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Do You Dream in Color? Highlights the Struggles Blind Students Face

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 10:10
Blog Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017Author: Marylin GreenCategories: General

I was twenty-two years old when I was diagnosed as legally blind and received my first white cane. I had earned an undergraduate degree from a reputable university in Chicago and worked in a publishing company inputting data corrections, and I remember thinking that my work and education could have been much easier if the doctors had made this diagnosis five years ago. I learned about so many resources for the blind (i.e. human readers, screen readers, CCTV’s, etc.) that I imagined a past filled with fewer late nights of studying and more days spent enjoying my senior year of high school and my four years of college.

Then I watched Do You Dream in Color?, and I began to question whether it was better that my low vision allowed me to assimilate into the world of the sighted. In this film I saw teenagers and their parents working diligently to overcome obstacles imposed upon them due to their blindness, and it made me wonder if I was blessed to fall under the radar of being diagnosed as legally blind because it is 2017 and blindness is ridiculed and misunderstood.

I am not ashamed of my blindness or what I accomplished with and without accessibility, but I am ashamed to live in one of the richest countries in the world and know that blind people, my people, are fighting for a seat at the table where our sighted peers sit. We are fighting to find our voices in a world that at many turns wants to stifle us and break our spirits. But I stand tall and proud to say that I am a member of the National Federation of the Blind, an organization that is raising the expectations of blind people and transforming our dreams into reality.

Editor's Note: 

Marilyn is a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. She shared her thoughts after watching the film Do You Dream in Color? We’d love to hear what you think too. Comment below or share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Do You Dream in Colorfilm review

Expedia unveils enhancements in website accessibility

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 09:12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017Category: NationalChris DanielsenDirector of Public RelationsNational Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.orgExpedia unveils enhancements in website accessibilityExpedia and National Federation of the Blind celebrate key accessibility improvements

Bellevue, Wash., October 19, 2017 – Expedia today announced details around site enhancements as part of an ongoing relationship with the National Federation of the Blind. It’s estimated more than 48.9 million people live with disabilities in the US1, including more than 7 million with a visual disability2. Expedia’s dedicated UX designers, as well as product and software engineers, are actively engaged in ensuring travelers with disabilities have excellent experiences when visiting sites like Expedia.com and Travelocity.com.

The Expedia Accessibility Technology Team consists of front-end developers and testers who use a variety of methods to design and test site improvements that make the Expedia.com and Travelocity.com websites as inclusive as possible. Screen readers (software applications that read out a webpage’s text content and convey visual cues) for example, are commonly used amongst the blind community. To make it easier for these readers to relay information, Expedia engineers have attached text to pictures and structured the code in a way that allows users of assistive technology to efficiently navigate the product pages. The National Federation of the Blind has provided insights, feedback, and testing on the implementation of these accessibility components to help ensure a great user experience.

Expedia continuously assesses its products, utilizing industry standards that address not only blind users who use assistive tech but also those who need captioning for video or audio, who do not use a mouse, or who have other differences that make these features worthwhile. In fact, Expedia has found that these enhancements improve the user experience for all travelers, not just those with unique needs. While recent activity has been focused on the current site, Expedia is also working to educate and train all of its engineers to design and develop their products, mobile and desktop, from the ground up with accessibility in mind.

“Blind people must have equal access to websites like Expedia to live the lives we want, independently,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Expedia is a distinguished partner in supporting our mission of ensuring that blind people have equal access to goods and services online and continues to champion accessibility overall through its product offerings. We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made in our relationship. We know that every user benefits from the enhancements we have worked on together.”

“At Expedia, our goal is to help people go places, and our efforts in improving website accessibility for the blind are helping a community of people that previously experienced difficulties in navigating online travel booking paths,” said Aman Bhutani, President, Brand Expedia Group. “Through our relationship with the National Federation of the Blind, we’ve expanded our duty to bring travel to everyone and are encouraged and excited by our progress in this space.”

