Transcript of Nation's Blind Podcast Episode: The Myth of the Model Federationist

Intro, voice and music:
Welcome to The Nation's Blind Podcast, presented by the National Federation of the Blind, the transformative membership and advocacy organization of Blind Americans. Live the life you want.

Melissa Riccobono: Hello and welcome to the Nation's Blind Podcast. I'm Melissa Riccobono.

Anil Lewis: And I'm Anil Lewis.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes, he is Anil Lewis

Anil Lewis: Sitting right here in the studio with Melissa Riccobono.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes. How are you, Anil?

Anil Lewis: I'm good. And I'm glad that we're in the studio.

Melissa Riccobono: I'm excited about being in the studio. There's something to be said about Zoom, but this has been really fun being back in the studio and it feels like old times. Which this is kind of one of the last things to come back to more of a pre pandemic normal.

Anil Lewis: There you go.

Melissa Riccobono: So this is really exciting. I like this a lot.

Anil Lewis: I agree.

Melissa Riccobono: And I like that we are doing something maybe a little bit different on this episode of The Nation's Blind Podcast. Not so far different than people will not recognize it at all, but a little bit different.

Anil Lewis: We've been weaving a little bit of it in and now this is the topic.

Melissa Riccobono: This is the topic. Yes.

Anil Lewis: You guys are going to get to hear us talk... Oh, (sings) talking about my federation. Yeah. All this episode, Melissa and I are going to be talking about all these misconceptions about the Federation. So hopefully it'll educate many of our listeners.

Melissa Riccobono: Definitely. And we're going to have episodes like this where we really do a deep dive into some type of topic about the National Federation of the Blind, or a question that you, our listeners bring to us. So we really are excited about this and we hope that you'll be just as excited and this is your chance. If you have a burning question about Anil Lewis and you want to ask it we might be able to do that.

Anil Lewis: Or Melissa Riccobono.

Melissa Riccobono: Oh, sure. Sure, yeah. Or more so though, if you have a question about—

Anil Lewis: The organization.

Melissa Riccobono: ... what we think about a topic. And this is, we really do not script this at all. This is something that we are doing off the top of our heads. We have topics that we're going to talk about.

Anil Lewis: Our comms team gave these to us only minutes ago.

Melissa Riccobono: They did. And so this is going to be really fresh and we're just excited to bring this to you. So should we get started?

Anil Lewis: As long as you agree with everything I say, this will go smoothly.

Melissa Riccobono: No, Anil, as long as you agree with everything I say this will go smoothly.

Anil Lewis: Okay. Let's see how it turns out.

Melissa Riccobono: Okay. All right. So our topic today is our federation as Anil said. (Sings) Talking about our federation.

Anil Lewis: See.

Melissa Riccobono: Was “Whozit water bottles” after that though?

Anil Lewis: That was us, (both sing) Whozit water bottles!

Anil Lewis: Yeah. I love that. The memories.

Melissa Riccobono: For those that don't know, Whozit used to be our logo. And Georgia had these great water bottles that had the Whozit logo on them and they had a great song.

Anil Lewis: And we would sell them in our exhibit hall and everything.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes.

Anil Lewis: I think we sold more water bottles so people could hear us sing the jingle more so than the water bottle itself.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes. And I loved the jingle. You know me, if it's music—

Anil Lewis: Yes, it's Melissa.

Melissa Riccobono: ... it's going to be in my head, yes.

Anil Lewis: If it's music, it's Melissa.

Melissa Riccobono: If it's chocolate, it's Anil.

Anil Lewis: It's Anil. Amen to that, sister. Yes. Yes.

Melissa Riccobono: So anyway, we are going to talk about the National Federation of the Blind, and a lot of the things that people believe about the National Federation of the Blind, or are told about the National Federation of the Blind. Things like you can only be one way to be a true Federationist.

Anil Lewis: Well, that's true, right? We agree on that.

Melissa Riccobono: No. Actually, I—

Anil Lewis: No?

Melissa Riccobono: ... I don't agree with that at all.

Anil Lewis: Sure. I mean, if you are going to be a Federationist, you've got to be against guide dogs for God's sake. Let's start there, right?

Melissa Riccobono: Well, Anil, I used a guide dog for quite a long time, and—

Anil Lewis: And you were a Federationist? You were a member of the NFB with the guide dog?

Melissa Riccobono: Not only that, I was an affiliate president and the first lady of the National Federation of the Blind when I had my guide dogs.

