June 2021

Message from our President

Dear Friends,

I am deep into planning our national convention agenda and working on the Presidential Report. As I reflect on the work we do together and on our upcoming national convention, the word infusion keeps coming to mind. Our premiere event restores our commitment to the movement and infuses us with the love, hope, and energy to make dreams come true. Many look forward to the reinvigoration convention brings each year. I especially enjoy the opportunity to bring together those in the federation family who have a wealth of knowledge and the life experience to help us through uncertain times. As you plan your convention itinerary be sure to include time to stop by the presidential suite which is open to all attendees. 

I am reminded of the stories of hope restored--each day we help people understand that blindness need not be a tragedy. Entire families feel hope when they can talk to a blind person who is living the life they want. Those new to blindness enjoy reading again, learn to travel again, and reclaim their independence. This work is at the heart of the National Federation of the Blind and I am so proud of it.
If you know a blind person, please make sure they know about the Federation and the hope we instill. Help to spread our positive message that high expectations turn dreams into reality at any age.

Mark Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind

Empowering Whole Families to Adapt

The National Federation of the Blind empowers entire families. We receive thousands of calls annually from people across the country asking for information, advocacy, and other assistance. Above all we offer hope that blindness, especially new blindness, need not lead to dependence and that living the life one wants is still possible. Most often calls come from elderly people and their families who are becoming blind or have questions about a newly diagnosed eye condition.

“I am calling about my uncle who is eighty-four. He lives alone and is losing his vision. He is so lonely because he can’t see and is isolated for days at a time. Can you help me help him learn to adapt to his new situation?” The was a recent call from a family member. “Thanks so much for the wealth of information. This is great. We are going to start by getting my uncle an accessible mobile phone so he can be more social again.”

The Federation provides referrals, networking, mentoring, advice, free canes, appliances, literature, and much more. Most of all we help dreams become reality. You can refer a person who is becoming blind to one of our state affiliates. Our Seniors Division actively supports older blind people and their families and http://nfb.org is full of other resources designed to help people adapt to becoming blind.

Latest News at the NFB

Federal Office of Personnel Management Improving Access to Health Benefits Information for Blind Employees

The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has agreed to take steps to ensure that health benefit information is accessible to blind federal employees, retirees, and other plan participants. Read more about the OPM agreement in our Press Room.

Now Available: A Blind Parent’s Essential Guide to Effective Communication from Public and Private Schools

The National Federation of the Blind’s resource, A Blind Parent’s Essential Guide to Effective Communication from Public and Private Schools, is now available in English and Spanish

Six New Magazines Added to NFB-NEWSLINE®

NFB-NEWSLINE is a free audio news service for anyone who is blind, low-vision, deafblind, or otherwise print-disabled that offers access to more than 500 publications, emergency weather alerts, job listings, and more. The six recently added magazine are:

  • Ability Magazine focuses on issues of health and disability.
  • Animal Tales, a children's magazine, shares animal stories. 
  • Fast Company, the world's leading progressive business media brand, focuses on innovation in technology, leadership, and design. 
  •  Forbes, an American business magazine, educates on all things business. 
  • J-14, abbreviated from the original title "just for teens,” entertains with all things celebrity. 
  • Toastmasters helps people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

Learn more about NFB-NEWSLINE.

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.

  • Celebrate Pride Month and read “Fateful Intersectionality” as part of our local efforts to demonstrate the Federation’s intersections with Pride Month.
  • Register for the 2021 National Convention to be eligible for door prizes and to get access to convention information as it becomes available.
  • Check out nfb.org/convention for fun information from our affiliate host, first time convention concierge, and more!
  • Include the National Federation of the Blind in your planned giving and leave a lasting legacy. It is easier than you think.

Important Dates

We certainly are a busy organization. Don’t miss the largest gathering of the blind in 2021, upcoming NFB BELL® Academy deadlines, or our events and workshops.