July 2020

President's Letter

Dear Friend,

In the National Federation of the Blind one of the most important things we do is network with one another. The information, support, and love we share is woven throughout the fabric of the Federation whether it is in person, virtually, or on social media.

Each time I send an email, attend an event, or make a call, I see the strength of our network. Recently, my wife, Melissa, shared our experience in replacing our washing machine on social media. People take in the facts she provided. But that networking is a good example of accomplishing more. Besides explaining which appliance works nonvisually, Melissa also showed both blind and sighted people who might not know what is possible that we have the capacity to research, buy, and use appliances independently.

Our largest opportunity to network is this month and I urge you to join us at the 2020 NFB National Convention. There is something for everyone. Education. Advocacy. Connections. Be a part of the highlight of the year.


Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind 

Join and Network with Us

Taking part in the National Federation of the Blind raises the expectations for all of us. We often say that the networking and mentoring opportunities are invaluable. This is definitely true for those who come to the Federation as students and take advantage of one of our largest divisions, the National Association of Blind Students.

“I was a member of the National Association of Blind Students (NABS) while in college and law school. Sharing and networking with others was critical to my success as a student and laid the foundation for my career. My fellow students and I experienced the same sorts of obstacles around accessing instructional materials and textbooks. Members of our student division told me about work-arounds and strategies for advocating to receive those materials more quickly. We experienced similar challenges with socialization, and my friends shared tips and tricks on how to experience college life using alternative blindness techniques. NABS gave me a family of students who were like me and going through the same things I was going through. The things my fellow students taught me stayed with me, and I use those advocacy strategies and socialization techniques in my career today. More, I made friends that will last a lifetime.”

NFB divisions are led by an elected president and a board of directors, and membership is based on interest, participation, and payment of annual dues. Learn more about the NFB's current divisions which will be meeting at our upcoming national convention on July 15, 2020. Visit our 2020 National Convention page for details about how to attend those virtual meetings.

Please note some divisions require a separate registration during convention.

Latest News at the NFB

Let’s Get Started! 2020 National Convention Kicks off on July 14

Our national convention agenda is jam packed. Visit our 2020 National Convention page to review details and to learn about all things convention. There will be a lot of key elements with new twists. Attend sessions via Zoom, visit the exhibit hall, and network on social media. #NFB20

Securing the Right to Vote

In numerous state affiliates we are working with election officials to ensure that the blind retain the ability to exercise our right to cast a secret ballot independently as states move to mail-in balloting. Visit our press room to keep up with our latest voting efforts.

Learning Together in the Time of Coronavirus

We continue to strive to build a strong network for blind parents, grandparents, guardians, and caregivers where questions can be answered, experiences can be shared, and alternative techniques can be learned. Two blind parents and blindness professionals discuss the joys and challenges of having children learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic in our recent Nation’s Blind Podcast episode.

Learning, Celebrating, and Supporting our LGBTQ+ Members

June is Pride Month, but we support our LGBTQ+ members year round. We strive to learn and grow in our understanding, thanks to our diverse membership. President Riccobono stated, “we express to our LGBTQ+ members that you belong with us, you have our support, your leadership is critical, and, together, we will continue to be resilient.” Learn about “What Pride Means to Me” from Federation member, Carley Mullin.

New Triad Mentoring Model: Pearson Corporate Disability Mentoring Program

Applications are open for a new mentoring program between the National Federation of the Blind and Pearson, which expands our career mentoring program to consist of blind young adults, blind professionals from the NFB, and sighted professionals from Pearson. This three-sided approach has a positive, exponential impact on all participants through the relationships that are created. Learn more in our recent blog.

Take Action This Month

Throughout our local chapters and state affiliates to our national headquarters and diverse committees, the National Federation of the Blind is an organization of collective action. Here’s what you can do to get involved this month.

Important Dates

We certainly are a busy organization. Don’t miss these upcoming events, workshops, and deadlines.