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1US Census Data

2National Federation of the Blind

About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the world's largest online travel company, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:

  • Expedia.com®, a leading full-service online travel brand with localized sites in 33 countries
  • Hotels.com®, a leading global lodging expert operating 89 localized websites in 41 languages with its award winning Hotels.com® Rewards loyalty program
  • Expedia® Affiliate Network (EAN), a global B2B brand that powers the hotel business of hundreds of leading airlines, travel agencies, loyalty and corporate travel companies plus several top consumer brands through its API and template solutions
  • trivago®, a leading online hotel search platform with sites in 55 countries worldwide
  • HomeAway®, a global online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, which also includes the VRBO®, VacationRentals.com® and BedandBreakfast.com® brands, among others
  • Egencia®, a leading corporate travel management company
  • Orbitz® and CheapTickets®, leading U.S. travel websites, as well as ebookers®, a full-service travel brand with websites in seven European countries
  • Travelocity®, a leading online travel brand in the U.S. and Canada delivering customer service when and where our customers need it with the Customer First Guarantee
  • Hotwire®, inspiring spontaneous travel through Hot Rate® deals
  • Wotif Group, a leading portfolio of travel brands including Wotif.com®, Wotif.co.nz, lastminute.com.au®, lastminute.co.nz and travel.com.au®
  • Expedia® Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc. that builds creative media partnerships and enables brand advertisers to target a highly-qualified audience of travel consumers
  • CarRentals.com™, a premier online car rental booking company with localized sites in 13 countries
  • Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
  • Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in over a thousand destinations worldwide
  • Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 235 retail travel agency franchises across North America
  • SilverRail Technologies, Inc., a global rail retail and distribution platform connecting rail carriers and suppliers to both online and offline travel distributors
About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at www.nfb.org.

Blind School Board Member Has Settled With School District

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:47

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017Category: NationalChris DanielsenDirector of Public RelationsNational Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.orgBlind School Board Member Has Settled With School DistrictNational Federation of the Blind Applauds Agreement Resolving Accommodation Issues

Baltimore, Maryland (October 18, 2017): A blind man's litigation against a California school district on whose governing board he serves has been resolved by agreement of the parties.

Timothy R. Nonn, who was elected to the board of the Cotati Rohnert Park Unified School District last year, sued the district and its superintendent with the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind because three sitting members of the school board had voted against his request to use an aid that he personally hired and trained to read documents to him at school board meetings. The agreement specifies that Mr. Nonn can hire and train his own aids to assist him at board meetings and in most situations where he is acting in his official capacity.

“We assisted Mr. Nonn in this litigation because it is critically important that political opponents of elected representatives who are blind be prevented from discriminating against them by denying accommodations and access to information,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We are therefore pleased that this litigation has been amicably resolved and that Mr. Nonn will have the accommodations he needs going forward.”

“I am profoundly grateful for the support of the National Federation of the Blind,” said Mr. Nonn. “Without its help, I would not have been provided with proper accommodations for my blindness. This experience has taught me the importance not only of blind people standing up for our rights, but standing together. This victory also enables me to effectively advocate for the rights of students with special needs who are being denied accommodations.”

The United States District Court, Northern District of California, approved the agreement and dismissed the litigation (Case No. 3:17-cv-00761-JCS) on September 13. Neither Mr. Nonn nor the school district admit any wrongdoing.

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About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at www.nfb.org.

Dealt: A Card Mechanic's Success in the Face of Blindness

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 09:36
Blog Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017Author: Gary WunderCategories: General

Richard Turner is a living breathing card mechanic. His friends and family call him Rick, and he manipulates cards in ways which leave people scratching their heads. An audience member picks a card, tells Rick what it is, and places it back in the deck. Rick invites the participant to cut the deck and then pulls out a card and asks what it is. Surprise! It's the very card initially selected. Sometimes we see Rick breaking open a new pack of cards, cutting the deck, shuffling it several times, and then revealing that all of the aces are together. A slightly different trick has him taking a deck of cards, asking someone how many cards they want, giving them a stack, and having them count. They hold the number they requested.

Both Rick and his sister Lori were born with sight but lost it due to a deterioration of the retina. Though their conditions were similar, their reactions couldn't have been more different. Rick makes no secret that he hates being blind and does everything he can to hide it. Of course people learn, and he considers this a distraction; the emphasis should be on what he does and not on how much he can see.

Lori reacts differently, deciding that the way to move on in life is to learn how blind people do things and then go about doing them. She designs houses and supervises their construction. She uses a guide dog, a computer with a screen reader, and an iPhone with VoiceOver. Though she travels a different path, she admires her brother and ever so gently pushes him to see that there are ways in which he can be more independent without playing on pity or sympathy.

The movie follows Rick as he is critiqued by card technicians and performers, reveals his absolute obsession with what he does, and shows him competing for the major award given to card mechanics by card mechanics. Three times he is nominated; twice he loses to competitors, but when he wins, he does so to the great admiration of his fellows, all asserting that winning evidences what he has learned and earned through mastery of his art.

I like this movie because it strikes me as real: highlighting the drive required to succeed as a performer and the discipline to become an expert. I like it because Rick lives the life he wants. By movie's end he is coming to understand that his seeming independence has come at a tremendous cost to others, that his blindness provided the drive necessary to his success, and that what he has rejected can make a good life even better, not only for him but for those who have spent so much time helping him avoid dealing with blindness. He raises the bar by showing the public that we too can be exceptional; he comes to understand that success doesn't mean denying who he is.

