Now, at the end of my term, I would like to have you know my perspective from the last 2 years.
You all have done an outstanding job of trying to follow my vision for the future. You’ve kept up your spirit and worked long and hard on several issues facing change and uncertainty. We’ve come a long way!
I’m attaching the President’s report that I’ve sent to QI and to Region 4. It includes reports from the Activities Team, the Involvement Team and the Communications Team. Certainly we have accomplished a tremendous amount of effort and progress toward becoming an outstanding Club. The survey results indicate that we’ve only just begun this venture….’It’s only the first year.” There have been mistakes made, and in retrospect, it could become a much better format for everyone to be involved.
I do have some recommendations for improvement.
- The Club meetings need to be more focused, that is, have a plan to include actions, assistance from members, and discussion of recruiting possible members. We won’t be able to move ahead without more members to give us ideas, energy and support.
We used the method for less time spent out of Club meetings, however, that worked the best during the planning of the Duck Walk. That system worked but it didn’t seem to work after that. We’ll need a project/event/program that we could work on collectively perhaps every other month or so. Teams at first were ‘go to the Team you wanted to join’. Then Teams were further defined with members assigned to them. Somewhere, the Teams dwindled, and in some cases, were comprised of only the 2 Team Leaders. This needs to be clearly defined. Descriptions and duties of the each Team were ‘lost’ even though they were sent to the membership.
- Recruiting volunteers was minimal and no one’s fault. We will need specific duties for volunteers during our Club meetings to spread the work and involve them in our meetings. I believe there are volunteers out there who want to be part of an organization prior to officially joining one, ie. testing the waters.
It is difficult to identify and encourage participation by volunteers, especially younger people. We have become an ‘older’ crowd. People volunteer to help specific groups, ie. women and children, however, there is a limited amount of people who have the passion to assist the deaf and hard of hearing unless that passion is personal. We need passion to continue to recruit members.
- Communications amongst the Club members needs to be improved. We’ve become a society that we mostly communicate through email. When sending out information to the Club, most of the information is lost due to the fact that they can readily delete the message, sometimes without reading it thoroughly. Sure, we have blogs and websites and facebook, but I, for one, unless I wrote it, it either goes into a file or is deleted due to the high volume of emails received.
Honestly, I don’t know how to change that. Perhaps the Club can meet and come up with some solution like a newsletter, chocked with ideas, needs, upcoming events, and our impact in the community on a regular basis of every other week. Since our meetings are occurring once per month, members lose contact with each other, due to life and living.
A survey of Club members was made with only 55% participating. That’s disappointing to me, but I understand that some are ‘silent partners’ in the forming the future of the Club.
The survey results indicated some of the problems listed above, however, we need to have a ‘heart to heart’ with all of our members in person to get full, open, honest opinions from them. We did have one of those meetings, and it was super, but we need to keep members active and aware at all times. It takes planning and work!
After all of this, I am very pleased with the hurdles we have jumped and the impact on the community as outlined in the Activities Team report. The Advisory Council has been a terrific vehicle in sharing the pulse of the deaf communities, yet needs to be expanded with more members. Also, it was suggested that we hold fewer meetings. I continue to hope that these meetings, besides what’s going on at their agency/school, etc., it’s a time to personally collaborate with each other, share ideas and contacts, grow their communities and openly discuss issues in the deaf community. I guess more like a ‘therapy session’ to voice difficulties and barriers and frustrations.
We have made great strides in reaching the public – TV interviews, radio interviews, partnering with agencies to increase our visibility, coffee at the Farmer’s Market, donations to larger, very visible programs with equipment, but as you know, that will be a continuing effort as always.
I encourage you to continue to ‘show Quota’s face’.
I trust that the new leadership will take some of these suggestions and move forward.