[Nfbnet-members-list] NFBJI Newsletter - Back Home after Convention

Mark Riccobono JerniganInstitute at nfb.org
Fri Aug 2 02:33:30 UTC 2013

Graphic: NFBJI logo
  Imagineering Our Future

Issue 55

August 2013

In this issue:
    * Message from the Executive Director
    * What's News at the NFB
    * Education
    * Braille Initiative
    * Advocacy
    * Product and Access Technology Talk
    * From the tenBroek Library
    * Independence Market
    * NFB Calendar
    * Citation

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Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

What would happen if a giant comet was headed 
towards Earth and officials from the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 
called on aspiring scientists and engineers from 
the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) 
Jernigan Institute’s latest summer program for 
blind youth to save the day? You would get 
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to the EXTREME, or NFB STEM-X!

Earlier this week nearly fifty blind youth from 
around the country gathered together at NFB 
STEM-X and began working on their charge to solve 
the problems created by the fictitious impending 
hit of the 
named ISON. In our NFB summer program we equip 
blind youth with great blind mentors, outstanding 
STEM instructors, and accessible tools in order 
to tackle the toughest challenges. And every 
summer the group of blind youth that assembles in 
Baltimore teaches us something about their hopes 
and dreams that further raises our expectations for the future.

Whether it is instruction in STEM or Braille (we 
have also had Braille enrichment programs for 
youth in nineteen states this summer), there are 
a lot of expectations being raised and futures 
being shaped because of the National Federation 
of the Blind. What else can we imagine and build 
together? I am looking forward to listening to 
the blind youth discuss their dreams as they 
leave NFB STEM-X. I am certain it will shape what 
we do in the years to come and give us even more drive to pursue our work.

On behalf of the hundreds of blind youth 
positively impacted through NFB programs this 
summer, thank you for your support of our efforts 
to build a future full of opportunities.

Warmest summer greetings,

Graphic: Signature of Mark Riccobono

Mark A. Riccobono, Executive Director
NFB Jernigan Institute

Vehicle Donations Take the Blind Further
Donate your car to the National Federation of the Blind today!
For more information, please visit 
or call 1-855-659-9314.

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What's News at the NFB

Convention Information

If you weren't able to attend the 2013 NFB 
National Convention, or if you want to enjoy it a 
second time, you can find the highlights at 
The highlights include audio downloads of many of 
the speeches, including Dr. Maurer's banquet 
speech, The Power of Belonging. The 2013 
resolutions have also been posted, and can be 
found at 

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NFB STEM-X is currently underway at Towson 
University in Baltimore, Maryland. Approximately 
fifty blind high school students are spending 
this week working in their chosen discipline 
(robotics, computer science, aerospace 
engineering, civil engineering, or chemistry), 
participating in additional enrichment classes, 
enjoying a variety of recreational activities, 
and hanging out with other blind students and 
mentors from across the country. Follow the 
action on Twitter at hashtag #NFBSTEMX.

You can read one mother's reflections as her son 
traveled to STEM-X at 

We would like to thank the American Honda 
Foundation, the UPS Foundation, the Susquehanna 
Foundation for the Blind, M&T Bank Charitable 
Foundation, and the National Security Agency for 
their support of this exciting program.

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Braille Initiative

Braille Certification Training Program

Under a contract with the National Library 
Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 
Library of Congress (NLS), the NFB administers 
the courses leading to NLS certification of 
Braille transcribers and proofreaders. Successful 
completion of these rigorous courses requires a 
great deal of time and effort on the part of the 
students. We congratulate the following 
individuals who earned certification during the month of April and May, 2013:

Literary Braille Transcribing

    Raul Robles, Cheshire

    Dennis A. Orr, Boise

    Gawaine K. Allen, Bunker Hill
    Jeffrey Higgenbottom, Bunker Hill

    Purnella A. Hodges, Louisville

    Erin L. Swaine, Livonia

    Lisa S. Tellijohn, Owatonna

    Sinjin R. Cobretti, Jefferson City
    Reginald M. Ewing, Jefferson City
    John M. Logan, Jefferson City
    Mark A. McCord, Jefferson City
    Rick L. Salmon, Jefferson City
    Joseph P. Watson, Jefferson City

    Thomas W. Chamberlin, Lincoln

    Gary W. Blalock, Las Vegas
    James R. Burke, Las Vegas
    Davon S. Phillips, Las Vegas
    David J. Rodius, Las Vegas
    Raul Rojo, Las Vegas

North Carolina
    James R. Locklear, Lumberton
    Demetrius R. McCray, Laurinburg
    Derrick L. Watkins, Laurinburg

