Contact Us

Call for Presentation Proposals, TDI Biennial Conference, July 27-29, 2017 in North Bethesda, Maryland

Call for Presentation Proposals

2017 TDI Biennial Conference

July 27-29, 2017

North Bethesda, Maryland

“The Innovative Advocate: Staying Ahead in Communications Technology”



TDI President Sheila Conlon-Mentowski speaks at TDI 2015 Biennial Conference

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI) invites proposals for presentations, forums, workshops, and discussions at the 2017 TDI Biennial Conference, to be held in North Bethesda, Maryland, at the North Bethesda Marriott on July 27-29, 2017.  Be a part of history in the making. Submit a proposal to give a workshop at the TDI 2017 Biennial Conference!  Please note that TDI is offering something new this year to its presenters and exhibitors:  if you have a product or service that you would like to demonstrate in addition to having an exhibit at the Conference, let us know, and we will send you an exhibit kit.  This year, we will experiment with having two separate Conference programs, which some of their activities will take place concurrently.

One is an offering of plenaries and breakout workshops, and another is an offering of product/service demonstrations in the exhibit hall.  We aim to provide the majority of product/service demonstrations on Saturday, July 29 which is Consumer Day, free of admission to TDI members and the general public.

Although conference plenaries and breakout workshops will be presented in two tracks, it should be understood that all conference attendees are free to attend whatever workshops they desire.


Track 1:  Technology and Security

In keeping with the theme of this conference, staying ahead of the technology curve and becoming educated in consumer preparedness, presentations in this track will emphasize how technology can be both a benefit and a risk.  For example, self-driving cars are a significant improvement in driving technology but pose risks because they may not be accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Another example of the importance of understanding the intersection of technology and security is preparing for the occasion, often a disaster event, when the power or telecommunications grid is shut off.  And finally, even on the day-to-day level of using technology, we need to be aware of our digital privacy and security.  Workshops in this track will address the specific needs of TDI’s consumer niche in staying ahead of technological and security developments.  Presentations in this track are welcome concerning any of the following themes/topics:

  • Text-to-9-1-1 (deployment across America and consumer education)
  • Wireless E9-1-1 Location Accuracy Requirements (outdoor & indoor)
  • Ensuring Multi-Modal Access to 9-1-1 (audio, video, text)

    Showcase your product(s) as an exhibition in the DC Metro area

  • Making Broadband Available, Accessible, and Affordable for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Americans (rural and urban)
  • Self-Driving Vehicles
  • Using Special Glasses to Participate in Virtual Reality
  • Real-Time Text Technology (RTT)
  • Home Automation/Security
  • Wristband Technology (exercise, health, etc.)
  • Social Media (phishing/spamming)
  • Direct Video Communication
  • Relay Services (Who is in Control of the Call?)


The then FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler keynoted the 2015 TDI Biennial Conference

Track 2:  Industry and Consumer Interests in Technology

Presentations in this track will emphasize how advocacy and technology intersect to provide opportunities both to industry providers and consumers to address the telecommunications, media, and information technology challenges that affect individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Topics can range from sharing innovations that are yet to come to currently available and ready to market products.  Presentations can also showcase best-use practices for different technologies.  Options for providing one’s input should be made available for everyone’s benefit.  Presentations in this track are welcome concerning any of the following themes/topics:


  • How To File Complaints with FCC (Hands-On Training Lab)
  • Best Practices Using Social Media Tools (Facebook, Twitter, Instagrams, Glide, etc.)
  • Collaborating with the Business Community (needs assessment, product/service beta testing, focus groups, advisory boards, etc.
  • New Apps and Technologies
  • Understanding and Applying Universal Design
  • New Products & Services in the Market
  • Updates on the Communication and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
  • Today’s Progress & Future Plans for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS)
  • FCC’s Accessibility Clearinghouse
  • National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program
  • Hearing Aid Compatibility
  • Advanced Communication Services (Text Messaging, E-mail, Instant Messaging & Video Communications)
  • Captioned TV Programming for Internet Viewing (video clips, video on-demand services, YouTube videos, etc.)
  • A New Relay Service Mechanism for the Deaf-Blind (“Communication Facilitators”)
  • DOJ Regulations for Captioning of Movies in Theaters
  • The 2011 Petition by TDI et al for Universal Television Captioning
  • Captioning Technology In Movie Theaters: Eyeglasses vs CaptiView vs Rear Screen vs Open Captions
  • Quality Standards & Complaint Process for TV Captioning
  • Quality Standards & Complaint Process for Theater Movie Captioning


All of the above themes/topics are illustrative only.  Everyone should feel free to propose any workshop that they think would be appropriate for a TDI Biennial Conference.  We welcome and encourage innovative and creative ideas of all kinds.


