Contact Us

TDI Releases the Latest Program for its 22nd Biennial Conference, July 27-29, 2017

July 26-29, 2017

Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center

North Bethesda, Maryland

We are announcing the second round of commitments for the Conference Program for TDI’s 22nd biennial conference in North Bethesda, Maryland on July 27 through 29. Many exciting additions are on the program so be sure not to miss it!

Below we have information and links on 1) conference registration, 2) hotel (June 27 deadline) and 3) a fun night out at a baseball game.


Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai Will Give a Keynote Address in the morning of Thursday, July 27.

Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger Gives Keynote Address in afternoon of Thursday, July 27.

Haben Girma, First Deaf-Blind Graduate of Harvard Law School, Gives Professional/Motivational Luncheon Address at noon of Friday, July 28.

CSD’s Chris Soukup Gives Keynote Address in the morning of Friday, July 28.

This Conference offers you and others a wonderful three-day’s experience and opportunities for personal/professional development.  You learn about the latest in public policy for disability access, to network with others from with business and government, and to visit the exhibits that give you the latest information and hands-on experience with accessible products and services.  You get to attend product/service demonstrations, which are provided for the first time, in concurrent with the plenaries and breakout workshops during the last two days of the Conference.  You meet the industry leaders that have worked with TDI and its sister consumer groups in the last two years on access topics such as relay services, emergency communications, in-flight entertainment, wireless communications and information, gaming systems, and captioning of video programming.

You get to see others speak about the research and other studies that have been conducted for accessibility in information, communication, hearing enhancement, and employment.  We will have some key FCC officials speak about recent initiatives from the Commission for relay services, captioning of video programming (TV and Internet), emergency communications, and advanced communication services, etc.

The Entrepreneurship, Technology and Youth Forum gives spotlight on the latest in innovation and accessibility from academia, the business community, and today’s generation of young Americans that are deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing (aged less than 35).  We recognize a number of individuals and companies in an Awards Luncheon event for their contributions in the community, engineering, telecommunication access, marketing and public relations, and public policy.

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, gives the keynote address in the early morning of Thursday, July 27.  Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives produces the keynote address on Apple’s offerings in accessibility for its deaf and hard of hearing customers in the afternoon on Friday, July 28.  And we see Chris Soukup, Chief Executive Officer with Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) give his address setting the tone for the kind of future we face here in America.  Haben Girma, who is the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School, gives inspiring remarks for the Professional and Motivational Luncheon at noon on Friday, July 28.  At the conclusion of the Conference on Saturday evening, July 29, we enjoy a good dinner at the hotel, and then watch a great entertainment show.  We will be announcing our entertainers real soon for the finale

Sheila Conlon-Mentkowski, TDI Board President said, “The TDI Board is pleased to announce this initial round of program commitments for the upcoming TDI Conference.  The Program Committee, chaired by Matt Myrick, has done a great job putting together the program for the Conference.  We encourage you all to consider attending the Conference, and supporting TDI’s national advocacy work in the nation’s capital.  As a lawyer myself, I am excited about Ms. Haben Girma coming to speak for our Professional Motivational Luncheon.  She is a proven example, that given ample opportunities and resources, those who are deaf-blind can have a successful career, and maintain a first-class standing in their local communities.”


Matt Myrick, Chair of the TDI Conference Program Committee said, “We are thrilled to share with you the initial list of Conference program activities.  As we get more commitments from others for the program, we will be sure to share the news with you from time to time.  This program seeks to meet the rationale for this year’s Conference theme, “The Innovative Advocate:  Staying Ahead of Communication Technology.  We are so pleased that a great number of industry players, including Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger, and CSD’s Chris Soukup are joining us at the Conference.  Also, we look forward to getting other confirmations for the program from key people at the FCC, Facebook, and others.”


Claude Stout, Executive Director, TDI said, “We are elated that we have some great people coming to speak at the Conference.  We are honored to have FCC Chairman Ajit Pai join us at our biennial event.  Chairman Pai has been a good advocate for the disability community, especially when it comes to emergency communications, and TV/Internet captioning.  He has been highly vocal for meaningful and gainful collaboration between industry, government, and consumer groups, and the Conference will be promoting this frequently tried and true approach that has worked well for us over the years.”


We invite you to join us at the Conference. Check the links below to register for the Conference, to stay at the host hotel – the Bethesda North Marriott, and to buy tickets for the baseball game.  You can register for full combo tickets, or single events like the President’s Reception, the two Luncheons, and the Dinner/Entertainment Finale.

Attention:  if you are considering attending the Conference, please do register as early as you can for the Conference.  Also, be sure to register to stay at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel.

A block of rooms has been reserved for the Conference attendees between now and June 27, 2017.  After that, the block will be released, thus the hotel will be accepting reservations for other events and the Conference guest room rate of $129 per night may not be honored.  For your convenience, here below are the links for you to register for the Conference and to stay at the host hotel:

To register for the TDI Conference, here is the link:

To reserve a guest room for a number of nights at the host hotel of the Conference, the Bethesda North Marriott, here is the link:


We are hosting an evening at the Nationals Stadium for a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies at 7:05 PM on July 28, 2017. They are great seats at a low price. More information and tickets can be purchased online here.


If you still need information or support to make Conference plans, feel free to contact Claude Stout, Executive Director, TDI or Tayler Mayer, Director of Public Relations, TDI anytime at or  The TDI office will help you until you are completely satisfied.  We thank you very much for considering our invitation to attend the Conference.

Come one, come all to the TDI Conference!  It is anticipated that the Conference will be one of the best in TDI’s 49-year history!