As President Riccobono said, “The National Federation of the Blind believes that the film Dealt skillfully tells a compelling story of a gifted man who is living the life he wants. Rick Turner refuses to be defined by his blindness or to let it hold him back. His talent and his determination will inspire and enlighten everyone who sees this movie.”

For more information about Dealt and where you can watch it, visit dealtmovie.com.

Editor's Note: 

Gary Wunder, editor of the Braille Monitor, wrote this review after viewing the film Dealt. This post contains some spoilers about the movie. The National Federation of the Blind has chosen to support this unique film because of the powerful message it sends: we can live the lives we want; blindness is not what holds blind people back from achieving our dreams. We support everyone in their individual journeys and endeavor to provide love, support, and hope to those trying to turn their dreams into reality.

Tags: film review

Blind Teens Fight Challenges in New Documentary

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 16:24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Monday, October 16, 2017Category: Affiliate and ChapterChris DanielsenDirector of Public RelationsNational Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.orgBlind Teens Fight Challenges in New DocumentaryNational Federation of the Blind Promotes Film to Increase Understanding Among Educators and Public

Baltimore, Maryland (October 16, 2017): Connor wants to be a sponsored skateboarder. Sarah wants to travel the world. Nick dreams of being a rock star. Carina wants to be the first member of her family to graduate high school.

These four teenagers are each trying to achieve their dreams. But they face an additional challenge: they are blind.

Blind people of all ages, their families, educators, and others who face discrimination based on low expectations will learn from these inspiring young people and their stories in Do You Dream in Color?, a new, critically acclaimed documentary. The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, Greater Baltimore Chapter in partnership with the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture will host a screening of the film. The event will take place on November 1, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Peale Center (225 Holliday Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). The screening is free and open to the public. The documentary depicts the problems that blind students experience in public schools and other challenges that they face due to low expectations and misconceptions about blindness. A town-hall-style discussion with audience questions answered by local blind individuals will follow the showing of the film, and the National Federation of the Blind will give a presentation on resources available to families with blind youth.

View the trailer and learn more. (http://www.doyoudreamincolor.com)

Awards and Praise

  • 2017 National Federation of the Blind Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award, Top Prize
  • Official Selection, Dallas International Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Award, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
  • Advocacy Award, Superfest: International Disability Film Festival
  • “powerfully human" -- Truth on Cinema
  • "a film that will touch your head and your heart" -- Unseen Films

 

Approved Quotes for This Release

“Watching this film made me more determined to fight for blind kids, like my own, against a public education system that too often fails them,” said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “The National Federation of the Blind believes that the stories told in this film will spark discussion and enhance understanding of the true challenges faced by the blind, as well as demonstrating that blindness itself is not the characteristic that defines an individual or his or her future."

"As the first museum purpose-built in the United States and the first public high school for African Americans in Baltimore, the Peale has a long history of advocating and working for inclusive education,” said Dr. Nancy Proctor, Executive Director of the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture. “Accessibility is at the heart of the current renovation of our historic building, and we are honored to have this chance to host Do You Dream in Color? and support the NFB’s call for equal opportunities for all students to pursue their dreams.”

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About the National Federation of the Blind

About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at www.nfb.org.

About the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture
The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture helps people see Baltimore in a new light by enabling the city’s creators and culture-keepers to produce new and more inclusive narratives of the City, its places, and the diverse people who have made Baltimore what it is today. Founded by American artist Rembrandt Peale in 1814 and designed by Robert Cary Long, Sr., the Peale is the oldest museum building in the United States. It originally showcased artistic, natural, and scientific exhibits, and was Baltimore’s Municipal Museum, part of the Museums of City Life, for most of the twentieth century. In its more than two hundred years, the Peale has been a home to innovation and many firsts, as the place where Rembrandt Peale introduced gas light to the city, making Baltimore the first to be lit by gas street lights in the country; as Baltimore’s first City Hall; and the first public high school for African Americans in the city. After twenty years of being mainly vacant, the Peale Center is back at the center of Baltimore culture, hosting unique events, partnering with community groups, and providing cultural organizations with a fertile testing ground for innovative projects.

