Governor’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Director Kelby Brick Named a Recipient of The Daily Record Leadership in Law Award during National Deaf History Month
Recognizes Maryland Legal Professionals for Community Contributions
To wrap up National Deaf History Month (March 13 – April 15), the Governor’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing announced that Director Kelby Brick is a recipient of The Daily Record’s 2019 Leadership in Law Awards. The Leadership in Law Awards recognizes Maryland’s legal professionals for their community contributions.
“Director Brick has dedicated his career to the Deaf and hard of hearing community and the Governor’s Coordinating Offices congratulates him on this latest honor,” said Patrick Lally, Senior Executive Director of the Governor’s Coordinating Offices. “In his pioneering work with the Deaf Ecosystem, a term he coined, he has advanced Governor Hogan’s vision to empower Maryland’s more than 1.2 million Deaf or hard of hearing residents every day.”
Director Brick was selected by an outside panel of judges for his professional achievement, community service, and mentoring. The Daily Record wrote that Director Brick “stood out from the crowd” for his impeccable dedication and positive impact for the Deaf community and Maryland.
Nominations for the awards were received from Daily Record readers, area law firms, bar associations, chambers of commerce, and the business and legal communities. Nominees completed an application that outlined their career accomplishments, community involvement and mentoring activities. Winners were selected by a panel of legal and business leaders.
March 13 to April 15 is National Deaf History Month, as determined from seminal events dating back to the Deaf President Now protest in March 13, 1988, President Lincoln’s signing of Gallaudet University charter in April 8, 1864, and the establishment of the first Deaf public school in April 15, 1817. Over the years, the Deaf community, including Director Brick, has made historic strides for the Deaf community through leadership and awareness of the issues facing this community.
Prior to joining the Governor’s Coordinating Offices, Brick transformed the telecommunications relay services industry as the Vice President of Regulatory and Strategic Policy at Purple Communications. Brick also served as the director for the Law and Advocacy Center at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). With this position, he successfully mobilized NAD in establishing precedents and landmark decisions in litigation and legislative and regulatory areas while increasing NAD’s profile.
Brick is active in numerous advocacy organizations and served as a board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities, as well as on various federal and local advisory groups. Brick has a Bachelor of Arts in government from Gallaudet University and a law degree from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. He is the first Deaf graduate of the law school and a Certified Deaf Interpreter.
Throughout his career, Brick has successfully adopted policies addressing underemployment and unemployment rates of Deaf people. The Deaf Ecosystem’s fundamental approach is to retain and harness the collective socio-economic power within the community’s individuals, organizations, and businesses through community collaboration and support by promoting Deaf owned businesses and the hiring of Deaf employees in the private and public sectors.
Maryland now has over 70 Deaf and hard of hearing owned businesses. The Department of Rehabilitation Services have doubled the number of Deaf clients who have achieved employment outcomes. This kind of success is unprecedented across the nation.
“I’m truly honored to receive this award. I am grateful for the support from the Deaf community and for their continued advocacy in taking down systemic barriers. Our work does not stop here,” Director Brick shares. “Our successes are also reflective of the Governor and his administration’s commitment to empowering Deaf people.”
The honorees will be celebrated with a dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday, May 16 at the BWI Hilton. They will also be profiled in a special section that will be inserted into the May 17 issue of The Daily Record and available online at www.TheDailyRecord.com.
More information about the Deaf Ecosystem and the directory of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Owned Businesses can be found at www.odhh.maryland.gov/deaf-ecosystem.