DEDICATION to MADIF`s Founder Kevin Lowery
On November 10th 2019 The Mid-Atlantic Deaf Interpreter Fund (MADIF) lost its founder Kevin Lowery. It was Kevin’s dream, actually his “brain child” as he referred to it, to help the LGBTQ Deaf and hearing worlds become more unified by making activities, festivals and events more accessible to the Deaf community.
Kevin was a member of the leather club (Baltimore Leather Association of the Deaf). He taught sign language classes at the GLCCB (now the Pride Center of Maryland). Kevin himself was a sign language interpreter for countless LGBTQ events, like The Mr. Maryland Leather 2019 contest. He was onstage all afternoon as the ASL interpreter at the Frederick , Baltimore , Annapolis and Hagerstown Pride events. As The President of the Mid-Atlantic Deaf & Interpreter Fund (MADIF), he wanted to make sure that LGBTQ events had interpreters at all events. Kevin wanted to ensure that those skilled persons were appropriately compensated for their efforts as interpreters. We at MADIF want to remember Kevin as a GOOD man who helped people in distress, he was at his best in those situations. We also want to remember him for the creation of MADIF and for the years he served as the organization’s president. Kevin Lowery was truly a man who worked hard to make the LGBTQ community a better place for everyone. Kevin leaves behind his Husband Joey Lowery and his Boy Dave (Pug) Spellman as well as many friends who loved and cherished his friendship. You can donate and learn more about MADIF by visiting our donation page located on this site.
Do No Harm
Many of you have wondered why the acronym , MADIF , the Mid-Atlantic Deaf and Interperter Fund was selected? Being the founder and brainchild , I will assume the blame. Why? The fund has always been more about the Deaf community. Look closely and you will notice the the “D” is before the ” I” for too long , Deaf people have had to struggle to get the rights to communication in their preferred language. We want that to change and for the LGBTQIA community to bean example of full inclusion. We as a non-profit service organization try our best to put the Deaf community’s needs first. In truth , it is through them that someof our best interperters have become bilingual. There is no doubt , we owe them a great deal. MADIF’s mission statement reflects the need to pay it forward. We as hearing people cannot understand the specific needs of the Deaf community , yet they want to prove their self reliance. We speak about inclusion but how often do you reach across the aisle and tell someone you are glad to see them. How about the Deaf person? You tell yourself you don’t understand all that “hand waving” that isn’t an excuse. I challenge you to say a little “hi” “how are you?” and a big hug. That means so much.
By Kevin Lowery