[Nfbnet-members-list] NFB Imagineering Our Future: Thirty more days to make a difference for blind youth!
JerniganInstitute at nfb.org
Sat Sep 4 17:58:39 UTC 2010
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last months newsletter.
Imagineering Our Future
In this issue:
* Message from the Executive Director
* Whats New
* Braille Initiative
* Straight Talk About Vision Loss
* Product and Access Technology Talk
* From the tenBroek Library
* Independence Market
* Parent Outreach
* Spotlight on the Imagination Fund
* NFB Calendar
Message from the Executive Director
I first learned about the National Federation
of the Blind in 1996 when I attended the National
Convention in Anaheim, California. I brought home
a bag full of material written by blind people
about what it is like and is not like to be
blind. One of the speeches from that bag that has
had lasting impact on me is an address by Dr.
Marc Maurer entitled
Dr. Maurer says in part:
In a fireplace one log by itself, regardless
of how big, will almost certainly fail to burn.
There must be at least two. The flame from one is
reflected by the other. The brightness and heat
come from the space between the logs, the reflection of the flame.
As it is with flame, so it is with ideas. A
new idea has only a limited time to take fire, to
catch the imagination of the public and burn. And
if the flame is to be reflectedthe kindling
point sustainedmore than a single person is
required. There must be two, five, tenat least a
handfulto build the heat and speed the process.
Over the last month, the friends of the
National Federation of the Blind have been
reflecting the flame by getting the word out
about the work that we do with blind youth.
Specifically, I have been touched by the
tremendous support we have received for our
NFB Youth Slam in the Pepsi Refresh Project. We
finished August in 15th place for our category.
While we did not win, we did very well and earned
another attempt in September. And, as is always
the case with the NFB, we will eventually win.
The NFB Youth Slam is a prime example of the
reflection of the flame that happens in the NFB.
Dozens of successful blind mentors volunteer a
week of their time to come mentor a new
generation. Innovative ideas are generated and
young people are empowered to charge into the
future with renewed confidence. The flame is
reflected, the hope is kindled, and new energy is created in the process.
Please continue to help us reflect the flame
of the National Federation of the Blind. Vote for
our Pepsi project every day and tell your
friends, family, and business associates about
the flame of opportunity that is the NFB.
Together we are truly building a future full of opportunities.
Graphic: Signature of Mark Riccobono
Mark A. Riccobono, Executive Director, NFB Jernigan Institute
Featured NFB News
Thirty More Days to Make a Difference for Blind Youth!
In just seconds each day, you can help promote
the need for blind students to receive the same
education as their sighted classmates. Vote today
and every day in September for the NFB Youth Slam
in the Pepsi Refresh Project. The top two
vote-getters each month receive $250,000 for
their projects, however the top 100 roll over to
the following month for another chance. NFB
started September in great shape to push to the
top! There are three ways to vote, and you are
encouraged to use as many of these ways as you
can to vote each day. Thats a total of 90 votes
that you can use to support equality in the
classroom. Here are the three ways to vote each day:
Graphic: Pepsi Do Some Good
* Simply put the number 101913 into the body
of a text message, and send that text to 73774.
(Standard text-messaging rates apply.)
click the link to vote, and then choose the log
in using Facebook option. Once youre
successfully logged in, click the vote button on
our page again and the vote link will disappear
and you'll have logged your vote!
* Go to
click the link to vote, and then choose the sign
in directly with Pepsi option. Once youre
successfully logged in, click the vote button on
our page again and the vote link will disappear
and you'll have logged your vote!
You can also find out more information about the
program by clicking
including an excellent video summary of the Youth
Slam with interviews with participants and staff.
Please share this important opportunity with your
networks on Facebook and Twitter, as well as with
your e-mail contacts. Thank you for your support,
and for voting every day in September or until the NFB receives the grant!
Tip: Sign up online for
e-mail reminders to vote for the Youth Slam in
the Pepsi Refresh Project. Or enter your mobile
phone number and carrier to receive
text message reminders to your phone. Standard text messaging rates apply.
2010 NFB Junior Science Academy
JSA students with Rube Goldberg machine
Photo: JSA students with Rube Goldberg machine
The NFB Jernigan Institute has been buzzing with
activity. Thirty elementary students and their
parents traveled to Baltimore for the two
sessions of the
NFB Junior Science AcademyGear Up for Greatness!