Anil Lewis: Well, I stand chagrined. No, but I definitely know that we're not anti guide dog. But that is one of the premier kind of misconceptions about us being rigid as an organization.

Melissa Riccobono: Absolutely.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. The Federation is about whatever mobility tool gets you where you need to be as independently as possible with as least inconvenience to you and to others.

Melissa Riccobono: Right. And sometimes that changes. If it's a dog sometimes and a cane other times, whether it's sighted guide sometimes. People, that's a big one. Oh, you're in the National Federation of the Blind, you can't go anywhere sighted guide.

Anil Lewis: Yeah, yeah.

Melissa Riccobono: No.

Anil Lewis: The Nature of Independence, read the speech. Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, he'll break it down for you. But I have to admit, I get a little jealous of guide dog users sometimes because guide dogs, they can just cut through crowds and stuff like zoom, zoom, zoom. Canes, you just, oh.

Melissa Riccobono: Excuse me. Excuse me.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. Yeah.

Melissa Riccobono: It is true. It is embarrassing though, when you're really trying to stand in line and your dog just doesn't understand, and they want to take you the very front.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. They go to the front. And they think it's a race. You can't walk with a crowd because they think, oh, it's a race.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes.

Anil Lewis: We're going to win. Come on.

Melissa Riccobono: We're going to win. Let's go. Yes. No, that's very true. That is very, very true. Another one that I hear a lot is all about how I think paratransit is a huge one. Or even taking a fixed-root bus. Oh, I use Uber and Lyft too much. I'm not a real Federationist. And what makes me the saddest is it's almost as though when we talk about this, when I've heard people talk about this or they've talked about this to me, it's almost as if they're Catholics in a confessional.

Anil Lewis: Uh-oh.

Melissa Riccobono: I know I'm not supposed to do this, but I do take para-transit to work, but that's not because I can't take the bus. And I'm always like, "Guys, whoa, whoa, whoa." Like, "Stop. Number one, you have a job, right?" "Well, yeah, I'm going to work." "Okay, well, that's wonderful. Number two, you're going to work. Or even if it's not work, even if it's a volunteer activity, you don't have to explain to me or to anybody else why you're choosing to use para-transit." The only time that I think people do want to challenge, and in I hope a gentle way, is when people truly believe para-transit is the only way they can ever get to from point A to point B.

Anil Lewis: Yeah, I'm glad you said that because I was about to say I disagree. Because I do want to hear why they're taking para-transit because not to be critical, but to let them know that there are other options. Because I'll tell you, if you're counting on para-transit to be your major way of getting back and forth to work, your job may be at risk. Because para-transit is a very difficult thing to schedule and be consistent. Now, there are some areas that I hear rave reviews about how wonderful their para-transit is, but that's the exception and not the rule.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes. No, and that's—

Anil Lewis: So if there's a person that's taking para-transit because they haven't received a proper training to catch the fixed route, I want to make sure they know that there's an option there and that they have the ability to make a choice.

Melissa Riccobono: Yes. And I definitely agree. And not only that, but that people of the NFB, local chapter members, people in their affiliate, most of the time, people would be more than happy to go through that fixed route with them and help them feel comfortable. And I mean, maybe it's that they need one of our training centers also. But to start them out, I have taken the bus with people to help show them things. And I have also taken the bus with my blind NFB members to learn how to get to a new place myself. So I think that's really, really important. And I do agree with you Anil, that it's, I just hate when people are, I shouldn't say hate, but I really dislike it when people just feel like they have to justify every single thing and they just think that I'm going to look down on them because they're not measuring up to whatever ideal they have about what it really means-

Anil Lewis: To be a Federationist.

Melissa Riccobono: ... and to be a good, it's not even a Federationist, but a good, a proper, a perfect.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. I am the very model of the modern major Federationist. Another one that—

Melissa Riccobono: There's a song there.

Anil Lewis: ... tickles me is the whole Braille thing that if you can't read Braille, huh, of course you're not a Federationist. And that's true, right?

Melissa Riccobono: No.

Anil Lewis: That one's not true?

Melissa Riccobono: No, that's not true at all. Because as we know, only about 10% of blind kids learn Braille.

Anil Lewis: That's atrocious.

Melissa Riccobono: That's only blind kids. When adults go blind, they may or may not learn Braille. And yes, I mean, I use Braille every single day of my life. I cannot—

Anil Lewis: So do I.

