[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Newsletter - Our Place in the World

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind IOF at nfb.org
Fri Sep 2 16:01:26 UTC 2016

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

Imagineering Our Future

   Issue 89

September 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

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Message from the President

Dear Friends:

This summer I am celebrating my twentieth 
anniversary as a member of the National 
Federation of the Blind. I learned about the 
Federation when attending the national convention 
in Anaheim, California, right around the corner 
from Disneyland. My new Federation family members 
took me to Disneyland and gave me a true lesson 
in the Federation philosophy. We raced around the 
park using our long white canes, asking questions 
to get directions, and having a lot of fun. I was 
amazed that any blind person would think this was 
something they could do without sighted 
assistance. I did not know the empowering 
philosophy of the Federation nor did I have the 
skills to do it myself­myfriends in the Federation were modeling it for me.

I remember that the “It’s a Small World” ride was 
the one everyone loved. Maybe it was the music, 
the animatronics, the concept of world peace, 
being able to relax for a moment, or the 
combination of all of the above that made it so 
special to so many people. As I was reflecting 
upon what to write about this month, I found 
myself reflecting upon the meetings of the World 
Blind Union and the International Council for the 
Education of the Visually Impaired that the 
National Federation of the Blind hosted in 
Orlando in August. In meeting blind people from 
around the world, discussing our common interests 
and the barriers we face, and dreaming of how we 
cancontinue to improve public perception of the 
blind, my first experience at Disneyland came to 
mind. It truly is a small world. Although the 
experience for me as a blind person in the United 
States in 2016 is different from the current 
experience of blind people in many developing 
countries today, there still are many 
commonalities. The most significant commonality 
being that we all battle against the persistent 
low expectations that come from misconceptions 
about blindness. One difference is that in the 
United States we in the National Federation of 
the Blind have pioneered the best training 
available to the blind anywhere in the world 
through our affiliated training centers: 
Colorado Center for the Blind, and 
Louisiana Center for the Blind. During the world 
meetings in Orlando I was talking to blind people 
from around the world, and sometimes answering 
the questions I was asking twenty years ago 
during my adventure to Disneyland. It was truly 
inspiring towitness staff and graduates of our 
training programs here in the United States 
passing on their experience and skills to blind people all around the world.

When you come right down to it, the world is 
small. Yet, in the National Federation of the 
Blind we work daily to make sure that there are 
no artificial limits on the horizons for blind 
people. By sharing our experience and learning 
from other blind people around the world, we find 
new ways to expand those horizons. It was a great 
experience to host the world meetings in the 
United States for the first time. I hope that in 
twenty years when I look back on this experience, 
I will still feel the closeness to others from 
around the world that I experienced last month. I 
know that with our continued work together, the 
National Federation of the Blind will still be 
expanding thehorizons twenty years from today.


Graphic: Signature of Mark Riccobono

Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind

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What's News at the NFB

Wichita State University Agreement

We, along with Emily Schlenker, a blind student, 
have entered into an agreement with Wichita State 
University (WSU) to improve opportunities for 
blind students attending WSU. The agreement 
resolves concerns raised by Ms. Schlenker with 
faculty and staff at the university. 
information can be found in the press release.

Space Available Program Update

The National Federation of the Blind of Texas 
commented on the inclusion of language that would 
allow more veterans with disabilities to 
participate in the Space Available program in the 
House version of the National Defense 
Authorization Act (NDAA) by Congressman Mac 
Thornberry, chairman of the House Committee on 
Armed Services. You can read the comments at 

A letter of thanks to Representative Thornberry 
will give him support when he seeks inclusion of 
his language in the final joint House and Senate 
bill when the conference committee meets in 
September. A webform has been created to help 
with simple thank you notes. It can be found at 

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Braille Certification Training Program

Under a contract with the National Library 
Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 
Library of Congress (NLS), the National 
Federation of the Blind administers the courses 
leading to NLS certification of Braille transcribers and proofreaders.

Starting in January 2015, all new students in the 
literary transcribing/proofreading courses began 
learning under the rules of Unified English 
Braille (UEB), and students who had been working 
in the older version of the course were switched 
to the new version during the year.

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 in 
literary transcribing during the month of June 
2016, achieving certificates under the rules of Unified English Braille:


Misteer Greene, Burlington


Jay Matthew Dailey, Macon


Arletta Joyce Shenfeld, Mechanicsburg

The updating of the Nemeth and music courses to 
align with UEB is ongoing. Congratulations to the 
following student who achieved certification in 
the current version of the Nemeth transcribing course during the month of June:


Ernest Phillip Crider, Jefferson City

For transcribers and proofreaders who were 
certified prior to the adoption of UEB and need 
to update their credentials, a test was developed 
to allow them to earn a letter of proficiency in 
UEB, which is an add-on credential to an existing 
certificate. As of this writing, 160 individuals 
have earned this letter of proficiency in Unified 
English Braille from the Library of Congress.

