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Uniting together to create pathways to leadership

April 1, 2016
By Kaitlin Luna

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On March 24, 2016, Gallaudet University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH), a non-profit organization comprised of members of state offices for the deaf and hard of hearing.

President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano signed the agreement with Steven Florio, ’92, president of NASADHH and executive director of the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The MOU lays out several avenues of cooperation between NASADHH, and Gallaudet’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program and Department of Government and Public Affairs. The agreement helps students and alumni find internship and job opportunities. It also provides training in administration and leadership for NASADHH members through the MPA program and the Burstein Center for Excellence, Leadership and Innovation (BCELI).

“During my travels this semester, I visited Gallaudet clubs and many people said the same thing; they want leadership development in their communities, and they want to ensure a succession plan for deaf leaders,” said Cordano. “This MOU is important because our students will have many new internship and job opportunities.”

In attendance for the signing were Jan Withers, G-’92, secretary of NASADHH and director of the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Ronald Lanier, director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Kelby Brick, ’94, director of the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; and Earnest Covington, executive director of the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; and faculty members from the MPA program and Department of Government and Public Affairs.

Florio called the partnership an honor as the NASADHH represents 39 states.

“NASADHH and Gallaudet have a common goal of improving the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people in terms of accessibility and opportunities,” Florio said. “This is a mutually beneficial partnership.”

Cordano told Florio that both organizations are stronger when they are united, particularly when it comes to improving the employment prospects for deaf and hard hearing people.

“There’s a sense of urgency that I carry with me as president of Gallaudet University, and you do as well every day as president of NASADHH,” said Cordano to Florio.

1 April 2016
By Kaitlin Luna

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Kaitlin Luna

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