• 23-Oct-2019 2:52 PM | Anonymous

    October 2019 - President’s Bi-Annual Report

    Dear NFADB Members,

    Fall Greetings from NFADB.  On behalf of myself and our current and newly elected board members, I would like to welcome you to the 2019-2020 year for the National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB). On behalf of myself and our new board, we look forward to working with all of you in the coming year. As we begin the new fiscal year (October 1, 2019), I would like to provide you with information to get us all started on making 2019-2020 another great year for NFADB.

    Although this report is a bit long, I hope that you will take time to review it carefully as there is important information to help you become involved with NFADB. It includes: (1) thanks to our outgoing board members; (2) election results and a complete list of board members; (3) committees and committee chairs; (4) NFADB’s organizational structure, (5) how to get involved—call for open positions and committee membership, and (6) a glance at the past six months.  Before the report begins, I would like to honor and recognize Steve Perreault.

    In Memory

    It is with great sorrow that we share the news that our dear friend and Special Advisor of NFADB, Steve Perreault, passed away. Steve was instrumental in the development of NFADB and a longtime supporter of families with individuals who are deaf-blind. Steve was a kind, caring friend to all and will be dearly missed by our deaf-blind community.  

    Outgoing Board Members

    We would like to thank Debra Pickens for completion of a one-year board vacancy position and for her service to NFADB’s Adult Life Committee. Debra did a tremendous job providing excellent resources about transitioning to adult life.

    A heartfelt thank you to Nancy O’Donnell, NFADB Special Advisor. Nancy has been with NFADB since its inception 25 years ago and will be an NFADB friend for life. Although she has stepped out of the formal role of Special Advisor, NFADB will always look to Nancy for guidance, mentorship, and historic information. We look forward to future collaborative events where we know our paths will cross.

    2019 NFADB Elections

    NFADB is a nonprofit organization made up of a volunteer working board of family members of individuals with deaf-blindness and two professionals. We have eleven board members, two special advisors, and one part-time employee, our administrative assistant.

    NFADB completed its election in June and announced the elected board at the July Annual General Membership Meeting. Please join me in welcoming new board members Nilam Agrawal (TX), Marvin Jones (OH), and Rebecca Cowan-Story (GA). I would like to thank everyone who ran for office and indicated interest in being appointed to open positions. You can learn about all our board members on the NFADB Board of Directors page on our website (https://nfadb.org/page-18080).  

    Current Board of Directors:

    Role & Name


    President, Patti McGowan

    Oct. 1, 2018-Sept.30, 2020                (1st  term)

    Vice President, Diana Griffen

    Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2021               (2nd term)

    Treasurer, Jacqueline Izaguirre                          

    Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2020               (2nd term)

    Secretary, Melanie Knapp                                     

    Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2021               (1st term)

    Affiliate Coordinator, Edgenie Bellah

    Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2020               (3rd term)

    Board Member, Nilam Agrawal

    Oct. 1, 2019-Sept .30, 2020               (1st term)

    Board Member, Mary Gyori

    Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2021               (1st term)

    Board Member, Kim Huston                              

    Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2021               (3rd term)

    Board Member, Marvin Jones                             

    Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2021               (1st term)

    Board Member, Myrna Medina

    Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2020               (1st term)

    Board Member, Rebecca Cowan-Story

    Oct.1,  2019-Sept. 30, 2021               (1st  term)

    Special Advisors:

    • NCDB Liaison Special Advisor: Megan Cote
    • NCDB Liaison Special Advisor: Peggy Malloy

    Administrative Assistant:

    • Allan Santiago

    Standing Committees

    • Executive Committee: The Executive Committee’s mission is to serve NFADB’s Board of Directors by researching, reviewing, and organizing information required for efficient consideration and strategic planning by the Board and optionally making recommendations or proposals based on such information.
    • Nomination Committee: The mission of the Nominations Committee is to carry out responsibilities related to NFADB’s nomination processes and procedures, as well as related matters required by NFADB Bylaws. Its key responsibility is to identify individuals qualified to be nominated for election to the board of NFADB. 

