The National Association of the Deaf sadly reports the passing on January 1, 2020 of Charles C. Estes who served as Executive Director from 1990-1992. He was 83 years old.
Born October 21, 1936, Estes attended Alabama School for the Deaf and graduated in 1954. He is believed to have received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama, and his Master of Education degree from Western Maryland College (now known as McDaniel College) in 1976.
Estes spent his entire life dedicated to improving the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people through service on various organizations. He served the Alabama Association of the Deaf in many capacities: as President (1967-69), Vice-President (1969-71), and Secretary (2007-09). In 1969, he co-founded and served on the first board of the Alabama Registry of Interpreters Serving the Deaf (ALRID).
Estes had great dedication to the NAD, serving not only as its Executive Director but prior to that on the Board of Directors as a Board Member (1972-74), as Secretary/Treasurer during Jess Smith’s term as President (1974-76), and as Secretary/Treasurer during Merv Garretson’s term as President (1976-78).
During his time of service on the NAD Board, Estes was a founding board member (1975-76) of the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD), and subsequently served as its Vice President (1976-78).
Estes devoted part of his career to schools for the deaf, including as Dean of Boys at the Alabama School for the Deaf (1975-76) and as the Assistant Vocational Principal at the American School for the Deaf (1976-78). He also served on the Board for the Texas School for the Deaf (1999-2003).
Estes was also was a pioneer in the telecommunications relay industry, having served as a Center Manager for MCI Relay at its Miami, Florida call center. Subsequently he was part of, Bama Relay LLC and then set up Nationwide Relay, which he sold to Convo in 2011.
The NAD Board of Directors and staff extend their condolences to the family of Charles C. Estes.