Braille Monitor                                     January 2017

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News from the Federation Family

New Mexico Affiliate Holds Leadership Conference:
Fred Schroeder, Joe Cordova, Christine Hall, Art Schreiber, and Adelmo VigilThe NFB of New Mexico held a full-day leadership conference on Saturday, October 30, 2016, in Albuquerque to set priorities for the upcoming year. Fred Schroeder, a former New Mexican, was on hand to speak to the fifty affiliate members who, by attending, committed themselves to taking a leadership role in our affiliate for the upcoming year. Fred recited some history about the NFB and in particular the accomplishments that enliven our past and make our present a better place to live. He recognized with pride past leaders and hard-working members who made many of the accomplishments possible.

During the afternoon session, four working committees were formed. Each committee set its goals, assigned tasks, and set timelines to hold each other accountable for making the progress we want in 2017.

At the conference, we had our current president, Adelmo Vigil, and all of the past affiliate presidents who served during the last thirty-four years. Pictured are Fred Schroeder, 1982-1986, Joe Cordova, 1986-1996, Art Schreiber, 1996-2008, Christine Hall, 2008-2012, and Adelmo Vigil, 2012 to present.

At their September meeting the National Federation of the Blind of Montana Electric City Chapter elected the following officers: president, Sheila Leigland; vice president, Harold Leigland; secretary, Ted Robbins; treasurer, Joy Breslauer.

The Kansas City Chapter is excited to announce our 2017 Board of Directors: president, Ruby Polk; first vice president, Daniel Garcia; second vice president, Jeff Giffen; secretary, Ben Blagg; treasurer, Jeff Wright; and board members Sarita Cann and Willa Patterson.

The Greater Portland Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine would like to announce the following election results: president, Walter Woitasek; vice president, Bud Buzzell; secretary, Mark Hodgdon; treasurer, Randy Bellavance; and trustees John Lee and Gerard Landry.

On Saturday, November 19, 2016, the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri Columbia Chapter elected officers and board members for 2017: president, Debbie Wunder; vice president, Dacia Cole; treasurer, Carol Coulter; secretary, Gene Coulter; and board member Brittany Berk. The board and the members who elected us have much work to do and are determined to get it done.

The following people were elected at the 2016 National Federation of the Blind of Washington convention: president, Marci Carpenter, reelected; first vice president, Mike Mello, reelected; second vice president, Maria Bradford, reelected; secretary, Andrea Travis, newly elected; treasurer, Corey Grandstaff, newly elected; and board members Noel Nightingale, reelected, and Doug Trimble, newly elected.

We had 111 people in attendance at our convention this year. We are building the Federation in Washington state!

At their November meeting the Mineral Area Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri held their election for the new slate of officers: president, Roger Crome; vice president, Bob Stamm; secretary and treasurer, Wendy Crome; and board member, Donald Goosens.

The members of the board of directors of the Iowa Affiliate were voted in at our business meeting on Sunday, October 9, 2016, at our convention in Urbandale, Iowa: president, Jerad S. Nylin; first vice president, Karen Clayton; second vice president, Darrel Kirby; secretary, Scott Van Gorp; treasurer, David Hammel; and board members Cindy Ray, Tai Tomasi, Donna Prime, and Michael Barber.

In Brief

Notices and information in this section may be of interest to Monitor readers. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information; we have edited only for space and clarity.

DOT and Southwest Airlines Reach Historic Agreement:
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Southwest Airlines in which the airline will ensure that at least 50 percent of its kiosks at US airports are accessible to passengers with disabilities by September 30, 2017. In addition, any automated kiosk that Southwest installs after that date will be an accessible model, so that in the future, 100 percent of its kiosks will be accessible to passengers with disabilities.

Kiosks installed at US airports are used for a variety of functions, such as printing boarding passes and baggage tags, scanning passports to check-in, and canceling or rebooking tickets.

“This agreement will enable people with disabilities to travel more independently by ensuring that there are significantly more accessible airport kiosks available for their use,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Department is committed to ensuring that our air transportation system is accessible for everyone. We commend the efforts of all airlines that are actively working to ensure that they meet the Department’s accessibility requirements for automated kiosks, and credit Southwest for instituting additional measures under this agreement to improve accessibility for its passengers.”

The agreement is available at <>, docket DOT-OST-2016-0202.

New Way to Use Uber and Lyft Without a Smartphone:
GoGo is an automated hotline that lets people use Uber and Lyft without needing a smartphone.

Uber and Lyft are available nationally; when you use GoGoGrandparent, we'll send you whichever one is cheapest at the time that you make your request for a ride. Their prices are typically up to 40 percent less than the cost of a cab.

Using GoGo is simple: callers call from a number they have registered with us and hear a menu of options. They can press 1 for a car to be sent to pick them up from their home, 2 for a car to be sent to pick them up where we dropped them off last, or 0 to speak with an operator for a custom pickup location. Once the driver arrives, they tell the driver where they want to go. When you make a request, a car shows up at your door within fifteen minutes, typically less. 

To register free of charge, please call (855) 464-6872 or visit <>. 


NFB Pledge

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

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