The four-day program was jam-packed with engaging
lessons about basic physics. Students turned
recyclables into Rube Goldberg machines and
learned about the physics behind the attractions
at an amusement park. While the students were
busy building confidence in their ability to do
science as blind people, their parents learned
from blind adults how to foster independence in their childrens lives.
Overflowing with excitement about their new-found
knowledge of blindness and science, the students
and parents shared their experiences with each
other at the closing ceremonies. Two boys used
their bodies to show off their knowledge of
simple machines; a team did somersaults to
demonstrate the wheel; and one student took the
push-up position while the other rolled a cane
down his back, demonstrating an inclined
plane! When it was the parents turn to share,
one mom remarked, I came to this program with a
visually impaired daughter, I am leaving with a
blind daughter! We loved getting to know these
families and we are geared up to see all the
great things they will do in the coming years!
A past Meet the Blind Month event
Meet the Blind Month is our nationwide campaign
to increase awareness of and support for the
National Federation of the Blind (NFB). This
year, we are launching a pilot program, Whos
Whozit, to bring our message to school-aged
children. This initiative will serve to generate
excitement around one of our organizations most
important effortspublic education. The primary
focus in 2010 is to shatter common misconceptions
about blindness, show how far the blind have come
due to the efforts of the NFB, and focus
attention on the work that needs to be done in
order for the blind to obtain full integration
into society on the basis of equality. For more
information or to register your events, visit the
the Blind Month Web page.
The Braille literacy crisis continues.
Despite the obvious advantages of Braille, the
New Jersey Commission for the Blind refuses to
believe that print is not a viable reading medium
for Hank Miller. They will not provide Braille
instruction, even though, with magnification,
Hank can only read ten minutes at a time, and his
vision will only deteriorate. Learn more about
the Miller familys struggle to secure literacy
for their nine-year-old blind boy in this
Evening News video.
The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington,
has ruled that the blind have a right to access e-books.
When the publisher does not offer an accessible
version, blind people will not violate copyright
laws by using access technology to read
electronic books that have digital rights management (DRM) technology.
In the NFBs
release, President Marc Maurer explained:
The National Federation of the Blind commends the
Librarian of Congress for recognizing the right
of blind Americans to obtain equal access to the
information contained in digital books. It is
the position of the National Federation of the
Blind that blind people have the right to access
content for which they have paid or which they
have otherwise legally obtained, just like all
other readers. We are pleased that the Librarian
of Congress sees matters in the same way. The
e-book industry, however, has largely failed to
recognize our rights. The Amazon Kindle, Barnes
and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and other e-book
reading devices and applications still remain
inaccessible to us, and we have yet to see
accessible e-book readers and content from those
who have promised them. At this time, Apple
products that can access the companys iBooks are
the only mainstream e-book devices accessible to
blind readers. The National Federation of the
Blind will continue to use every means at our
disposal to secure the right of blind Americans
to access the same books at the same time and at
the same price as all other consumers. We will stand for nothing less.
Straight Talk About Vision Loss
Photo: Blind student driver
There has been a lot of excitement about the
Blind Driver Challenge, the project NFB and
Virginia Tech engineers are working on to develop
a nonvisual user interface that allows a blind person to drive.
Now the NFB Blind Driver Challenge has received
the top award at the National Instruments annual
NIWeek conference in Austin, Texas. The
award-winning project was also highlighted in a
keynote presentation in front of the 3,000
attendees. The prototype vehicle was demonstrated
by Virginia Tech onstage and the NFB Jernigan
Institute Executive Director, Mark Riccobono,
spoke. We invite regular viewers of the
Talk About Vision Loss Web-based video series to
of the NFBs presentation on the Blind Driver
Challenge to the NIWeek conference.
The official NFB Blind Driver Challenge Web site
has launched! Go to
for everything relating to the Blind Driver
Challenge. You can get updates on the Blind
Driver Challenge by becoming a fan on
following the NFBs
account, and visiting us on
Product and Access Technology Talk
The Access Technology team is especially proud
this month, as after much ado, the newly updated
Resource List AND the new
Electronics List are now available on the NFB Web
site. These comprehensive listings of nonvisual
access technology in the United States and usable
consumer electronics, respectively, will help old
and new hands alike in their quest for new tools and toys.
We also worked with the Education team on a
professional development training session for the
Baltimore City Public Schools on August 26,
giving the attendees an insight into technology
that will benefit blind students. September 13
sees us host a
for voting machine manufacturers, which is an
exciting opportunity to share with them our
experiences about nonvisual access to and
usability of election technology as understood by
blind people and to exchange information.
