Michael Clegg supported John McCain. The debate was informative, lively, and important to the sign-language community for the unique deaf perspective on national issues.
You can view the video debate here.
NAD also has a section on its website titled “Vote 2008” exclusively about American Election. Voter registration information is provided but there’s more than that. There is a list of Election-specific advocacy activities that NAD has undertaken. The information given is extremely important and relevant to the deaf community such as: Voting Process for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Election Protection, and Voting Access for People with Disabilities.
NAD has come long way since 1880 and it has done a lot for the deaf community. However, I will repeat a quote from my interview:
Traditionally, the deaf community’s forte is grassroots activism. We have a proven history on successful community activism for our rights, beginning with our reaction to the Milan conference in the 1800s with the establishment of the NAD. It seems to me that the deaf community tends to focus on advocacy and fighting back against oppression. My reaction to that is , it’s wonderful! However, imagine what we could for ourselves if we focused our energies and grassroots activism skills on actual American political activism. That way, we the deaf can make changes at the top and spend less time fighting back.
Accolades, National Association of the Deaf!