TDI Biennial conferences are an excellent networking opportunity for consumers, organizational partners, government officials and industry players.

Business and industry representatives, government policy makers and regulatory staff, professionals who work with individuals with hearing loss, and consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing, late- deafened or deaf-blind.


All proposals are due no later than February 28, 2017


Your proposal must include the following information:

  1. Name of lead presenter
  2. Corporate or organizational affiliation of lead presenter (if any)
  3. Name(s) of co-presenter(s) (if any)
  4. Contact information for lead presenter, including:
    • Email address
    • Phone number (and indication that it is voice, video, captioned, or TTY)
  5. Title of presentation
  6. Track in which you think your presentation would best fit
  7. If you intend to have an exhibit booth and also do a product/service demonstration, make a request for an exhibit kit.  An exhibit kit is a separate document from this call for presentation proposals.
  8. A concise description (500 words maximum) of your presentation that includes:
    1. A summary of the workshop content
    2. WHAT learning objectives you want to accomplish? (What will we take away from your workshop?)
    3. HOW you propose to present your material (lecture, workshop, panel, forum or demonstration)
    4. WHO will be your target audience?
    5. WHY you feel that your presentation would be beneficial or important to people attending the 2017 TDI Biennial Conference
  9. A maximum 250-word abstract of your presentation for the program book
  10. A maximum 100-word biography of the lead presenter and any co-presenter(s) for the program book
  11. Any special AV needs that you might have for your presentation. Note: If you are presenting using a PowerPoint, you will be expected to supply your own laptop computer.  And, due to the high cost of various communications equipment and services, every presenter will be responsible for paying for the cost of any equipment or services that their workshop requires beyond those specified below, which TDI will provide for every workshop and plenary session:
    • Interpreters
    • CART writer
    • Microphones
    • Assistive listening system
    • Video projector for CART display
    • Video projector for PowerPoint display
    • Two large screens (one for CART display and one for PowerPoint)
    • Basic broadband connections
  12. Any communication or other ADA accommodations that you personally need to facilitate your presentation
  13. A statement that you give permission for an edited transcript of your presentation, if accepted, to possibly be posted (published) on the TDI website, and for photographs to be taken and/or video to be recorded during your workshop for possible future use by TDI.

All of the above should be submitted via e-mail to Claude Stout at no later than February 28, 2017.  Please indicate in the subject heading of your email to Mr. Stout as follows:  2017 TDI Biennial Conference Proposal.  All proposals must be received by February 28, 2017.  Feel free to contact Claude Stout with any questions regarding this Call for Presentation Proposals.



Please review the instructions and requirements before submitting your proposal(s). Be sure all components of the proposal are included. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.  If your proposal is accepted, TDI will make every effort to follow the format you’ve requested. However, we do reserve the right to request alterations in order to make the program cohesive.

Proposals that are selected will require the following additional submissions:

By May 15, 2017:

Photo(s) – head and shoulder picture(s) of presenter(s) and any company logo(s) for Conference Program Book.

By June 30, 2017:

Presentation Materials – such as the presentation PowerPoint, script, or applicable visual aids.


Regretfully, TDI is not able to offer honorariums and/or reimbursement for travel expenses for presenters at this conference.  All presenters are responsible for all of their expenses including the required conference registration fee and the cost of any special events during the conference.

The Program Committee for the 2017 TDI Biennial Conference consists of the following people:

Alexa Schriempf, Chair, Program Committee, 2017 TDI Biennial Conference



Matt Myrick, Member, Program Committee, 2017 TDI Biennial Conference



CM Boryslawskyj, Member, Program Committee, 2017 TDI Biennial Conference  


Tayler Mayer, Member, Program Committee, 2017 TDI Biennial Conference



Sheila Conlon-Mentkowski, President, TDI (ex-officio)



Claude Stout, Executive Director, TDI (ex-officio)


Feel free to contact members of the Program Committee if you have any questions, comments, ideas, or suggestions regarding the 2017 TDI Biennial Conference.


Click the above to open the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on a map

Bethesda North Marriott Hotel

5701 Marinelli Road

North Bethesda, MD 20852

July 27-29, 2017

More Conference Information