Content Warning: the following information addresses sensitive topics regarding abuse, sexual violence, and misconduct.
As the leading civil rights organization of the blind in the United States, every day we work to bring equality, love, and hope to our community. The blind community, like the rest of society, is not immune to violence and sexual misconduct. We thank the brave survivors for sharing their stories during a recent movement under the hashtag #MarchingTogether. We are committed to and welcome an ongoing process of learning how to heal from past trauma, to prevent future instances, and to protect victims and survivors.
Regarding this initiative, a survivor is someone—a Federation member or non-member within the blind community— who has experienced pain through violence, abuse, or misconduct of any kind (including, but not limited to, physical/sexual/psychological abuse, harassment, or assault) and may continue to live with trauma as a result.
For more information regarding this important initiative, read the Braille Monitor article, "Raising Expectations Every Day: The Challenge of the Federation's Community Standards” by President Mark Riccobono.
Blind Survivors Group
The purpose of the Survivors Group is to create an intentional space for blind survivors of sexual misconduct and other forms of trauma and/or abuse, along with their allies, to share support and resources leveraging the positive philosophy of the Federation. The group will serve as a knowledge base and authentic voice for continuing to inform safety and support efforts within the organized blind movement. Meet our co-chairs, Kathryn and Danielle.
White woman with long blonde hair. She is standing in front of a fountain, and wearing long silver dangling earrings, a black tank, and a white denim jacket. I am a white, cisgender woman who currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and am pursuing my master's degree in business administration at Harvard Business School, having previously worked at Deloitte Consulting in Washington, DC implementing strategic transformation for federal agencies, notably rolling out improvements to the sexual assault/harassment process within the US Navy and other military branches. Living with ADHD and losing vision as a young adult, I constantly strive to grow in adaptability, trauma-informed response protocol, and empathy-driven solutions. Serving as treasurer of BLIND, Inc., one of the NFB-affiliated training centers, I have a deep passion for optimizing the lived experiences of those around me as individuals reach their full potential. In graduate school, I co-chair the annual joint MBA DEI summit, promoting allyship, inclusion, and the escalation of marginalized voices for future business leaders. As a survivor myself, I prioritize advocacy for others, leading with my heart, and living with purpose above all else.
A headshot of an olive-skinned woman with dark hair and hazel eyes. She has a gold highlight to her cheeks and a light orange eyeshadow covering her eyelids. Her thick, wavy hair frames her widely smiling face.I am a First Nations and white cisgender woman living in Lubbock, Texas. I work at the American Printing House as a tech support specialist, while being a perpetual student of inclusive design. Growing up with too many questions and not enough information, I have a love of digital accessibility, especially when it relates to self-image and access to culture. I volunteer as a sex and consent educator, and I am particularly passionate about exploring where marginalized folks fit into these evolving conversations. I belong at the intersections of queerness, neurodivergence, and mental illness. I am both a Retinoblastoma and trauma survivor, always unlearning and relearning how to truly live.
There is now a survivors NFBNet mailing list to join. [email protected] is a hidden list serv, which means the list of members is available only to the list administrators, Danielle, Kathryn, and NFB’s list administrator, David Andrews. If you'd like to subscribe, you can send a blank email to [email protected], or visit http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/survivors_nfbnet.org and fill out the form.
Keep In Touch
To share concerns, ask questions, or voice an interest in helping with our efforts, please email [email protected] or call 410-659-9314, extension 2238. Please note that both Danielle and Kathryn have access to these communication channels.
- December 8, 2021: Statement of the NFB Board of Directors Regarding the Final Report of the Special Committee
- Currently, any code of conduct complaint describing sexual abuse or misconduct is reviewed by an external party. The current external review firm is Tonya Baña LLC, which is based out of Baltimore, Maryland. On June 6, the survivor-led task force hosted an open call with Tonya Baña to answer questions from the community. Access the recording: June 6, 2021 Open Call with Tonya Baña Audio | Transcript
- As indicated in the open letter on April 15, RAINN completed the 2021 climate assessment by gathering feedback from NFB community members in May 2021. This report will assist in determining additional and continuous training. The findings in this report will serve as a baseline measurement to strengthen our future efforts with prevention and response programming and will continue to be assessed as a component of our accountability measures. Read the 2021 Climate Assessment Report.
- Statement of the NFB Board of Directors Regarding the Interim Report of the Special Committee
- When Survivors Lead: Introducing the Survivor Task Force, Braille Monitor, February 2021
- January 4, 2021: Partnership with RAINN
- January 4, 2021: January Presidential Release
- December 16, 2020: Open Letter of Apology