Brief History of MWADB
(Past and Present Officers List Below)
In the mid-1970’s, Gallaudet College established a community education program for Deaf-Blind adults, under the direction of Art Roehrig. Several Deaf-Blind individuals participated in the courses over the next several years, and the idea of a Deaf-Blind Community gathering came up repeatedly, though there was no information on where or how to initiate such a forum. Deaf-Blind individuals continued to meet at the Gallaudet classes, and in each other’s homes, generating ideas and opinions.
On September 25, 1982, Rod Macdonald who was then the President of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) and his wife, Ele, invited a group of dynamic Deaf-Blind folks, their families and their friends who became support service providers (SSP) for a potluck dinner at their home. To our amazement, we shared similar isolation and frustrating experiences. After our delicious dinner, Rod gave an impressive talk on how to start a Deaf-Blind social club in the metro area. Everyone loved the idea, which sparked the beginning of our unique social group. Each Deaf-Blind individual took a turn in hosting a potluck dinner in his or her home on the third Saturday of each month.
On April 19, 1984, the social gathering at the home of Reverend Jay and Frances Croft grew and grew. And the group decided to officially have the organization called Metro Washington Club for the Deaf-Blind (MWCDB). The election took place and Jack Wright was the first president, Debbie Falek was vice president and secretary was Earlene Duncan and Ann Black as treasurer.
During the three-year term, the officers established the by-laws. Also, we hosted a reception for the 1986 AADB convention on the campus of Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C. In June 1986, the organization’s name changed to Metropolitan Washington Association of the Deaf-Blind (MWADB). Then in November of 1987 elections officially took place and from that time on every two years elections are held. Various activities: popular Thanksgiving pot luck dinner, picnic, camping and various recreational activities, guest speakers, SSP training, deaf-blind support group meetings and fund raising.
MWADB has grown throughout the years and will have a twenty-year celebration in 2004. We hope you will join us to learn more about our organization.
MWADB WELCOMES YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT AS WELL AS A VOLUNTEER.
By The History Committee, November 2003
Past and Present Officers List
|1987-1989||Phillip Smith (first 2-year term)|
|1995-1996||Jamie McNamara (left DC area)|
|2001-2003||Betsy M. Wohl|
|2003-2005||Betsy M. Wohl|
|2005-2007||Betsy M. Wohl|
|1984-1987||Debbie Ennis Falek|
|1987-1989||Louise Tetu (resigned), replaced Georgette
Sullivan (resigned), replaced Steven Frank
|1995-1997||Lisa Wellander (moved up as President,
appointed Elizabeth Spiers
|1999-2001||Betsy M. Wohl|
|1984-1987||Gladys Krohn (resigned), replaced Earlene
|1991-1993||Mary Owen/Elizabeth Spiers|
|1999-2001||Eddie Martinez/Lisa Wellander|
|2001-2003||Dianne Poirier (resigned), replaced Dona
|2009-2011||Lisa Pugh, Acting as Secretary – Jamie Pope|
|1987-1989||Monica Shimmin (resigned), replaced Laura
|1999-2001||Joey Botkin (resigned), Phil Watson/Acting
Treasurer – Bruce Denhart
|2003-2005||Laura Engler (resigned), replaced Bruce Denhart|
|2007-2009||No Treasurers over 1 year, Acting Treasurer –