Melissa Riccobono: ... imagine my life without Braille. But I do know that there are many people that, for thousands of reasons—

Anil Lewis: Are not Braille readers?

Melissa Riccobono: Are not Braille readers.

Anil Lewis: Shame on them. Right?

Melissa Riccobono: No. No, again, if they are interested in learning, I would love to help teach them. I'd also love to help them understand. President Riccobono talks about this a lot, about how he was told as a senior in high school that he could be taught Braille if he wanted to learn it.

Anil Lewis: With no real incentive or understanding as to what the benefit would be.

Melissa Riccobono: That's exactly right. Yeah. And so he thought, I have two study halls now. Why would I take one up learning Braille? I can't imagine why I'd want to.

Anil Lewis: And look, he became President of the National Federation of the Blind, so.

Melissa Riccobono: He did. Now he did learn Braille later. But I mean, that's a really powerful thing. And yeah, we definitely believe that everybody should learn Braille. We also do though believe or understand that sometimes people are going to use Braille in very basic ways. And that's also okay if there's someone with a lot of other disabilities. Oh, we can talk about that too in a second. But if there's somebody with a lot of disabilities that, print or Braille, they, they're not going to be able to read War in Peace. But the can recognize—

Anil Lewis: But they can label the microwave.

Melissa Riccobono: Exactly.

Anil Lewis: They can label other—

Melissa Riccobono: Find the bathroom, the correct bathroom.

Anil Lewis: Exactly.

Melissa Riccobono: Find a room number in a hotel.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. Label their ingredients so they can cook and still be independent. Yeah.

Melissa Riccobono: Yeah. Even write like a sentence of notes for a speech and then go extemporaneously. That's really important.

Anil Lewis: Now, one piece before you transition about the Braille, I'd like to tell people, of course, we are really strong Braille advocates. I mean, because we believe in Braille, we know the benefits of it. Ninety percent of the people that are employed that are blind no Braille, that's a statistic. It may not be a causal relationship, but it's definitely a correlation between gainful employment and blind people. But we also recognize that if there's some functional vision that some people are able to take advantage of, then it's just adding more tools in a toolbox.

The most specific thing I point out is in the school systems, we do advocate very strongly that young kids are taught Braille, even if they are able to read large print. Because the vision may not be sustainable, it may create some eye fatigue. So in those instances where the print gets smaller or their vision deteriorates, let's not get to a place where now they need to learn Braille because that holds them up from reaching their academic goals. So let's teach them. Kids can learn both print and Braille that's the best case. Those are best practices. So that's why we created a National Reading Media Assessment so that we have peer reviewed, valid data that shows that students with low vision can also benefit from learning to Braille as well.

Melissa Riccobono: That's a really good point. But again, not one size fits all. And I think that's a really important thing too, to be a Federationist, you can't ever use your vision that you have. Which is not true at all. Or as Anil would say, "Oh, that's true. Right?" Anil, that's true, right? You can't ever use your vision.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. But my sarcasm is much more evident than yours. People hear you and they believe what you say, they believe what comes out of your mouth. With me they know that's Anil, he's being sarcastic.

Melissa Riccobono: But I think it's really important for us to tell people, it's all about efficiency. If you are using your vision because that's all you've ever been taught, and you're reading at about 10 words a minute, and you have a job where you need to be reading, I think that to say that—

Anil Lewis: Braille could be the game changer.

Melissa Riccobono: Absolutely. Braille could be the game changer. If you are traveling and you can see a red building and you know that's the front door of your work, why wouldn't you? I mean, it's good to have other ways to tell, but why wouldn't you if it's efficient, why wouldn't you use it? My brother-in-law is legally blind. He can actually see very, very well up close, and not too close. He can actually read a standard print book without eye strain. He can read at a good level. I don't know what his reading speed is.

Anil Lewis: So this peripheral vision is the problem?

Melissa Riccobono: I think, and I think his distance. I'm guessing I don't—

Anil Lewis: Yeah. So many, many—

Melissa Riccobono: He'll probably come back. There are many—

Anil Lewis: ... different areas. Yeah, [inaudible]

Melissa Riccobono: Right. People with tunnel vision sometimes can see really well straight ahead of them. And to say, oh no, they shouldn't be taught print, or they should only know Braille. No, that's not what it is at all. It's all about what's going to be able to be the tool in your toolbox that's going to let you get the most things done in the best way.

