© Nancy Rourke–for more of her work, click the image!

©Nancy Rourke 2013–for more of her work, click the image!

Established in 1904, and now celebrating our 110th anniversary, the CAD is a statewide organization with a proud history of effectively serving – – and continuing to serve – – the Colorado deaf community.

Highlights — taken from a short history of THE COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF, compiled from the CAD meeting Minutes and from The Deaf Coloradan, begun June 2004 by long-time CAD stalwart Carol E Sponable, and updated September 2014 by Avis Taylor DuPree, CAD secretary, 2013-2015 — follow:

The beginning

  • The Colorado Association of the Deaf was founded by former pupils of the Colorado School for the Deaf on May 28, 1904.
  • George Veditz, the seventh president of the National Association of the Deaf, was elected president. Other officers were: H M Harbert, first vice president; Stephen McGinnity, second vice president; Maximilian “Max” Joseph Kestner, secretary; and Frank A Lessley, treasurer.
  • Its objective was to promote the advancement of social, intellectual, and moral status of the deaf.
  • Forty-six members were enrolled; dues were 50 cents for women and $1.00 for men.

The 1930s

  • At Veditz’s home in Colorado Springs, president Veditz, secretary James Tuskey, and Mrs Veditz decided to postpone the planned convention because of the depression.  The CAD was dormant during the Great Depression.
  • President George Veditz had cancer and passed away on March 12, 1937.  He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs.
  • On September 24, 1939, the members passed a motion to hold biennial conventions.

The 1940s

  • From 1941 to 1946, the CAD was dormant due to “lack of transportation – – severe gasoline and rubber (tire) shortages” during World War II.
  • On June 7-8, 1947, the members voted to incorporate under the laws of the State of Colorado.
  • On June 28, 1948, the CAD received a certificate of incorporation from the Secretary of State of the State of Colorado
  • In 1949, the CAD was granted Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status; the CAD is “an organization described in 509 (a) (2).”  (Status further confirmed by IRS notice dated May 3, 1990.)

The 1950s

  • At the June 30-July 1, 1952, convention in Denver, Lucille Wolpert was the first woman to be elected president.
  • In 1955, a motion was passed to hold conventions quadrennially with statewide picnics during non-convention years.
  • On March 21, 1959, the CAD board passed a motion to revert to biennial conventions.

Update:  At the 2010 AGM, the members voted to hold CAD conventions, now called annual general meetings (AGM), annually.

The 1960s

  • In 1961, the NAD established a quota system whereby state association members were also NAD members through the NAD “Cooperating member association” program. On May 30, the CAD was one of the first state associations to make quota payment.
  • President John Buckmaster tried to interest the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Denver or Pueblo for its site, but Rochester Institute of Technology in New York was chosen.
  • In 1966, Ione Dibble was chosen to look into the possibility of setting up a home for the aged deaf.  To this day no action has been taken due to the fact it is a very expensive project.
  • On September 21, 1968, a Junior Colorado Association of the Deaf was established and the dues was the same as for the CAD (being $6.00 for two years).  Membership in the JrCAD was automatically membership in the CAD.  The JrCAD had their own officers to handle their own socials.  The JrCAD dissolved after a few years existence.

The 1970s

  • The Colorado Advisory Council Serving the Deaf (CACSD) was set up; CAD president Ron Faucett, Jr was elected as the first president of the CACSD.
  • The Charles B Avery Memorial Fund was established in honor of a very good friend of the deaf community who was personnel director at Shwayder Bros, also known as “Samsonite”, which hired many deaf men and women.
  • The Charles B Avery Memorial Fund committee started the Center on Deafness (COD) with its own board.
  • The CACSD was disbanded at a later date.  The COD dissolved after 27 years in 1996.  Its interpreting referral service became an independent business: Professional Sign Language Interpreting, Inc.
  • The first-ever anywhere Deaf Awareness Week (DAW) took place November 12-18, 1972, throughout Colorado and its proclamation was signed by Governor John W Love.  DAW was spearheaded by chair Jerome Moers and secretary David Anthony.  Deaf awareness events are now celebrated nationally as well as internationally.