BAUM Vario 340: Expensive Simplicity

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 17:10
Blog Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017Author: Karl BelangerCategories: Access Technology

The Vario 340 by BAUM is an extremely simple, basic display designed for quick and easy connectivity with a computer. The display itself simply has the three buttons on either side of the display that simulate Braille dots as in other BAUM products, an on/off switch, and a USB C port. There is no Perkins keyboard, no battery, and no Bluetooth connectivity. The display fits easily in front of a keyboard, or would slip neatly into even a small laptop bag. However, the lack of a keyboard makes it less appealing to many users, and the price impacts the value equation even further.

Setting up and using the Vario 340

Plug the standard end of the USB cable into your computer, and the type C end into the Vario. Push the on/off switch on the left of the device toward the back. If your setup would work with the cable on the right, press and hold the middle button in each column while turning the display on to cause the orientation to flip. If you’re on Windows, you will hear the device connected sound and a “setting up device” message, followed less than a minute later by a “successfully set up” message. At this point you are ready to connect with your desired screen reader.

NVDA

NVDA exemplifies the simplicity of this display. Simply select BAUM displays from the Braille settings, make any other desired changes, and press OK. Braille is displayed almost immediately. The downside here is that there are very few defined commands, just to go up and down a line. There are many others that can be defined, but each user will need to set them up.

JAWS

As of this writing, JAWS does not have a built-in driver for the Vario 340. I had to go to the online manual at BAUM USA, which directed me to the BAUM Germany site, and then I could go to the downloads section to get it. I’d really like to see a direct link to the driver file in the manual. They do indicate that JAWS will eventually have a driver built in, so this shouldn’t be an issue forever.

Voiceover on the Mac

As of this writing, the Vario 340 isn’t supported by VoiceOver on Mac OS. Hopefully this will change with the upcoming release in the next month or two.

Who is it for?

While the lack of a keyboard and Bluetooth will be a turnoff for some, there are still several groups of users for whom it could potentially be useful. The first use case for this display is at a public computer. The plug and play nature means that those with minimal expertise can set this up, and it could be a very good option for a library or a disability resource center at a college or university looking to support Braille. The display is small enough to be easily tucked behind a computer or in a drawer when not in use. This could also be an ideal office display for someone who prefers to type with a QWERTY keyboard, but wants the convenience and flexibility to read the contents of their computer screen in Braille. For the home user, this will probably not be the right display, especially when cost is considered.

Fighting in the wrong weight class

As of this writing, the Vario 340 is priced at $2,895. This puts it squarely in competition with the likes of the Brailliant BI 40, the Braille Edge 40, and the newly upgraded Focus 40. All of these displays have Perkins style keyboards, all have Bluetooth, and the Braille Edge and Focus 40 have some internal functions for basic note taking. Because these more full-featured displays are all around $2,895 or even cheaper, it is hard to recommend the Vario 340 to a home user. If the Vario 340 was priced closer to $2,000, it could position itself nicely as the display for those who need the extra Braille, while not paying for features like a keyboard, Bluetooth, or smart functions if they don’t need them.

Conclusion

The Vario 340 is exactly as advertised: a simple display for quick, wired connection to a computer. Unfortunately, given the much more capable displays it is priced to compete with, it is hard to recommend for home users, but may be a very good option for higher education resource centers or for an office environment.

Tags: access technologyproduct reviewtechnologybraillerefreshable Braille

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Introduction of AV START Act

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 11:23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: Friday, September 29, 2017Category: NationalChris DanielsenDirector of Public RelationsNational Federation of the Blind(410) 659-9314, extension 2330(410) 262-1281 (Cell)cdanielsen@nfb.orgNational Federation of the Blind Applauds Introduction of AV START ActLegislation Will Promote Access to Automated Vehicles for the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (September 29, 2017): Today the National Federation of the Blind commends Senator John Thune, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator Gary Peters, Senator Roy Blunt, and Senator Debbie Stabenow for introducing the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act (S. 1885). This bill will promote equal access to automated vehicles for the blind and others with disabilities through the prohibition of discriminatory licensing practices and the promotion of accessible user interfaces.

“The advent of automated vehicle technology presents tremendous potential benefits for the blind and other Americans with disabilities,” said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “From more reliable transportation to greater access to employment, automated vehicles will be a valuable tool improving the opportunity of blind people to live the lives we want. But none of these benefits will materialize if the principles of equal access and opportunity are not front and center. The National Federation of the Blind therefore calls for automated vehicle technology to be accessible to everyone through nonvisual user interface options and nondiscriminatory public policy, and applauds Chairman Thune and Senator Peters for introducing a bill that takes positive steps in that direction.”

The AV START Act specifically prohibits states from issuing licenses in a manner that discriminates on the basis of disability. The legislation also creates a disability access working group, tasked with promulgating best practices and recommendations on the accessibility of user interfaces and vehicle design more broadly. The bill specifically denotes “accessibility” as a component of reporting requirements for vehicle manufacturers.