    Ad Hoc Committees

    For 2019-2020, NFADB will have seven ad hoc committees. Our goal for each is to provide a service for our members and for the association. The missions and committee chair for each ad hoc committee are as follows:  

    • Adult Life Committee – Chair, Patti McGowan

    The mission of the Adult Life Committee is to share information, resources, and activities that help individuals who are deaf-blind, and their families, dream, plan, strategize, and break down barriers, in order to attain a safe, happy, inclusive life for the family member who is deaf-blind.

    • Affiliate Committee – Chair, Edgenie Bellah

    The Affiliate Committee’s mission is to serve as a conduit for the NFADB Affiliate Network to partner in influencing national trends and legislation, providing a platform for leadership development, and promoting NFADB membership.

    • Finance Committee – Chair, Jacqueline Izaguirre

    The Finance Committee provides oversight responsibilities to ensure NFADB is fiscally responsible with respect to budgeting, safeguarding assets, financial reporting, and compliance with federal and New York State tax reporting.

    • Development Committee – Chair, Mary Gyori

    The mission of the Development Committee is to build relationships and enlist the help of individuals or organizations who support NFADB’s overall mission and can provide the financial support that will meet the specific ongoing needs and well-being of NFADB.

    • Membership Committee – Chair, Kim Huston

      The mission of the Membership Committee is to support NFADB goals by: 

    • Conducting recruitment campaigns
    • Developing and implementing innovative ways to attract new members
    • Retaining current members
    • Encouraging member participation in NFADB committees and activities
    • Maintaining an up-to-date membership list that can be used for NFADB outreach and fundraising
    • Outreach Committee – Chair, TBD-Full Board Participation 

    The mission of the Outreach Committee is to ensure that every family supporting an individual with deaf-blindness has an awareness of NFADB and our resources.

    • Policy Information and Education (PIE) Committee: Co-Chairs, Melanie Knapp and Jacqueline Izaguirre

    This committee provides public support for and makes recommendations for particular causes or policies that will benefit the deaf-blind community.

    Organizational Structure

    Based on a suggestion and support from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, we have developed an Operations Manual to support NFADB management and processes. It includes existing policies and processes well as new ones that are being considered and developed. As such, it is a living document that will continue to be added to and edited for accuracy and clarity. Annual review of the manual and suggestions for edits and additions will be made by the board. By collecting and organizing this information, NFADB will be able to more efficiently manage itself as a volunteer organization with limited time and resources. It should also increase continuity over time through the board member transitions and other changes that all organizations encounter.

    How to Get Involved

    We are excited about the upcoming year and would like you to get involved with NFADB! We currently have a few vacant positions and are seeking interested individuals:

    • Editor for family stories posted on the NFADB website
    • Individuals to assist in developing a process for scholarships for families to attend state and national conferences
    • Individuals to assist in making NFADB resources accessible
    • NFADB ambassadors
    • NFADB historian 
    • NFADB podcasts editor and transcript creator

    In addition, we need members for the following committees: Adult Life, Affiliate, Development, Membership, Outreach, and PIE. If you are interested in one of the vacant positions and/or committee membership, please email me directly at patti@nfadb.org and include your name and the position or committee in which you are interested. If you are interested in more than one, that is fine! Please just rank your preference and we will include you where you are needed most.

    We are also always looking for members to become NFADB Ambassadors and provide training for individuals interested in this role. NFADB ambassadors serve as the faces and voices of our association. They build brand recognition and share our beliefs and mission. The purpose of the training is to help interested individuals feel comfortable promoting NFADB to a variety of audiences. It includes information on the following areas and can be offered on an as-needed basis:

    • NFADB outline: How to talk about NFADB
    • NFADB PowerPoint slide presentation
    • NFADB brochure
    • NFADB committee document

    This goal of the NFADB Ambassadors program is to increase awareness of NFADB, generate support for families, increase our membership, recruit volunteers, and identify potential family organizations to become NFADB affiliates.

