Braille Monitor                                      December 2016

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Congressman David Young Visits the Institute

Native Iowans Marc Maurer, Patricia Maurer, David Young, and Mary Ellen Jernigan at the Jernigan Institute

At the 2016 National Federation of the Blind Washington Seminar, members of the Iowa affiliate encouraged Congressman David Young to visit the Jernigan Institute given that Baltimore is only about forty-five minutes away from DC. On April 11, Congressman Young took them up on the invitation. The Congressman was among old friends given that he had already signed on as a cosponsor to the TIME Act and the Space Available Act. During his visit Congressman Young and his chief of staff were able to talk with President Riccobono and the current First Lady of the National Federation of the Blind, Melissa Riccobono; Immediate Past President Marc Maurer and former First Lady Patricia Maurer; Mary Ellen Jernigan, the former assistant director of the Iowa Commission for the Blind; John Paré, executive director for advocacy and policy; and Parnell Diggs, director of government affairs. The connection to Iowa was made obvious given that the Maurers and Mrs. Jernigan both came to Baltimore from his state, and the rich history of the Iowa Commission for the Blind provided a stellar testament to the verity of the philosophy which is at the core of the National Federation of the Blind. After lunch the Congressman was given a tour by Mr. Diggs and Mr. Paré. These kinds of visits are helpful in building relationships and in demonstrating to members of Congress the accomplishments of blind people through their own organized efforts.

Parnell Diggs, Patricia Maurer, Marc Maurer, David Young, Melissa Riccobono, Mark Riccobono, Mary Ellen Jernigan, and John Paré

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