Election Year Buzz: Florida's Chris Wagner is 2012 NAD President

Posted by: Staff Writer on July 31, 2012

What a busy year it has been for the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Not only has it battled Netflix in court for closed captioning, rallied the Internet Captioning Deadlines, and sued Chase Bank for refusing Relay calls, NAD has been hard at work bringing in a new generation of movers and shakers: It recently elected Chris Wagner as the NAD’s new President.

As NAD’s Vice President from 2010 to 2012, Wagner defeated Sheri Ann Farinha, who served as Secretary for the last two years.

At the 51st Biennial National Association of the Deaf Conference in early July, policies and visions were a-buzz as Deaf candidate’s rallied votes for positions on the NAD Board of Directors. Vying for officer and regional representative positions, they appeared on-stage, on vlogs, and on blogs.

Wherever they hail from, the elected officials will have far-ranging effects on the issues affecting Deaf Americans in every state: Civil rights, early intervention for infants and toddlers, accessibility, employment and vocational rehabilitation, just to name a few. But like every Presidential election in history, this one is not without controversy: According to one YouTube vlog, Farinha’s supporters are unflatteringly dubbed “deaf militants.” Some have speculated as to whether President-elect Wagner can serve neutrally as the NAD President, given his career background as senior vice president to a video relay service provider.

It was a week of handshakes, and 10-minute stump speeches in Kentucky. The winning candidates were announced by former NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins.

About Wagner

Primary Goals

  • Strengthen open and interactive communication within our community and develop alliance w/ members, State Associations, National Orgs, and the Deaf Community.
  • Implement a foundation to generate financial resources to support NAD programs and community causes.
  • Engage in collaboration efforts with national key stakeholders, inc. legislators, to assure educational, civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf Americans.


  • From Florida
  • Currently vice president of marketing for The Z(tm)
  • Received a bachelor's degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY.
  • Served as a consultant and as executive director of non-profit agencies in Florida.
  • Served on numerous boards, including the Florida Association of the Deaf, Inc. (FAD) and the Governor's Americans with Disabilities Act Working Group (ADAWG).
  • Currently serves on the board of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and the NTID Foundation Board.
  • Recipient of several awards for leadership and advocacy on both state and national levels.

Without further ado, we welcome to the helm of NAD, Chris Wagner! We are eager to see what important Deaf Community issues you will bring to the table in the next two years.



Comment Policy

We’re aware that issues facing the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Community can become quite passionate and divided. What can we say, we’re a group of passionate people! While we fully support a community full of passion, we also require that comments are respectful. We think negative attitudes and disrespect are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with people, you just need to do it respectfully. We reserve the right to delete or edit any comments we feel are judgmental, rude, or of attacking nature.


#deaffriendly Tee - echo
Deaf-Friendly Consulting
enews sign up