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Read more... [Visual Description: Two woman are sitting outside. Sydney is on the left wearing a black blouse and Nic is on the right wearing a black shirt and jacket.]

Sydney: Hello!

Nic: Hi!

Sydney: I’m Sydney Groven

Nic: And I’m Nic Zapko

Sydney: The two of us are part of the MRID Change Team. Nic, do you want to tell them what we’ve been up to?

Nic: At the upcoming fall conference, during the business meeting, the Change Team along with the Board of Directors will be presenting a motion related to the Board positions. Historically, we have had 11 positions. Our motion proposes 7 new positions, each with its own focus.

Sydney: And that brings us to the reason for this vlog. We want to introduce each new position along with a brief explanation of the role. The first position is all about communication. The Communications Director will be responsible for gathering any news or information from MRID and our greater community, and will get the word out. Our goal is to have more transparency in communication.

Nic: The next position is Membership Director. They will focus on maintaining a good rapport with our members, as well as keeping a pulse on our community throughout the entire state of Minnesota.

Sydney: Another focus will be on operations. This position will primarily be taking care of internal business, such as making sure tasks are completed, taking minutes, setting up meetings, etc. to keep MRID running smoothly.

Nic: Next up is Finance Director. They will be responsible for the budget and making sure MRID stays on track. They would also oversee any fundraising efforts.

Sydney: This next one is a new concept: Community Relations! It’s pretty cool. We all know Minnesota has many organizations focused on Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and interpreting too. Community Relations will work to create new partnerships and relationships with those organizations, as well as invite those groups to be involved with MRID.

Nic: Now, onto Programs Director. Their job will be overseeing any conferences, workshops, and providing a variety of trainings for all of you.

Sydney: I’m so excited to announce this last position: MRID Director! They will be keeping tabs on the organization as a whole, and will act as our liaison with RID. Plus, we hope they will be a visionary with ideas for the future of our organization. This is an exciting prospect!

Nic: So that’s all 7 positions. We hope that gives you more to think about as we approach the fall conference! We will discuss these positions more in depth during the business meeting. Stay tuned for our next vlog!

Sydney: Bye!

Nic: Bye!

Read more... Visual Description: Two woman are sitting outside. Nic is on the left wearing a purple shirt and Megan is on the right wearing a black shirt.]

Nic: Hello, I’m Nic Zapko

Megan: Hello, I’m Megan Bolduc

Nic: We are two members from the Change Team. Our last VLOG update was about how our organization, MRID, has been in a slow decline and something must be done. The Change Team has been meeting regularly to figure out what that something could be. And then we noticed… Megan: Yes! We noticed the MRID has several opportunities for growth.

Nic: Exactly.

Megan: Nic, where do we begin?

Nic: Do you have ideas, Megan?

Megan: Well, we’ve noticed some issues with the current board structure; it’s preventing us from being as effective as we could be. At this point, we are supposed to have 11 board positions.

Nic: Right, 11-- that’s a lot.

Megan: Noticing this as a barrier, the Change Team recommends the MRID take this time to refocus our board positions. Instead we could have a board of 7, each person specializing in a specific arena. For example, an emphasis in communication,

Nic: along with membership, operations, etc. This change will allow the MRID to live up to membership expectations. Minnesota is huge and our board needs to match the diverse state of our community. It makes sense to move forward with 7 positions instead of 11.

Megan: Want to learn more about these 7 positions? Stay tuned for the next VLOG!

Nic: Bye!

Megan: Bye!

Read more... Hello! This is our MRID Update vlog. My name is Nic Zapko, I’m currently an MRID board member.

This past spring, our update was by way of vlog, the update after that was in written English form, and now this one is in ASL via vlog. Can you believe summer is over and it’s already September? Everyone is already going back to school, back to work; I really hope you all had a great summer!

During the last update, we had our hands full with the many events happening in our community: Deaf Aware Day, Camp ASL, Spring Conference, the ITP Grad party – wow it was a busy and very successful spring! Camp ASL was one for the record books! A total of 140 attendees, and it was truly an incredible weekend!

This summer was not one for rest – nope! We buckled down and got straight back to work. The focus the last few months has been strategic planning, trying to figure out how MRID can be at its best. From those discussions, the Change Group was established. You saw the vlog from them last week? Well another one is coming shortly! We worked in collaboration with that group to see where our strengths and weaknesses were and where we can truly grow as an organization. You will learn more about that this coming fall.

Speaking of fall, will there be a fall conference, you ask? Yes! Absolutely there will be! We are thrilled to host fall conference this year. I’m sure you’ve noticed over the years that fall conference is typically MEA weekend – well this year we’ve moved it to the last weekend in October, on the 26th – 28th, at the beautiful Breezy Point Resort.