    Activities Over the Past 6 Months at a Glance 

    • October 4–5, 2019: NFADB Full Board Face-to-Face Meeting at the Helen Keller National Center 
    • October 3, 2019: 3rd Annual Deaf-Blind Awareness Experiences Event, NY
    • September 27–29, 2019: Hosted an exhibit table at the Deaf-Blind Multi-handicapped Association ofTexas (DBMAT) Family Weekend, Texas
    • September 2019–May 2020: Facilitating Family-2-Family Communities Project Adult Life Group
    • August 2–5, 2019: Hosted an exhibit table at the 14th International CHARGE Syndrome Conference, Dallas, TX
    • July 13, 2019: Hosted an exhibit table at the 11th Annual Usher Syndrome Coalition USH Connections Conference, Philadelphia, PA 
    • July 11–14, 2019: NFADB Awareness Session at the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (GFPD) Conference, Washington, DC
    • June 21–22, 2019: Co-hosted exhibit with State Affiliate, Pennsylvania Deaf-Blind Project Family Learning Weekend, PA
    • May 31–June 1, 2019: Hosted an exhibit table, Southern California 2019 Family Workshop, Long Beach, CA

    If you would like NFADB representation at your conference or other event that includes families with individuals who are deaf-blind, please contact us. We will do everything in our power to have a board member or NFADB Ambassador attend to bring awareness of NFADB to your function.

    Thank you for bearing through this long report. NFADB has been busy and I wanted to share all of our good work with our members. We are looking forward to an exciting year with NFADB and your involvement. We are grateful to our members and hope that with your help we can continue to advocate on behalf of families, foster family-to-family relationships, promote partnerships, and provide resources, information, and training opportunities for families.  

    Best Regards,

    Patti McGowan, NFADB President 

  • 28-Aug-2019 4:55 PM | Anonymous

    What is the Coalition’s mission?

    The National Coalition on Deafblindness provides information and advocacy in a collaborative way to policy makers, fiscal agents, education professionals and community leaders on behalf of children and youth who are deafblind, in conjunction and partnership with adults who are deafblind, families, and stakeholders.

    Who are the Coalition’s national partners?

    • American Association of the Deafblind
    • CHARGE Syndrome Foundation
    • DeafBlind Citizens in Action
    • Helen Keller National Center
    • National Family Association for Deaf-Blind
    • Usher Syndrome Coalition

    What does the Coalition do?

    The Coalition’s current focus is to advance the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act in the U.S. Congress (see more about the Cogswell-Macy Act below). The Coalition is in the process of incorporating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so that we can begin recruiting organizational members and individual members who want to help support the Cogswell-Macy Act.

    What is the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    The Cogswell-Macy Act is federal legislation that amends IDEA on issues specific to the education of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, and deafblind. The Act has three titles (or sections):

    • Title I: Improving the Effectiveness of Special Education and Related Services for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
    • Title II: Improving the Effectiveness of Special Education and Related Services for Students with Visual Disabilities
    • Title III: Improving the Effectiveness of Special Education and Related Services for Children and Youth who are Deafblind

    Title III, which is the section specific to deafblindness, amends IDEA to add interveners as a related service. Title III corrects the federal definition of deafblindness by proposing a new definition that is clearer and is consistent with other federal definitions. Title III also requires states to report on how they will ensure the availability of qualified interveners and teachers of children who are deafblind.

