The Arkansas Association of the Deaf (AAD) is the oldest and largest consumer organization of deaf and hard of hearing people in the state of Arkansas. AAD was founded in 1893 by alumni of the Arkansas School for the Deaf. AAD is governed by an Executive Board between conventions. The Executive Board, of whom the majority are deaf and hard of hearing, consists of six elected officers by the membership and five selected representatives chosen by the elected officers, all of whom serve on a voluntary basis until the next convention. As a non-profit, tax-exempt consumer organization, the AAD is funded by dues and donations from its members and supporters, as well as fund-raising activities which help support the AAD's programs and activities. The mission of AAD is to promote the educational, economic and social welfare of Arkansans who are deaf or hard of hearing. Membership is open to any Arkansan who is deaf or hard of hearing, as well as parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing; professionals who work with deaf and hard of hearing youth and adults; and other individuals interested in supporting AAD's goals. The AAD is affiliated with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). The NAD advocates for the educational, economic, and social well-being of deaf and hard of hearing people on a national and international level. AAD, through elected delegates, participates in the NAD's biennial conventions.