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 From the tenBroek Library

The tenBroek Library welcomes all researchers 
interested in the non-medical aspects of 
blindness. Our collections cover areas including 
the education of blind children, disability law 
and policy, the history of attitudes toward the 
blind, and literary works by blind authors. We 
provide facilities for using our collections, 
regardless of format, to both sighted and blind readers.

The tenBroek Library looks after the history of 
blind people in many ways, including collecting 
NFB literature, maintaining the Federation's 
archives, and building our collections of 
archival papers and published works. We also 
recognize that much of the history of the blind 
resides in the lived experience of the blind, and 
we are committed to documenting those experiences 
through our Oral History program.

Researchers can access the holdings of the 
tenBroek Library through our fully accessible 
online portals. 
Cane Tip is our database for finding aids that 
describe the manuscript and archival collections 
held by the library, including the personal and 
professional papers of NFB founder Jacobus 
tenBroek, the papers of past NFB President 
Kenneth Jernigan, and the NFB Institutional 
Archives, as well as several smaller collections. 
Blind Cat is our online public access catalog 
(OPAC) where researchers can search our 
collection of published materials. The scope of 
our published materials­largely in print, but 
also in talking book, Braille, and digital 
formats­extends to all facets of blindness and 
the lives of blind people, with the exception of 
the medical treatment and prevention of blindness.

The tenBroek Library also holds­and makes 
available to researchers­extensive collections of 
archival photographs, sound recordings, and 
audiovisual material. At this time there is no 
public catalog or finding aid of this material. 
However, we will happily respond to inquiries by mail, phone, or email.

To learn more about the holdings of the Jacobus 
tenBroek Library, please visit the Cane Tip, the 
Blind Cat, or send us an email at 
<mailto:jtblibrary at nfb.org>jtblibrary at nfb.org.

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NFB BELL Academy

The NFB BELL Academy (Braille Enrichment for 
Learning and Literacy) provides blind children 
with quality summer instruction in Braille and 
other nonvisual skills while having a lot of fun, 
exercising other skills like independent travel, 
and working with blind adult role models from a 
variety of backgrounds. During this summer, 
thirty-one affiliates have offered forty-five NFB 
BELL Academy sites providing more than sixteen 
thousand hours of instruction to more than three hundred blind youth.

This fall, the Jernigan Institute will be holding 
two training seminars to prepare for the NFB BELL 
Academy next summer. Additionally, we will 
provide NFB BELL Academy teacher training via 
distance education beginning this winter and 
continuing through the spring of 2017.

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Independence Market

Market is the National Federation of the Blind’s 
conduit for distributing our organizational 
literature to members and friends as well as to 
the general public. We also sell various, mostly low-tech, blindness products.

It’s that time of year when many are starting to 
look for next year’s calendar. Since not everyone 
is using digital calendars yet, the Independence 
Market still offers the following Braille and large-print calendars.

American Action Fund Braille Calendar
This comb-bound, pocket-sized Braille calendar 
measures 6 x 6 1/2 inches. Each calendar page 
includes the days of the month and lists major 
holidays. A page for personal notes is in the 
back. This calendar is available free of charge.

Large-Print Calendar
This spiral-bound, large-print appointment 
calendar measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches and has 
inside pockets. Each month is displayed on two 
facing pages and features 2-inch blocks for each 
day of the month. The months are tabbed and 
include a section for monthly notes as well as a 
three-month calendar overview. The calendar costs 
$10.00, plus shipping and handling.

EZ2See Large-Print Planner
This organizer designed with low-vision 
professionals in mind features easy-to-read large 
print. The spiral-bound planner with laminated 
covers, measuring 8 1/2 x 11 inches, features a 
page for each month as well as two-page weekly 
views from the end of December 2016 through the 
beginning of January 2018. Major holidays are 
listed on both the monthly and weekly views. The 
weekly pages have individual unlined writing 
areas measuring 3 1/4 by 8 inches and the font on 
these pages is at least forty point. Some pages 
for personal notes are also included. Dark 
boarders on all the pages make it easier to see 
the writing area. The planner costs $20.00, plus shipping and handling.

