NDC’s Year in Review: A Year of Engagement, Learning, and Growth

Published on December 21, 2023

Green background with Gold 2023.

As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the exciting journey we’ve had together. This year has been filled with community engagement, learning opportunities, and impactful initiatives. Let’s take a look at some of the key highlights that have made 2023 such a memorable year for NDC.

Embracing Knowledge Sharing at Conferences Across the Country

Our team is proud to have had the opportunity to attend over a dozen conferences throughout this year. Each event, whether virtual or in-person, provided us with opportunities to connect with our stakeholders, make new connections, learn, and amplify our work. From organizations focused on higher education and rehabilitation, to national and community-based organizations, we are grateful to all of the organizers, presenters, and exhibitors that welcomed us this year. To learn more about the conferences we will be attending throughout the year, visit our Events page.

Connecting through Help Desk: A Community of Support

We’re proud to be a go-to resource for our community and, this year, we received over 200 Help Desk tickets! At NDC, every inquiry matters. Whether you are looking for resources about assistive devices, campus access, or seeking data on deaf education or employment in your area—we are here to help. To everyone that reached out to us, thank you for trusting us with your queries. It’s our privilege to assist you! We hope you will continue to send your inquiries to us at [email protected].

Hosting the College Equity Virtual Conference

Our commitment to access, equity, and inclusion for deaf students on campus took center stage when we hosted the 2023 College Equity Virtual Conference. This event, tailored for disability services professionals, aimed to provide a platform for discussions and strategies to create more inclusive environments for deaf students. Over 600 people registered for the event which included over 18 presentations from experts in healthcare, ombuds, advocacy, law, and more. Participants also had the opportunity to network with one another in our online forum to share contacts, resources, and strategies for campus-wide improvements.

To everyone that registered and attended, your engagement made this conference a resounding success! To learn more about the conference, read our announcement newsfeed.

Connecting in Person Through On-Site Visits

We are committed to providing information, networking opportunities, and strategies to advance postsecondary outcomes for deaf people nationwide. Our values go beyond our digital repository of resources and tools. With the guidance of our Strategic Support Team, NDC completed 3 site visits with key stakeholders to provide targeted assistance and support with state and local teams working with deaf individuals and communities. We are grateful to these partners for their hospitality and dedication during these visits and look forward to continuing our support into the new year. Check out our spotlight on our state partners in Idaho and their work-based learning program for deaf youth!

7 Webinars, Countless Insights

From Jan-Dec 2023, we have hosted and partnered with other organizations to host a variety of webinars on topics important to the communities we serve. We have learned that coordinating services and providing the best possible quality services to deaf individuals in continuing education programs is of the utmost importance to our audiences. We are thankful to the hundreds of people that have participated in our webinars this year and are committed to continuing to provide these opportunities for knowledge sharing and digital networking. You can find recaps of all of our webinars on our YouTube channel. We hope you subscribe!

Empowering through Targeted Trainings & Skill-Enhancing Sessions

In addition to our targeted support, the team at NDC has held numerous training sessions for organizations and institutions. From teaching students how to use our online game for deaf youth that teaches valuable self advocacy skills to providing data-driven insights into how negative attitudes and biases can harmfully influence deaf postsecondary outcomes, we are grateful to everyone that attended one of our sessions. We look forward to continuing to provide these valuable opportunities to exchange information and connection in the new year. You can find our On-Demand and self-paced learning opportunities in the online learning section of our website.

Sharing Research and Data with the Community

Knowledge is a powerful tool for advocacy—and we believe that providing data-driven resources is an important element to shaping change for students and professionals across the country. This year, we published 2 data reports, offering insights into the challenges and successes within the deaf community. These reports serve as tools for understanding and addressing key issues, contributing to informed decision-making and positive change. Find this information and more on the Research & Data section of our website. You can also find data on deaf employment and education outcomes by using our free interactive data dashboard.

laptop placed on a table indoors, with a white wall and white vases in the background.

New Ways to Connect

In the past few years, our world has had to adapt to new methods of communicating and an ever-changing professional landscape that has impacted our policies, practices and priorities. At NDC, we believe that we must continue to intentionally create spaces and opportunities for ongoing dialogue and connection.

That is why we created an online forum for individuals and institutions serving deaf students to ask questions as well as share resources and strategies with their peers in our Online Forum. We are grateful to everyone that has submitted a response or subscribed this year and encourage our readers to join the conversation in 2024.

Afro American woman learning and communicating in sign language online while sitting near window

New Online Learning Opportunities and Resources

We have added dedicated web pages consolidating resources for disability service professionals and students with our new resource portals. Additionally, we added over a dozen new online learning modules, hosted several facilitated courses, and introduced a new certificate program for disability services professionals.

Gain free professional development and earn digital badges to add to your resume or LinkedIn profiles. We look forward to your feedback as well as opportunities to provide additional dedicated content for our audiences.

This image shows different kinds of monitors that is used to play the game Deafverse with deafverse graphical interface.

Deafverse Classroom: Featuring a New Dashboard for Teachers

In the past 5 years, hundreds of educators have brought Deafverse into their classrooms, and hundreds of deaf students learned to navigate difficult scenarios throughout the game that better prepare them for real-world challenges. We’ve recently upgraded the game to a new platform that simplifies the sign-up process, offers guest accounts for those that want to try the game without committing to it and incorporates a suite of features to allow teachers more control over their student’s progress. Check out Deafverse Classroom by signing up for a Teacher Account, setting up your own Classroom here and using the Teacher Account Onboarding Guide to stay on track!

Wrapping Up 2023 and Looking Forward to 2024

Looking back on these achievements, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire community for your active participation, trust, and collaboration. Your engagement has been the driving force behind our initiatives, and together, we’ve made strides toward a more inclusive and accessible future. We couldn’t do this without you!

As we step into the new year, we are excited to build on these accomplishments and continue working together towards a world where every deaf person, regardless of their abilities, can thrive. Thank you for being part of the NDC community, and here’s to another year of growth, learning, and advocacy!

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