This year we’re proud to say there’s 16 different workshops and 3 keynotes! Up to 2.0 CEUs will be offered and the conference will be presented entirely in ASL! I’m sure you’re wondering the cost. From now until Sept 30th, the cost is $350. Of course, you’re thinking, oh but I also have to pay for food, and lodging, right? Nope! That cost includes 2.0 CEUs, 2 nights lodging, and 7 meals! What a great deal this is; grab it while you can! All the information is on our website including who the presenters are, what the workshops are about, the schedule, pricing, etc. Take a peek!

Speaking of website, some other exciting news: we have a brand-new website! For a long time, we wanted to do something with the outdated, very expensive website that simply didn’t fit our needs. It took some time, but we found a better web host! And I must be honest, we have to give all the credit to our amazing webmaster, Dee Ramnarine for doing all of the heavy lifting! She literally started from scratch to create this amazingly beautiful website that does everything we need and more! It has a new look and feel, and just completely defines MRID and Minnesota all in one. It’s beautiful and we’re so grateful to Dee, thank you! Check it out at www.MRID.org!

Looking for information about the upcoming fall conference? The website has it all! We’re just so happy these two big things are happening; it feels like we can finally breathe again! Of course, we have more to go, but it’s just great to know we’re going in the right direction!

Oh, before I forget, for those of you who are members of MRID, you have to change your password when you log into the new website.

If you aren’t yet a member, what’s taking you so long? Join us! Did you forget to renew your membership? No worries, you still have time, join us! Have a great fall! Thanks for watching!

Read more... [Visual Description: Two woman are standing outside with grass and trees behind them. Melissa is on the left wearing a navy shirt and Nic is on the right wearing a black shirt.]

Both: Hello!!!

Melissa: I’m Melissa Mittelstaedt.

Nic: And I’m Nic Zapko.

Melissa: As a member of MRID, I’ve been involved with group called the Transition Team. We typically refer to it as the…

Nic: “TT” for short.

Melissa: Exactly. The Transition Team has been collecting data from all over Minnesota to try and figure out what MRID needs.

Nic: Kinda like taking a pulse of the community to see what’s been going on.

Melissa: Yeah, right. So, we set up focus groups to get the data, and also hosted a workshop at the Fall Conference with Darlene Zangara.

Nic: Yep, that happened last year.

Melissa: Right, last year. We used that time to collect even more information to add to our report. Once we completed our report, we handed it off to the Board of Directors.

Nic: Right, once we got it, the current [2018] board read through the report. It was pretty eye opening, but after discussing it, we agree with their findings. It’s sad to say, but it seems like MRID is on our way to a stage of decline and something needs to be done! We started brainstorming about how to turn it around and decided to establish a new team. This “Change” team now has five members, and let me tell you, these are some pretty amazing people! So, we’ve got Megan, Sydney, Katelyn, and us!

Melissa: Yep! And us!

Nic: This team has been getting together every week to brainstorm and strategize about how to get MRID back on the upward track so we’re alive and healthy again. That’s really been our focus lately.

Melissa: Yes! Look forward to more updates as we work toward the future of MRID! We’ll see what happens!

Nic: Yep! Just wait until the next VLOG!

Read more... Tarra: Hello, I’m Tarra Grammenos, President of MRID

John: Hi I’m John Fechter MADC’s President.

Tarra: Lately, several significant events have happened. We recognize that people are upset with RID’s recent CEO election. We also recognize the upset in the community over the outcomes of two major lawsuits in Minnesota which resulted in the courts deciding against the Deaf people involved.

We are here to show our commitment to improving the relationship between our Deaf and Interpreting communities here in MN.

John: Last July, I attended the NAD Conference with one other MADC representative. There was a lot of good discussion. Interpreting seemed to be a common point of interest in the conversations there. I plan to bring a lot of the information gleaned at the conference from workshops, dialogue, and activity back to MN for you.

Tarra: I just got back from Region III Conference. There, I met many people, learned from them, and am bringing all the information that I gathered back to MN.

John: Tarra and I have been working together this past year for our communities, and I’d like to highlight a few things we’ve done. 1. Supported University of MN’s College Bowl Team as they competed at NAD. 2. Provided mentoring for students at Camp ASL. 3. Partnered with the community for Spring Conference and held a Town Hall meeting there. From the info gathered at Spring Conference, we decided to establish a Task Force focused on interpreting. It’s already underway and you should hear more soon.

Tarra: We’ve already reached out to MADC to see how they can be involved with this year’s MRID Fall Conference and we’re already planning to be involved with MADC’s 2019 Fall Conference! We are committed to maintaining this partnership between our organizations.

