The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) has administered this U.S. Department of Education (ED) supported program for 15 years. During this time, the NAD leadership team has continually demonstrated its commitment to the achievement of high-quality outcomes to ensure that elementary and secondary students who are blind, deaf, or deaf-blind will benefit from the same educational media used to enrich the educational experiences of other students.
Howard A. Rosenblum is Chief Executive Officer and ex-officio Board member of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).
The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on the issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf Americans.
The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more. On the global front, the NAD represents the U.S.A. as an affiliate of the World Federation of the Deaf, an international human rights organization.
Mr. Rosenblum comes to the NAD after 19 years as a lawyer, focusing his practice on disability rights and special education law. For the past nine years, he was a Senior Attorney at Equip for Equality, the designated Protection & Advocacy entity for the State of Illinois. Previously, he worked ten years as an associate at Monahan & Cohen, a private law firm, and briefly as legal counsel at Access Living, the center for independent living for the Chicago area. In 1997, he founded the Midwest Center on Law and the Deaf, to address the lack of access to the legal profession for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, and oversaw its operation as the Board Chair until 2011. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Rosenblum to serve on the United States Access Board, which is responsible for setting accessible design and technical criteria used to promote compliance with federal disability rights laws. Mr. Rosenblum has a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from the University of Arizona and a juris doctor degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. Born and raised in Chicago, Mr. Rosenblum is a diehard fan of Chicago sports teams. He also enjoys traveling the world to meet deaf people in other countries and learning their sign languages.
Jason Stark, Project Director of DCMP, joined the NAD shortly after it won the first grant award in 1991. His experiences have included the administration of staff in as many as 58 media libraries across the United States. He has also been responsible for computer and Internet operations resulting in first-ever advancements in accessible media delivery and retrieval. One example of such is the decade-old, yet-to-be emulated Internet-based media cataloging, classifying, and scheduling system to meet the needs of persons who are sensory disabled, their families, and the professionals who work with them. His management skills resulted in the federally funded Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) being dubbed the "Netflix of education."
Additional pioneering accomplishments include his planning and design of systems that delivered the first streaming of captioned classic movies as well as the first provision of a free-loan service of streamed captioned and described educational media. Two degrees from the University of South Carolina in business administration and information systems management were the foundation for the development of his innovative technology leadership that not only resulted in government savings of millions of dollars over the past twenty years, but also brought significant improvements in multimedia access and expansion of services to disabled children in the U.S. For two decades he has been immersed in Web site accessibility issues, consulting with programs across the country in a mutual quest for equal access.