    Mary Ellen Imm, Cincinnati
    Brenda (Kathy) McKinsey, Lakewood

    Heather A. Wilson, Gresham

South Carolina
    Tiffany Elmore, Greenwood
    Desiree S. Hopkins, Greenwood

South Dakota
    Charles Edward Keith, Sioux Falls

    Deborah J. Armstrong, Gatesville
    LaVerne Adams Blaasse, Gatesville
    Criselda Y. Casas, Gatesville
    Leeann Y. Garza, Gatesville
    Christy Elise Hopkins, Gatesville
    Tracie Elizabeth Kinkade, Gatesville

Literary Braille Proofreading

    Mike Sivill, Vancouver

Mathematics (Nemeth) Braille Transcribing

    Kent D. Fleischmann, Lincoln

    Susan Moravec, San Antonio

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Provide Feedback on Your Travel Experience

The NFB is committed to removing barriers and 
promoting equality for blind travelers. With 
travel providers’ increasing use of self-service 
kiosks, and the expansion of travel booking 
services available online, the NFB recognizes the 
immediate need to advocate for accessible 
information and services and appropriate 
treatment by airport and airline personnel. 
Gathering information about your travel 
experiences will aid in our collective advocacy efforts.

In order for the survey to be truly effective, we 
ask that members complete the travel survey each 
time they travel so as to provide an accurate 
picture of accessibility at travel centers across 
the nation. We therefore encourage all 2013 
National Convention attendees to complete the 
brief online travel survey at 
Please take time to share your travel 
experiences, both positive and negative, via the survey.

Please contact Valerie Yingling, paralegal at the 
NFB, at 
<mailto:vyingling at nfb.org>vyingling at nfb.org, or 
410-659-9314, extension 2440, for additional information.

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Product and Access Technology Talk

At this year’s national convention in Orlando, 
the access technology team held its customary 
technology sessions for the gathered tech-savvy 
blind. General technology sessions on using iOS 
with Braille, communication apps for deaf-blind 
users, and Windows 8 were followed by more 
specialized sessions on travel and job hunting, 
co-hosted by two giants from the industry: 
Travelocity and Monster. The tech sessions have 
long been not only a place to learn about the 
latest in access technology, but a venue for 
meeting fellow geeks and starting conversations. 
Also at the national convention, we were 
delighted to see a long-time partner Desire2Learn 
receive the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for their 
hard work. The learning management system (LMS) 
designers were honored for their ongoing efforts 
in not only building and maintaining an 
accessible LMS, but for inviting feedback from 
the user community and involving blind employees in the project.

In June, Anne Taylor presented as part of a panel 
at the M-Enabling Summit in Washington, D.C., an 
event geared specifically towards seniors and 
users with disabilities in the mobile arena. The 
panel, chaired by Adobe’s Andrew Kirkpatrick, 
featured prominent experts in the field: Sue 
Swenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, OSERS, U.S. 
Department of Education; Michele Woods, Director 
Copyright Law Division, World Intellectual 
Property Organization (WIPO); Richard Orme, Head 
of Accessibility and Digital Inclusion, Royal 
National Institute of Blind People (RNIB); Steve 
Jacobs, President, IDEAL Group, Inc. / CEO, 
Apps4Android, Inc.; and Betsy Beaumon, VP & 
General Manager, Literacy Program, The Benetech 
Initiative. The topic for discussion was "e-Book 
Readers and e-Publishing for Mobile Platforms."

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 From the tenBroek Library

The NFB is the oldest, largest, and most 
influential nationwide membership organization of 
blind people in the United States. Since 1940 its 
members have been working to achieve equality of 
opportunity for all blind citizens. But do you 
ever wonder how the NFB came to be? How did it 
develop into the organization that it is today? 
Who were significant leaders in the early days of 
the Federation? And what were some of the major 
events in history that they influenced?

The answers to these and other questions about 
the history of the organized blind movement can 
be found in a series of articles in the NFB’s 
flagship publication, the Braille Monitor. Each 
article in the series features an intriguing 
historical document from the archives at the 
Jacobus tenBroek Library and highlights a key 
person, event, or aspect of the organization. 
Learn about the life of a teacher in 1949 Los 
Angeles who didn’t want to give up her job when 
she lost her vision, a Washington lobbyist whose 
work on behalf of Federationists in the 1960s 
helped secure advantageous legislation for all 
blind people, or about the development of the 
NFB’s state affiliates in the 1950s. Find out for 
yourself just how interesting the history of the 
NFB really is by checking out one of these articles today!
Life in the Movement: Perry Sundquist
Schmidt: A Federation Fundraiser Goes to Washington
Vote of Confidence for Isabelle Grant, Blind Teacher
Nagle: Friend of the Blind
Makes an NFB Affiliate?

