ANNUAL REPORT 2018-19
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Hearing loss affects a significant number of individuals in my family, and I am grateful to be involved with an organization whose focus is to support, grow, and develop opportunities for our Deaf and hard of hearing communities. I am committed to the strategic work and vision of this team of innovative and qualified individuals who are dedicated to providing the Bridge’s community with the best programs and services available.
My year has board chair has come to an end, but my board service and heart for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities continue. I am proud of and energized by our growth over the past year. We served more people. We raised more money. We introduced new programs and new law, and we launched a new signature event, The Bridge Builder Luncheon. All these accomplishments are a testament to the strength of our community and our leadership. I look forward to what comes next. --AS
Board Chair, 2018-19
Board Chair, 2019-20
As I return to this role board chair, I remain excited about this work and the future of the organization. The Bridges’ mission is near and dear to my heart. As the child of Deaf adults (CODA), I grew up in the Deaf community, signing before I could speak. American Sign Language is my first language. I am thrilled to engage with the Deaf community and to lead a talented board to serve our mission to unite the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities.
The board continues to work closely with Nancy Denning-Martin, our President & CEO, and the talented staff at Bridges. Their experience and leadership, along with their passion for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities, are the perfect fit to fulfill our mission. Bridges is experiencing unprecedented growth of and interest in its service offerings. We have grown our existing programs and added new ones. We are in the final year of an aggressive strategic plan and preparing to plan for the next stage of our vision.
It's an exciting time to be part of Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and as we continue to embrace our role as the hub of the Deaf and hard of hearing communities, we invite you to join us. --JR
President & CEO
Three years ago, I was welcomed into Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and a vibrant, diverse Deaf and hard of hearing community. These three years have redefined my understanding of community and reorganized my perceptions of leadership. Early in that first year, we asked the question, "What makes our work relevant?" As we evaluated programs, spent time immersed in community, and focused on a vision for the future, the answer became clear. Our work is about access, education, inclusion, and community.
Our work is civil rights work--filling gaps, advocating for change, removing barriers, empowering our community, and building bridges until we all live in a more just and inclusive world. This work is exciting and powerful, and while it took until 1990 for the Americans with Disabilities Act (federal civil rights legislation passed just 29 years ago) to come to be, Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has been at work for more than 90 years.
From early intervention programs to services for the late deafened and the stages in between (school, university, employment, housing, senior care, and more), we provide a spectrum of services for the D/deaf and hard of hearing--Advocacy, Adult Education & Outreach, Interpreting Services, and Youth Education & Services. We build programs that are sustainable, scalable, and replicable, and we follow where our community leads.
The best is yet to come! --NDM
To serve an empowered and united community in which the D/deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing equally participate and are equally valued
We envision a world without barriers in which potential is unlimited and self-realization is possible.
In our service and decision making, we strive to remain faithful to and to express these values:
Integrity, acting with fidelity to our values
Intention, acting with purpose and meaning
Honesty, valuing truth
Relationship, being in community with one another
Respect, acting with honor and kindness for all
Stewardship, respecting and utilizing wisely those precious resources of time, talents, people, and finances entrusted to us
935 Edgehill Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
For more information, pictures, and program descriptions, please visit www.bridgesfordeafandhh.org, or see us on social media!