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Volume 3 Issue 2

October 2009

Countdown to Non-Profit Status!

DDW advances social, educational and employment needs in developing countries.

Preserving local sign languages and promoting diversity are core values behind DDW’s mission.

As of August 13, 2009, DDW is incorporated! {Hands waving} In essence, incorporation means that DDW is now an independent entity that will stick around long after any of its individual members are gone. Thanks to the guidance of Nixon Peabody LLP, we are now approximately 60 days away from becoming an official non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Woo-hoo! The past several months, we have begun assembling our Board of Directors (see Our Team Has Expanded,

page 2), who have already been crucial to focusing DDW’s mission and laying the foundation for its strategic plan. Although there are many directions we could take this organization, ultimately we have decided to focus DDW’s resources and efforts on deaf and hard of hearing communities in developing countries with the greatest need. Take a look at our updated mission statement: Discovering Deaf Worlds, an international deaf advocacy organization dedicated to empowering deaf and hard of hearing people in developing countries, strives to advance the capacity of local deaf communities around the globe to meet their social, educational and employment needs. DDW achieves this through joint venture programs and partnerships with educators, employers, and non-governmental organizations. Our mission will continue to evolve and adapt to the various needs and issues we encounter over the years, as we aim to make a long-term impact in the communities we work with. In addition, DDW holds the following values to be central to its mission: • Local sign languages reflect the cultures in which they are rooted and must be preserved;

What is DDW? Discovering Deaf Worlds is dedicated to empowering and advocating for Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities around the world. We believe everyone deserves accessibility to language, education, and community. For more information, photos and stories, visit

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Our Team Has Expanded! Meet the DDW Board of Directors Exciting news! Earlier this summer, DDW selected the first three members of its Board of Directors. While Christy, Dave and Davin continue to run DDW’s day-to-day operations, the board will serve to offer its wisdom, guidance, and vast experience to assist in shaping DDW’s future. We are honored to have the support of these three community leaders. Interim President Harold Mowl, Jr., Ph.D. Occupation: Superintendent/CEO, R o c h e s t e r Harold Mowl, Jr., Ph.D. School for the Deaf Hobbies: Walking, golf (trying to play a decent game), reading Relevant experience: It is humbling to think that from my own infancy to today, I have been in the American Deaf education system for nearly 60 years. If any of my accumulated wisdom and experiences can provide guidance, advice or support to the dynamic people at DDW, then it is my honor and privilege to join in their cause. Places traveled: United States (including Alaska), Canada, Hungary, Austria, Spain I’m excited to work with DDW because…I enjoy the passion being generated by the DDW team. Its work will enable a better understanding of Deaf cultures throughout the world, lead to the creation and dissemination of new resources, and give us new ideas for working together. What do you hope to accomplish with DDW? I hope to be part of a team that will help DDW achieve its goals of empowering deaf people in the third world and documenting 2

Discovering Deaf Worlds

its successes. Quote to live by: “If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seeds. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate people.” –Old Chinese Proverb Interim Vice President James J. DeCaro, Ph.D. Occupation: Interim President, National Jim DeCaro, Technical InPh.D. stitute for the Deaf (NTID); Executive Director, PEN-International Hobbies: Hunting, cross-country skiing Relevant experience: 38 years in the field of deafness Places traveled: China, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea, Sweden, England, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, among others. I’m excited to work with DDW because…The program has the potential of networking people who are deaf around the world and of providing worldwide awareness of their cultures. What do you hope to accomplish with DDW? Advance the goals and mission of the organization. Quote to live by: “Do not do any-

thing today that will limit those who follow you as regards to the freedoms you enjoy.” Michael A. Schwartz, Esq., Ph.D. Occupation: Law Professor Hobbies: Reading, chess, Michael A. swimming Schwartz, Relevant Esq., Ph.D. experience: International travel, civil rights activism, advocacy in disability discrimination law Places traveled: Vietnam, Cuba, East Africa, Israel, Mexico, Western Europe, Canada, United States I’m excited to work with DDW because…I believe in its mission and share in its passion for social and economic justice. What do you hope to accomplish with DDW? I hope to see Shuktara become a role model for the world. Quote to live by: “Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.” –Commandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara. We are still searching for additional board members, particularly with experience in fund development and public relations. To refer a potential candidate, e-mail us at ddwteam@discovering

Twestival = Social Media Promoting Social Responsibility

The DDW team with Rochester Twestival organizer Matt Ray.

Twestival guests gather to learn about DDW and Safe Journey.

