Communication Service of the Deaf (CSD), the world’s largest Deaf-led nonprofit, proudly announces the launch of CSD Engineering, one of the first-ever dedicated initiatives focused on providing technology solutions that fully integrate the Deaf perspective. CSD Engineering will be led by Charles “Chaz” McFadden, Chief Technology Officer for CSD.
The main focus of CSD Engineering is to approach the development of technology through a Deaf lens, defining inclusive design and providing solutions that are beneficial for all. By developing technologies that truly integrate the Deaf perspective, CSD Engineering aims to eliminate many of the gaps and barriers of today’s new technologies, improve communication experiences, and increase opportunities for Deaf individuals worldwide.
CSD Engineering is focused on creating more technologies that center the Deaf perspective and experience, from identifying current and emerging opportunities, to building CSD proprietary solutions, to collaborating with others to develop and improve their own technologies.
“CSD Engineering speaks directly from the heart of our belief that technology can be and has been an equalizing force for us,” said CSD Chief Executive Officer Christopher Soukup. “For decades, CSD has had a part in creating many new Deaf-centered technologies. CSD Engineering is not only a natural extension of our heritage, it will also serve a vital role in ensuring that today and tomorrow’s technologies provide improved experiences for everyone. We are excited that Chaz will be leading the CSD Engineering initiative, taking us into the future by building it.”
Mr. McFadden has an extensive background in technology engineering and communications. Prior to CSD, his work experience included several years with General Electric (GE) Aerospace and work on naval sonar systems and communications satellites. McFadden received a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and a master’s in business administration from Villanova University. He holds a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) credential from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Additionally, McFadden is Chairman of the Board Directors for the Deaf Hearing Communication Centre (DHCC) in Philadelphia, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the RIT/NTID Alumni Association in Rochester, NY.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to lead CSD Engineering,” said McFadden. “Without question, technology is advancing our world beyond our wildest dreams, and at an incredible speed. Yet, far too many gaps and barriers remain with many of today’s most celebrated technologies – voice activation and automated speech recognition among them. CSD Engineering will address these critical issues and, most importantly, put the Deaf perspective at the very center of future technology innovation.”
CSD Engineering builds on CSD’s rich tradition of technological innovation through a Deaf lens. From helping to establish the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) long before it was federally mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the recent launch of Vineya, the first online marketplace for onsite or remote sign language interpreters, CSD has been at the forefront of finding technological solutions that benefit everyone.
Find out more about CSD Engineering here: https://csd.org/engineering
Connect Direct is pleased to announce that we have acquired Business Development Manager Vannessa LeBoss, as of July 1st, 2018. Given her 19 years of experience supporting and spearheading corporate expansion through finance, HR, sales and operations, her role within Connect Direct will be impactful. Connect Direct will utilize this position to establish and develop relationships for effective growth and implementation of direct services in ASL.
Director of Connect Direct Craig Radford shares, “Given Vannessa’s extensive background in successfully expanding opportunities for the organizations she has worked in, my team and I are thrilled to have her onboard.” Ms. LeBoss has a degree in Business Management and has worked in the field of American Sign Language for nearly two decades. Throughout her career, she has laid an integral foundation of education and expansion related to appropriate utilization of interpreters and technology within the ASL community to businesses and organizations throughout the U.S., and thus brings an unparalleled industry expertise into Connect Direct.
- -ENROLL NOW TO ENTER
(Computer required to create account.)
Don’t miss your chance to win $100 Amazon gift card from CSD Learns
A recent study showed that 40% of millennials turn to their parents and family as a source of information. But what about the 95% of Deaf people born into hearing families? Without a parent fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), that valuable financial knowledge isn’t passed down, leaving Deaf individuals without access to the tools needed to successfully grow and manage their money.
That changes today. Thanks to support from Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking program, CSD Learns now offers free online courses focused on financial education, available in ASL with English voiceover and Spanish and English captions. Created with the Deaf learner and their classrooms and families in mind, these deaf friendly resources will inspire you to gain new skills and advance your financial knowledge.
Enroll now for your chance to win.
Enter the CSD Learns Financial Education Sweepstakes by June 29th, 2018 for your chance to win. All you need to do is enroll in our new course, “Interested in Investing“. If you haven’t made an account yet, it’s free and easy! You can even use your Gmail address if you have one.I’M READY TO ENROLL
Curious about CSD Learns? Visit www.csdlearns.com to discover classes on topics you want to learn!
Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) proudly announces the appointment of Pat Myers as President of CSD Contact Centers in a move to strengthen its rapidly expanding global contact operations. Pat has agreed to lead CSD’s largest business unit after formerly serving as CSD Chief of Staff & Strategy, teaming with Juli Robinson, who continues to lead as CSD’s Vice President of Operations.
“Pat’s unparalleled experience and expertise will be essential in guiding our contact centers group through a period of tremendous growth and transformation,” CSD’s CEO Christopher Soukup said.
