Archive for February, 2018

  • CSD Unites
    MakeYourselfCount Hero Banner

    #MakeYourselfCount Survey to Gather Data on Deaf Experiences Regarding Employment

    - by CSD

    Little is known about the shared and unique experiences that deaf people have, particularly regarding employment. With a 70% under and unemployed rate, a clear understanding of the details specific to those experiences and how they relate, would greatly increase the chances of employment success within the Deaf community.

    That’s why in partnership with Sorenson, Deaf Grassroots Movement, American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA), and other national organizations and businesses, CSD Unites is spearheading a nationwide community survey with the goal to create greater opportunities for Deaf Americans.

    “It’s extremely important that Deaf and hard of hearing people show up to make their experience count. One of the best ways to do this is to collect data, because data helps us better understand how to address certain challenges facing our community such as unemployment,” Communication Service for the Deaf CEO Christopher Soukup said. “Accurate community data will give us proof of shared experiences and realities, and will help policymakers and government agencies make better informed decisions that will help uplift Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. It will also help us continue support for legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and help us work towards new policies that will have a net positive impact not only on Deaf people, but American society as well.”

    The survey is open from February 15th through March 21st and is open to all Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Americans. Soukup went on, “Data itself tells stories; it helps us tell stories about ourselves. That’s why we’re encouraging people to take the survey. When we achieve a large enough pool of individuals to draw from, we can more justly know how to address the story of employment within our community.”

    About CSD Unites: 
    CSD Unites is a department of CSD Neighborhood and is sponsored by Communication Service for the Deaf, the largest Deaf-led nonprofit in the world. CSD Unites believes in building strength together within the Deaf community. To learn more about the survey visit: or

  • Featured News
    reFort Social Card

    reFort the Third Business Investment of the CSD Social Venture Fund

    - by CSD

    At the end of every semester, students generate tons of waste when they move out of residences. Have you ever wondered exactly how much waste is generated? It’s clearly enough to be a problem. Students leave colleges and universities with the expense of picking up after them and properly disposing of their waste. What can be done about this?

    Enter reFort, a startup concept that is led by Myles Goldberg, Ethan Kramer, and Sean Maiwald. It all started as an idea for a contest, and through pitch after pitch became more refined, and now is a business venture on the verge of breaking out.

    Kramer said, “reFort picks up durable goods otherwise intended for disposal, and refurbishes and resells them at lower cost to those moving into residences. We want to show that ‘going green’ can be beneficial for people and make good business sense, too.”

    Originally composed of Maiwald, Goldberg, and Zohaib Qureshi, reFort won second place in the final round at Climathon in October 2016, a 24-hour hack-a-thon hosted at the George Washington University. Many of the judges were themselves from the D.C. area and loved the idea. Ethan Kramer came aboard during the second round of this contest to fill out the team. They pressed onward, placing third at the Gallaudet University Business Pitch Competition in February 2017, and began piloting the project a few months later at Gallaudet.

    Ethan Kramer

    Ethan Kramer, Founder

    Myles Goldberg

    Myles Goldberg, Founder

    Sean Maiwald

    Sean Maiwald, Founder

    It was then they decided to apply for the CSD SVF, and are now the third recipient of SVF support. “We knew reFort was perfect for the SVF incubator program, CSD CEO Christopher Soukup said. “The reFort partners are representing the Deaf community as leaders in tackling the problem of waste, an issue that affects everyone on the planet.” Their focus right now is in the Washington, D.C. area, at Gallaudet University. They will be testing their model, and refining it, while building their brand and marketing through CSD Creative, which will help develop their logo and build their website. Eventually reFort wants to develop a mobile app to make their service even more accessible.

    “Based on the amazing community response we’ve had so far, we’d love if the community wants to support us. People can donate items, buy the items we have for sale, and help spread the word about our business. That’s the proven Deaf ecosystem that we want to tap into, and we’re very excited about partnering with CSD,” said Goldberg.

    Soukup added, “We’re very keen about advising this young and enthusiastic team and providing the essential resources for a strong business infrastructure.” The reFort team never expected to get this far this quickly, and want you to know that you, too, can grow an idea to fruition. As Sean Maiwald says, “I can, you can, we all can!”

    Visit the reFort SVF Partner
  • Featured News
    Dominic Lacy

    Come and Meet CSD’s Newest Chief Innovation Officer: Dominic Lacy

    - by CSD

    Dominic (Dom) Lacy was raised by Deaf parents who established high expectations in his studies, and he witnessed their dedication to ensure that access to education and sign language was provided him. That experience forever shaped him, and is why he is passionate about education because it “opens new doors and opportunities,” which lead to a more visible Deaf workforce that can “help shift limiting beliefs about Deaf and hard of hearing people.”

    Dom discovered his zeal for activism as he joined the workforce after graduating from Southern Methodist University as a double major in finance and political science. He’s well-known in the Dallas community for his leadership on the Deaf Action Center (DAC) board, where he spent 10 years as a member, and was DAC’s first Deaf board president. During his time at DAC, Dom focused on developing the organization’s capacity and steering capital development to establish facilities, including Martha’s Vineyard Place, an affordable and accessible housing project. He also served as a commissioner on the City of Dallas Community Development Commission.

    Prior to coming to CSD, Dom worked 14 years at Accenture Strategy as a Senior Manager. In this role, he worked with Fortune 500 companies, guiding them in achieving strategic objectives such as streamlining business operations, developing a vision for business models and implementing technology to achieve this.

    “The CSD SVF needs the right leader to ensure that it achieves its full potential, and Dominic Lacy is that person,” CSD CEO Christopher Soukup said.

    In his new position at the CSD Social Venture Fund (SVF), Dom will focus primarily on the further developing the SVF and its offerings. He will work with Mozzeria and DeafTax to help achieve their goals, and help develop the SVF’s incubator and mentoring programs. On top of all this he will also provide day-to-day support to all of CSD’s programs, investments, and partners.

    “I love CSD’s vision of creating success stories while combating the unemployment and underemployment rate among Deaf people. It feels like a perfect fit,” said Lacy.

    Soukup added, “Dominic will be integral to our work to create meaningful change for Deaf people and will be contributing broadly to all of the initiatives in our company portfolio. We’re fortunate to have him.”

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