The 1980s

  • The first issue of The Deaf Coloradan was published by the CAD in January 1984.  Its first editor was Carol E Sponable.
  • In 1985, Barbara Ann Dyke of Colorado Springs was crowned Miss Deaf Colorado at the first biennial pageant.  Patty Wolfangle was the first pageant director.  Some years later the title was revised to Miss Deaf Colorado Ambassador Program (MDCAP).  Update  To conform to the new NAD program, the title was revised to Colorado Youth Ambassador Program (CYAP) in 2012.
  • On April 23, 1987, Governor Roy Romer signed House Bill 1159 into law, requiring that a qualified interpreter be appointed in all criminal cases whenever a deaf individual needed interpreting services.
  • In 1989, House Bill 88-1120, sponsored by Representative Dorothy Rupert and Senator Sally Hopper, to create a program to distribute on loan specialized telephone equipment to deaf and other disabled users at no cost, as well as to expand the current dual party relay service, was passed.
  • On May 25, 1989 Senate Bill 89-121, “Disabled Telephone Users Fund,” passed into law and signed by Governor Roy Romer, was to establish a fund to provide 24-hour telephone relay service for the hearing- and speech-impaired seven days a week.

The 1990s

  • David Anthony, Don and Marie Cacciatore, Colette Gonzales, Kari Jackson, Raymond Kilthau, Lois Lee, Betty and Jerome Moers, and Cliff Moers formed the “Veditz Group.”  The purpose of the group was to seek office space for but not limited to the CAD – to house CAD files and materials and to provide a convenient meeting place for CAD officers, committees, and The Deaf Coloradan staff.  The first space, called the Veditz Office,  was rented at Speer Boulevard and Zuni Street in Denver.
  • On June 29-July 5, 1992, more than 2,550 people were registered at the well-attended 41st biennial convention of the National Association of the Deaf in Denver.
  • President Ron Faucett led the CAD into supporting House Bill 1041 on the Deaf Child’s Bill of Educational Rights.  The bill was passed by the Colorado legislature and signed into law by Governor Roy Romer on March 18, 1996.
  • In the mid-1990s, with Cliff Moers and his core committee of David Anthony, Karl Beyer, and Jerry Moers, led a steering committee to plan a Magnet School of the Deaf (MSD) in the Denver metro area, and established the Laurent Clerc Educational Fund of Colorado (LCEFC).  After many months of campaigning by the deaf community, the Jefferson County school district board approved MSD as a bilingual (ASL and English) charter school on December 12, 1996.  Later, the school was renamed Rocky Mountain Deaf School (RMDS).  Update  After 17 years in rented buildings, RMDS will move into a new purpose-built facility on December 3, 2014.  Grand opening will be on December 6, 2014.

The 2000s

  • Under the leadership of Cathy Noble-Hornsby, the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing bill was approved by the legislature in 2000.
  • Being one of the last states to offer a Telephone Equipment Distribution program, Colorado finally passed the TEDP to offer free telecommunications equipment to low-income deaf individuals in 2002.
  • On April 6, 2004, Governor Bill Owens signed House Bill 1037 that was sponsored by Representative Mary Hodge and Senator Moe Keller:  American Sign Language (ASL) offered as a foreign language for credit in high schools and institutions of higher education.
  • In the summer of 2006, “CAD members learned that CAD suffered a catastrophic financial loss.  At a special meeting on August 12th, CAD members voted to reorganize the board, and three new officers were elected to govern along with the members-at-large.  We knew we faced a lot of work to get our organization back on good standing, and much of our work was not visible to the community.  CAD board members and other supporters have continued to be prominent in community events”  (from The Deaf Coloradan, Summer 2007).
  • 2006:  The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation had maintained legal interpreting services in the past.  The CAD and the CRID joined forces to have the program transferred to the CCDHH and to create a centralized system for legal interpreting in 22 district courts; passed by the legislature.
  • 2007:  The CAD implemented a Colorado Quality Standards for Interpreters (CQSI) committee. Submitted the application to the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) for licensure; however, it was denied.  CQSI proceeded to the legislature and the bill was passed for ‘Title Protection” (of interpreters) under Consumer Protection Act.
  • 2008:  Filed a complaint against City and County of Denver law enforcement for failing  to provide communication access – case settled in 2012.

The 2010s

  • The CAD created a new general officer (GO) position with salary; an applicant was hired in July 2011.  In October 2013, GO was suspended due to lack of funds.
  • 2011:  Established a new remedial English class; discontinued.
  • 2012:  a lawsuit by the CAD and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) against Adams County Sheriff’s Department concerning lack of services (interpreters) for deaf inmates; Adams county Settlement Conference with Adams county Sheriff’s Department.
  • 2012:  a new position, Events Planner, was added to the CAD board.