[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Newsletter - A High Five for the Federation, Family, and Furthering our Movement

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind IOF at nfb.org
Wed Jun 1 19:07:31 UTC 2016

National Federation of the Blind logo with tagline: Live the li

Imagineering Our Future

   Issue 87

June 2016

In this issue:
Message from the President
What's News at the NFB
Braille Certification Training Program
 From the tenBroek Library
Independence Market
Access Technology
NFB Calendar

Graphic: section divider

Message from the President

Dear Friends:

I have held many titles but without a doubt the 
most important one is "Dad." As Father's Day 
approaches, I need your help to protect the 
rights of other blind fathers (and mothers) and 
to ensure that future blind parents have access 
to quality resources that will help them and 
those around them know that blindness is not the 
characteristic that defines their ability to be a great parent.

I am calling on you today to give a high five to 
blind parents for Father's Day. By making a 
contribution of $5 (or some multiple of $5), you 
can help the National Federation of the Blind 
strengthen and broaden our initiative for blind 
parents. Last month we launched the first phase 
online resource center for connecting, 
empowering, and protecting blind parents in 
fulfilling their dream of living up to the title 
of mom, dad, grandmother, or grandfather. The 
more high fives we get on this Father's Day, 
themore blind parents or prospective parents we 
can connect, empower, and protect.

Every day we come across blind people who are 
preparing to be parents but who have never met a 
blind parent. Unfortunately, these same 
individuals are often surrounded by sighted 
friends and family who question how they will 
effectively serve as caregiver. These questions 
are frequently rooted in misconceptions about 
blindness and low expectations. Unless we get 
these blind parents connected with other blind 
parents like my wife Melissa and me, the 
questions begin to add doubt and fear to the 
general concern that every new parent faces. 
Through the National Federation of the Blind, we 
offer a meaningful personal mentoring connection 
that helps answer the questions.

All new parents have questions, but there have 
not been adequate resources for blind people to 
discover and share the techniques, tools, 
strategies, and tips that blind people use to 
effectively parent without vision. Through the 
National Federation of the Blind, we are building 
out the resources to empower blind parents to 
know and share the techniques and information 
that they need to be outstanding caregivers. What 
product is best for gaining access to a child's 
temperature? What techniques do blind people use 
to monitor their children? How do blind parents 
deal with transportation and managing the daily 
schedule of after-school activities, homework, 
school meetings,etc.? These questions and others 
are ones that successful blind parents already 
have answers to, and through our work we will 
create new means of sharing this knowledge base, 
continuing to build it with new ideas, and 
empowering blind parents to utilize it in their day-to-day parenting.

Some may be surprised  that every week we learn 
of more blind people who have had the custody of 
their child threatened by social workers, 
counselors, neighbors, and even other family 
members who have low expectations and no 
experience with the nonvisual techniques that 
blind people use to be effective parents. Often 
times children are separated from their parent 
who is blind and the misunderstanding about the 
capacity of blind people is the primary reason. 
The characteristic of blindness should not be 
used to rip these families apart and we can do 
something about this discriminatory behavior. 
Through the National Federation of the Blind, we 
provide legal advocacy,assistance, and training 
to protect blind parents in cases where blindness 
is being used to unfairly divide parents from 
their children. We also undertake advocacy to 
eliminate state laws that permit blindness to be 
used to demonstrate inability to parent. 
Likewise, we are proactively developing resources 
and training to reach more social workers, family 
court personnel, hospital staff, families, and 
others to break down the misconceptions and 
strengthen understanding about the capacity of the blind to be great parents.

If you believe in our comprehensive strategy to 
connect, empower, and protect blind parents, then 
I need a high five from you. In fact, the more 
high fives the better. You cannot put a price on 
love; and our blind parents initiative is 
protecting the bonds of love between blind parents and their children.

Please join with me by giving us a high five on 
our donation page. Also help us spread the word 
about our 
webpage. To get involved in our blind parents 
initiative, please send an email to 
<mailto:parenting at nfb.org>parenting at nfb.org.


Graphic: Signature of Mark Riccobono

Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind

Graphic: section divider

What's News at the NFB

Thank You to our 2016 National Convention Elite and Platinum Sponsors


Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Cardtronics, Inc.

Delta Air Lines

Google, Inc.