The team has also added a new
of the BTec 100 embosser on the
Blog, and a number of tips on the BrailleNote Apex on the AT Tips.
From the tenBroek Library
We recently got a phone call from a leading
member of a nearby state affiliate. This person
was apologetic about asking us for information
needed for a task assigned by the National
Center. This led us to consider that it was time
to remind Federationists (and all friends of the
organized blind) that the tenBroek Library is
YOUR library for research on blind people and
blindness. The only reason were here is to
advance the cause. Our job is to provide
information relating to the blindwhether its on
teaching methods, public policy issues,
biographies of blind notables, or whatever. In
other words, were here to serve YOU. Bring on the requests for information!
Screen shot of the BLIND CAT homepage
Screenshot of the BLIND CAT
By the way, most requests we get are what
librarians call ready reference questions. We
are pleased, in the course of our normal work, to
take care of these quickies and other questions
that can be handled in short order. Please call
(410-659-9314, extension 2225) or write
(<mailto:jtblibrary at nfb.org>jtblibrary at nfb.org)
and we'll let you know whether your request fits
in this category or if we will need to charge a modest fee.
From time to time we also hear from people who
want to know if we have a particular book or
periodical in our collection. We now own about
four thousand books, as well as issues of more
than sixty magazines, scholarly journals, and
newsletters. We are, however, still in the early
stages of developing our collection, and it is
possible that we may not have an item youre
looking for. Since we plan to have a
comprehensive collection, we want to know of any
book or periodical about blindness that we don't already own.
But you don't need to call or e-mail us. Our
BLIND CAT, is up and running and will soon have
some snazzy enhancements. If you don't find what
youre looking for in THE BLIND CAT, you can let
us know by clicking on
about this catalog. We are moving toward the day when we can truly say:
Need information about blindness? Ask
BLIND CAT! A cool cat, indeed.
Photo: Parenting Without Sight cover
At our national convention this summer the NFB
released a new publication developed by our Blind
Parents Interest Group entitled Parenting Without
Sight: What Attorneys and Social Workers Should
Know about Blindness. This publication provides
introductory and commonsense advice and
information to those potentially involved in
assessing the competence of blind parents to care
for their offspring or other children in their
charge. The pamphlet promotes the simple view
that blind parents are, with proper training and
opportunity, equal to this responsibility.
Detailed in this pamphlet are statements of
blindness philosophy and practical examples of
ways parenting as a blind person can be managed
successfully. This release is very timely
especially considering the recent case in which a
newborn was taken away from her blind parents for
two months in Missouri this spring. We hope that
this publication will play a role in preventing
such situations in the future. The text of the
pamphlet can be viewed
and print copies can be ordered free of charge
from the NFB Independence Market.
Another publication released some time ago and
available through the Independence Market in
various formats can now be viewed online as well:
Guide for Local and State Leaders by Ramona
Walhof. Written from the point of view of a
long-time leader and former NFB officer, this
small book attempts to assist new leaders to take
full advantage of resources in a complex national
movement. It addresses structure and activities
of local chapters, state affiliates, and the
national organization from fund raising to public
education. Now that this resource is available
it is more accessible to our members and elected
leaders who are growing and nurturing the Federation.
For more information or to order NFB
<mailto:independencemarket at nfb.org>e-mail us or
call us at 410-659-9314, extension 2216.
The Summer 2010 issue of Future Reflections, a
magazine for parents and teachers of blind
children, is now available.
29 Number 3 includes a range of articles to
inform and inspire, such as
Things Possible, which begins:
When our mom, Cynthia, was told that her little
girls would never make it, she said a prayer. I
will be the best mother I can, she prayed.
Please let my little girls survive. We did
survive, but our story had only begun.
this issue from the NFB site, read it
to you, or <mailto:ParentOutreach at nfb.org>get a
subscription to the print or cassette version of
Future Reflections. You can't go wrong.
Also from the editor of Future Reflections,
Debbie Kent Stein, is a recent message she
forwarded to several NFB
about a research study that will take place in Fall 2010:
I have been asked to post the following
announcement by Ellen Herlache, a doctoral
candidate in counseling psychology. If you would
like to help out, please complete the survey online or contact Ellen directly.
Debbie Kent Stein
Attention: Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
A doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Education
in Counseling Psychology program at Argosy
University Online ProgramsPhoenix Campus is
conducting a survey study to learn more about how
a childs visual impairment impacts family
quality of life, and which types of support
services may be the most helpful to families of
children with visual impairments.
