Hi! My name is Liz Hill and I am a PSAD board member. Last month, I promised that I would do monthly vlogs for topic of the month or question of the month. I took this opportunity for today because March 8th is International Women’s Day. Many women wore red today in support of International Women’s Day. Many men also wore red to show appreciation for their wives, mothers, grandmothers, etc.
Interestingly, our PSAD board has nine (9) members. It could be more but that is what we currently have. Of our nine (9) members, five (5) are women including our President, Grace Shirk-Emmons, and our second Vice-President, Sharon Antal. So women are a big part of PSAD and give so much of their time and service.
Some of you have asked about what PSAD is. PSAD is one of the oldest state associations in the nation. We are not *the* oldest, but one of the oldest! We are a statewide civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people from birth to end of life. An example of advocacy from birth is when babies are born and identified as deaf, PSAD supports early exposure to American Sign Language (ASL) to ensure proper language development. This is so that our children can be ready for school!
Another example of our advocacy efforts. Last Wednesday, Dr. Harvey Corson, our executive director, and I went to Washington, DC to support CEASD’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. CEASD is Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf. CEASD hosted this day to advocate for the passage of the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act to strengthen the IDEA for deaf, deaf-blind, and blind children. I am proud to tell you that PSAD, I believe, was the only state association present in support of this effort! Pennsylvania had an amazingly large group, in addition to PSAD, with PSD, WPSD, WPSB – school for blind children in Pittsburgh, and Overbrook – school for blind children in Philadelphia area. Both WPSB and Overbrook have deaf-blind children. Our group was such an amazingly strong group! We had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Senator Casey’s staff, U.S. Senator Toomey’s staff, as well as several U.S. Representatives. If you are interested in helping with the passage of this bill, let your Senator and Representative know that you support H.R. 1120.
If you have any other questions or topics for next month’s vlog, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much!