ICBDA facilitates the empowerment of its members through education and visibility in the hearing and Deaf communities. This is done through leadership development, educational advancement for youth, and economic development.


The fundamental mission of the ICBDA is to advocate the educational, economic, health, political, religious and social causes that have an impact on the Black Deaf Community.

1992: Donald Tinsley, Carl Moore, Scott Muller, and Mernarr ‘Beetle’ McClendon founded the Indianapolis Black Deaf Advocates (IBDA)
1995: The original IBDA logo was created
1997: IBDA evolved to the Indiana Black Deaf Advocates (IBDA)
2009: IBDA transitioned to the Indiana Chapter of Black Deaf Advocates (ICBDA)
2017: ICBDA secured its own office space at 1200 E. 42nd Street, Indianapolis
2018: ICBDA set up a Facebook page
2020: ICBDA released a new logo
2021: ICBDA launched a new website

Donald Tinsley

ICBDA Founder

Donald Tinsley graduated from the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) in 1969. He is one of the original founders of IBDA in 1992 and serviced as its first president in 1994-1996. Donald also served as the editor-in-chief of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA)’s quarterly newsletter, NETWORK, from 1994 to 1997 (now known as ‘NBDA Connections’). During the years from 1999 through 2002, Donald served as the NBDA board treasurer. In 1998, Donald served as the national chairperson for NBDA’s 16th Biennial Conference that took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Donald was honored with NBDA Spotlight award twice in 2003 and 2005 for his commitment and leadership in elevating the profile of Deaf Blacks across the United States.

Skip to content