Voice of the Nation's Blind

The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Danielle Trevino
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National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Research Collaboration: Sunu Band

By Amy Mason

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute leads the quest to understand the real problems of blindness and to develop innovative education, technologies, products, and services that help the world's blind to achieve greater independence. Many technology developers have the best intensions when designing that great next product for the blind. Unfortunately they do not include blind people in the process. We strongly encourage developers of innovative nonvisual access technologies to work with us during the design and development phase. By leveraging the expertise and the life experience of the independent blind with the engineering expertise of these developers of next generation technologies, the result is an innovative, more useful product for the blind.  

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A Letter to the American Council on Education Regarding the State of Our Negotiations and NFB's Plans for Moving Forward

After fourteen months of negotiating with the American Council on Education (ACE), the time has come to seek alternative avenues to secure equal access to electronic instructional materials at institutions of higher education. The following is a letter President Riccobono sent to ACE President, Molly Corbett Broad, informing her that while we are still open to dialogue, we will not sit idly on this critical issue to blind and print-disabled students. We will reengage with Congress to find champions for students with disabilities in order to ensure that we have equal access in the classroom and beyond, so that blind and print-disabled students can live the lives they want.


December 10, 2015

Molly Corbett Broad, President
American Council on Education
One Dupont Circle NW
Washington, DC 20036

Dear President Broad:

The Top Six Ways to Give this Holiday Season

It’s that time of year. The temperature starts to drop, our calendars fill up with holiday party invites, and we scramble to find the best turkey recipes online. It’s also the time of year when the spirit of the season inspires us to give.

We know that this time of year is also hectic, so we’ve rounded up the top six ways to donate to the National Federation of the Blind.

Senator Dole Supports Space Available for Veterans with Disabilities

Federationists know that we are working to allow 100 percent service disabled veterans to participate in the military’s Space Available program, which allows active duty and retired military personnel to travel on Department of Defense flights when space is available. This week our cause gained a great champion in Senator Bob Dole. Senator Dole, a decorated World War II veteran, longtime Senate majority leader, and staunch advocate for veterans and Americans with disabilities, wrote to Senator John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, asking him to incorporate language into the National Defense Authorization Act which would finally allow veterans with disabilities to enjoy the privilege already granted to their active-duty and retired colleagues.

Small Steps that Lead to Big Changes

By Lisa Irving
NFB of California, San Diego Chapter

Have you ever felt like there's no way one person can make a difference when it comes to influencing a member of Congress? That's how I used to feel before I became part of the collective voice of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)last year at the annual Washington Seminar. Now I'm no longer overwhelmed and intimidated at the prospect of writing, calling, or meeting with my congressional representatives.

White Cane Safety Day 2015

White Cane Safety Day 2015

Lululemon Class Notice

In April of 2015, the NFB learned of a pending class action settlement between David New et al and Lululemon USA, Inc., which resolved claims pertaining to inaccessible touchscreen payment systems.  The settlement proposed to unfairly waive the rights of blind customers without due process or compensation.  To protect the rights of blind people, the NFB objected to the fairness of the proposed class settlement.  Our objections were heard and the settlement has since been amended so that it does not waive our rights without due process.  As part of the amended proposed settlement, the NFB has agreed to post the class action notice. Please see the notice here

States Should Keep the Nemeth Code

By vote of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), the United States will shift to the Unified English Braille (UEB) code in 2016. UEB has many benefits, including easier translation between Braille and print and the elimination of the need to learn a separate “computer Braille” code. BANA did not see any benefit, however, in moving away from the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, which has been the standard code for math and science materials in the United States for over forty years. As a result, BANA recommends the adoption of UEB along with the continued use of the Nemeth code, and has issued guidelines on how these two codes can work together. It has come to the attention of the National Federation of the Blind, however, that some states are moving or considering moving to unified math symbols instead of the Nemeth code.

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Ebook Now Available

By Mark A. Riccobono, President

At our recent national convention in Orlando, we announced that an ebook honoring our seventy-fifth anniversary, Building the Lives We Want, would soon be available. At convention, we released the book's table of contents, as well as its foreword by Mary Ellen Jernigan. I am pleased to announce that the full book is now available in ePub3, zipped HTML, and Kindle file formats for download from our website. The book’s webpage also includes instructions on how to download and read each file type. The ebook will soon be available to read online, as well as on NFB-NEWSLINE®. Once it is available, callers to NFB-NEWSLINE® will hear an announcement during the greeting that the book is available.

We Must Stop the Amazon Fail!

We Must Stop the Amazon Fail!