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About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

National Federation of the Blind Celebrates White Cane Awareness Day

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 08:37
Blog Date: Monday, October 2, 2017Author: Stephanie EllerCategories: General

Most of us are familiar with White Cane Safety Day. Over the years, however, the significance of the white cane has shifted from safety to independence for blind people. To emphasize this shift, and to continue to use the white cane as a symbol, the National Federation of the Blind will now refer to this day as White Cane Awareness Day. As President Riccobono said, “White Cane Awareness Day is our way of emphasizing the critical role that this tool plays in living the lives we want and informing the public about its true significance."

You may be wondering how you can celebrate White Cane Awareness Day on October 15. Below are some ideas for what you and your chapter can do to commemorate the day.

  • Set up a booth at a local mall and pass out brochures, demonstrate cane travel, and answer questions.
  • Get a group together and go out to a restaurant, movie theater, or other busy place so that people see canes in action.
  • Participate in or simply attend local programs, fall festivals, or events. Show the community how blind people live the lives we want.
  • Host a white cane walk.
  • Ask to visit your mayor or governor's office to witness the signing of a White Cane Awareness Day proclamation.
  • Promote #WhiteCaneAwarenessDay on social media and share your story of what the white cane means to you.
  • Encourage friends and family to give the gift of independence by supporting White Cane Giving Day.

The goal is to show our communities how the white cane helps us live the lives we want. Share with us in the comments below or via social media how the white cane helps you and what you’re doing to celebrate White Cane Awareness Day. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll be following the hashtags #WhiteCaneAwarenessDay and #WhiteCaneGiving.

Tags: white caneWhite Cane Awareness DayWhite Cane Giving DayindependenceWhite Cane Safety Dayfundraisingcommunity

An Update on the National Federation of the Blind Hurricane Relief Project

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 12:19
Blog Date: Friday, September 29, 2017Author: Mark RiccobonoCategories: General

This hurricane season has been particularly harsh on our Federation family in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Harvey, we shared information on our efforts to help blind people impacted by the storm. Since then, Hurricanes Irma and Maria have wreaked havoc. In an effort to offer support those in need following the devastation of these storms, we have started the National Federation of the Blind Hurricane Relief Project. We are still assessing what the needs are, especially in Puerto Rico, but contributions to the relief project will be directed to helping those affected once it’s determined how best we can help.

If you would like to make a contribution to the National Federation of the Blind Hurricane Relief Project, you can donate online and note that your contribution is for Hurricane Relief. Contributions can also be sent to:

National Federation of the Blind
Attn: Hurricane Relief
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, Maryland  21230

Norma Crosby, our NFB of Texas affiliate president, has offered this update on the relief efforts in Texas:

“Although this continues to be a tough time, we have been so blessed by the outpouring of love and support from our Federation family. Affiliates are stepping up to adopt families, and that is particularly great because it allows us to build a personal connection with those we are helping. Our affiliates and the tiniest of chapters have been jumping in with wonderful, and much needed, donations. I hope I don't leave anyone out when I thank the latest folks to offer support.

Our Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Maryland affiliates have sent generous donations. Our Utah affiliate has adopted a mom who has a blind child with Down syndrome. We have received more gift cards from Rhode Island, and I could not be prouder of how the Greater Providence Chapter has stepped up. They just keep on giving.

The Colorado Springs Chapter and We Fit Wellness are adopting a family who has not known us before, but they lost their home in the floodwaters a day after they buried their son who died just before the storm. They really need not only the monetary support right now, but they need that Federation love that we are famous for.

We have also received donations from the Johnson County Chapter of the NFB of Kansas. The Des Moines Chapter has also helped out, and our own Houston Chapter has sent us a donation. The NFB of Illinois is sending a wonderful donation, and the NFB of Massachusetts is adopting a man named Dwight. Dwight is a blind guy who also suffers from COPD. He was living with caregiver prior to the storm, but their apartment totally flooded, and they spent several weeks at a disaster shelter. They have since moved to a FEMA-approved motel, which I am told is less than charming. We have sent initial funding to him and will continue to work with him.

We have also been the recipients of many personal donations, and while I won't try to list names here, I can tell you that you all have generous people in your affiliates. Along with cash, people have been sending us loads of gift cards, and we love those. Gift cards are a great way to help people out.”

We will continue to support the relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and we will continue to update you on our progress. Together with love, hope, and determination, we will help our Federation family through this trying time.

Tags: hurricane harveysupporthurricane relief

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