Safety & Support

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 chair, Christine Grassman.

Christine Grassman

I am a white bisexual woman who lives with PTSD. I currently work as a conflict resolution specialist in the federal government. I previously worked as a teacher and legal interventionist for so-called “at-risk youth” in an alternative high school program for individuals aged 13 through 21, including unhoused students, formerly incarcerated students, crime survivors, transgender students, undocumented students, and pregnant and parenting students. I am a licensed New York attorney and certified English teacher.

I now reside in Virginia, and currently serve as our Virginia affiliate’s Recording Secretary, President of the Fairfax Chapter, and Vice-President of the Parents of Blind Children Division in Virginia. My two adult children and my husband are congenitally blind, like me. I have been a member of the NFB for 35 years, and have served on the local chapter, affiliate, and national division levels.

I am a strong believer in the healing of community support, and I am familiar with the nuanced, complicated, and unique journey of fellow survivors.

Mailing List

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 administrator, Christine and NFB’s list administrator, David Andrews. If you'd like to subscribe, you can send a blank email to [email protected], or visit 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 Christine has access to these communication channels.

Additional Resources