We communicate Deaf issues with governments, businesses, and organizations.


We host a yearly conference to discuss issues that face the Deaf community.

Resource Center

We aim to be the one-stop shop for Deaf Californians searching for local information.

Our Mission

To preserve, protect, and promote linguistic, human, and civil rights for all Deaf Californians.

What is CAD?

The Association is a membership organization with voting and nonvoting members and shall be open to all subgroups within the Deaf Community without discrimination. We believe that the acquisition and use of American Sign Language is an essential human right, and operate as such.

The Association is a nonprofit member organization consisted of volunteers from local communities in California. Individual members have voting privileges at the Board of Directors meetings and at the Biennial Conference. The Association is open to all groups within the Deaf community without discrimination, and individuals may serve in any appointed positions or on any committees.

Anyone can become a member. More info here!

We protect your rights as a Deaf person, as well as advocate for issues that affect the general Deaf population. Contact us for more information how we can help!

Who We Are

Meet Current CAD Officers & Team


Kavita Pipalia, M.P.A.



Jermaine Cornish

Vice President


Deanne Bray



Dodi Ellis



Charity Acosta

Northern California Director


Mingchen Yang

Southern California Director


Darci Lessard

Central California Director


Abby Longo

Membership Director



Youth Director


Sulghi Hong

Head Trustee


Doug Sampson



Denise Sidansky



Amy Grindrod

Web Manager


Julie Rems Smario

Past President

Mark Call

Past Treasurer

Current Standing Committees



Chair, Employment Committee


Keith Gamache, Jr

Chair, Ongoing Quality ASL Committee


Marla Hatrak

Chair, Public policy / Legislative Committee


Neil Sprouse

Chair, Bylaws Committee


Maria Monte de Rey

Chair, Media Committee


Neil Sprouse

Vice Chair, Media Committee

Current Task Forces


Priscilla Moyer

Chair, Interpreting Licensure Task Force


Richard Ray

Chair, Emergency, Disaster & Police Training Advisory Task Force


Kay Vincent

Chair, Senior Citizens Task Force


Roberto Cabrera

Chair, Deaf-Blind Task Force

Key Focus Areas

Our standing committees and task force are working together to address the issues and strive to accomplish important goals. Learn more about what we are doing for the deaf Californians.

CAD believes that accessible education of all Deaf children is critical to the development of mind, body, and spirit. This includes support of an educational philosophy that will recognize and honor ASL and Deaf Culture, and provide the most accessible language-rich educational environments, especially the California Schools for the Deaf, day schools for the Deaf, regional programs for the Deaf and large mainstream programs.

CAD will serve as a watchdog for legislation and court proceedings and provide input on state policies as they relate to Deaf people and Signed Languages.

CAD recognizes American Sign Language (ASL) as the most accessible and natural language of and for the Deaf in America and therefore supports all activities that will preserve, honor, and promote ASL and Deaf Culture.

CAD acknowledges that employment opportunities for Deaf Californians are still limited due to discrimination. There is much work to be done to improve the economic status of Deaf people. CAD will support the development of innovative employment opportunities by working with appropriate state and local agencies to improve entry into a wider variety of careers. CAD also supports and celebrates Deaf entrepreneurs who own their own business.

CAD acknowledges that there is a growing variety of communication systems, including telecommunications, and tools available to empower the Deaf individuals with their day-to-day activities. Therefore, CAD will work with individuals and agencies to ensure that they provide the highest quality service, maintain trust and respect deaf peoples’ preference for communication access.

CAD is engaged in public relations to show Deaf people of all walks in life in a positive light. CAD also maintains a vigorous role in referring and aiding advocacy programs for Deaf people’s rights in the state of California. CAD works closely with the California Coalition of Agencies Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing. CAD also works collaboratively with Deaf agencies and programs such as DeafHope and Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates (BBABDA).

CAD will provide referrals to various organizations throughout the state that exist to provide services, as well as other types of support, for Deaf Californians.

CAD will work closely with local/statewide businesses by attending chamber of commerce meetings in order to establish potential business ventures for Deaf entrepreneurs. This is to provide greater economic opportunities for the Deaf people to make a positive impact within the Deaf community.

Visit our Deaf Entrepreneurs page

Past Presidents, 1906 – Current

1906 – 1909 James W. Howson
1909 – 1913 Douglas Tilden
1914 – 1915 Leo W. Williams
1915 – 1917 Winfield S. Runde
1917 – 1919 Isadore Selig
1919 – 1921 Emory E. Vinson
1921 – 1923 Melville J. Mathis
1923 – 1926 Alice T. Terry
1927 – 1931 Isabel M. Lester
1931 – 1934 Russell P. Handley
1934 – 1936 Emory E. Vinson
1936 – 1938 Perry E. Seely
1938 – 1941 Forest D. Gilbert
1941 – 1946 Emil S. Ladner
1946 – 1948 Einer Rosenkjar
1948 – 1950 Walter M. Lester
1950 – 1958 Toivo Lindholm
1958 – 1962 Herbert Schreiber
1962 – 1963 Victor H. Galloway
1963 – 1967 Harold Ramger
1967 – 1970 Richard L. Babb
1970 – 1975 Kyle Workman
1975 – 1977 Lillian Skinner
1977 – 1981 John Galvan
1981 – 1985 Gerald “Bummy” Burstein
1985 – 1989 Marcella M. Meyers
1989 – 1991 Sheri Ann Farinha
1991 – 1993 Julian “Buddy” Singleton
1993 – 1999 Ron Rhodes
1999 – 2002 Russell Bye
2002 – 2003 Donald Nuremberger
2003 – 2005 Donald Rosenkjar
2005 – 2009 Richard L. Ray
2009 – 2011 Ralph Singleton
2011 – 2013 Daniel J. Girard
2013 – 2017 Julie Rems-Smario
2017 – 2019 Kavita Pipalia
2020 – Present Kavita Pipalia