a group of people standing around a banner of GWADA
a group of people standing around a banner of GWADA

Our Mission

The Greater Washington Asian Deaf Association (GWADA) is an organization that advocates for the interests of the Asian/Pacific Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. GWADA serves, supports, and enhances the social, charitable, educational, and cultural needs and goals of its membership.


  • Be a resource for the education, social justice, civil advocacy, and human rights of Asian/Pacific Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing persons and their families.

  • Promote educational programs, workshops, and seminars for Asian Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing infants and children, their hearing parents, new Asian immigrants, and the professionals who work with them.

  • Conduct and facilitate leadership/assertiveness training programs and self-esteem seminars for Asian Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing adults and their family members.

  • Educate the general public about Asian cultural heritage and Asian Deaf culture.

  • Serve as an information clearinghouse on matters related to Asian Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing people.

  • Enhance the recognition and achievements of Asian Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing people, promoting ethnic and cultural identity and pride.

  • Award scholarships and stipends to outstanding Asian Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing students.

  • Promote efficient fundraising activities to accomplish the above-mentioned mission.

Serving Our Asian Deaf Community Since March 1994

At the March 1994 Access Silent Asian Conference (The Deaf Asians Experience) in San Francisco, two Deaf Asians met in a workshop. They were surprised to learn that they both lived in the Washington, DC, area. It took a conference 3,000 miles away for them to meet!

As a result, they agreed to plan a picnic in Washington, DC, for all Deaf Asians in the area. Despite forecasts of a rainstorm, the group still gathered at Buddy Attick Park in Greenbelt, Maryland, on June 11, 1994, and enjoyed a delicious potluck picnic. Afterwards, someone suggested that they formally create the organization, and a group of ad hoc officers were elected. Thus, the Metropolitan Washington Association of Asian Deaf Americans (MWAADA) was born.

Later, the association changed its name to the Greater Washington Asian Deaf Association (GWADA). GWADA is a non-profit organization that serves the needs of Deaf Asians in the DC area by promoting various issues of interest to the Deaf Asian community locally, nationally, and worldwide.

a group of people standing around tables with drinks
a group of people standing around tables with drinks

The logo above was designed by Linda C. Tom.