The past year has been a busy one for DbI. At the European Conference in Senigallia we completed the work needed to file for Association status. In February, we received the formal constitution and articles of incorporation for the Association. Receiving the document signifies the growth in DbI over its history. Starting as a small group of people in the late 1960s and then developing into a more official organization at the Canadian Conference in 1997 and now to have the status of an Association is very exciting. Through the direction of the Council, DbI has become more inclusive and focused on the work for the future. The current Strategic Plan offers a road map to our future success.
Becoming more professional is an important goal but our focus on the individuals who are deafblind and the staff who work with these individuals will always be the priority. DbI is known for its welcoming nature and for sharing information with colleagues around the world. This is truly unique as an organization grows and expands its reach. Our corporate members are growing and with this support we are able to accomplish many of the tasks in the Strategic Plan. I encourage you to discuss DbI and how it helps you in your work with other colleagues. It is important to our future that we continue to gain new members.
I hope you feel proud of your membership and that you are displaying your membership certificate in a prominent place in your agency. Please wear your DbI pin when you attend local events to encourage conversation about your work and DbI.
I can only think about how positive our future looks. The World Conference in São Paulo in 2011 will be an opportunity for us to celebrate and have an update on the activities of DbI.
Stan Munroe, Canadian Deafblind Association (CDBA), has been serving on the DbI Council (now called the Board) since 1999 and the Management Committee since 2008. His connection with deafblindness began as a parent of a child born deafblind from congenital rubella syndrome. That situation led him and others to form the Canadian Deafblind and Rubella Association (now called the Canadian Deafblind Association), in 1975. Following a number of years volunteering with CDBA in various positions while having a previous career, Stan took contract employment with the organization in various capacities beginning in 1997, his latest one being (and now outgoing) as the Executive Director.
Over in Australia the Secretariat has been a hive of activity and we are pleased to report on our recent action.
The Secretariat was pleased to support the Management Committee of DbI in preparation for the meetings held in São Paulo, Brazil in February 2010. The meetings were successful and a significant amount of work was accomplished.
Whilst in Brazil, we took to opportunity to meet with some members of the local planning committee for the 15th DbI World Conference. We toured the conference facilities and explored the wonderful city of São Paulo. The conference agency presented a professional and impressive plan and instilled absolute confidence in us that they are will execute an outstanding event in 2011. We would like to particularly thank Vula Ikonomidis and Shirley Maia for their exceptional hospitality during our stay. We were so warmly welcomed with genuine enthusiasm and we are looking forward to returning for the conference in 2011. The conference website is currently being developed and we will be pleased to circulate the link to members as soon as it goes live.
We attended the 8th National Deafblind Conference in Melbourne, April 2010. Small Corporate member Able Australia with the Australian Deafblind Council hosted an excellent conference with a thought provoking program and a fabulous mix of people in the field of deafblindness. The Secretariat was proud to promote DbI to the Australian community at the Conference. With William Green and Ges Roulstone in attendance as international keynote speakers, DbI was well represented.
The next meetings on the agenda are to be hosted immediately prior to the ADBN Conference in Aalborg, Denmark, September 2010. Preparations have already begun for the ManCom, Council & General Assembly meetings that will take place and we are very grateful to Else Marie Jensen from the Centre for Deaf for her assistance in planning these meetings.
Following the ratification of CDBA as the provider of the new Information Function we have been pleased to be in close contact with new Information Officer Stan Munroe. Stan has taken to the role with much enthusiasm and vigour and we are pleased to be working together to improve the website functionality as well as keeping the content interesting and up to date. We encourage members to contact Stan with news on work and events you are involved in so we can share it with members and visitors to the DbI website. Stan can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big thank you to Eileen Boothroyd for her unwavering commitment as the outgoing DbI Information Officer. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with her.
Since Knut Johansen was elected as the Chair of the Nominations Committee at the Council meeting in Senigallia in 2009, we have been in regular contact to support him in developing the process for Nominations. Members now have the opportunity to nominate people for the position of DbI President, Vice-President(s) and members of Council. Nominations are due in by 31st January 2011 but can be submitted anytime now and will be ratified at the World Conference in Brazil 2011. We encourage members to seriously consider who they believe would be valuable in these positions as the people elected will be instrumental in shaping DbI and influential in making positive change for the future. For further information on the Nominations process, please contact Knut Johansen via email at email@example.com.
Membership renewal invitations were sent to all expired members earlier this year and the renewal response has been very positive. We are also pleased a number of new members have joined; both on an Individual and Corporate level and we look forward to being in regular contact with all members over the year. Likewise, we encourage members to keep in touch with us to inform us of your news and keep the DbI database accurate with up to date contact information.
If you haven’t renewed your membership or know someone who would like to become a new member, please visit the DbI website to apply online: www.deafblindinternational.org/standard/membership.html.
If you would like an update on the status of your membership please contact the Secretariat on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to assist with your enquiry.
We hope you enjoy receiving the emails from the Secretariat informing you of news and events of interest. If you haven’t heard from us in a while, please send us a message so we can be sure to have your email address recorded correctly.
We look forward to continued correspondence with members for the remainder of this year and hope to meet up with many of you at the ADBN Conference in Denmark.
Elvira Edwards & Bronte Pyett.