John: Going back to when I mentioned the InterpretingTask Force, I wanted to say that if you have any stories, thoughts, or ideas please contact our (MN) MADC Task Force.

Tarra: Our contact information will be at the very end of this video. We’re here for you, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns for either of us.

Contact Information: MRID: president@mrid.org MADC: john.fechter@minndeaf.org (Attention to Interpreting Task Force)

Read more... HEY! Camp ASL is coming up quick, I’m so excited! Let me tell you about what it’s is going to look like.

But first, what’s all this white stuff still doing here?! It’s April! Hmm.. makes me wonder if we’ll have a snowy camp? I guess we’ll just have to see. If it does come, I know that it’ll be a blast!

Back to what’ll be at camp. It’s a silent weekend, of course, an opportunity for everyone to communicate in sign, but is that all? No! There’s so much more. We’ll have activities surrounding sign language, such as Classifiers and handshapes, as well as team building activities. Plus, we’ll have many presenters, all of them DEAF. They will be presenting on a variety of topics such as math, education, and culture. Feel free to check out all the details on our website. We will even have over 10 Deaf Mentors. doubling the involvement of Deaf persons this year.

This is a setting you don’t get every day. By coming, it’s your opportunity to gain cultural exposure, language, confidence, knowledge, conversational skills, and more.

Again, the whole weekend will be voices off and hands up. If you know ASL, you’re welcome to come! This event isn’t just for students or recent graduates, anyone is welcome. If you’re a hearing parent of a Deaf child, come! If you work with someone who is Deaf, come! Instructors? Come! Interpreters who have been in the field 10…30…40 years, COME! Everyone can come if you know ASL.

Our goal is to come together as a community and have a fun weekend. Go ahead and sign up! See you there!

Read more... Hello! This is an update about MRID. I’m Nic Zapko, one of the members of the MRID Board of Directors. As a board, we’ve had a blast starting this year off and are excited to put the work in to serve YOU! We decided to make a video this month as a new approach to get the word out about what we’ve been up to, and we hope to get it out monthly.

This VLOG will recap our activity from January and February. There’s a lot!

• MRID and MADC have decided to resurrect Camp ASL as a joint effort. It’s been out of the picture for a few years, but it’s BACK! Check out our emails, Facebook, and website for all the details!

• Spring Conference is coming up in May! We are partnering with MADC, ASLIS, and DHHS. Info will be coming out soon.

• MRID will have a booth at Deaf Awareness Day this April. Stop by and see us!

• We helped advertise and fundraise for the University of Minnesota COBO team to help them get to their national competition this summer. If you haven’t heard of their group, check out the U of M College Bowl team and sponsor if you can.

• Some of our board members have attended the recent MERGE events to show our support for the community. One of us even spoke at one of their events.

• Our Student Representative has gone to ITP’s in the area to speak about MRID.

• MERGE and MRID are proud to be hosting a graduation event for the recent ITP Graduates in May. Keep a look out for more info.

• Our Professional Development Committee (PDC) has been working hard to update our CEU processing procedure. Now everything is electronic! No more downloading forms, printing papers and mailing them in, it’s great! If you’re in need of CEUs for an independent study or PINRA and or are just wondering what the process looks like, check out our website at MRID.org which has all the info that you need. Thank you, PDC, for making this happen!

• We’ve been continuing to work with the Transition Team (TT) to explore ways serve our membership better.

• Our internal “To-Do” list grew to over 50 items long! Some were loose ends from previous years such as budget line items, and others are the start of new goals. To work smarter, not harder, we split up the responsibilities and have been making great progress. As an example, one of the current projects is to figure out if our website host is still a good fit for our organization.

Now I’d like to give a shout-out to ASLIS for letting us use their Zoom account for our meetings. We greatly appreciate it. Don’t worry members, our monthly in-person board meetings haven’t gone away! We are just utilizing technology to maximize our time together. If someone in greater Minnesota can’t make the trip for a day, or if a schedule conflict has come up and a board member can only join for a short time, they can join us via video, using Zoom. This technology is great, those that can make it for the live meeting all have their own laptops open with Zoom and can video chat seamlessly with those elsewhere. Thank you again, ASLIS, for allowing us to use the Zoom account.

Speaking of Thank You’s, we would also like to say a big thanks to St Kate’s (SCU) for allowing us to use your building. We’ve been hosting our meetings in Music & Speech 212 for the last few months and will continue to do so for the near future.

Our next Board of Directors meeting will be March 24, 10am-2pm at SCU, in the Music & Speech building room 212, you’re welcome to join us!

Thank you and see you next time!

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