Promo, voice and music:
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Anil Lewis: Now I got one. So all this stuff now—

Melissa Riccobono: You got one? Oh, oh, I can't wait.

Anil Lewis: ... now all this is good about skills acquisition, that's all important, but we cannot tolerate as Federationists any special treatment. I mean, out of here with that. If you're on that plane, don't you dare pre-board, right? Right?

Melissa Riccobono: Don't you dare get airport assistance.

Anil Lewis: Exactly. That wheelchair, no. Just say no. Yeah. So, all right. That's one we agree on. Let's move on to the next.

Melissa Riccobono: Well, no actually.

Anil Lewis: No?

Melissa Riccobono: I've gotten airport assistance before. Now, I've had a couple experiences where I realize that I want to stay more in control of the assistance that I've gotten. I've had the experience of being put in a golf cart and a driver that didn't know English very well, if at all. And I was terrified I was going to miss my flight. And I got out of that golf cart shaking and said to myself, never, ever again. But, when I was traveling by myself with two children, one was three and a half, and one was an infant, you bet I took a little bit of help to get all of us and all of our—

Anil Lewis: Well, with that, a lot of help.

Melissa Riccobono: ... paraphernalia through TSA.

Anil Lewis: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Melissa Riccobono: What? The stroller, Anil. That paraphernalia.

Anil Lewis: Oh, got it. Yeah, got it. Okay.

Melissa Riccobono: Diaper bag.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Melissa Riccobono: Car seat. I don't even remember what all we had. Probably a backpack carrier.

Anil Lewis: Oh my goodness.

Melissa Riccobono: I also, my aunt died and I needed to get a plane quickly, and I wasn't in a position where I was really... Also, when my father was dying. Both times I wasn't in a position where I was really in a place where I wanted to fight to find things on my own. But all other things being equal, most of the time I will go to the airport and I will ask questions because that's how I like doing it and then I know I'm more in control because sometimes it takes longer for the people to come and help me than it does—

Anil Lewis: Oh, yeah. Most of the time, yeah.

Melissa Riccobono: And I'm impatient. I'm really impatient. So I generally don't want to wait unless I really feel like I don't have a choice.

Anil Lewis: And if you take the time to explore, no matter how difficult it may be in the beginning, if it's something you're going to have to do on a regular basis, then you learn more about the environment. It makes it possible for you to travel more independently in subsequent times. So I travel in and out of the Atlanta airport all the time. So yeah, when I'm first navigating through the airport, sometimes I may... Well, the first time I'm sure I got some assistance. But then I got a sense of where it was, then I took a little bit more, I don't want to say risk because it's not like my life is in danger, but initiative to explore more on my own. So now I can get around the airport fairly easily and simply.

But it goes back to what we were talking about earlier. You have a goal that you want to meet. What are the tools that you can use to meet that goal that allows you to be as independent as possible with as little inconvenience to yourself or to others? And in some instances, it's just going to be faster. If you're running late for a plane, getting some sighted guide to help you run through the airport may be a good idea. If you have the time to ease on into it and have a little bit of breakfast, that's what I like to try to do because I like to travel in the morning, then I'm going to respectfully say, no, thank you. So it's different things.

But the other piece too about the pre-boarding, I always think this is funny. Because I was the same way when I learned, especially when I went through training at Louisiana Center for the Blind, which we'll have to get into a little bit later about that there's a different kind of expectation when you're actually in training. But that whole thing about not pre-boarding, but then when I started flying as much as I do now, I hate being separated from my luggage. And now the planes just overbook all the time. And if you don't get on that plane early enough, by the time you get there, that overhead space is full.

Melissa Riccobono: It's full, yeah.

Anil Lewis: And I'm sorry, sir, we're going to have to check that bag. No, no, no.

Melissa Riccobono: No, I don't—

Anil Lewis: No, no, you're not. Yes, sir. We're going to have to check that bag. So no, I pre-board just to make sure that I can get my luggage and not be separated from my luggage. So it's all different reasons, but now I've flown so much my status lets me get on. And it's almost like you were talking about earlier, how you have to justify something, it's almost like when I get on at that level, I want to flash my Delta Sky Miles card and say, "No, no, it's because I have medallion status, not because I'm blind." So I still have a little of that residual in me as well.

Melissa Riccobono: It's funny, a friend of mine had appendicitis, that wasn't funny, but she was traveling when her appendix needed to be taken—

Anil Lewis: Burst?

