New Executive Director | Appreciation of Cued Speech Parents
President’s Message 2013

by Shannon Howell As I look back over the past year and the short strides made for Cued Speech, I’m dwarfed by the tasks ahead of us that never seem to grow smaller, only more difficult and with new challenges. As a Board, we have all grown, faced hardships, been frustrated at times, and through it all are still very positive about Cued Speech continuing to be a blessing to many in the future.

Now more than ever, I am in awe of the parents and professionals of the “first generation” of cuers. It was through your hard work and dedication that many are able to so actively participate today in the hearing world that we all enjoy. For those of you whom haven’t volunteered your time to this organization or some other organization to advance Cued Speech, I assure you that these pioneering parents and professionals had a daunting task which they so diligently concurred.

For the future, whether you are a cuer, a parent, or a professional, you have many challenges ahead of you in 2013 and beyond. As our economy gets tougher and Cued Speech becomes more of a minority in some cases, the NCSA can only exist and continue towards its goals with the support of its members and other sponsors. In 2012, Penny and Eddie Hakim (parents to cuer Abraham Hakim) launched a Corporate Responsibility program to benefit the Deaf Children’s Literacy Project. Still in its infant stages, the program is gearing up to place the DCLP logo on many of the NUBY product labels sold around the world. Other generous supporters continue to be the Prescott Foundation, the David Swinehart family, our generous Board of Directors, and currently our largest financial supporter, the Federal Employee Combined Federal Campaign.

It is with great optimism that I look through the grey clouds of uncertainty to the rainbow beyond. It is with great humbleness that I thank you all for your support of CS and the NCSA, and it is with great concern that I ask you to continue.

We are delighted to announce that Sarina Roffé has accepted the position of Executive Director of the NCSA. As a parent of a deaf cuer, Sarina has been cueing since 1979 and has an integral knowledge of the Cued Speech community.

As the President of the National Cued Speech Association from 2002-2008, Sarina helped the organization grow. During her tenure, policies were implemented to create accountability and lay a foundation for philanthropic giving and an annual campaign. Various outreach programs were implemented, relationships with key stakeholders and elected officials were developed and the organization was including language into federal law to protect parental rights. In addition, an Academic Advisory Council of university professionals was developed to attest to the validity of the NCSA mission. She wrote grant applications and successfully lobbied for two major federal U.S. Department of Education grants. Several videos were produced, a parent stories booklet was published, and the NCSA received national recognition with an international conference held in 2006. Sarina’s strengths include strategic planning, creating buy-in, budget management and administration, global planning and the implementation of action plans to achieve desired goals as they fit into the overall objectives needed for organizational growth.

I’m excited to have Sarina in this position. She has long been an advocate of Cued Speech and has a great understanding of the needs of the organization and how to accomplish these goals.

Shannon Howell, President
National Cued Speech Association

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