NFADB President’s Message, Fall 2021
Greetings NFADB Members,
It is my pleasure to formally send greetings to NFADB members in my biannual President’s Message. Thank you for your ongoing support of and engagement with the National Family Association for Deaf-Blind. Without you, we could not continue our mission to empower the voices of families with individuals who are deaf-blind and advocate for their unique needs. Together we are better!
October 1 begins NFADB’s 28th fiscal year as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving families. As we begin our new year, it is an honor to introduce two new board members, Lisa Lapatofsky (PA) and Katrina Michel (FL). Both are parents to young children who are deaf-blind and hold executive positions with their state NFADB Affiliates—the Pennsylvania Partnership for DeafBlind (PPDB) and the Family Partners for the DeafBlind of Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands (FPDB-FL/VI). The NFADB executive committee also congratulates board member Donia Shirley as she steps into the role of NFADB secretary.
NFADB will hit the ground running this fall and in the coming months with multiple events, trainings, and opportunities. For more information, see the “Upcoming Events” section of our website, Events
- NFADB Cogswell-Macy Act (CMA) Twitter Blast, October 1 through 7
- The Family Advocacy Training & Education (FATE) Phase I begins October 7 with national family organizations and NFADB Affiliates
- Nominations begin for the 2022 Steve Perreault Award (professional recognition year)
- October 9 (parents) and October 16 (students) virtual table at the Transition Fair for Students Presented by the Indiana Deaf-Blind Services Project and Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults
- October 20 “Got Transition” webinar on the transition from pediatric to adult health services
November and December 2021:
- Family Advocacy Training & Education (FATE) continues
- Family Focus Chats (dates TBD)
- Nominations for the Steve Perrault Award close at the end December
- Phase II of the Family Advocacy Training & Education (FATE): Facilitation of National Advocacy Agenda
- Phase III of Family Advocacy Training & Education (FATE):
Day on the Hill
A glance back at a few highlights, celebrations, remembrances, and events from my last report.
- NFADB joined the Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT) Virtual Camp Conference
- NFADB’s 5th Annual Deaf-Blind Experience—My Family’s Journey: Navigating Life’s Transitions
- 2021-22 Family-to-Family Communities (F2FC) kick-off
- Cogswell-Macy Act: A Family Focus Update
- Social Media stats: Instagram – 721 followers; Facebook – 3,168 followers, post reach – 4,764; Twitter – 344 followers
- NFADB Ambassador project begins training 13 NFADB Ambassadors across the country
- Annual NFADB General Membership Meeting
- The Steve Perreault Award announcement – Congratulations to Clara Berg (NY) and Gordon Boe (PA)
- Welcomed the California Deafblind Network of Family Support Providers as a new member of NFADB’s Affiliate Network
- NFADB joined breakout discussions at the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation virtual conference
- Joe McNulty, 1947-2021. A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. Joe was instrumental in the work and strengthening of NFADB and we will always be grateful for his support, wisdom, and guidance.
- The Pennsylvania Partnership for the DeafBlind (PPDB), and NFADB Affiliate, presented at the PA Deaf-Blind Project’s virtual Family Learning Conference.
- NFADB developed a page on the website specific to families with adult children to share information, resources, and activities
- NFADB presented at the Southeast Regional DeafBlind Webinar Series
NFADB will continue to work hard for our members and families of individuals who are deaf-blind. Please take a few minutes to visit our website, meet the board, and volunteer with us. There are five wonderful working committees that all members are invited to join. If you have a special talent and or skill, please let us know! We are in the deaf-blind community together and our voices can be heard!
Wishing you and your families a wonderful fall and holiday season!
Patti McGowan, NFADB President