The National Federation of the Blind celebrates Meet the Blind Month every October. Throughout the month, our members conduct a variety of outreach activities in their local communities. Many of these activities center on White Cane Awareness Day which is October 15.
For Meet the Blind Month 2020, we focused on lived experiences in our local communities with problem solving, self-confidence, and intersectionality.
Matching Gift Opportunity from Freedom Scientific
Freedom Scientific, a Vispero brand and the maker of JAWS for Windows and Focus Braille displays, pledged to match the first $50,000 in donations made to the NFB during Meet the Blind Month 2020. Thank you to Freedom Scientific and all of our supporters for helping us continue our important work.
Update: President Riccobono announced in the November 2020 presidential release that we reached our goal in donations during the month of October to meet the matching gift from Freedom Scientific. We are incredibly grateful for your support!
Three Ways to Give
- Give online at nfb.org/donate
- Mail a check to National Federation of the Blind, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230
- Contribute by phone using a credit card by calling 410-659-9314; press 4 for giving followed by 1 to give a gift
White Cane Awareness Day
The National Federation of the Blind celebrates White Cane Awareness Day every year on October 15. For blind people, the white cane is an essential tool that gives us the ability to achieve a full and independent life. It allows us to move freely and safely from place to place—whether it's at work, at school, or around our neighborhoods.
White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation
Anyone can encourage their local government to issue a White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation. This is a great way to involve your local community and educate the public about the blind. Please print out either the White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation (HTML) or the White Cane Awareness Day Proclamation (Word) and share it with your local administration.
Courtesy Rules of Blindness
Our sighted friends often ask for advice regarding what they should do or say when meeting a blind person. Blind people are ordinary people, so please don't be nervous around us. We are also highly capable people, so please don’t grab our arms, our canes, or our guide dogs if we haven't asked you to do so. For more tips, read our courtesy rules of blindness.
Lived Experiences with Problem Solving
During Meet the Blind Month 2020, we invited employers to encourage their employees, particularly those in diversity and inclusion departments, human resources, and all hiring managers, to attend one of our Meet the Blind Month webinars on lived experiences with problem solving. These hour-long webinars were held on October 19 and October 29. They covered problem-solving skills, partnership opportunities, the blindness benefit, and accommodations.
Lived Experiences with Self-Confidence
Every day we work to break down misconceptions of what it means to be blind. Nonvisual training and Federation philosophy build our confidence so we can conquer our dreams. This year we shared stories of our self-confidence and why it is important. Blindness experts from our training centers and member, Precious Perez, share their stories and experiences in the videos below—available on our YouTube channel.
- Lived Experiences with Self-Confidence: A Conversation with Blindness Experts
- Lived Experiences with Self-Confidence: Precious Perez Shares Her Story
Lived Experiences with Intersectionality
Each Wednesday in October 2020, we gathered virtually on Twitter to discuss our lived experiences with various intersectional identities—which are also subject to inequalities, public misconceptions, and injustices. Learn more about Twitter chats.
2020 Activities Across the Country
National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
- October: The National Federation of the Blind of Colorado celebrates White Cane Awareness Day and Meet the Blind Month with events all over the state. We conclude Meet the Blind Month with our annual state convention. This year, we have added a new and exciting version of our NFBCO Comcast 6 Dot Dash. Registration is open now through November 8. We are planning a number of virtual activities to get everyone pumped up for their own personal walk, run, or roll through Meet the Blind Month. There are so many ways to participate; individually and on teams. Registration is only $30. In fact, there are ways to earn your $30 back! Learn more at 303-778-1130, extension 219, or [email protected]. For complete details and to register online, visit 6dotdashco.com.
San Joaquin County Chapter, California
- October 1-15: Virtual White Cane Walk—Our NFB members and supporters will share videos and photos of themselves with white canes on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- October 1-2: The Courtesy Rules of Blindness will be distributed in print and electronic “Multicultural COVID-19 Resource Kits” throughout San Joaquin County on October 1 and 2, 2020 as part of the Community Partnership for Families of San Joaquin’s Virtual 12th Annual Multicultural Health and Resource Fair.
