The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is actively seeking a new CEO after Howard A. Rosenblum’s departure. Rosenblum, who served as CEO for 13 years, played a pivotal role in expanding NAD’s programs and enhancing its legal and policy capabilities. He led numerous landmark litigations and transformative policy initiatives, achieving significant advancements for the Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened communities.

Rosenblum’s departure sparked controversy. It followed an internal review by the NAD Board related to his handling of ASL access during the Super Bowl and other transparency issues. The “Super Bowl ASL Fiasco” centered around the perceived lack of adequate ASL interpretation and accessibility during the event. Accusations of conflict of interest and endorsement policies involving NAD representatives compounded the issue. The Daily Moth closely followed the controversy.

Quite a few people in the Deaf community expressed dissatisfaction with the ASL interpretation provided during the Super Bowl. Concerns arose about the visibility and prominence of the interpreters, which many felt did not adequately ensure accessibility for Deaf viewers. Additionally, questions emerged regarding Alexis Kashar, the NAD Civil Rights Committee Chair, and her private business interests during the event. Allegations suggested that her business benefitted from displaying jewelry and apparel on Deaf performers, leading to scrutiny of NAD’s endorsement policies.

Rosenblum defended his actions, stating that his efforts to build relationships with organizations like the NFL aimed to promote visibility for ASL and Deaf Culture. He highlighted that these partnerships were established to foster long-term benefits for the Deaf community and that there was no conflict of interest in his dealings.

Despite his defense, the NAD Board placed Rosenblum on administrative leave pending an external review. This review focused on NAD’s advocacy efforts during the Super Bowl as well as the organization’s endorsement and conflict of interest policies. While the full findings of the review have not been disclosed, it ultimately resulted in Rosenblum’s departure. Neither Rosenblum nor NAD has clarified whether his departure was due to termination or a personal decision to leave.

Moving forward, NAD has announced plans to form a search committee to find the next CEO. The search process will begin after the upcoming NAD Conference in Chicago in July. In the interim, two staff members are handling CEO duties and internal operations to ensure continuity of services. NAD remains committed to providing critical services to the Deaf community, including policy advocacy, youth programs, litigation, and conference planning.

For more detailed information, you can visit the NAD website.