Congratulations to Jonathan Berger on his recent acceptance to the United States Supreme Court Bar Association.
As we greet the New Year, I hope the beginning of 2018 was as enjoyable for you as it was for me. Many see this month of January as a time of reflection, renewal and resolution - my "historians" here at the Bureau, however, seem to only relish on the first part of that list.
Alongside the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 15, 1929, the self-proclaimed "annalists" here remind me Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell co-founded the Oriental Telephone Company 137 years ago this week (about 10 years before the Bureau). Despite their differences - for those studying U.S. history in school - these Gilded Age titans worked together bringing telegraphy to Anatolia, the Mediterranean, the Near East and the Far East. Their collaboration still positively affects the economies and standards of living in these countries. In fact, the Indian Commerce and Industries Company maintains its original phone line established in 1915.
It is in this spirit of partnership that AG Bell, with the support of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (N.C.H.A.M.), is presenting an educational one-day conference in Denver, Colorado on March 17. Dr. Teresa Ching will headline the conference, discussing the results of her longitudinal outcomes study (LOCHI) on children in Australia. This presentation will be followed by a panel of listening and spoken language professionals, parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing, who will speak about how far the listening and spoken language community as a whole has come. I encourage you to registerhere, as seating is limited to 200 guests, and we would like as many people as possible to attend and participate.
On a sad note, we learned Doris Wilson Blanchard recently passed away at age 98. One of the oldest living graduates of the Central Institute for the Deaf, she was a philosophical "sister-in-arms" with AG Bell, dedicating her life to teaching children with hearing loss. She began at the Lexington School for the Deaf, continuing on to the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis during her later years. She is survived by her two daughters Reverend Karen (Scott Martin) Blanchard of Glendale and Alexandra R. Blanchard of Phoenix, Arizona; three grandchildren Brianna, Zoe Grace and Jonathan; her sisters Lois Schmied of Littleton, Colorado and Janice George of Peoria; and several nieces and nephews. Her legacy continues through her family and students who spread Doris' memory, benefiting generations to come with her wisdom and love.
It is an honor to recognize another partner of AG Bell - Jonathan Berger - who has served as a member of the Board of Directors at AG Bell as well as an alumni parent of the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech in New York where his wife Meredith works as director. He is an experienced advocate on the challenges faced by children with special needs and their parents, served as Assistant District Attorney for the Special Prosecutions Bureau in the New York County District Attorney's Office and is now a partner at Levisohn Berger LLP specializing in intellectual property and special education law. AG Bell is proud to celebrate his recent acceptance to the United States Supreme Court Bar Association. Inductees are usually recruited as part of a group or class - Berger's group is the Deaf or Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHHBA) where all members of this group are either deaf or hard of hearing. Now, Jonathan will be able to argue cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. I invite you to join us in congratulating Jonathan on his prestigious selection.
AG Bell doesn't act alone - our results are, in fact, the evolution of countless people working together. Like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, we combine our talents and best efforts to ensure people who are deaf and hard of hearing can learn to hear and talk.
Until next week,
Chief Executive Officer
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing