The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) announced on Saturday February 4 that Ralph Fernandez has been selected to join the ICSD Secretariat as an International Sports Director to assist with the organization of ICSD-sanctioned events. With this move, Fernandez departs his Member at Large post on the USADSF Board of Directors.
Fernandez, a two-time Deaflympic medalist in Road Cycling, joined the USADSF Board of Directors in 2018. During his service, Fernandez played an integral role in modernizing USADSF’s systems, policies, and bylaws through his work on the USADSF Governance committee and on the USADSF’s Online Management System (OMS). Fernandez also led the integration of OMS tools in USADSF’s current website in order to streamline data and optimize browsing. Previously, Fernandez also implemented the ICSD’s OMS and website. Fernandez’s work in championing secure information systems has enhanced USADSF’s best practices and the ways in which USADSF serves its athletes.
In addition, Fernandez has served as the USADSF representative on international affairs since May 2021, fostering strong relations with the international Deaf sports community and ensuring the success of United States Deaf National Teams and the United States Deaflympic Teams at ICSD-sanctioned events. Fernandez also served as a USADSF Delegate to the last three ICSD Congresses, including the 47th Congress in Verceia, Italy, 48th Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the 49th Congress in Vienna, Austria, helping pass a number of key reforms, including the present ICSD Constitution.
At USADSF, Fernandez also participated in a number of initiatives—including the Hall of Fame Committee—and served as USADSF’s chef de mission representative at the 24th Deaflympics. Fernandez, who designed the Deaflympic logo, also designed USADSF’s 75th Anniversary logo.
“[Fernandez’s] role will be of utmost importance in the future as we are about to build strong and transparent qualification, ranking, and competition system,” remarked ICSD President Ádám Kósa. USADSF President Jeffrey Mansfield added, “While we will miss Ralph’s dedicated work ethic and his tenacious contributions to our work, we congratulate Ralph on this new chapter in an illustrious career in Deaf sports. On behalf of the USADSF Board, we wish Ralph the best in his new role and we are excited for the future of ICSD and the Deaf sports movement.”
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USADSF Mission: Empower USA Deaflympic and Deaf National Teams to continuously reach their highest competitive potential and promote accessible and inclusive sports environments and experiences for Deaf and Hard of Hearing athletes.
USADSF Vision: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans shall thrive in all aspects of sport and society with the full provision of equal access and barrier-free participation. The United States Deaflympics and National Teams shall serve as an exemplary model of equity, inclusion, and excellence.