KNFB Reader Scanning Stand
The newest item available from the Independence 
Market is the Fopydo KNFB Reader Scanning Stand. 
This is a very handy accessory for anyone who 
uses the KNFB Reader app on a smartphone. For 
those who don't know, 
KNFB Reader app allows the user to take a photo 
of printed text and have it converted to speech 
output in a fraction of a second. If one plans to 
scan multiple pages in one reading session or has 
trouble holding the phone steady, a scanning 
stand becomes very helpful, as one can rest the 
device on the stand. The lightweight FopydoKNFB 
Reader Scanning Stand is very portable and easy 
to assemble. Its 11 inch height is ideal for 
reading 8.5 x 11 inch documents, but the height 
can be adjusted to accommodate the scanning of 
larger format items. The stand is made of 
corrugated plastic with fold-out metal legs that 
can be extended to vary the height. The shelf 
features a notch to make it easy to line up the 
device camera and a sticky strip to keep the 
device from sliding. The shelf is even sturdy 
enough to accommodate an iPad Mini. When 
collapsed, the stand measures 11.75 x 9.5 x 0.25 
inches. The Fopydo KNFB Reader Scanning Stand 
costs $12.00 plus shipping and handling.

Please contact us for more information about 
products and literature available through the 
Independence Market or to request a catalog in 
print or in Braille. Our 
and product information is also available online. 
You can <mailto:independencemarket at nfb.org>reach 
us via email or by phone at (410) 659-9314, 
extension 2216. Our Independence Market staff will be glad to assist you.

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Uber Class Notice

In order to prevent discrimination against 
service animal users by Uber drivers, the NFB has 
proposed a class action settlement that would, 
among other things, require Uber to provide 
additional training to its drivers, require Uber 
drivers to acknowledge their responsibility to 
transport riders with service animals, and 
require Uber to terminate drivers that refuse to 
transport riders with service animals. 
the full notice on the NFB website; this affects 
your rights as a class member using Uber with a service animal.

An additional 
of the comprehensive settlement terms from the 
attorneys for the class can be found on the TRE Legal website.

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Access Technology

For anyone with an interest in accessible web 
design in the Baltimore area, on September 29 the 
NFB Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access 
(CENA) to Education, Public Information, and 
Commerce will be hosting a boutique on 
accessibility in Drupal. For more on that event 
or to find sign-up information, visit 

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NFB Calendar

Upcoming Events

August 31: Deadline for experienced NFB BELL 
Academy affiliate representatives to register for 
the NFB BELL Academy Training Seminar, September 
30-October 2, 2016, 

September 8: Deadline for prospective NFB BELL 
Academy affiliates to apply to host an NFB BELL 
Academy for the summer of 2017, 

September 15: Deadline for representatives from 
accepted prospective NFB BELL Academy affiliates 
to register for the NFB BELL Academy Training 
Seminar, October 20-23, 2016, choose: 

September 30-October 2: NFB BELL Academy Training 
Seminar (Advanced) in Baltimore, Maryland

October 20-24: NFB BELL Academy Training Seminar 
(Novice/Intermediate) in Baltimore, Maryland

State Conventions

- September 9-11

Virginia - September 8-11

Carolina - September 16-18

Dakota - September 17

- September 24

- September 24

- October 1-2

- September 30-October 2

- September 30-October 2

- October 7-8

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

- October 7-9

of Columbia - October 12-15

- October 14-16

Island - October 14-15

- October 14-16

- October 21-23

- October 28-30

- October 28-30

- October 28-29

- October 28-30

- October 28-30

York - October 28-30

Carolina - October 28-30

- October 29

- November 4-6

- November 4-6

- November 4-6

- November 4-6

Jersey - November 10-13

- November 11-13

- November 11-13

- November 11-13

- November 11-13

Rico - November 19

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We have all the typical and ordinary range of 
talents and techniques, attitudes, and 
aspirations. Our underlying assumption is not­as 
it is with some other groups­the intrinsic 
helplessness and everlasting dependency of those 
who happen to lack sight, but rather their innate 
capacity to nullify and overrule this 
disability­to find their place in the 
community­with the same degree of success and 
failure to be found among the general population.

– Professor Jacobus tenBroek. 
of Blindness.” 1956 NFB National Convention, New 
Orleans, Louisiana, July 6, 1956.

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

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If this issue was forwarded to you and you would 
like to subscribe, please email 
<mailto:JerniganInstitute at nfb.org.>JerniganInstitute at nfb.org.

Two people use their canes as they walk down the sidewalk.

Please check with your company to see if it 
offers a matching program that will match your gift.

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


A young blind boy examines the leaves on a tree.



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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