VFO (Freedom Scientific/Optelec)

Delay on Internet Regulations by DOJ

The National Federation of the Blind, the 
nation's leading advocate for equal access by the 
blind to information and technology, condemned 
by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) 
that it will further delay issuing regulations 
under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities 
Act (ADA) and instead seek further comments from 
the public on what those regulations should 
contain. Details can be found at 

Uber Settlement

In an unprecedented settlement, Uber has agreed 
to take affirmative steps to prevent 
discrimination against blind riders who use guide 
dogs in its transportation network across the 
United States. Read our full press release at 

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Braille Certification Training Program

Contest for Braille Readers

The Onkyo Braille essay contest is administered 
by the National Federation of the Blind for the 
North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind 
Union. Essays must be written in Braille and in 
English or their author's native language and 
must be completely original. Entries should be no 
fewer than eight hundred words and no more than one thousand words.

The contest is divided into two groups of 
competitors--one junior group, aged twenty-five 
and under; and one senior group, aged twenty-six 
and above. Prizes range from $500 to $2,000. All 
essays must be received by June 30, 2016. Visit 
for more information and an application.

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 From the tenBroek Library

The month of June is always busy at the NFB 
Jernigan Institute as our staff work hard to get 
everything ready for our annual national 
convention, typically held the first week of 
July. Since 1940, the size and shape of the 
national convention has changed greatly; yet 
looking at the early convention records housed in 
the papers of our founder, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, 
it is easy to see that largest annual gathering 
of blind people in American still remains true to 
its roots. It is, and has always been, a time for 
members to come together both to conduct the 
serious business of the organization and to 
strengthen the bonds of the Federation family 
through networking, the sharing ofcommon goals, 
and exciting adventures. A prime example of this 
can be found in the convention agenda for 1952:


THE BLIND to be held in NASHVILLE at the ANDREW 

(Note: This is the first time for the National 
Federation of the Blind to hold its annual 
convention, not only in Tennessee but in the 
South. This year the National Federation will 
hold a Bowling Meet for the Blind. This will be 
the first time that the Federation has sponsored such an event


SATURDAY MORNING, July 12: Registration in the 
lobby of the Andrew Jackson Hotel; 1. Atomic 
Research - A Job for the Blind, Dr. Bradley 
Burson; 2. How Safe are the Blind? Mr. Smith 
Shumway; 3. Public Welfare Principles, Mr. George Card.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: A Living Pension for the Blind
 [panel presentation]

(On Saturday Night many of the delegates will 
visit the Grand Ole Opry, where a block of tickets has already been reserved.)

SUNDAY MORNING, July 13: Rehabilitation, 
Employment and Vending Stand Programs

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Discriminatory Exclusion of the 
Blind from Trades and Professions
 [panel presentation]

SUNDAY EVENING, July 13: The climax of the entire 
convention will come on Sunday, July 13, with a 
reception for guests and delegates, followed by a banquet.

Kenneth Jernigan, President of the Tennessee 
Association of the Blind will serve as 
toastmaster at the banquet. Governor Gordon 
Browning will introduce the principal speaker of 
the evening, Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, President of 
the National Federation of the Blind. Some three 
hundred people are expected to attend the 
reception and banquet. Besides Governor Browning, 
Mayor West of Nashville, several of Tennessee's 
Congressmen, and Representatives of several Civic 
Groups will be present. At the banquet, Western 
and Northern delegates who are visiting the South 
for the first time will be treated to two 
Southern specialities, fried chicken and chess pie.

MONDAY MORNING, July 14: Executive director's report.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: On Monday afternoon the 
Tennessee Association of the Blind will conduct 
the convention delegates and their guests on a 
tour through Nashville and some of the 
surrounding area. Among those places visited will 
be the Parthenon, the Hermitage, and the new 
school for the blind at Donelson. Lunch and dinner will be served on the tour.

MONDAY EVENING: A bowling meet will be held on 
Monday evening. Blind people from several states 
are expected to compete for honors.

TUESDAY MORNING: Legislative program.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: White Cane report, treasurer's 
report, election of officers and selection of a Convention city for 1953.

For more information on the timing and activities 
of the 2016 NFB National Convention, please visit 
convention webpage today!

Graphic: section divider

Independence Market

Last fall we shared with our readers that the 
National Federation of the Blind is starting to 
update our brochures to reflect our new branding. 
At that time we had just completed our main 
is the National Federation of the Blind." If you 
wish to know what text the brochure contains 
before handing out hard copies in print or in 
Braille, you may review the brochure text online. 
version may also be downloaded as a BRF file and embossed on demand.

We are excited to announce that we just completed 
the revision of the 
Organization of Parents of Blind Children 
brochure. You may review this one online as well. 
Print and Braille copies of the National 
Federation of the Blind brochure and print copies 
of the National Organization of Parents of Blind 
Children brochure may be ordered from the Independence Market.

