[Nfbnet-members-list] regarding the establishment of a division of multihandicapped blind people

Beth Taurasi denverqueen1107 at comcast.net
Wed Sep 11 08:22:44 UTC 2013

Dear Fellow Federationists:

For the past 73 years the National Federation of the Blind has
worked to achieve full security, equality and opportunity for
blind people through the power of collective action.  We have
made great progress in achieving these ends.  Through the
Federation, countless blind people, including myself, have
developed the belief that blindness need not stop us from
realizing our dreams.  However, there are some of us who have a
secondary disability on top of our blindness.  Although this too
does not automatically hinder our progress, we often find that
the combination of our blindness and our secondary disability can
prevent us from having the opportunities more readily available
to even those whose only disability is blindness.  Moreover,
those of us with secondary disabilities often do not have the
support and resources we need to discuss common issues and
advocate for our rights.  Even in the Federation, there is
currently no vehicle through which the blind with secondary
disabilities can work together to solve the problems we face and
provide a network of resources and support to other
multiply-disabled persons.  This leaves us with little recourse
when discrimination against us occurs.

I am therefore proposing that a new division be formed within the
National Federation of the Blind for blind people with secondary
disabilities, much like our Multi-Handicapped Committee of the
1980s and early 1990s.  This division would serve as a source of
support and information for multiply-disabled blind people, a
forum in which we can discuss issues of interest to us, and an
organization through which the blind with secondary disabilities
and others who are interested in our cause can advocate for our
rights and combat discrimination.  Membership in this
organization would be open to all blind people who have an
additional disabilitity as well as anyone else who is interested
in working with us to achieve our goals of security, equality and
opportunity.  If enough interest is shown, we will hopefully have
a meeting of interested people at next year's national convention
to form this division.  If you are interested in being a part of
this organization, please call or write to me at 720-435-7407 or 
eataurasi at gmail.com. I thank you for your attention
to this letter and for your support of the rights of blind

Yours in Federationism,

Beth Taurasi
National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

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