John Pare, Michael Ausbun, Mark Riccobono, Julie McGinnity, Jerad Nylin, and Anil Lewis pose in front of the NFB Jernigan Institute.
Blog Date: 
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Anil Lewis

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) 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. Since 1940, the members of the National Federation of the Blind have come together in state affiliates and local chapters to share the real life experiences, practical techniques, and innovative strategies we use to transform our dreams into reality. In 2004, we established the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute as the first research and training facility developed and directed by blind people. Fueled by the dreams of the blind of America, the Jernigan Institute is now a leader in creating innovative education programs, accessible technologies, pioneering research projects, and collaborative partnerships that empower the blind to live the lives we want.

As we continue to raise expectations of and for the blind, we realize that we must actively work to empower the next generation of dynamic leaders and innovative thinkers that will dream, develop, and implement the next ground-breaking project or program that changes the lives of all blind people. To that end, we must share our acquired knowledge and life experience with young motivated blind students as they travel their individual paths toward full participation. We seek to accomplish this goal through our National Federation of the Blind Summer Internship Program, a unique learning experience that can only be directed by the National Federation of the Blind.

Our National Federation of the Blind 2017 Summer Internship Program will provide an opportunity for individuals to contribute to the programs of the Federation, while gaining valuable experience at the center of innovation in the blindness field. Our 2017 summer interns will be hosted at the NFB headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. NFB internships will begin on May 29 and end on August 4, 2017 (ten weeks). NFB summer interns will be provided a stipend and may take advantage of the sleeping accommodations at the NFB Jernigan Institute if necessary. One of the requirements of the internship is participation in program activities at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind to be held in Orlando, Florida, from July 10-July 15, 2017.

Our 2017 summer interns will have the opportunity to actively participate in a variety of project and program areas including:

  • Access technology
  • Civil rights and public policy
  • Data management and information technology
  • Education programs
  • Governmental affairs
  • Jacobus tenBroek Library
  • Membership building
  • NFB NEWSLINE® for the Blind
  • Outreach and fundraising
  • Public relations and social media

The National Federation of the Blind Summer Internship Program is like no other. It is filled with unique opportunities for personal and professional growth. The following are some comments from our 2016 summer interns:

Julie: “My experience as an NFB summer intern proved to be more than just a summer job. The various work assignments enhanced my administrative and interpersonal skills. More importantly, the mentoring and support of the leaders of the Federation continue to help me set a path for my future. I continue to grow as a student at the Colorado Center for the Blind, and I look forward to living the life I want.” 

Michael: “The NFB Summer Internship [Program] was truly a transformative invaluable experience. Having the opportunity to be mentored by a variety of leaders throughout the Federation while working on individual and group projects that impacted the members of the NFB, was a wonderful experience; as a recent college graduate, I decided to continue my personal and professional journey as a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.”

Jerad: “Learning from our national leaders, developing better communication strategies, and working effectively with a team to accomplish a task are only a few of the benefits I received as an NFB summer intern. The experience was life-changing and helped me acquire personal and professional skills that I will use in my future employment and in my role as a newly elected NFB affiliate president.”

If you are interested in applying to be a 2017 summer intern for the National Federation of the Blind, please prepare the following materials and submit them via email in an accessible electronic format to no later than March 10, 2017:

  • A cover letter expressing why you are uniquely qualified for an NFB internship, listing the program area(s) in which you are most interested in gaining experience, and describing the projects that drive your passion in those program area(s). Be sure to include a description of any previous involvement you have had with the Federation. Please feel free to include any innovative new projects that you might want to help initiate during your internship. Also note any scheduling conflicts that would prevent you from being available from May 29 through August 4.
  • A résumé including current contact information.
  • At least two recommendation letters.

We anticipate selecting members of our 2017 internship cohort by April 14, 2017. Questions regarding NFB internships can be directed to Anil Lewis at 410-659-9314, extension 2374, or


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