    The Cogswell-Macy Act has been introduced in the past three Congresses:

    Congress Years House and Senate bills

    • 113th Congress 2013-2014 House Resolution (HR) 3535
    • 114th Congress 2015-2016 House Resolution (HR) 4040
    • 115th Congress 2017-2018 House Resolution (HR) 1120 and Senate Bill (S) 2087

    In the House of Representatives, the Cogswell-Macy Act was introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright (DPA) and co-sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). At the end of the last Congress in 2018, the Cogswell-Macy Act had been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where it eventually ‘died in committee.’ At that time, however, the Act had a record 48 bipartisan cosponsors, including 10 Republicans and 38 Democrats. In addition, the 115th Congress was the first time the Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate, which is a legislative necessity for a bill to move forward. In the Senate, the Act was introduced by Edward Markey (D-MA) and co-sponsored by Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

    For the full text of the Cogswell-Macy Act and list of co-sponsors in the House of Representatives from the last Congress in 2018, go to: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1120.

    What’s happening right now with the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    The Coalition is actively engaged with key stakeholder groups to make any needed minormadjustments to the Act’s language prior to the Act being re-introduced into the House and Senate. We are hopeful that we will have the continued support of House members and Senators who introduced or co-sponsored the legislation in the past.

    The Cogswell-Macy Act may or may not be passed by Congress as a stand-alone bill, or it may eventually be merged with other federal legislation. It is also possible that if Congress begins drafting language for the reauthorization of IDEA—which is many years overdue—the language in the Cogswell-Macy Act will be included in that reauthorization process. It is important to remember that many organizations and constituent groups support the intent of the legislation and this support will help us to ensure that these needed changes to IDEA are eventually enacted, either through passage of the Cogswell-Macy Act or through Congressional reauthorization of IDEA.

    What can you do to support the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    Stay connected to the Coalition on Twitter. Once the Cogswell-Macy Act is reintroduced, we will need our supporters to contact their respective Representatives and Senators and ask that they support the legislation by co-sponsoring and by encouraging their colleagues to do the same. This should be an easy request. Personal stories from local constituents are powerful tools for getting the attention of lawmakers. This is legislation that improves services to a population of students that might be relatively small in number but that have extraordinarily complex and specialized educational needs.

    How can you learn more about the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act?

    To learn more about the Cogswell-Macy Act, go to: https://cogswellmacyact.org.

    Who constitutes the Leadership Team of the National Coalition on Deafblindness?

    The current Leadership Team of the Coalition includes the following individuals (listed alphabetically):

    Maurice Belote, California • Jacqueline Izaguirre, Texas (NFADB Liaison)

    Tracy Luiselli, Massachusetts • John Mascia, Alabama

    Follow the Coalition on Twitter: @DB_Coalition

  • 07-Jun-2019 1:17 PM | Anonymous

    Compliments of American Council of the Blind

    Please read below the proposed White House budget for 2020 and how budget cuts will affect people with disabilities!

    The White House released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020. Many in the disability community expressed concerns regarding program eliminations and spending cuts. It is important to keep in mind that our government is a system of checks and balances. One check that Congress has over the whims of the executive is the power of the purse, as laid down in the U.S. Constitution. a president’s budget proposal is as much a  political messaging document as a policy document. We anticipate the newly elected Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, where all funding bills must originate, to view many of the Executive’s policy recommendations with a healthy dose of skepticism. Along with our allies in the cross-disability community, the ACB National Office is monitoring the actions of the Administration and Congress very closely, and we will alert our membership of any significant developments. That said, below is a list of the budget proposals with the potential to directly impact ACB members.




    The White House budget proposal would reduce Medicare spending by $575 billion over the next ten years by reducing wasteful spending, provider payments, and lowering prescription drug prices.




    The White House budget proposal would reduce Medicaid spending by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, would implement work requirements, and create $1.2 trillion block grants for the states. The net reduction in value for Medicaid is projected to be $777 billion.


    Social Security


    The White House budget plans to reduce Social Security Disability Insurance spending by $10 billion over the next ten years. 


    Department of Education


    Programs authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are level funded.


    Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

    ·         Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants would receive $3,610,000,000, a 2.5% increase ($88,010,000 increase) from FY 2019.

