This organization shall be organized and operated exclusively to promote the welfare of deaf and hard of hearing residents of the state of Arizona in education, economic, security, social equality, and just rights and privileges as citizens.


 1912–Arizona State School for the Deaf founded in Tucson after the state of Arizona becomes the 48th state. The ASSD later was renamed Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind.

 1936–At the Arizona State School for the Deaf Reunion, ASSD alumni give birth to the Arizona Association of the Deaf’s (AAD) concept, formulated under William Wherry.

 1940–First state convention is held in Tucson.

 1958–AAD was inactive during the War Years and re-organizaed during 1956-56. It was incorporated and recognized officially by the state of Arizona.

 1964–First state convention is held outstide Tucson (Westward Ho Hotel in Phoenix).

 Mid 1970’s–AAD initiated the concept and enlisted support of two other organizations in establishing the Arizona Council for the Hearing Impaired (ACHI), now called Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH).

 Late 1970’s–The first Relay Service for the Deaf with volunteers was developed by Rick Hall and Marion Edwards. The office of Vocational Rehabilitation donated space for the original relay facility. Arizona Deaf Assistance and Referral Agency (ADARA) volunteers provided the service.

 Early 1980’s–Since the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Arizonans had to type with much slower word per minute with TTY’s as compared to quicker vocal conversation, the long distance bill becomes too expensive, Arizona Association of the Deaf filed a petition with Arizona Corporation Commission for a discount on long distance TTY calls. AAD Coordinated this petition with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (now called Arizona Center for Disability Law). Expert witness testimony was provided by the Arizona Council for the Deaf and the National Center for Law and the Deaf.

 1983–Arizona Association of the Deaf joined with local organizations in National Protest Day against a national network for refusing to close caption televsion programs.

 1993–The initial name of AAD was changed to AzAD to reduce the confusion with three other states that start with “A” (Alabama, Alaska and Arkansas) and American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD).

 1994–The AzAD newsletter, AZ HANDWIND is born. It’s name is based on moving hands as in ASL (American Sign Language)

 1996–First state convention is held outside of the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas (Holiday Inn in Casa Grande, March 22-24)

 1998–First tax extemption (501 (c) 3 tax status) approved by IRS and adopted new Article of Incorporation, Bylaws that is almost similar to NAD Bylaws designed by Dick Babb.

 2000–Arizona Association of the Deaf Convention has been renamed Arizona Association of the Deaf Conference.