[note: there were no specific numbers of voting members present specified in the minutes of the business meeting—only that a quorum was present]
Also, the cost of conferences has exceeded the revenue available to cover the expenses. The chart below shows the financials for conventions over time.
Clicking on the image will enlarge the image
In Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016, RID faced financial losses in three main areas: legal fees, certification deficits, and the NOLA15 Conference. After paying nearly $230,000 in hotel attrition from the NOLA15 Conference, it became clear to the board that RID’s traditional approach to conferences was no longer viable. In recognizing the small % of members able to attend the national conference and/or participating in business meetings, it became essential to find alternatives that would not increase registration costs for members. Further increasing registration costs to participants in order to cover costs for RID would only serve to make the conference affordable to an even smaller percent of members. Alternatively, increasing losses to RID was no longer sustainable. The board determined that rather than cancel a national event for 2017, it would offer a smaller conference with modest costs for facilities and registration.
Taking advantage of the need for a more modest approach to conferencing, the board also determined that a smaller conference provides the rare and exciting opportunity to more actively engage participants in deeper levels of discussion and collaboration around the direction of the association and field over the next 5-10 years.
Q: Why is RID limiting the ability for members to earn CEUs?
The Board is sensitive to the fact that some members use the national convention as a mechanism for earning CEUs in a condensed manner. The opportunity to earn CEUs will still be available, both onsite and through streaming options. There was a time when there were limited options for earning CEUS and, it was important for RID to take the lead in providing professional development opportunities for its members. However, members now have access to more than 100 approved sponsors offering onsite, online, independent study, and various entities are providing specialty conference options.
Q: Why is the conference being conducted in ASL only? Doesn’t that limit who will come?
A: ASL is the shared language among RID members and the Deaf Community. Conducting the conference in ASL is part of creating an inclusive and authentic environment where we all communicate directly with one another using our common language. We hope that it doesn’t limit who seeks to come, but respect that it might. For hearing participants to collaborate in an ASL only environment means letting go of some of our “hearing privilege” to create greater equity in how power is distributed among those who are typically linguistically marginalized in an English-preferred environment. So, it is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to Deaf members, colleagues and community as allies.
Q. What is the registration process?
A. There are two different ways a person can register. First is through the Governance Structure process. Each volunteer leadership entity (affiliate chapters, member sections, committees and councils) were assigned slots they can use to register members they believe best represents them for a conference of this type. Each entity will determine how to distribute the slots among their membership. Individuals interested in securing one of these slots should contact the volunteer leaders of their respective chapter, member section, council or committee. 200 slots have been allocated to these RID volunteer leadership entities. Registration and payment for these slots must be completed by February 28, 2017. Any unused slots will roll over to the general membership lottery.
The general membership lottery is the second way a person can seek registration. Upon entering the general membership lottery, the person must indicate if they are registering for the skills development track [200 slots] or the leadership track [200 slots]. The portal for the general membership lottery will open March 1st and close March 31st. Thereafter, the registrants for each track will be randomized, the first 200 on each randomized list will be notified of selection, and have until April 28th to pay to secure their slot. The lottery will then be closed to those first 200 individuals. Slots unpaid by April 28th will be offered to the next individual[s] on the list until all slots are filled. Individuals selected in the second round of the lottery will have until May 19th to pay to secure their slot. The lottery will be officially closed May 20th.
In addition to these registration options, RID seeks to recruit 50 small group facilitators for the leadership track and 15-20 trainers/mentors/teachers for the skills track. Look for the Call for Facilitators in the November issue of VIEWS. The Call for Trainers/Mentors/Teachers will be forthcoming in December.
Q: For the general membership lottery, how will the randomization occur?
A: Excel has an excellent tool that allows for randomization of names. That is the process that RID will use. This is the process that is used by Charter Schools and other organizations/entities [like Ted Talks] who rely on randomization.
Once the list is randomized, the first 200 names on the list will be notified they can access the conference registration portal through their online member account. Once the member pays, their registrations will be secured. If members fail to pay by the deadline, their slot(s) will be offered to the next individual[s] on the randomized list until all slots are filled.
Q. What are the registration timelines?
- Governance Structure Registration [ACs, Member Sections, Councils, Committees]
- Registration portal opens February 1st
- Registration through the volunteer leadership registration system will close on February 28th.
- At that time, any unused registration slots will roll over into the general membership lottery.
- General Membership Lottery and Registration
- Lottery opens March 1st – March 31st
- All registrations in the lottery randomized—first 200 notified and must pay by April 28th.
- Access to registration closes for first 200. Unused slots assigned to the next group on the randomized list.
- Notifications sent and second group must register by May 19th.
- Lottery closes May 20th, 2017.
Q. If a volunteer leader is not chosen through the governance structure and still wants to attend the conference, can they enter the general membership lottery?
A: YES! All volunteer leaders will know if they were selected prior to the opening of the General Membership lottery on March 1st.
Q: Can members register for both the skills and leadership lotteries?
A. No. In order to maximize the equal opportunity to participate in the conference, individuals must decide at the time of entry into the lottery the track in which they wish to participate—leadership or skills. Duplicate registrations will be eliminated from the lottery.
Q: What if a volunteer leader entity does not know who they will send as a representative by the deadline, but wants to hold onto the slot?
A: If the entity doesn’t know who it will send by Feb. 28th, but wants to hold the slot, they can complete the registration under the name of the entity [EX: Deaf Caucus, SCRID, ITOC], pay for the slot and secure it. Then, they can determine the specific representative prior to the conference and notify HQ at least 30 days in advance of the conference of that individual’s name.
Q: What if plans and intentions change and someone awarded a slot no longer wants the slot?
A: If it is a governance structure slot, the slot can be assigned to someone else. If it is a general membership slot, the member, can request a refund minus a $50 administrative fee. Once the individual member slot becomes vacant, it will be offered to the next person on the randomized list until the slot is filled. Cancellations will not be accepted after June 1, 2017.