- October 2-3: Fundraiser at Mountain Mike’s Pizza, 1000 W. Robinhood Dr., Stockton—Mention “NFB” when phoning in for delivery from this location of Mountain Mike’s only (no DoorDash) or show our Mountain Mike’s Meet the Blind fundraiser flyer on your phone when ordering carryout October 2-3, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. PT; 30 percent of your purchase will be donated to our chapter. No paper flyer is required.
- October 15: White Cane Awareness Day Profile Photo Swap Campaign—Our chapter is asking our members, our families, friends, and other supporters of the blind to swap out their social media profile pictures all day October 15 for a photo of a white cane.
- November 5: Whirlow’s White Cane Awareness Fundraiser—Dine for the blind! Support the NFB November 5, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. PT, at Whirlow’s Restaurant, 1926 Pacific Ave., Stockton. Grab some great food for takeout or outdoor dining at our traditional White Cane Awareness Day fundraiser site. Just mention “NFB” when ordering November 5 and 20 percent of your bill will be donated to support our chapter. No paper flyer is required.
San Diego Chapter, California
The San Diego chapter will host live Facebook events on our Facebook page featuring blind individuals demonstrating blindness skills. Anyone who has ever wondered how blind people cook, use household appliances, or just get around the community will want to watch.
- October 3, 2 p.m. PT: Meet Allison Depner, Nikki Warren, and Julie Cardenas as they demonstrate the use of Braille and making old fashioned popcorn.
- October 10, 2 p.m. PT: Meet Daniel Merino and Elizabeth Rivera as they grill up some burgers for themselves and their two children.
- October 17, 2 p.m. PT: Meet Claude Edwards and Lyn Gwizdak as they take a walk in Balboa Park. Claude will demonstrate how he uses a white cane. He will also demonstrate how to use the AIRA and Be My Eyes apps. Lyn will describe and demonstrate his relationship with his guide dog, Aristotle.
- October 31, 2 p.m. PT: Meet Elia Gonzalez and Noralys Chavez as they bake up some delicious seasonal treats.
Greater Philadelphia and Keystone Chapters, Pennsylvania
- October 6: Our two chapters will be playing a friendly game of Family Feud over the Zoom platform. This event will take place on Tuesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. ET; it is being billed as a “Get Acquainted” Meet the Blind Month event.
- October 20: The Greater Philadelphia Chapter cordially invites you to a virtual demonstration of the ES&S ExpressVote XL System; this demonstration will examine the ADA audio features which will allow blind individuals to cast a private ballot; there will be time for questions and answers; a member of the Philadelphia election board will be available; since this machine is used in other states and counties, we welcome participation from around the country; 7 p.m. ET via Zoom; https://zoom.us/j/92982289400?pwd=dllLYzQvYXY3anBTdXRHYVlsb2NJQT09; meeting ID: 929 8228 9400; passcode: 328453; one tap mobile +13126266799,,92982289400# US (Chicago) or +16468769923,,92982289400# US (New York)
Palm Beach Chapter, Florida
- October 10: The National Federation of the Blind Palm Beach Chapter is inviting you to "Meet the Blind Month: 2020 Vision for Gainful Employment by Breaking Barriers and Changing Misconceptions about Employment for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired," 10 a.m. ET; to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88597205822?pwd=UkZYVHhqUXJDZTFkNUdUZzZpOFU4UT09; one tap mobile: +13126266799,,88597205822#,,993046; +1 312 626 6799; meeting ID: 885 9720 5822; passcode: 993046.
