Braille Monitor                                    February 2018

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A Day for Unity and Growth

The National Federation of the Blind is an organization on the move, and it demands a lot not only from its members but from its staff. Each year we try to recognize the hard work of the men and women whose paid employment is directed to helping us achieve our goals.

In 2017 our staff team building day was on Monday, November 15, and what an opportunity it was to team up with people who work in other programs and to learn more about them than their name and their job. After President Riccobono outlined the activities for the day, we moved to our team tables and started the friendly competition that would continue throughout the day. One of our simpler tasks was to take words we were given and to figure out the Federation message they comprised. We played a Federation trivia game that included important facts from history and humorous facts from the present – how many people attended the first meeting in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and how many toilets are there in the Jernigan Institute? Some of the tasks were physical, and some of them were mental. We were given a solo cup, a balloon, and the instruction that we knock the cup off the table without touching it. The most difficult challenge of the day involved solving complicated word clues that led us to even harder word clues and objects, all of which would guide us to the successful conclusion of the game. Of course, what would any teambuilding day be without the sheer physical challenge of a team relay race in which the challenge is to be the first to carry your egg on a spoon across the finish line.

The day concluded with a wonderful meal and the many stories that were shared during it. As the pictures make clear, all of us had a wonderful time and are anxiously planning for the celebration that will come in 2018. It is a distinct honor to work for the National Federation of the Blind alongside such dedicated and inspired men and women.

Left to right: Joe Miller, Bob Watson, Tammy Albee, Shelley Duffy, and Susan Skaarer work on assembling words into the one-minute message.

Left side of the table: Seth Lamkin, Danielle Harten, and Karla Bingman. Right side of the table: Paul Ficarro, Valerie Yingling, and Ellen Ringlein sit working on the math problem challenge.

Left to right: Kimie Beverly, Anna Adler, Mary Ellen Jernigan, Anil Lewis, Kathy Douglas (her face is covered by an arm; you can only see her arm up in a peace sign), Bill Jacobs, and Will Schwatka smile together and a few of them hold up the peace sign.

Amy Mason wears sleep shades and carries a fake egg on a spoon while using her cane to find her way to the other end of the challenge. Steve Booth does the same in a lane parallel to her.

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