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HEARD – DC-Based Nonprofit Organization

Are you passionate about legal equality? Are you interested in Deaf Rights or language access issues?

HEARD is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that improves the competence, capacity and capability of justice professionals to manage language access and ability rights issues as they affect Deaf and hard of hearing persons.

HEARD is the only organization in the nation that works to correct and prevent wrongful convictions of Deaf and hard of hearing persons, and to increase the number of Deaf and hard of hearing legal professionals (police officers, paralegals, investigators, attorneys, judges, etc.). HEARD supports Deaf empowerment by increasing understanding and awareness of individual rights. HEARD also will educate hearing legal professionals about the unique communication needs of the Deaf and hard of hearing.

We want you to join our organization! HEARD’s founders work tirelessly for equal rights and justice for the Deaf and hard of hearing. If you would like to learn more about HEARD, serve as a volunteer, or join HEARD’s first Board of Directors, please attend our first annual meeting in the West Lobby on the Second Floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (located at 901 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001), on February 22, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. The Executive Officers (Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and at-large Officer) and up to six at-large board members will be elected at this meeting. All are welcome to attend. ASL/Voice interpreters will be present.


The role of the Board of Directors is to:

• Establish the mission, goals and policies of the organization.

• Develop a long-range plan for the organization; define our strategy and a time frame for achievement of our goals.

• Ensure the long term financial stability and strength of the organization; develop and maintain sources of income to provide for the continuing operation of the organization.

• Ensure the long term organizational stability and strength of the organization; bring into the organization individuals with the necessary abilities to lead and manage the organization in the future.

• Maintain the integrity, independence and ideals of the organization.

• Exercise management oversight of the executive director and the operations

• Approve annual budgets, review operating and financial results, audit for compliance with internal policies and external requirements, review performance against goals.

The responsibilities of board members are to:

• Actively participate in the work of the Executive Committee.

• Attend annual meeting and provide advice and guidance in the organization’s efforts.

• Accept, wherever possible, assignments with specific standing committees that are in line with the at-large member’s experience.

• Act as a spokesperson for HEARD at various local, regional, national and international forums.

• Be committed to the mission, goals and policies of the organization.

• Perform the functions and work of the board to the best of one’s ability.

• Seek financial support from outside donors, foundations and individuals.

• Recommend others who could serve on the board or be of particular value to the organization in other capacities.

• Be knowledgeable about the organization, the services it provides and the Deaf and legal communities in which it operates.


Click here to view HEARD's website


If you are interested in joining HEARD as a board member, please fill out the attached application and submit it to:

Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD)

5306 7th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20011

or submit via e-mail to

If you have any questions, please contact Talila A. Lewis at 202.455.8076 or at