by Patti Chang
From the Editor: Patti has made many contributions to our organization as a chapter president, affiliate president, and a member of our national board. All of these positions were volunteer while she worked full-time as a lawyer for the city of Chicago. She is now our director of development, another career for her and a tremendous benefit for us.
This holiday season I am celebrating the many holiday heroes who help raise expectations for the nation’s blind. There are so many parents, teachers, researchers, advocates, and people simply living the lives they want who help the National Federation of the Blind achieve our mission. I want to celebrate their stories and share their positive philosophy on blindness.
Josh Miele, an adaptive technology designer and 2021 MacArthur Fellow said:
“I’m proud to be blind, I’m proud of the community I am part of, and I love building and imagining cool technologies for blind people.”
A parent of a child in the NFB BELL® Academy shared:
“My smart, capable child can read, thanks to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). My child is a dual-media reader, which means he has enough vision to read some print but needs literacy in both print and Braille for true sustainable success.”
Lizzy Muhammad-Park, winner of the 2021 Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship, said:
“The Federation's first investment in my future gave me the chance to "live the life I want" at home and abroad. Blind mentors provided leadership opportunities, taught me how to advocate on Capitol Hill, and advised me on independent international travel. My Federation family is always there when I call: they are people who encourage me out of my comfort zone, advise me when I become confused, and support me in times of disappointment and celebration.”
These testimonials and many more demonstrate the impact of the National Federation of the Blind’s programs and network of mentors. You or someone you know are surely a great example of what is possible, and we need your support to continue making a difference and changing lives.
With a $50 gift, the National Federation of the Blind can send a long white cane—free of charge—to a blind person and give back mobility. With the same amount, the Federation can provide early literacy materials to families, which empower parents to help their blind child get an early start to Braille literacy. With a gift of $100 or more, we can train a new cohort of teachers of blind students, show blind youngsters that they can pursue STEM careers, and so much more. Be a part of our mission and everything the Federation does with love, hope, and determination.
We can’t change lives without you. Please help by making an end-of-year gift—it’s easy to do. You can mail a check, contribute by phone, or give online.
We all know that the Federation inspires blind people to live the lives they want and gives them the tools to achieve their dreams. Celebrate our Holiday Heroes and support the next generation with an end-of-year contribution. Thank you for being a part of our movement.