TDI Executive Director, Claude Stout, submitted his official notification letter to the TDI Board of Directors announcing his intent to retire on May 29, 2020.

His retirement date will mark 23 years of service as a dedicated advocate and policy player for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

“It has truly been a high honor and privilege to work for TDI. I am most proud to have played a part in TDI’s fifty-one years in shaping an accessible world for our deaf and hard of hearing Americans. I wish TDI the very best in its future” he noted. 

Sheila Conlon Mentkowski, President of TDI Board, accepted his letter of intent and stated, “The TDI Board accepted his letter of intent with mixed and bittersweet feelings. He’s been a tireless champion of dedicated advocacy as TDI’s Executive Director for more than twenty-two years. TDI is well positioned for continued success largely due to Claude’s leadership and vision”.

“He has developed an incredible network by collaborating with consumer groups, academia, industry, and government professionals across the country. He has carefully cultivated and solidified the reputation of TDI as a trusted source of information for policymakers in Washington, DC and its members”, President Conlon Mentkowski continued.

Stout’s list of accomplishments is nothing short of extraordinary — eighteen years as chairperson of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN) and over 1,200 joint filings at the FCC. He led the drafting of leadership and policy documents which were submitted to the Presidential transition teams of Obama and Trump.

Not to mention the countless battles to ensure functional equivalency in Telecommunications Relay Service, quality control improvements for captioning on television, and, in wake of the 9/11, jointly produced a report for many federal agencies to increase communication options, reliability and redundancy for deaf and hard of hearing Americans during emergencies.

Stout quickly noted this does not mean TDI is in a lame-duck period. We are still committed to pulling off one of the greatest TDI Conferences this summer and continue making as many filings to ensure every deaf and hard of hearing American has full and equal access in telecommunications, media, and information technology. 

HIs year-early announcement is intended to give the TDI Board sufficient time in developing a search committee to identify Claude’s successor. The TDI Search Committee will craft the position’s role, responsibilities, and expectations and share the job posting later this summer.