In late January, our members from all over the country converged on Washington, DC to talk with congressional representatives to educate them on issues important to blind people. In my remarks during our opening session of the Washington Seminar, the Great Gathering-In, I reflected upon the importance of our collective action and shared what our first President, Jacobus tenBroek, espoused at our founding.
“As individuals we are scattered, ineffective, and inarticulate and are subject to oppression… Collectively, we are the masters of our own future and the successful guardians of our own common interest.”
Dr. tenBroek’s remarks resonated in 1940 and continue to do so today. Since our beginnings, we have worked to make the voices of the nation’s blind respected.
It was empowering to gather in Washington, DC and to continue our work together to make our voices heard by the powers in our capital. Let us continue to do this work with love, hope, and determination. If you missed it, you can still watch the Great Gathering-In, and I urge you to download our fact sheets from the Washington Seminar page to learn more about the issues that affect blind people’s lives.
Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind
Most of us know that the phrase “nothing about us without us” communicates the idea that no policy which affects a group should be decided without full participation from members of that group. The National Federation of the Blind believes that members of a group must be consulted before policy is made, but we take that a step further.
The collective action of the National Federation of the Blind members in representing blind people makes a real difference. The annual Washington Seminar is one of the most powerful ways in which we direct and take the lead on new policies that will better the lives of blind people and others with disabilities.
“It feels great to be part of the change in our society. I am humble and proud to be part of a movement as big as the National Federation of the Blind. It was exciting to attend a meeting on the hill. Our representatives listen to us, and we are able to educate them about our community.” - Teresa, Washington Seminar participant.
We know that by banding together, we present not just the aspirations of a few; we represent the organized blind of the nation. Washington Seminar is just one of the many ways that we bring “us” to a higher level. Learn more about our collective action by perusing presidential reports.
2023 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium Registration Open
The 2023 disability law symposium will focus on the right of people with disabilities to live in the world of a changing legal and policy landscape, and takes place March 23 to March 24 at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, MD. Learn more and register by visiting the 2023 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium page.
Braille Monitor in Spanish Now Available
The National Federation of the Blind published the January issue of the Braille Monitor in Spanish. A Spanish version of our flagship publication will be available for each issue moving forward. Braille Monitor - Spanish (enero de 2023)
In-Home and In-Person Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning® Applications Period Open
NFB-BELL® Academy applications are being accepted for both the In-Home and In-Person sessions. Around the country NFB affiliates offer in-person BELL Academies for students aged four to twelve. NFB BELL Academy In-Home Edition will be held from July 24 through August 11. Morning and evening classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced Braille students will be offered via Zoom, as well as a daily social hour for casual conversation, games, exercise, and more.
Visit the NFB-BELL page to learn more or apply.
Throughout our local chapters and state affiliates to our national headquarters and diverse committees, the National Federation of the Blind is an organization of collective action. Here’s what you can do to get involved this month.
- Check out the most recent issue of Future Reflections, a magazine for teachers and parents of blind children.
- Read “Disability Intersections: Blindness and Autism” in the February issue of the Braille Monitor.
- Share our Nation's Blind Blog post, “Mentorship and Empowerment: Cricket’s Scholarship and Federation Story”.
We certainly are a busy organization. Don’t miss these upcoming events, workshops, and deadlines.
- March 1, 2023: Presidential Release live, 8:00 p.m. eastern, CC and Spanish translation available
- March 23, 2023: Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium, Baltimore, MD
- March 31, 2023: Scholarship application deadline
- April 15, 2023: Jacob Bolotin Award nominations due
- July 1-6, 2023: 2023 National Convention, Houston, TX