    ·         Supported Employment State Grants is zeroed out, a $22,548,000 decrease.

    ·         Services for Older Blind Individuals would receive $33,317,000, level funded.

    In addition, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults would receive $10,300,000, a 23.7% decrease ($3,200,000 decrease) in funding from FY 2019.


    Under Special Institutions for Persons with Disabilities:

    ·         American Printing House for the Blind would receive $25,400,000, a 16.53% decrease ($5,031,000 decrease) in funding from FY 2019.

    ·         National Technical Institute for the Deaf would receive $70,000,000, a %9.68% decrease ($7,500,000 decrease) from FY 2019.

    ·         Gallaudet University would receive $121,300,000, a 9.72% decrease ($13,061,000 decrease) from FY 2019.


    The budget proposal also proposes to eliminate 29 programs for an annual savings of $6.7 billion.  Those programs include:

    ·         Special Olympics Education Programs, which were funded at $17,600,000.

    ·         21st Century Community Learning Centers, which were funded at $1,221,700,000.

    ·         Alaska Native Education, which was funded at $35,000,000    

    ·         American History and Civics Education, which was funded at $4,800,000.

    ·         Arts in Education, which was funded at $29,000,000.

    ·         Comprehensive Centers, which were funded at $52,000,000.

    ·         Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants, which were funded at $190,000,000.

    ·         Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, which were funded $840,000,000.

    ·         Full-Service Community Schools, which were funded at $17,500,000.

    ·         Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, which was funded at $5,000,000.

    ·         Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which were funded at $360,000,000.

    ·         Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, which was funded at $23,000,000.

    ·         Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property, which were funded at $74,300,000.

    ·         Innovative Approaches to Literacy, which were funded $27,000,000.

    ·         International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic Programs, which were funded at $65,100,000.

    ·         International Education and Foreign Language Studies Overseas Programs, which were funded at $7,100,000.

    ·         Javits Gifted and Talented Education, which was funded at $12,000,000.

    ·         Native Hawaiian Education, which was funded at $36,000,000.

    ·         Promise Neighborhoods, which were funded at $78,300,000.

    ·         Ready to Learn Programming, which was funded at $27,700,000.

    ·         Regional Educational Laboratories, which were funded at $55,400,000.

    ·         Statewide Family Engagement Centers, which were funded at $10,000,000.

    ·         Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, which were funded at $32,300,000.

    ·         Strengthening Institutions, which were funded at $99,900,000.

    ·         Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, which were funded at $1,170,000,000.

    ·         Supported Employment State Grants, which were funded at $22,500,000.

    ·         Supporting Effective Educator Development, which was funded at $75,000,000.

    ·         Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, which were funded at $2,055,800,000.

    ·         Teacher Quality Partnership, which was funded at $43,100,000.





    Clark Rachfal

    Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs

    American Council of the Blind (ACB)

    1703 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 420

    Alexandria, VA 22311

    Main: 202-467-5081

    Learn more about us at www.acb.org

    Follow us on Twitter at @acbnational

    Like us on Facebook at wwwfacebook.com/AmericanCounciloftheBlindOfficial

    View our YouTube page at http://tinyurl.com/gloz7bq

  • 07-Jun-2019 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Access Technology Affordability Act

    Senate - S. 815 - Sponsored by John Boozman (R-AR)

    The Bill - Read It

    Follow the Bill HERE

    House - H.R. 2086 - Sponsored by Mike Thompson (D-CA-5)

    Follow the Bill HERE
    This legislation removes an employment barrier commonly experienced by blind Americans who cannot afford the high cost of access technology by creating a refundable tax credit in the amount of $2,000 to offset the cost of these technologies.

    When you call or email, you might say something like the following:

    "Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your senator/representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor [S. 815 for Senate calls/H.R. 2086 for House calls], the Access Technology Affordability Act. This legislation removes an employment barrier commonly experienced by blind Americans who cannot afford the high cost of access technology by creating a refundable tax credit in the amount of $2,000 to offset the cost of these technologies. I urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor the bill.

