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April 28, 2006

Press Announcement: CSD and WFD Sign MOU

From: CSD - Apr 28, 2006


Release Date: April 27, 2006
Contact Rick Norris
CSD Communications Office

WFD and CSD Form Partnership

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A milestone was reached March 24 when the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and CSD signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) designed to explore mutual goals and possible collaborative endeavors. The MOU provides a non-exclusive framework for partnership and services in various areas – subject to further negotiation, resources and approval by both parties.

Based on the progress made with the MOU, CSD developed, supports and maintains the WFD Web site and e-mail system. Future possible projects include assistance with the WFD News, public information, marketing, dissemination, and other forms of mutual support and resources.

“In today’s world, information, technology and connectivity are essential. This all speeds up many rapid, profound changes from local to international levels,” said Markku Jokinen, WFD president. “We are happy to have partners to promote human rights of deaf people during these changes, and CSD is one of those strong and reliable partners. WFD is proud to have the WFD-CSD partnership, and we look forward to doing more in partnership with CSD for the well-being of deaf people globally.”

Ben Soukup, CSD chief executive officer, expressed a mutual pride in the partnership and agreed that working together was critical to accomplishing global goals and maximizing resources in a time of ever-changing technology. He said the association between the two organizations is fitting, given their shared ambition.

“Like the WFD, CSD is committed to improving the quality of life for deaf people,” said Soukup. “We believe staunchly in giving back to the community, and collaborative efforts with like-minded groups allow us to provide better human and communication services. Ultimately, it is the deaf community who benefits most from relationships such as this.”

About WFD – The World Federation of the Deaf, established in 1951, is recognized by the United Nations as an international non-governmental organization representing approximately 70 million deaf people worldwide — 80 percent who live in developing countries. The WFD is a federation of 128 nations; its mission is to promote the human rights of deaf people and full, quality and equal access to all spheres of life, including self determination, sign language, education, employment and community life. The WFD secretariat is located in Helsinki, Finland; its Web site is

About CSD – CSD was established in 1975, primarily to provide sign language interpreting services to deaf and hard of hearing people in South Dakota. Today, CSD employs approximately 3,000 individuals in offices across the nation, providing a broad continuum of social and human service programs, as well as telecommunications and video relay services. CSD is a private, nonprofit agency dedicated to providing quality services; ensuring public accessibility; and increasing awareness of issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing people and individuals with speech disabilities. For more information, please visit

* CSD ~ An Official Sponsor of the 2007 Winter Deaflympics