In order to participate in this study, you must
be the parent of a child between the ages of 0
and 21 years of age with a diagnosis of some form
of visual impairment (legal blindness, low
vision, or partially sighted), and reside in the
United States. All persons who complete and
submit the survey can enter into a drawing for
one of four $25 Visa Gift Cards. In order to be
involved in this study, please enter the address
below into your
The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete.
If you have any questions or concerns about
completing the survey or about being in the
study, please contact Ellen Herlache, MA, OTRL,
at (989) 964-2187 or <mailto:echerlac at hotmail.com>echerlac at hotmail.com.
Spotlight on the Imagination Fund
Race for Independence Logo
Announcing the 2010-2011 Race for Independence
NFBs annual campaign to raise funds for the NFB
Imagination Fund has begun. The 2010-2011 Race
for Independence will focus on education,
technology, and research of help to blind
Americans. The Race for Independence will be
spotlighted in public NFB events, particularly
the public debut of a vehicle equipped with a
nonvisual interface allowing a blind person to
drive it independently. A Ford Escape, equipped
with nonvisual interface technology, will be
driven by a blind individual who will navigate
part of the famed Daytona International Speedway
course on January 29, 2011, as part of the
pre-race activities at the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Get involved! Watch this space in October for an
easy way that you can support the Imagination
Fund Race for Independence campaign.
For more information, please read the official
release or visit
Proceeds from the
Fund build programs of the National Federation of
the Blind at the national, state, and local levels.
September 13, 2010 Nonvisual access to
technology seminar for developers of election
technology, Jernigan Institute, with funding from
a Help America Vote Act Training/Technical
Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
One of the purposes of the seminar is to inform
election technology developers about the
experiences of blind and low-vision voters with
accessible voting technology. We need your help
to provide election technology developers with as
broad a range of voter experience as
possible. If you are blind or have low vision
and have used an accessible voting system in a
federal election, please send an e-mail
describing your experience, the city or county
and state where you voted, and the type of
accessible voting system used (if known) to
<mailto:lblake at nfb.org>Lou Ann Blake.
the Blind Month, a nationwide campaign conducted
by chapters throughout the country every
October. Activities that spread the NFBs
message in local communities are listed by state
the Blind Month events page.
The Fall The yearly meetings of quite a few of
the NFBs state affiliates cluster in the fall
and the spring. These states will meet in
convention assembled in September: Arizona, North
Carolina, West Virginia, Iowa, Montana, and
Kentucky. To look up when the NFB of (insert
your favorite state) meets or for more
information, see the
Conventions page on the NFBs Web site.
Coming Summer 2011NFB National Convention in Orlando, Florida!
Help the National Federation of the Blind win
$250,000 to improve educational opportunities for
blind children by voting in the Pepsi Refresh
Project. Vote from your cell phone. Text 101913 to Pepsi (73774).
Taken from flyer with NFB 2010 Youth Slam
voting information. Print and hand them out at
events like local fairs or football games to help
spread the word! Available in
Back to Top
Thank you for reading the NFB Jernigan Institutes Imagineering Our Future.
Mentor Trevor Attenberg leads campers along the nature trail
Photo: Group on white water raft
Support the Jernigan Institute through the
Photo: Young woman playing flute
of Straight Talk about Vision Loss videos
Center for Blind Youth in Science
Photo: Youth practicing martial art
of the Nations Blind
Photo: Senior couple
Photo: Mom and son take a moment and a hug
Graphic Logo: National Federation of the Blind
Photo: Blind little girl with cane
Photo: Blind youth reading Braille book
Photo: Blind girl examining model of constellations
Photo: Blind boy with tactile globe
Blind Teens Carry the 2007 Youth March for Independence Banner
Visit us at
Imagine a Future Full of Opportunity
Jernigan Institute, National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314 Fax (410)
<mailto:JerniganInstitute at nfb.org?subject=Reply%20to%20Imagineering%20Our%20Future>JerniganInstitute at nfb.org
Visit us at www.nfb.org
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The National Federation of the Blind meets the
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forth by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and is
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If this issue was forwarded to you and youd like
to subscribe, please e-mail
<mailto:JerniganInstitute at nfb.org?subject=Reply%20to%20Imagineering%20Our%20Future>JerniganInstitute at nfb.org.
ducating Blind Children: Changing the Paradigm
Fredric K. Schroeder, Ph.D.; Research Professor; San Diego State University
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