At this time the staff of the NFB Independence 
Market are busily gearing up for our national 
convention, which will be held this year in 
Orlando, Florida, at the Rosen Shingle Creek 
Resort from June 30 through July 5. In 
preparation for the convention we are adding new 
items to our stock and are updating our catalog. 
At the convention itself almost all of our sales 
products and much of our free literature will be 
available in the exhibit hall. Convention 
attendees will have a chance to examine demo 
items of all our products, including the new ones.

Many volunteers will help staff our store at 
convention to assist with demonstrating products 
to our customers and processing the resulting 
purchases. If you would like to volunteer for a 
shift in the Independence Market, please contact 
Patricia Maurer at our national office by phone 
at 410-659-9314, extension 2272, or email her at 
<mailto:pmaurer at nfb.org>pmaurer at nfb.org. Thank 
you in advance to all of you who are helping out 
in some capacity. We would not be able to run the 
Independence Market at convention without you.

We hope to see many of you in Orlando. If you are 
not able to join us at our convention, check out 
Market online or 
<mailto:independencemarket at nfb.org>contact us via 
email or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 
2216, for a catalog. Please note that we will not 
be able to process any online or telephone orders 
while we are away at convention.

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Help Advocate for Accessible State and Local 
Government Websites - Your Stories are Needed by July 15

The need for access to public websites continues 
to be an area of critical importance to the NFB. 
Though the courts have increasingly identified 
that websites fall within the intent and scope of 
the Americans with Disabilities Act, and cannot 
be vehicles of discrimination and exclusion 
against blind citizens, the federal government 
has yet to confirm regulations that would require 
websites to be accessible to individuals with 
disabilities. The NFB’s advocacy for such 
regulations cannot stop until websites are accessible.

In May, the U.S. Department of Justice published 
its Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking titled Nondiscrimination on the Basis 
of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information 
and Services of State and Local Government 
Entities (SANPRM) in the Federal Register. In 
response to the new SANPRM, the NFB is gathering 
comments and stories from members to highlight 
the importance of access to state and local 
government websites. We need your stories, both 
positive and negative, regarding the importance 
of accessible state and local government 
websites­websites for voter registration, 
applying for a state or local government job, 
appealing a property taxassessment, renewing a 
library book, requesting food stamps, registering 
for a class at your local state or community 
college, or any other state or local government 
service. Visit 
for steps on how you can help the NFB advocate 
for accessible websites, and/or contact Kyle 
Walls at 410-659-9314, extension 2223, or 
<mailto:kwalls at nfb.org>kwalls at nfb.org. We will be 
gathering member stories through July 15.

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Access Technology

In the aftermath of the deluge of new technology 
that was CSUN, the access technology team has 
been catching up on a few things. We've also been 
writing things up­the team wrote three blog posts 
for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), 
covering the latest accessibility improvements on 
Android, the new B2G notetaker, and accessible 
browser choices. In other GAAD news, we also 
presented to accessibility champions and other 
interested staff at Expedia on web accessibility.

For those of you who live near Baltimore, you may 
be interested to learn that we've announced the 
next two accessibility boutiques. The topic for 
the June boutique is converting printed text to 
digital text: optical character recognition in 
the office and on the go. That will take place on 
June 23, 8:00-10:00 a.m. The July boutique on 
July 25, 3:00-5:00 p.m. will be on accessible 
websites, made accessibly­an introduction to 
Wordpress. If you are interested in attending 
either or both of these boutiques, RSVP to 
<mailto:cvangerven at nfb.org>cvangerven at nfb.org; 
space is limited. The event will be held at the 
NationalFederation of the Blind Jernigan Institute at:

200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230

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NFB Calendar

Upcoming Events

May 23-August 26, 2016: NFB BELL Academy held at 
forty-six sites throughout the nation. More 
information at 

June 19-25: NFB EQ (first iteration)

June 30-July 5: National Federation of the Blind 
Convention, Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, 

July 31-August 6: NFB EQ (second iteration)

August 18-25: WBU-ICEVI General Assembly, Rosen 
Centre Hotel, Orlando, Florida, 

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Our own National Federation has blazed the trail 
and shown the way. We have demonstrated what 
blind men and women can do in freedom and in 
concert, through independence and 
interdependence. We have proved, in the fires of 
battle, our right to organize, to speak for ourselves, and to be heard.

– Dr. Jacobus tenBroek. 
Parliament of Man... The Federation of the World” 
1964 NFB National Convention, Phoenix, Arizona, July 2, 1964.

Graphic: section divider

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

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

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If this issue was forwarded to you and you would 
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A man uses alternative technologies to read a restaurant menu.

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

A blind girl reads Braille to her older sister.

Support the National Federation of the Blind 
through the 

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
United States
(410) 659-9314 

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