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From the President's Pen

A Challenge for Collaboration

As we begin yet another academic year, I hope you are experiencing a sense of renewal, and a feeling of revitalization, as you face a new group of enthusiastic students. The fall season prompts us to reflect on past school years, as many of us make "new year's" resolutions about our teaching, research, writing, professional responsibilities, and relationships with our students and colleagues. This year, I believe, resolutions to get involved and to work collaboratively are more crucial than in many past years.
We have experienced a rapid evolution (some would call it a revolution) in our thinking about deaf education. At the core of our changing views is a commitment to collaboration. Collaboration with colleagues, parents, students, school programs, public agencies and, of course, the community. One test of ACE-DHH's commitment to collaboration was our recent vote to support the inclusion of the National Association of the Deaf as a member organization of CED. As an organization, we recognize the vital importance, and right, of the primary consumer organization of deaf individuals to participate in the establishment of standards for teachers and other school personnel. We welcomed the initiative of the organization representing the majority of deaf adults to share the responsibility for preparing teachers and to join in partnership with CEASD, CAID, AGBAD, and ACE-DHH.

Another test of collaboration will soon be presented to the Alexander Graham Bell Association as they vote on whether to support NAD as a member organization to CED. At the June meeting of CEASD and CAID, both organizations joined ACE-DHH to support NAD's membership bid. Now it is up to AGBAD. A vote in support of NAD would communicate a commitment to collaboration with an essential community organization. A vote of "no" would send a disturbing message to the field about one organization's lack of commitment to collaboration. A vote of "no", according to the current bylaws of CED, would prevent NAD from joining CED.

As a member of AGBAD, I have expressed my concern and beliefs to Pat Stone, the President of AGBAD, regarding the importance of voting to accept NAD as a member of CED. I urge you to contact members of the AGBAD executive board before their meeting in November and appeal to them to support the nomination of NAD. If you would like more information about the Education Sub-Committee of NAD, or other educational initiatives in which NAD is currently involved, contact Jay Innes at Gallaudet University at (202) 651-5530.

I urge you to consider the challenges of collaboration as we prepare for our 1994 conference. Conference presentations and discussions concerning this and related issues surely will be fruitful. See you in Texas!