Melissa Riccobono: It didn't burst, thank goodness. It just needed to be taken out. But then she took a wheelchair through the airport when she was coming home, and she said the same thing. "I wanted a sign on me that said, recovering from appendicitis. It's not just because I'm blind, that I'm sitting here." And I thought, it's just sad. You shouldn't have to justify. Again, if you think that's the only way you can fly, that's a different story. But yes, I also think traveling in the morning is a great idea, but it makes me very tired. And I just want to get on the plane so I can just get settled and close my eyes and go to sleep.

Anil Lewis: I hear you. I hear you. I hear you.

Melissa Riccobono: So yes, I have pre-boarded many a time in my life.

Anil Lewis: And I think this is a good kind of transitional moment when you're talking about your friend with the appendicitis, me with my medallion status. That just goes to show that society's perceptions, we inherit them ourselves. So when people are talking about the Federation believes in this, I'm admitting to you, I've had some of that ingrained in me. I've come to evolve and understand that it's false. But somewhere along the line, I had been convinced that that was the case. So I'm not being critical of those who really feel that way.

But what I would offer is this, a lot of times people infer that the policies and the beliefs of the National Federation of the Blind are exemplified in one person. And not just the description that we've been playing with of this proper Federationist, but one person telling someone about this organization. And this organization has tens of thousands of members with their own unique lived experiences and their own personal preferences. And when having those discussions with others, sometimes we do it with such zealous because you feel good about it. I mean, when you've overcome some significant challenges and you feel good about the fact that, yeah, I can go independently throughout the whole airport and I can board the plane without... And you say it in a way that makes people think, "Wow, that federation." No, that's just a liberated blind person.

Melissa Riccobono: I think the other thing that bothers me and makes it different for me, if someone insists I pre-board, then I'm probably going to dig in my—

Anil Lewis: Absolutely.

Melissa Riccobono: ... heels and say, no, no.

Anil Lewis: Just for the principle of it. Yes.

Melissa Riccobono: Exactly.

Anil Lewis: I guess I'll have to check my bag, but I'm not going to let you make me get on this.

Melissa Riccobono: Right. Right. Right. But again, I think that's the difference, right?

Anil Lewis: Good point.

Melissa Riccobono: It's being in control—

Anil Lewis: Good point.

Melissa Riccobono: ... of when you... I just, I can't stand it when somebody wants to treat me like an infant. I'm an adult.

Anil Lewis: I was traveling through the airport with a friend of mine. I'm not going to name him, because we got off the plane and we had a connecting flight, and they had someone, because they flagged us. So when we got off the plane, they already had somebody waiting. We had plenty of time. We could have made our plane. No hurry, anything. Has somebody been waiting? And the guy walked up to him, he says, "Well, let me have your boarding pass." And he gave him his boarding pass. And he asked me, "Let me have your boarding pass." No.

Melissa Riccobono: No, thank you.

Anil Lewis: "What do you need?" "Well, I'm going to this gate." He says, "Well give me your"... "No, I'm not giving you my boarding pass." So he says, "Well, you guys come with me." So I'm fine with the assistance going to the right gate. And my friend kept on saying, "Well, can I have my boarding pass?" He says, "No, you're my responsibility."

Melissa Riccobono: Oh, geez.

Anil Lewis: "You're my responsibility."

Melissa Riccobono: Yes. And that's again, this is an adult friend.

Anil Lewis: Yes.

Melissa Riccobono: This is not an unaccompanied minor.

Anil Lewis: Exactly.

Melissa Riccobono: Which that's a whole different story. And yes—

Anil Lewis: Certainly.

Melissa Riccobono: ... when my blind children fly unaccompanied—

Anil Lewis: Well, that's different.

Melissa Riccobono: ... but that's a—

Anil Lewis: That's every kid. That's every kid.

Melissa Riccobono: Exactly. Exactly.

Anil Lewis: But they didn't ask any other adult that got off that plane for their boarding pass—

Melissa Riccobono: Boarding pass. Exactly.

Anil Lewis: And they did not assume responsibility. That was so funny though. Oh, so many airplane stories.

Melissa Riccobono: Oh, absolutely. Well, I think we could talk about airports forever, but the other one that I hear a lot is, "Oh, that Federation, they're no fun. They're just business. It's all they are."

Anil Lewis: Well, that's true.

Melissa Riccobono: ... "They're not social at all."

Anil Lewis: Well that's true.

Melissa Riccobono: "And they just sue people. That's all they do. They're so confrontational. They sue people. They're not any fun."

