Braille Monitor                  November 2021

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Raising the Bar, Expanding the Possibilities

The National Federation of the Blind is all about increasing expectations. This takes two forms. One is doing away with the faint praise we so often get for the smallest things that are made to appear miraculous. But the second is actually to get us to do things that we thought foolish or even impossible. Usually these are referred to as challenge activities, and it is at our three NFB training centers that these often take place and end up being the activity that changes one’s perception about blindness.

But our training centers have no exclusive hold on challenge activities. They also take place at 200 East Wells Street, the home of our Jernigan Institute. During a recent visit by the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin, President Riccobono showed our fellow Federationists how to safely and confidently use a chainsaw. As many come to conclude, all using different words, this kind of experience causes me to reflect on what I once thought of as the reasonable or the possible, but I now question what I once knew as limits and am open to all kinds of experiences. Blindness is not what holds me back.

With the help of President Riccobono, Dean Charlier eases the chainsaw through the log.
Nikki Wolf bends over and pulls the start cord of the chainsaw. President Riccobono holds the chainsaw steady on the ground for her.
NFB staff member, Danielle McCann is halfway through the log with the chainsaw. President Riccobono helps from the side.

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