[Nfbnet-members-list] We stand in solidarity with victims and survivors

National Federation of the Blind webmaster at nfb.org
Fri Dec 11 21:59:24 UTC 2020


National Federation of the Blind logo and tagline live the life

The National Federation of the Blind Stands in 
Solidarity with Victims and Survivors

Content warning: the following statement 
addresses sensitive topics regarding sexual misconduct and violence.

In light of recent discussions taking place in 
the blindness community, the National Federation 
of the Blind offers this statement expressing our 
unwavering commitment to supporting blind people 
and others in our community while emphasizing the 
importance of our NFB Code of Conduct. As the 
leading civil rights organization of the blind in 
the United States, every day we work to bring 
equality, love, and hope to our community. The 
blind community, like the rest of society, is not 
immune to violence and sexual misconduct, and we 
deeply regret and express our sincerest empathy 
for any blind person who has suffered pain and 
hardship frominstances of abuse and violence.

The National Federation of the Blind and our 
affiliated training centers­the Louisiana Center 
for the Blind, Colorado Center for the Blind, and 
BLIND, Inc. ­strongly condemn sexual violence and 
sexual misconduct of any kind. We stand in 
solidarity with victims and survivors. 
Additionally, we acknowledge how difficult it is 
for many to come forward, and we continue to seek 
avenues for victims and survivors to be heard. As 
the collective voice of the nation’s blind, we 
are committed to and welcome an ongoing process 
of learning how to heal from past trauma, to 
prevent future instances, and to protect victims 
and survivors. In undertakingthis priority we 
rely on learning, both through internal 
discussion among members with lived experiences 
as well as through consultation with outside 
experts, to strengthen and improve our policies 
and practices and to support victims and 
survivors. To that end, we continually encourage 
comment and seek input on these issues.

The National Federation of the Blind works hard 
to create a welcoming and safe environment for 
our members and the public. For several years 
now, Federation leadership has endeavored to 
understand how to appropriately handle the 
difficult topics of sexual misconduct and other 
forms of abuse within our organizational 
structure. It has long been the policy of the 
Federation to, at the very minimum, prohibit 
sexual misconduct of any kind at our events or in 
our programs and create the most inclusive, 
welcoming, and safe environment to conduct our 
business. In an effort to address our sexual 
misconduct policy as well as other important 
issues, in2018 we determined more was needed and 
we created an additional written code of conduct 
and grievance process to ensure that consistent 
and assertive actions were taken. The written 
code is only one aspect of committing more 
organizational resources to the ongoing effort to 
improve our Federation. As part of our normal 
practice, we report instances of sexual abuse and 
misconduct to law enforcement when necessary and 
required, support victims in filing reports when 
needed, report our findings to relevant 
certifying entities when appropriate, and remove 
members and employees from the organization when 
warranted. We take all steps necessary to 
maintain confidentiality and we do not tolerate 
retaliation of any kind. Our code of conduct 
isroutinely reviewed and continues to evolve as 
we learn and grow in these efforts. Furthermore, 
we continue to implement programs to support this 
work throughout our organization. Nevertheless, 
we know there is more work to be done, and it is 
a priority for our organization to be a safe space.

If you feel unsafe, under imminent threat, or in 
immediate danger, you should contact law 
enforcement or other appropriate authorities. 
This is also a reminder to our members to report 
violations of our code, especially those 
involving sexual misconduct or any form of abuse, 
as soon as you are able, and a reminder that 
concerns can be raised anonymously. Comments 
about our policies and practices, or concerns and 
reports alleging violations of the code, can be 
recorded verbally at 410-659-9314, extension 
2475, or sent via email to 
<https://www.nfb.org/libraries/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=19380&qid=4667017>code at nfb.org. 
Together with love, hope, and determination, we 
will continue building the Federation to be the 
most inclusive, safe, and welcoming place where 
we support one another and carry out our 
important, life-changing work. Our full NFB Code 
of Conduct can be found at 

This statement is also available on our website: 

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National Federation of the Blind | 200 E Wells 
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