Pat’s new role focuses on business development and customer relationship management, where he will cultivate the growth of CSD’s captioned telephone and IP relay centers, lead the development of new contact center business opportunities, and oversee crucial contract retention efforts.
Pat also oversees CSD’s Connect Direct team which seeks to expand consumer communication options to include direct ASL communication support through the creation of ASL customer service channels among federal agencies and public and private corporations. Pat said of Connect Direct, “It’s the culmination of over 35 years of experience serving the communication needs of Deaf and hard of hearing community. CSD will continue to push the envelope for call center service delivery and quality through Connect Direct.”
Pat will identify and develop opportunities and partnerships both within the U.S. and abroad, expanding CSD’s reach beyond New Zealand, where they manage equipment distribution, telephone relay, captioned telephone, and the New Zealand Video Interpreting Service for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) of New Zealand.
Soukup added, “Pat is legendary in the telecommunications relay industry and we are fortunate to have him leading this important part of our organization.”
Linda: This is How Success Happens, where we talk to Polar explorers, war correspondents, founders, ultra-marathoners, authors, artists, and a range of other unique personalities to help you understand the capabilities behind how success happens.
Neil Armstrong: It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Speaker 3: When I’m training for an ultra marathon, anywhere from 100 to 120 miles a week would be in my training cycle. Lots of miles.
Speaker 4: We sold something like 250,000 books.
Linda: I’m the managing editor at Entrepreneur.com and your host, Linda Lacina. Today we’re excited to have a very special guest. Chris Soukup, the CEO of Communication Service for the Deaf. It’s a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunity for the deaf community. What started as a grassroots organization has grown into one of the largest organizations of its kind. One that, this year added a special social impact fund to help deaf entrepreneurs get the funding and support they need to start businesses. He’ll talk about transforming this organization to meet the challenges facing the deaf community today, the important role entrepreneurship can play, and how we can all think differently about creating opportunity. How are you, Chris?
Chris: Hello. It’s a great pleasure to be here.
Linda: I also would like to introduce Terry Hayes interpreting for us today. Tell us, Chris, a little bit about yourself, but also about CSD. Can you get us started? Get us all on a level playing field?
Chris: Sure. CSD was formed in 1975 with a $15,000 grant from the state of South Dakota. We opened our doors, and the very first service that we provided to the community was sign language interpreting services. Through the years CSD has taken on additional dimensions and has grown to become a worldwide organization continuing to be dedicated to the deaf and hard of hearing community. We provide today a broad range of products, programs, and services all engineered to elevate the quality of the life experience for this population. I’ve been involved with the organization myself my entire life, and I’m very, very proud of our journey as a company, and the impact that we’ve been able to have, and our continuing commitment to the ideas that we know are possible, or for the deaf community.
CSD introduces its newest Chief Technology Officer, Charles “Chaz” McFadden, who is based near Philadelphia. Chaz begins work on March 26, 2018, and will oversee all information technology, software development and engineering efforts at CSD, as well as spearhead the formation of CSD Labs, a technology-centered initiative.
Before joining CSD, Chaz worked for nearly thirty years in the aerospace and defense industry, mostly with Lockheed Martin, on the engineering development and verification of software solutions for sonar systems, satellite communication systems, and several classified programs. Chaz has led and managed several different software and systems engineering teams responsible for the development of solutions for classified domestic and international programs, internal and external web enabled business communications solutions, and internal IT service management applications based on BMC Remedy and ServiceNow.
CSD CEO Christopher Soukup said, “Chaz’s decades of experience working with teams on critical and complex software and engineering systems should translate extremely well over here at CSD, especially as we continue to build out our CSD Labs initiative.”
Chaz is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a B.S. in Computer Science, and went on to earn an MBA from Villanova University. He holds a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) credential from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), which acknowledges his expertise in data privacy.
“The first order of business is listening to all IT personnel as they help me gain a thorough understanding of the breadth of their talent and capacity. This will allow me to best leverage them to develop and deploy solutions to support the CSD mission of elevating the Deaf community. This new technology is intended to make more apparent the incredible value Deaf people bring to the workplace and society, and increasing the number of self-empowered, self-actualized Deaf individuals,” Chaz said.
McFadden’s leadership extends beyond the workplace, and shows in his commitment to service to the Deaf community. He now serves as Chair of the Board for the Deaf Hearing Communication Centre (DHCC) in Philadelphia and also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh. He will soon join the Board of Directors for the RIT/NTID Alumni Association in Rochester next month.
Soukup added, “CSD’s dream of building Deaf-centered technological design initiatives and solutions that cement Deaf people’s place in the world will come to life at CSD Labs. Chaz’s leadership and advanced skillset paired with his community involvement make him perfectly positioned to recruit and develop our pool of technology professionals in service of this goal. We’re excited to see him take CSD Labs into and ahead of the future.”