Happenings September 2017


Jacobus tenBroek Library Announces New Exhibit

We are pleased to announce that a third digital exhibit featuring archival materials preserved by the Jacobus tenBroek Library is now available online through Digital Maryland, which is part of the Digital Public Library of America. This exhibit highlights the work of Leonard A. Robinson, a blind lawyer and government employee who was involved in the passage of the Randolph-Sheppard Act and the development of Blind Services in the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Federal Government and Washington, D.C. As with all of our exhibits hosted by Digital Maryland, each document has been scanned, transcribed, and rendered as plain text to ensure accessibility.

New Information on the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Oral History Program

The tenBroek Library recognizes that much of the history of the NFB and the organized blind movement resides in the experiences of those who have lived it. Over the years, many Federationists have recorded the memories of their friends and colleagues by conducting oral history interviews and contributing them to the NFB. Thanks to their continued efforts the program has grown significantly recently, and we have taken further steps to formalize it by organizing the existing recordings and making their descriptions and interview logs available online. To access these new information resources, please visit the tenBroek Library’s database for special collections & archives, the Cane Tip.

If you would like to learn how to record and submit interview recordings to the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Oral History Program, please visit our webpage for more information. Additionally, if you are interested in assisting with the transcription of interviews that are already preserved in the program, please contact Anna Kresmer at akresmer@nfb.org or (410) 659-9314, extension 2310.

Two Blind Individuals and NFB File Lawsuit

NFB and two blind individuals who receive Social Security benefits filed a federal lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) for its failure to make its Visitor Intake Processing touchscreen kiosks accessible to its blind visitors. As a result, blind patrons are unable to check in independently at their local SSA field offices, and are forced to divulge private information, such as their social security numbers, to SSA staff or other sighted third parties to assist them.

NFB Applauds Implementation of Quiet Car Regulations - Commends Trump Administration for Action to Protect Blind Pedestrians

We recently commented on the implementation of regulations enacted pursuant to the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama to protect the blind and other pedestrians from the dangers posed by silent hybrid and electric vehicles.

"The National Federation of the Blind applauds the Trump administration for protecting the lives of blind Americans, as well as other pedestrians and cyclists," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "This regulation will ensure that blind people can continue to travel safely and independently as we work, learn, shop, and engage in the other activities that are part of living the lives we want. This regulation is the result of many years of work by dedicated members of the National Federation of the Blind who helped study this issue and advocate for an appropriate solution.”

To read more on the NFB's history of  involvement with the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, check out the Braille Monitor article, “Progress on the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act: The Regulations, the Law, and What They Will Mean for the Blind.”

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NFB Congratulates Recent Graduates of the Braille Certification Training Program

Under a contract with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (NLS), the National Federation of the Blind administers the courses leading to NLS certification of braille transcribers and proofreaders.

Successful completion of these rigorous courses requires a great deal of time and effort on the part of the students. We congratulate the following individuals who earned certification in literary braille transcribing during the months of April, May, and June, 2017, achieving certificates under the rules of Unified English Braille:

Literary Braille Transcribing


Teran Britney Kilgore, Talladega

Ashley Brooke Toombs, Lincoln


Nionda Khomini Reed, North Little Rock


Leticia Alejandra Ceja, Rialto

Julio Cesar Chavez, Chowchilla

Jacob Escamilla, Camarillo

William Kenny Manzano, Avenal

Emmanuel Medina, Camarillo

Gayle Chiyomi Okano, Milpitas

Andres Delgado Rodriguez, Camarillo


Gerard Lawson Edwards, Cheshire

Martryce Sharell Gatling, Cheshire


Kevin Jerome Robinson, Wilmington


Nanci Anita Stuart, St. Johns


Manuel Antwun Griffin, Macon

Sylvester Mills, Macon

Ronald Howard Reed, Macon


Jeff A. Hodson, Bunker Hill

Ruby Cereno Sopke, Indianapolis


Debbie Williams Heeren, Wichita


Shelley Denise Abell, Louisville

Emily Marie Grimany, Louisville

Louise Elizabeth Knapp, Louisville

Vicki S. Lenz, Louisville

Alexis Nichole Thomas, Louisville


James Prescott Burton, Jackson

Cindy M. Olmstead, Jackson


Sarah Lynn Trushenski, Big Lake


Justin Walsh Ayers, Lincoln


Michael Douglas Milner, Las Vegas

Hank Thomas Salazar, Las Vegas

New Jersey

Patricia M. Brown, Manahawkin

North Carolina

Haywood L. Peele, Laurinburg


Tammy Sue Hupp, Amanda

South Dakota

Jared Paul Hallstrom, Springfield

Christopher Lee Jones, Springfield


Elaine Ann Flora, Gatesville

Alecia Kay Rauch, Gatesville


Gerald J. Ehmke, Oshkosh

Literary Braille Proofreading


Nicholas Eugene Sharp, Nashville

The updating of the Nemeth and music courses to align with UEB is ongoing. Congratulations to the following students who achieved certification in the current versions of the Nemeth transcribing and Music Transcribing courses during the months of April-June:

Mathematics (Nemeth) Braille Transcribing


James Williams, Louisville


Elaine R. Spinale, Acushnet


George Maki, Jackson

David Wilke, Jackson

North Carolina

Joshua Ortel Hatfield, Laurinburg

South Carolina

Anita Jones McCraw, Louisville


Therese Beem, Vancouver

Music Braille Transcribing


Joshua Allen Wolf, Jefferson City

For transcribers and proofreaders who were certified prior to the adoption of UEB and need to update their credentials, a test was developed to allow them to earn a letter of proficiency in UEB, which is an add-on credential to an existing certificate. As of this writing, 282 individuals have earned this letter of proficiency in Unified English Braille from the Library of Congress.

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