November 4-8, 2009
Austin, Texas – November 4, 2009 Almost 200 participants, from 30 different schools nationwide - including students, advisors, presenters and special guests - arrive at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) today as the 22nd biennial Junior National Association of the Deaf (Junior NAD) conference kicks off.
With workshops, presentations and special projects scheduled through Saturday, students will delve deep to understand the important impact deaf leaders of the past have had on the deaf community today. One important project will demonstrate true global citizenship, with the group conspiring to give back to the central Texas community by joining the Austin Empty Bowl Project to end hunger, which benefits the Capital Area Food Bank.
Representatives from participating schools compete Friday night in the Junior NAD Pageant, when Mr. and Miss. Junior NAD 2009-2010 will be crowned.
Other highlights include an Austin Scavenger Hunt for the group Thursday evening, and a special banquet Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Austin.
Claira Oberrender, TSD Senior and current President of TSD’s Junior NAD chapter, opens the conference today at 3:00 pm along with Juan Munoz, TSD’s Junior NAD Vice President. “Students often feel they do not have a voice on current issues,” Oberrender notes. “By being a part of Junior NAD,” she adds, “we are given opportunities that build our confidence and encourage us to stand up and be heard on any important and controversial matters.”
Students will hear from various leaders from the deaf community throughout the conference, including Dr. Gertrude S. Galloway who has served as president of three different national deaf organizations, and Ms. Michelle Ann Lapides, 2008-2010 Miss Deaf America.
Participants from 30 schools nationwide:
- American School for the Deaf (Connecticut)
- Arizona School for the Deaf
- Arkansas School for the Deaf
- Austine School for the Deaf (Vermont)
- California School for the Deaf–Fremont
- California School for the Deaf–Riverside
- Delaware School for the Deaf,
- Florida School for the Deaf
- Illinois School for the Deaf
- Indiana School for the Deaf
- John Hersey High School (Illinois)
- Kentucky School for the Deaf
- The Learning Center for the Deaf (Massachusetts)
- Lexington School for the Deaf
- Louisiana School for the Deaf
- Maryland School for the Deaf,
- Minnesota North Star Academy
- Missouri School for the Deaf
- Model Secondary School for the Deaf (Washington D.C.)
- New Mexico School for the Deaf
- Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
- Phoenix Day School for the Deaf
- Rhode Island School for the Deaf
- Rochester School for the Deaf
- The Scranton School for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Children
- South Carolina School for the Deaf
- St. Mary’s School for the Deaf (New York)
- Texas School for the Deaf
- Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
- Wisconsin School for the Deaf.
The Junior NAD is a coalition of individual chapters established in junior and senior high schools nationwide. As a program of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the Junior NAD offers deaf and hard of hearing students in 7th through 12th grades, many opportunities to develop leadership skills, learn and demonstrate citizenship, and meet and interact with students from other schools and other states. For more about Junior NAD, visit: http://www.nad.org/junior-nad.
The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD), located in South Austin, is the oldest continuously operating publicly funded school in Texas. Established by the Texas legislature in 1857, TSD serves students ages 0-22 and is also an educational resource center on deafness for deaf and hard of hearing students, their families and professionals that work with them throughout the state of Texas. With educational excellence and a strong belief in a culture and community allowing students to form a unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents, TSD is an environment where students learn, grow, and belong.