There was an announcement on February 19, 2019 about a new chamber of commerce created for the community called the National Deaf Chamber of Commerce.
“We are excited to launch what we believe is the first organization truly dedicated to advocating and protecting the interests of the Deaf business community.
The National Deaf Chamber of Commerce promotes professional opportunities, financial growth, leadership, and legislative awareness that benefits all members of Deaf communities.” (NDCC)
According to Jason Shaw and Dawnena Muth in their NAD conference presentation in 2018, The NAD Deaf Business Advocates Section has voted to form the Deaf Chamber of Commerce and has established ad-hoc committee to form the 501(c)(6) organization on a national basis. The ad-hoc committee had three members including both Jason Shaw and Dawena Muth along with Gina Moore. Two of those three ad-hoc members went on to establish NDCC.
One of the main reasons why NDCC was created separately from NAD is because of the entity aiming to become a 501(c)6 organization rather than a 501(c)3 as NAD is. This led to some issues in terms of funding that DBA received from deaf business owners (according to Jason, it is hard to determine if all of these members were actually deaf business owners or rather organizations that wanted to donate money to support NAD). Another thing to keep in mind is, according to small business website, “In the sense of retaining ownership of a second entity, a nonprofit may not own another. It is not illegal, or even uncommon, for one nonprofit to form another, for various reasons and then spin it off into an independent entity.” however Jason has emphasized to us multiple times that NAD has nothing to do with NDCC. The extent of NAD’s involvement is the announcement on DBA’s facebook page,
“The purpose of this group has changed to facilitate the transition of the Deaf Business Advocate Section of NAD to the to be created National Deaf Chamber of Commerce, a 501c6 organization. 09/27/2018 DBA members voted to dissolve the DBA Section with NAD and start transition to NDCOC organization.. “ (DBA Facebook page)
When contacting NAD, their front desk confirmed that DBA has been shut down and in process of transitioning to something else. NAD’s website says otherwise. There is no record of them shutting down their DBA section however Jason Shaw has stated that he is in charge of DBA as interim chair until further decisions have been made in terms of funding and program design.
There has since then been a facebook page that has been established for “National Deaf Chamber of Commerce” however it has no names or information about who is on the board. Something else that has come up that is rather concerning is that there is no proof of a 501(c)6 status for “National Deaf Chamber of Commerce” in Austin, Texas according to the IRS.
There are several people in the community concerned about whether this organization is authentic because it had been reported that National Deaf Chamber of Commerce was formed as 501c6 on November 3rd, 2018 in Austin, Texas on wikipedia. There is a documentation showing that NDCC was established on November 5th, 2018 in Wyoming as a non profit organization. There is no way a non profit organization established their non profit status prior to being incorporated as a organization. DSTidbit News attempted to reach out to NDCC for comments about some of the contractionary information posted however they sent us a message declining to comment. it has also been brought up that NDCC’s logo colors are very similar to NAD’s logo colors and the inquiry still lies, if the creation of NDCC is separate from NAD, why would the creators of NDCC choose colors strikingly similar to NAD’s colors. While these colors appear to represent the American flag, it seems to still be eerily similar to NAD colors.
So, NDCC, who are you, what is your purpose and intention in establishing a chamber of commerce? Why are you so dismissive of what the community wants and needs to know, especially if we are to trust you to represent us.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on The Deaf Report under the same author. This article has been placed on Deaf Vee Journal for archiving purposes.