by Melvin Walker, President RID Board of Directors



We are in the midst of a busy time related to the governance of our association. The board nomination process recently closed and members now have an opportunity to vote for the contested positions of Vice President, Treasurer, Deaf-Member-At-Large, and Member-At-Large. Voting will open on May 1st – May 31st. It would be great if we broke all former records and had the highest member participation in the election process ever! Please make your vote count!



Motions impacting the by-laws were due to the motions committee by Friday, April 21st. And, general motions are due to the motions committee by Friday, May 19th. Any motions received after May 19th will be treated as motions from the floor, and addressed only after the by-laws and general motions have been addressed.

Motions can be submitted at the link below.


Please network with colleagues in your affiliate chapter or member section to generate motions you feel should be put before the membership for consideration. Like previous years, we will collect opinions from various groups including the RID Board, headquarters and pertinent committees.  Opinions will be posted at least 30 days prior to conference. This will help members prepare to make informed decisions when it is time to vote on this matter.


Biennial Business Meeting

The biennial business meeting will be conducted during two sessions scheduled during the 2017 Lead Together Conference in Salt Lake City. The first session will be on Saturday, July 22nd from 5:30-7:30 PM MST. The second session will be on Sunday, July 23rd from 8:00 – 12N MST. Both sessions will be lived streamed and available for viewing by all the membership. Information about the link for viewing the streaming of the business meeting will be provided a couple of weeks in advance of the meeting.

It was the desire of both the BOD and HQ to also provide a mechanism whereby members could vote online. Unfortunately, it has been determined that will not be possible. We were able to find a vendor who could provide us with the capacity for online voting, but it is a system that is not compatible with the membership mandate that we conduct the business of the association in our shared language of ASL.

In order to achieve online voting it would be necessary for remote participants to view the streaming of the meeting in ASL, while simultaneously being within the online voting platform simultaneously. This could be achieved by having two windows opened at the same time. However, delays in streaming due to the variation in bandwidth of members would prevent us from achieving a simultaneous and synchronous system of onsite, in-person voting with remote voting. The result would be voting inaccuracies and delays that would only serve to create chaos and frustration rather than the desired inclusion. Our streaming vendor, Street Leverage, the hotel A/V team, the online voting vendor, HQ staff and RID BOD leadership met at the hotel in March and determined that we would not be able to achieve this desired goal at this time.

As a solution, we have identified an alternative that could allow for all eligible members to have the opportunity to vote on critical matters. As motions that are substantive in nature are presented during the business meeting, the President—me—as meeting presider, will ask the onsite assembly whether it is their desire to refer the motion for a vote to the eligible membership-as-a-whole. Should they vote in the affirmative, the motions identified would then be posted online and all members in good standing and eligible to vote would use the Simply Voting system to cast their votes. It is anticipated that such voting will occur within 30 days of the biennial meeting.

We trust that the membership in general shares the goal of enabling the greatest degree of the membership to vote on motions that impact members and/or the direction of the association. With the assistance of our parliamentarian, Robert Weinstock, we have been able to identify this procedure and look forward to its application in July. As well, the streaming will allow for remote members to benefit from the onsite discussion of those members in attendance onsite during the business meeting.

Conference Registration Slots Available

One other exciting addition to the upcoming conference is our ability to make some registration slots available to the membership-at-large on a first-come, first-serve basis. The conclusion to the volunteer leadership and general lottery registration process resulted in the availability of some remaining slots for any members who choose to register, until all available slots are filled. This is an important conference and we need good minds and spirits coming together to pave the path for RID’s future! Please join us in SLC July 20-24, 2017 for what promises to be an exciting and collaborative opportunity to work towards our vision for RID. Look for the details elsewhere in this vlog.

Thanks for your attention to these matters!