Final Report from the December 2015 Board of Directors Meeting
President Dawn Whitcher and Vice President Melvin Walker


The RID Board of Directors had the opportunity to meet December 15-20, 2015, on the campus of Gallaudet University.  We have been vlogging you all week with updates and report outs from varying members of the Board. We now want to take the opportunity to discuss some of the decisions from the week.

We want to thank our board consultant, Heather Harker, from TSNE, for her facilitation of the discussions this week as well as for NAD President, Chris Wagner, and NAD Chief Executive Officer, Howard Rosenblum, for joining us in person to provide us feedback from their constituency and engage in conversations about our shared vision. We appreciate the members of the Deaf Advisory Council, the Council of Elders, and the Certification Committee who provided comprehensive feedback to the Testing and Certification Risk Assessment as well as the state regulators who participated in our risk assessment survey and all the members who responded to the organization assessment in May. All of your feedback was front and center in our dialogue this week as the framework of our discussions were based on impact on members, impact on finances and impact on partners.

Our daily power and privilege trainings have really opened our hearts and minds even further to areas of improvement. One such area has been in the area of engaging communication with members. While you may receive a great deal of communication from the Board and HQ, we understand that the information may not be of the value you seek.  We apologize that we have not communicated with you in a way that alleviates your concerns or in a way that addresses how our global organizational decisions impact you individually. We recognize that and are looking at ways we can improve – which was one reason we started the daily vlog updates from the Board meeting.  We have never done anything like that previously and we would love your feedback to know if you found value in it.

Our meeting this week focused on three main areas: 1) discussing an RID Relevant and Roots-based structure that addresses testing and member services like certification, CMP, EPS, and advocacy, 2) the moratorium on credentialing,  and 3) RID’s conference structure and specifically the 2017 National Conference.

The primary decision made is that RID will establish a separate LLC testing entity. This means that RID will separate itself from testing. However, in this plan, RID will retain certification, CMP, EPS, publications, member services, and advocacy.  The LLC will independently administer all testing functions including test development and maintenance.  Member categories and current certifications will remain intact.

The vision is that this LLC will be a multi-stakeholder entity. From our meeting this week, NAD is aware of this intention/this plan and RID Board representative(s) will attend their January Board meeting for further discussion and planning.

In terms of the moratorium, a specific decision about when the moratorium can be lifted and on which exams, has yet to be determined, pending the processing and rating of the influx of tests prior to the moratorium, which are anticipated to take until summer, development of partnership agreements and transfer of assets to the LLC.

Certification and testing are distinct from each other. We realize that we have not been clear to that regard. At the request of the Certification Committee, we want to clarify what they actually recommended to the Board. Initially in June and then again in July, the Certification Committee recommended that RID cease offering the OT:C. This meant to cease offering of the test and the credential due to the lack of market.  They also recommended that the CDI and SC:L tests be suspended until the Certification Development and Maintenance Groups (CDMGs) could develop new tests. The life cycles of both of those tests have expired. There was no intent that the credential be sunset. The moratorium focuses on suspending performance testing until an administrative and development plan has been determined.

Our next step is to work within our organizational structure to continue communicating about what this mean. We are developing a communication plan that involves engagement with our Affiliate Chapters, member sections, and volunteer leader groups like the councils and committees. Look for more information in January, both on the RID website, in the eNEWS and on Facebook, as we continue to work on developing materials to share with you.

For the 2017 Conference, we have asked HQ to start investigating the feasibility and cost of hosting a modest national conference in Region V that includes a business meeting with online voting capability as well as a robust leadership training aspect.  More to come on the details of 2017 as they are developed.

In addition the Board will continue to discuss the conference structure of RID and how we can best meet the needs of members as it relates to professional development and networking opportunities. From the feedback we have received, we know members value the opportunities that are provided at the regional and national conferences. As we look at the current state of the profession, RID will continue to define its niche.

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season with lots of joy and laughter with your friends and family. More from us in the New Year! Thank you and we wish you all well!