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CSD of Minnesota Hosts Open House

Approximately 200 people attended CSD of Minnesota’s open house, held Aug. 29 in St. Paul. Attendees were a mixture of members from the deaf community, the interpreting community, ASL students, current and past CSD consumers, and others new to CSD, curious to learn more. 

 

Upon arrival, visitors were given a "passport" that was stamped as they stopped by various exhibits showcasing CSD’s programs and services, including domestic violence awareness, HIV/AIDS education, emergency interpreter advocacy services, adult basic education and others. 

 

Tours of CSD Minnesota's office were also provided throughout the afternoon.  Visitors learned about CSD's additional services, such as the community room, which could be used for meetings by the deaf community.  Lisa Fowler, Darlene Zangara and Judy Morgan from the home office in Sioux Falls also joined the festivities and provided information about CSD's nationwide services and programs.

 

A professional deaf clown was on hand to entertain children and adults alike. Various "carnival" games such as the fishing pond, bean bag toss and pin the logo on the CSD were also available for visitors to participate in. A face painting station and children's "corner" with activities and toys was a popular stop for families with youngsters.  Delicious hot dogs, hamburgers (and veggie burgers) and cake was served as well. Door prizes — including a beautiful framed limited-edition print of famed deaf artist Chuck Baird's work — were given out to lucky winners.

 

The event would not have been made possible without the impressive list of volunteers that showed up early in the morning to help prepare and stayed well past the event closing to clean up and assist with take down. The volunteers, consisting of loyal CSD supporters, truly made the day a success, and for that we are very appreciative.


CSD Employee Clarke Christianson Recognized at NASRA Convention

The National Association of State Relay Administrators (NASRA) conference took place at Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, Calif. Sept. 8–11.  One of the highlights of the conference was commemorating NASRA’s 15-year anniversary.  The six founders were invited to help with the celebration and four of them were able to make appearances.  Attending were Clarke Christianson, Bill Hamilton, Bill Lamson, and Tom Sanew.  The two others, Gil Becker and Dan Pouliot, were not able to attend. 

 

As part of the conference agenda, the founders were on the panel to give the history of how NASRA got started. They saw the need of some kind of organization being the information clearinghouse for state administrators.

 

The founders on the panel reminisced planning the first conference in San Diego in 1994.  They spoke of the struggles of contacting and convincing the other state administrators to join and also securing the financial aspects for the conference.  Membership grew and NASRA became an important vessel, not only for the state administrators but for the FCC, NECA and major relay service providers and vendors. 

 

NASRA helped spin off another organization, Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program Association (TEDPA).  Both NASRA and TEDPA has membership of state administrators who handle both relay services and equipment distribution contracts so both organizations hold conferences weeklong side by side annually.

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