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Independence Market

The NFB Independence Market was open for business 
in the exhibit hall at our annual national 
convention the first week of July in Orlando, 
Florida. Visitors had an opportunity to browse 
our entire collection of sales products and much 
of the free literature on various 
blindness-related topics available from the NFB. 
We brought all of our sales items because we know 
that our customers appreciate the chance to 
closely examine products before making a purchase.

We would not have been able to operate the 
Independence Market at convention without the 
hundreds of volunteers who assisted with product 
demonstrations and processing orders. We would 
like to take this opportunity to thank all those 
who volunteered one or more shifts as 
demonstrators, storekeepers, pay station 
attendants, and cashiers. Your contributions were 
invaluable and we would not have been able to do 
it without you. Thanks again for all your help. 
We hope that we can count on many of you again to assist next year.

Many of the visitors to the NFB Independence 
Market want to know what products are new this 
year. Readers of this newsletter have already 
heard about the 
Bank Note Identifier and the 
Generation Victor Reader Stream book reader and 
recorder. One of the popular items this year was 
Soccer Ball, which makes a nice loud sound when the ball is in play.

This year we added two more clocks to our product 
line. The 
Talking Clock is a small inexpensive desk clock 
that announces the time, in either twelve or 
twenty-four hour format, followed by the 
temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. A 
convenient feature is that one can set the hourly 
announcement not just to announce every hour on 
the hour, but also set it to announce only 
between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., 
leaving one's nightly rest undisturbed by 
announcements. The other new clock is the 
Reminder Voice Interactive Talking Alarm Clock, 
which one can also use as an accessible 
appointment calendar. When the trigger mode is 
enabled, one can verbally inquire about the time, 
date, and any upcoming reminder alarms, as well 
as set the time, manage the alarm, record and 
play reminders, and ask for help. Up to ten 
six-second reminder alarms may be recorded for 
every day, today only, or any day of the week.

We also recently added the 
Caravan: Braille Learning Activity Kit to our 
product line. This kit includes fifteen magnetic 
Braille cell blocks with movable pegs, a non-skid 
mat, a cloth tote bag for storage, and an 
activity guide in print and Braille. One can 
practice creating and recognizing Braille signs 
as well as simulate slate writing with the 
Braille Caravan. The activity guide suggests a 
variety of games that will make Braille learning 
fun for very young learners. Some adult students 
may also find it helpful to practice Braille sign 
recognition and simulate slate writing with the Braille Caravan.

We will be sharing more details about the rest of 
our new Independence Market offerings in an 
upcoming newsletter, so stay tuned. For more 
information or to request a complete catalog in 
various formats, please e-mail us at 
<mailto:independencemarket at nfb.org>independencemarket at nfb.org, 
or call us at 410-659-9314, extension 2216.

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NFB Calendar

Upcoming Events

Center for the Blind 25th Anniversary – September 13-14, 2013

Washington Seminar – Great Gathering-In – January 24, 2014

State Conventions

of South Carolina – August 9-11, 2013

of North Carolina – September 12-15, 2013

of Arizona – September 13-15, 2013

of North Dakota – September 14, 2013

of Hawaii – September 14-15, 2013

of New York – October 4-6, 2013

of Georgia – October 10-13, 2013

NFB of Montana – October 25-27, 2013

of Maryland – November 8-10, 2013

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The misunderstandings about what we are signal a 
direction for us to take, and they create a 
challenge that we willingly accept. We belong 
within our society even though many members of it 
have not yet recognized that we belong. We also 
belong to each other­to our families and to the 
members of our Federation. This belonging adds to 
our strength and increases our power. Our talent, 
our power, is within our hands, and our tomorrows 
do not belong to the ill-informed. Rather, they 
belong to us. Gaining the recognition that must 
be ours will require all that is best within us, 
but we have the strength we need. With the 
determination inherent in our power, nothing can 
stop us. We own our freedom. We will achieve 
equality; we will win our independence. Our plans 
have been developed; our decisions have been 
made; our declarations have been proclaimed. We 
have the power, and we will make the joy of our future come true!

--Marc Maurer. "The Power of Belonging." Banquet 
speech, 2013 NFB National Convention, Orlando, Florida, July 6, 2013.

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Thank you for reading the NFB Jernigan Institute’s Imagineering Our Future.

Help make a significant difference in the lives 
of blind people across the country.

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Interesting links:

of Straight Talk About Vision Loss videos

Center for Blind Youth in Science

Technology Tips


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of the Nation's Blind


Support the Jernigan Institute through the 
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
United States
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