On Sept. 12, a group of volunteers from Rochester, N.Y., hosted a Twestival for DDW and Safe Journey, a local domestic violence organization. What’s a Twestival, you ask? Recently established through the social media site Twitter, a Twestival, or “Twitter Festival,” is a global series of fundraising events completely organized by volunteers to get people away from their computers for a night in support of a great cause. The first Twestival last February was hosted by 202 cities around the world and collectively raised over $250,000 for one cause: clean and safe drinking water in developing countries. Last month, an Internet vote determined that the Rochester Twestival would be held for two local charities: DDW and Safe Journey. Less than two weeks later, over 100 people gathered at Boulder Coffee Company

to sample food, listen to music, and watch a series of presentations by both DDW and Safe Journey. It was an opportunity to promote our missions and recent projects to an entirely new audience of socially responsible people. Over $1,000 was raised, which was split between DDW and Safe Journey. The third Twestival has been scheduled for February 2010, and communities with local Twestival committees will decide which cause to promote, support and donate to. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this event, it’s that the power of social media can do amazing things both globally and locally. To find out if a Twestival will be hosted in a city near you, or to start your very own Twestival committee, visit

Follow DDW on Twitter! Our handle is @DDW_Team, or go to October 2009 3

Can You Help Promote DDW? To date, we have nearly 2,500 newsletter subscribers from across the globe following DDW’s adventures and encouraging our growth as an organization. Time and time again, we have realized how this e-newsletter is one of the most important tools to stay connected. Each issue leads DDW to more public presentations, donations, and crucial networking contacts both home and abroad. We’d like to ask you to help us expand our newsletter base. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Forward this newsletter to five friends not already connected to DDW who might be interested in what we do. Encourage them to sign up for our free e-newsletter at Before we know it, our foundation of members will be 10,000 strong!


Discovering Deaf Worlds

Volunteer positions Available AT DDW On a regular basis, DDW supporters inquire about volunteer opportunities on our travels abroad. “Can I volunteer to run a video camera when you backpack through Nepal?” “I would love to help teach or work with Deaf students in India or Cambodia.” “Send me to South America for the summer and I will document what’s happening in the Deaf community for DDW!” While we appreciate this genuine motivation and encouragement, where DDW really needs your support is with all the behind-the-scenes projects that make our travels and partnership programs possible. This includes grant writing, fundraising, website development, video editing, and public relations. If you are skilled in any of these areas and interested in contributing your time and energy to further our mission, please contact us for more information at ddwteam@

Non-Profit Status Continued from front page • All people, regardless of their social or economic background, have the capacity to succeed, and deserve accessibility to language, education and community; • Individuals must be granted the opportunity and tools to communicate through the method most effective for them; • Information, awareness and education lead to understanding, freedom and opportunity; • DDW actively seeks to promote the full range of human diversity in language, culture, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, and gender; • DDW utilizes a collaborative approach to address issues by supporting successful programs established within the local framework of international deaf and hard of hearing communities; and, • The experience of living and working as a deaf or hard of hearing person creates a bond with other deaf and hard of hearing persons regardless of differences in culture, religion, language or ethnicity.

As you can see, our mission has evolved and our focus has become more refined. Now we are ready to tackle the central issue fueling the need for this organization – the fact that at least 80% of deaf and hard of hearing people in developing countries have no education at all. Change won’t come easily, but it will come! Thanks to all of you, who make everything we do possible.

Did You Know...? According to a 2008 report by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), only 250 out of approximately 192,000 deaf people are employed in Nepal - that’s 0.1% of the deaf population. Read the WFD’s Global Survey Report at

© 2009 Phillips Lytle LLP

discover: Phillips Lytle is proud to support Discovering Deaf Worlds. Discovering all life has to offer can make a world of difference to some people.

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n e w y o r k r o C h e s t e r w w w . p h i l l i p s l y t l e . C o m

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A Thank You to Our Sponsors The Next Generation of WebSites Take charge of your site Your website is your brand. It’s you, Your company, appearing in the landscape‌ Take charge today!

Ralph P. DeStephano

I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now. - Henry Thoreau

Shout -Outs! Shout Shout-Outs! -Outs! Matt Ray and the Twestival crew...You are generous souls to volunteer your time and efforts to promote local charity work. Your compassion and commitment are making the world a better place one tweet at a time. Nick Giagios...Thank you for jump-starting an enormous video editing project that has been pushed aside until now. Your volunteer services are driving us forward! Harold Mowl, Jim DeCaro, and Michael Schwartz...we are honored to have your wisdom and counsel on board. With your support, DDW has entered a new realm of possibilities for making a long-term impact! Newsletter services provided by T.S. Writing Services, LLC A Deaf-Owned Company 6

Discovering Deaf Worlds

Here's a Chance to Win $50 from DDW!

Donate to DDW at www.discovering

As DDW expands into an official non-profit, we would like to celebrate by giving our organization a fresh look with a new logo. If you are a creative graphic designer, artist or illustrator, then this competition is for you! Scratch your ideas down on paper, play around in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, add some color, and WOW us with your creativity. Then submit three to five samples of your new DDW logo to us by Nov. 13 at All submissions will be reviewed at our next board meeting. If your logo sample is selected, you will be awarded $50 and a copy of Discovering: Shuktara. Get those creative juices flowing!

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The next DDW board meeting is on November 19... Stay tuned for more exciting news! Read more about our Board of Directors on page 2, or visit


Discovering Deaf Worlds

October 2009 Newsletter: vol.3, iss.2  

Continued on page 5 For more information, photos and stories, visit Discovering Deaf Worlds is dedicated to e...

October 2009 Newsletter: vol.3, iss.2  

Continued on page 5 For more information, photos and stories, visit Discovering Deaf Worlds is dedicated to e...