Latvian Association of the Deaf (LAD) is the successor of the first organization of the Deaf of Latvia, established on the 19th of May, 1920. At the moment it is the biggest organization for deaf people in Latvia and it functions in the whole Latvia. There are regional LAD societies in the 9 cities of Latvia.
LAD is a member of the World Federation of the Deaf since the 27th of April, 1992.
LAD is a social organization, and its members are volunteers. Full deaf as well as people with hearing problems, who know Latvian sign language and take part in achieving aims of LAD, participate in it's activities.
LAD main aims are:
· to help people with hearing loss;
· to attain the society's understanding and responsiveness regarding people with hearing problems.
To achieve these aims, the main tasks of LAD are:
· to attain support of the government and self-governments regarding social rehabilitation of the members of LAD, to provide their integration in the society;
· to satisfy the material, every-day's and cultural needs of members of LAD, to raise the level of the education, protection of health and rehabilitation.
In order to fulfil these tasks, LAD:
· organizes social rehabilitation, establishes specialized centers on rehabilitation work;
· sets up cultural and holiday centers;
· publishes informative issues;
· establishes business structures and stirs other commercial activities;
· provides the acquisition of knowledge and helps to raise the level of education;
· provides different activities for leisure time;
· cooperates with other social organizations;
· works out and moves proposals in governmental, self-governmental and legislational authorities.
LAD has founded a center in Riga, which is called Vienas Pieturas Agentura (Agency of One Stop), it is situated in Elviras street19. People can get all the necessary information and help here.
Institutions and organizations, which work in this center, in cooperation with different supporters, have developed a large sphere of activities which allows to provide deaf people with:
· necessary technical devices;
· sign language interpreter and communication services;
· consultations in solving social and other problems;
· opportunity to get information (newspaper "Kopsoli", regular meetings at LAD and other solutions);
· understandable information in the National Television (TV "Programme for the Deaf", news and theatre performances with translation to sign language;
· research and development of sign language - mother tongue of deaf people; creating and publishing different dictionaries of the sign language and providing opportunities to learn sign language.