Anil Lewis: Yep, that's why I joined them. (Laughter) That's why I joined the National Federation of the Blind.

Melissa Riccobono: Are you the Grinch?

Anil Lewis: Yeah. No, man, that is so far—

Melissa Riccobono: You don't want to have fun?

Anil Lewis: ... so far from the truth. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. But I tell you, as we always say, the real fact is we work very hard. But they say when you work hard, you play hard. And if you come to our national convention, which is going to be in Houston this year.

Melissa Riccobono: July first through sixth.

Anil Lewis: There you go. You will find out how hard we work because it's a full week of getting up, getting at it, getting it done. But you will also see how we play hard because ain't no party like a blind folks party, because a blind folks party don't stop.

Melissa Riccobono: And again, the Federation, especially because it's a place where blindness is just normal. So you just go with your friends and you're just, you're doing things together and it's just a normal thing. Our constitution does speak to this. It does say the Federation is not merely a social organization. And I think that is important. If you're going to have a chapter, we wouldn't want a chapter that all they did was go bowling and then said like, "We're an NFB chapter. We're going to go bowling, that's our meetings. Our meetings are in the bowling alley. We're just going to pull"... That's not the spirit.

Anil Lewis: That's not the type of collective action that we're talking about.

Melissa Riccobono: That's correct. Because we are a grassroots organization.

Anil Lewis: But we're strong because of that social interaction, because you develop those personal relationships that make you that much more committed to sharing the work.

Melissa Riccobono: I think and I think that you also do learn a lot in those social interactions, going to lunch with people, finding different restaurants, going on the buses with people maybe. But just learning different skills that maybe you never knew how to do before. And that's definitely part of it. But again, it's not just one and it's not just the other. And I think that's really important that, yes, we do work hard, but we do play hard.

Anil Lewis: That whole other side of it is so important though, because we are to our core a political organization. But that, of course, is a conversation for another podcast. We hope that you've enjoyed our back and forth, and hope it least gives you an understanding that the Federation is a family of a diverse group of people with different lived experiences and perceptions and opinions. If you want to know the position of the organization, then go check out our website and look at the resolutions and that kind of thing. But we'll talk in more detail around the political infrastructure of the Federation in a future podcast.

Melissa Riccobono: Yeah. And I think that too, I'm hopeful that our communications team... They don't always listen... No, I'm just teasing. I think "The Nature of Independence" is a really important speech that should be with our show notes for this episode. I also think there was a great article written by President Riccobono in The Monitor regarding what Federation philosophy is. And I think that's another really important, those two things, I'm assuming they'll be in our show notes. And please take a look at those because those are really good guidelines. And then also talk to Federationists. If you don't understand or you don't know... And don't just talk to one person, either. Talk to Federationists, plural.

Anil Lewis: That's the key.

Melissa Riccobono: Go to a chapter meeting, ask your questions. Or you can ask your questions to us on the Nation's Blind Podcast. We would love to hear from you. And I really love the format of these episodes, so I'm hoping we'll do them again. I assume we will, but we would love to have your questions. So please give us a call. Send us a voicemail, 410-659-9314, extension 2444.

Anil Lewis: Send us an email at [email protected].

Melissa Riccobono: Find us on Twitter at NFB_Voice.

Anil Lewis: Yeah. Wake up a conversation in social media. Find us on Facebook at National Federation of the Blind and just engage and maybe we can turn some of the social media correspondence into a full-blown podcast.

Melissa Riccobono: We would love that. And again, it might not just be Anil and me bantering either, we might bring other people on. This is all a work in progress, starting something a little bit new, so give us your feedback about that too. If there's other people you'd like to have join our panel.

Anil Lewis: Are you trying to get rid of me Melissa?

Melissa Riccobono: No, no, no. I'm just saying in addition. In addition to. I can't get rid of you Anil. I can't get rid of you.

Anil Lewis: Thank you.

Melissa Riccobono: Who would eat all the green M&Ms?

Anil Lewis: All right, there you go. I'd still eat the green even if I wasn't able to be on the podcast. You could call me in just for that.

Melissa Riccobono: Oh. Oh, okay.

Anil Lewis: Well, until the next time we get to eat some green M&Ms, we want to thank you for listening to The Nation's Blind Podcast. And remember, you can live the life you want.

Melissa Riccobono: Blindness is not what holds you back.

Outro, voice and music:
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