2021 Year in review
Deaf In Government (DIG) wishes everyone safe,
We would like to share our 2021 Accomplishments:
DIG started 2021 by hosting the “Signs of Unity” Virtual Inauguration Ball, partnering with Communication Services for the Deaf, D-PAN.tv, and SignVote. The star-studded event had presentations and performances by a long list of leaders and top performers in the Deaf community, including stars Lauren Ridloff, Natasha Ofili, Nyle DiMarco, Marlee Matlin, Mandy Harvey, Wawa Snipes, and a special personal message from President Biden! Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/deafingov/videos/signs-of-unity-2021-deaf-virtual-inauguration-ball/711098226434494/
DIG continued the widely popular webinar program, covering topics such as employment discrimination which was a 2-part series with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and in partnership with the DC Association of the Deaf, Greater Washington Asian Deaf Association, and DC Area Deaf Black Advocates; mentoring and leadership with Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke; how deaf people can collaborate with interpreters with Tiffany Hill and Nicole Shambourger; maximizing communication virtually with Convo Communications; and, the importance of fitness with Jason Coleman. Watch the webinars at https://deafingov.org/webinarspage
In March, it came to DIG’s attention that the General Services Administration (GSA) made significant changes to the Federal Relay program. DIG partnered with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to advocate on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing federal employees to continue to have access to Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Relay Conference Captioning (RCC) services to perform their work duties without barriers. DIG sent communications to federal employees through both email and social media in text, visual diagrams, and a vlog signed by Kirsten Poston. The Federal Relay transition is expected to be completed by February 13, 2022. If your agency has not yet made the transition, DIG and NAD encourage you to contact your agency officials. More information is at https://www.gsa.gov/technology/technology-purchasing-programs/telecommunications-and-network-services/federal-relay-fedrelay.
DIG held our DIG Conference & Expo “The Power Of You” in June. Three keynote speakers helped kick off the Technology and Accessibility Innovation Track, the Career Development Track, and the Community Engagement Track. Fourteen sponsors and seventeen exhibitors helped make the virtual Conference free to hundreds of attendees. The video workshops were posted online for 2 weeks after the conference which enabled more viewers access to the valuable information that was shared. More about the Conference & Expo is at https://expo.deafingov.club/.
In July, DIG submitted a request for information (RFI) in response to the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President (OMB) Notice of Proposed Priority Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through Government. The fourteen-page document details our proposal for centralizing reasonable accommodation services and funding, methodology for increasing recruitment, retention, and career advancement of deaf and hard of hearing federal employees, captioning of all videos, and includes additional points. The RFI was supported by seven national deaf organizations. The RFI is posted on DIG’s website: https://deafingov.org/RFI_WH_OMB
DIG continues to add a variety of resources to our Coronavirus Response, Career, Employment, Accessibility, and Interview pages in the DIG Resource Library located at https://deafingov.org/Resource. DIG engaged and forged partnerships with many deaf and hearing nonprofits and corporations in 2021. DIG would especially like to recognize RivetLogic for providing the Conference & Expo platform, video conference platform, and various programs. We look forward to partnering with many more companies in 2022. Contact us for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.
DIG expanded our programs to provide fitness workouts In American Sign Language with Jason Coleman of JC Sports Performance. The virtual classes are every 3 to 4 weeks, offered live two times a day for 4 days a week, and if you miss a live class you’ll get the video to catch up on your own schedule. DIG hopes to offer a variety of fully accessible virtual fitness classes in 2022. Contact us if you are interested in adding your class. Subscribe to our emails and social media to keep informed of when to register for classes!
DIG held the annual Holiday Party in person outdoors at the Riverfront All Purpose Pizzeria on December 3rd. Sorenson, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Brianne Burger, Cham Le, and Todd Epps all received awards during the awards ceremony for their dedication and advocacy to the community. Seven sponsors and party attendees were treated to door prizes and took home tumblers provided by Deaf Access Solutions. Many thanks to World In Sign for this video of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=ZF8gj9yAHp4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1Ei4ghvIShyf-dnM2QlJjUxoTaXcNmzdsBUs-8YL3dG4SuRIrZChO6TuY
Do you know who is involved with the DIG Board, Advisory Board, and Executive Projects? Check us out at https://deafingov.org/about. We thank the DIG Advisory Board for their help with strategic planning to keep DIG steering in the right direction. DIG is always in need of volunteers. Volunteer today!
DIG continues to expand our website https://www.deafingov.org and social media pages:
Subscribe to DIG’s emails at https://deafingov.org/joindig and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay in the know!
Stay tuned for much more in 2022!