Central Maryland Chapter, Maryland
- October 10: White Cane Awareness Walk—Please join the members of the Central Maryland Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind for our White Cane Awareness Walk followed by the acceptance of a resolution from the Howard County Council about White Cane Awareness Day which is celebrated every year throughout the nation. Meet at the fountain on Lake Kittamaqundi. Walk begins at 10:30 a.m. ET sharp. Meet back at the fountain for White Cane Resolution Proclamation. After pictures, we will proceed to Whole Foods for refreshments. The walk is about a mile and a quarter. Social distancing will not be a problem. Be sure to wear a mask.
Vanguard Chapter, Greater New York
- October 10: Discussion panel via Zoom, "Being a Black Indigenous Person of Color and Blind in America;" 6-7:30 p.m. ET; https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84216656022?pwd=Wk12QTVLRFBrMEQvLzU1U3lqZWZnUT09; Dial by phone: 1-646-558-8656, Meeting ID 84216656022#,,,,,,0#, passcode, 449890#; for more information, please email [email protected].
Central Florida Chapter, Florida
October 15: Virtual Blind Americans Equality Day Celebration; 6-8:30 p.m. ET; annual awareness event in observance of National Blind Americans Equality Day (formerly White Cane Day); panel discussion on service delivery in the age of COVID-19; local government proclamation presentations; musical performances; Eventbrite registration https://bit.ly/33m1pJ6; you must register to receive a meeting code.
Keystone Chapter, Pennsylvania
- October 17: Believe You Can! is a virtual talent show sponsored by the Keystone Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania. The show will be made up entirely of artists who are blind or low-vision. It will air virtually on Saturday, October 17 at 7 p.m. ET. Twenty artists are scheduled to perform, with each performance given a ten-minute time limit. Acts run the gamut from singers and musicians to spoken word, and there is even a clogging tutorial. Since the event is virtual, artists are from across the country and even Canada. Learn more at believeyoucan.live.
Greater Jacksonville Chapter, Florida
- October 21: "We Make a Difference - You Can Too!;" 6:30 p.m. ET via Zoom; https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9851473331; meeting ID: 985 147 3331; one tap mobile: +16468769923,,9851473331#; this virtual event features a panel of both blind and sighted individuals from multiple organizations that will enlighten and inspire all of us with stories of how they positively impact the lives of family, friends, and communities that surround them; registration is requested; contact Russ at [email protected] or by phone at 1-844-827-7371, extension 1 to reserve your spot.
National Federation of the Blind of Hawaii
- October 24: “Walking Alone and Marching Together” White Cane Awareness Walk and Fundraiser; 8-11 a.m. HST (2-5 p.m. EDT); members and friends of NFBH will walk through the beautiful neighborhoods and parks on Oahu and our neighbor islands, sharing our progress on a Zoom call and on Facebook Live; please visit our NFBH donation page via Square, our NFBH donation page via PayPal, or our NFB of Hawaii Facebook page to show your support with a minimum $5.00 contribution; to watch and listen to the event, please join https://zoom.us/j/97518744179; meeting ID: 975 1874 4179; one tap mobile +13462487799,,97518744179# US (Houston) or +14086380968,,97518744179# US (San Jose).
Jackson and Tupelo Chapters, Mississippi
- October 24: A member of the Jackson Chapter participated with a team of individuals in feeding the homeless; they cooked and delivered a meal of baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and a roll.
- Members of the Tupelo Chapter raised awareness about blindness and sold shirts.
- The Jackson Chapter is participating in a Meet the Blind Month activity where each member has been challenged to share and connect with two new people during this month-long event.
- A member of the Jackson Chapter had a blindness awareness informational table at a nursing home featuring accessible technology, Braille books and alphabet cards, brochures, and a white cane.
- A member of the Jackson Chapter had an informational table at a physical therapy facility in Belzoni, Mississippi. She provided information as it pertains to blindness awareness.
Previous Meet the Blind Month Activities
Looking for ideas for your first or next Meet the Blind Month activity? Check out some of the past activities organized by our members.