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President's December 2023 Update

The recently held DSA 2023 Hollywood Conference was very successful. We had a total of 1,100 in attendance— registrants, workshop presenters, exhibitors, and performing artists. We want to express appreciation to all the everyone who contributed to its success, particularly our sponsors who gave generous support. Video link


This was the first national conference managed by the DSA Board. We look forward to hosting many more successful events, working closely with the local community in each city.

Video by DSA President Phil Aiello (transcript in blog)

The DSA 2025 Conference will be held on August 15–21 in Kanas City, Missouri. We hope you all will attend. The deadline for the early bird conference combo rate of $400 has been extended to June 30, 2024. After that date, it will increase to $450. I encourage you to take advantage of the early bird rate now.


I want to thank all the members who responded to our DSA membership survey. Normally when a survey is sent out, responses are typically less than 10 percent of membership; we received a robust 30 percent response! We appreciate your feedback and will be using it to make upcoming changes to our New Horizons magazine. We also hope that, down the line, more members will opt for to receive the magazine in digital format.


The DSA Board has met twice since the Hollywood conference — we’ve been busy transferring and updating files, collating data, reconciling finances, making updates to membership records, and working on priorities for the next two years.


I will now talk about some of the priorities the Board is currently addressing.


We’re in the process of updating our Guidestar status — this is where donors, corporations and foundations look up our nonprofits to learn about their financials, people/leadership, mission, and more. We’ve put in the necessary information to raise DSA to the bronze level; we are now aiming for the gold level.


We’re pleased to unveil the new DSA website — it is designed to be user friendly and easy to navigate. What you see now is just the beginning. The new website will continue to expand over time. New features will be added such as a members-only area and the ability to make online payments. We will also be sharing more news about how DSA is working to represent your interests, upcoming webinars, addition of new resources, and more.


We’re working to update the Senior Resource Listing, which was previously on the NAD website; it is now on the DSA website. Our joint efforts with the NAD on this listing will continue. We now need the help of DSA members to help us update the resources within each state— deaf senior organizations, clubs and gatherings; senior housing/services options ranging from independent living to memory and specialized care; agencies and commissions serving deaf seniors, and more. DSA receives calls and emails from members and their families seeking assistance and/or support, so we do need your help. Please visit the Resources page and let us know what needs to be added or updated.


We’re working jointly with national organizations such as NASADHH, NAD, TDI, NBDA, AADB and others on the Older Americans Act (OAA), which will be reauthorized by the U.S. Congress in 2024. DSA has also requested the support of AARP in these efforts. As a group, we are advocating for the inclusion of effective communication access, auxiliary aids, and more in the legislation.


We met recently with AARP at their headquarters in Washington, DC to share our vision of how we can work collaboratively in the coming year. The meeting was very productive and we look forward to working with them on shared goals.


Going forward, you’ll have the opportunity to view individual vlogs/blogs by DSA Board members on this website under Latest News. Each will explain their Board roles and responsibilities, so that you can be informed of their work on your behalf. Please reach out to us, as we want to engage more with our members. You can find our email handles in the About section of the website.


I would like to thank each one of you for continuing your DSA membership. If you know of friends who have not renewed their membership or those who are not members, please encourage them to do so. The more members we have, the stronger DSA will become.


As you can see, a lot has been happening these past few months. We’re also working toward the future hire of an executive director. We appreciate the support of all who = gave generously toward this goal during the recent DSA 2023 Conference; our fundraising efforts are ongoing.


2023 will be coming to an end in a few weeks. Many people make donations to charity during this time of the year. I encourage you to make a donation to DSA; you can direct it to where the need is greatest, to the executive director fund, or in honor of a specific person.


Again, thank you for your involvement and support. On behalf of the DSA Board of Directors, I want to wish you all our warmest wishes for the holiday season and a happy New Year. Stay safe and be well.

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