  • 07-Jun-2019 12:45 PM | Anonymous

    Transformation to Competitive Employment Act

    Senate - S. 260 - Sponsored by Bob Casey (D-PA)

    The Bill Read More

    Follow the Bill HERE

    House - H.R. 873 - Sponsored by Bobby Scott (D-VA-3)

    Click on related bills using the link above

    These bills would phase out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act over a six-year period, at which point the provision would officially be sunset.

    When you call or email, you might say something like the following:

    "Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your senator/representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor [S. 260 for Senate calls/H.R. 873 for House calls], the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. This bill would phase out subminimum wages for people with disabilities over a six-year period, at which point Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the provision that allows this practice, would be sunset. I urge [your senator/representative] to cosponsor the bill.

    You can contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121.

  • 01-Apr-2019 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    Dear NFADB Members,

    As I approach the end of my first six months as NFADB President, I am humbled by the trust you have placed in me and the good work of the presidents in whose footsteps I follow.  I thank all of you.

    I and our members are fortunate to have a high-powered and hard-working board.  Your NFADB Board of Directors, made up of 13 individuals—8 family volunteers, 1 professional volunteer, and 4 special advisors—continues to work tirelessly for the good of our association and is committed to NFADB’s mission.  Learn more about our board members on our website

    The past six months have been exceedingly busy. 

    • New members joined the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  During these transitions we took some time for Board orientation and training on many topics, including our individual roles and responsibilities, NFADB’s legal responsibilities, and how to be effective NFADB ambassadors.
    • We are updating our branding and brochure and increasing our social media venues.
    • We reviewed our management processes and procedures and have begun to revise guidelines and policies and create an operation’s manual to support our work. 
    • We are in the process of transitioning to a new software program to support administrative activities, such as membership tracking, events, and training opportunities.  It will also house our upcoming redesigned website and provide new features for our members such as forums that foster family-to-family relationships.  We will announce its availability as soon as it goes live.  

    NFADB committees continue to be the lifeblood of our organization.  Several were formed at the specific request of members.  NFADB encourages and invites general members to become involved.  I know you will find committee work a rewarding experience and the committee chairs welcome your participation.  Find their contact information on the volunteer section of the NFADB website.  

    NFADB exists to empower the voices of families with individuals who are deaf-blind and advocate for their unique needs.  Since October 2018, we have represented NFADB at the:

    • New York Deafblind Collaborative Parent Day, Queens, NY, December 2018
    • Texas Deafblind Symposium, Austin, TX, February 2019

    We look forward to the following NFADB Ambassador and Exhibit Opportunities during the spring and summer:

    • SoCal Workshop Weekend for Families and Educators, Long Beach, CA, May 31-June 1, 2019
    • Pennsylvania Family Learning Conference, State College, PA, June 21-22,2019  
    • USH Connections Conference, Philadelphia, PA, July 13, 2019 
    • International CHARGE Syndrome Conference, Dallas, TX, August 2-5, 2019 

    Please save the date for our annual General Membership Meeting, which will be held online at 7:00 pm Eastern Time, July 9, 2019.  All general members are invited to attend.  More information will follow.

    Continue to celebrate NFADB’s 25th Anniversary year during 2019!  Originally started by and for families in 1994, NFADB has expanded to include any interested individuals, professionals, state family affiliate groups, organizations, and agencies who wish to empower the voices of families with individuals who are deaf-blind, regardless of age or ability.  We are in this deaf-blind community together! 

    Again, thank you for this opportunity to serve as your President.  Don’t hesitate to email (patti@nfadb.org) or call (724-864-2553) me with any NFADB concerns you may have. 


    Patti McGowan
    National Family Association for Deaf-Blind 

OUR MISSION:  NFADB exists to empower the voices of families with individuals who are deaf-blind and advocate for their unique needs.


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