Nation's Blind Podcast

The Nation's Blind Podcast highlights different themes related to blindness, independent living, and news from the National Federation of the Blind.

Hosts: Anil Lewis, executive director of the NFB Blindness Initiatives department, and Melissa Riccobono, president of the Maryland Parents of Blind Children division and First Lady of the NFB.

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For episodes of our special series dedicated to blind parents, please visit the Blind Parents Connection Podcast page

Recent Episodes

November 1, 2022 - Supporting Tomorrow's Teachers of Blind Students

In this episode, Anil and Melissa talk with Karen Anderson, who coordinates educational programs at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute. She talks about the Teacher of Tomorrow program, which connects teachers of blind K-12 students with blind people so that our lived experience can inform their instruction of the children they teach. Karen shares the reaction of some of these teachers to the kick-off event of the year-long program, which was held at the end of September 2022.

November 1, 2022 Nation's Blind Podcast Transcript

October 12, 2022 - Blind Equality Achievement Month Featuring President Riccobono

This episode features an interview with NFB President Mark Riccobono about the purpose and importance of Blind Equality Achievement Month, formerly known as Meet the Blind Month. President Riccobono talks with anil and Melissa about how blind people are often forced to educate the public in situations that are not ideal, making it critical for us to plan intentional ways of conducting this education. Blind Equality Achievement Month is a dedicated time for us to create these intentional opportunities by conducting educational events or by simply interacting with the rest of the public in our own communities through volunteering, social events, and more. #BlindMonth

October 12, 2022 Nation's Blind Podcast Transcript

September 22, 2022 – Netflix Winner of 2022 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award 

This episode features an interview with Elisa Beniero of Netflix. The popular streaming service received one of the 2022 Dr. Jacob Bolotin awards at the National Convention in New Orleans. The award was given for Netflix’s industry-leading work in providing quality audio description in multiple languages for an ever-increasing number of hours of programming (over 18,000 at the time the interview was recorded and counting), as well as for its focus on authentic casting of the blind and for accessibility innovations on its app and platform. Elisa talks to Chris Danielsen about Netflix’s commitment in all of these areas and more.

September 22, 2022 Nation's Blind Podcast Transcript

August 16, 2022 – Meet Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Winner Caroline Karbowski

This episode features an interview with Caroline Karbowski, who received one of the 2022 Dr. Jacob Bolotin awards at the national convention in New Orleans. She is the founder of See3D, which provides all kinds of models created through 3D printing technology to blind people, teachers, schools, and families of blind children  who request them. Caroline describes how she became a sighted Braille user and then was led to expand her skills to the creation of these tactile models, which include Braille labels if desired as well as  written descriptions in accessible formats.

August 16, 2022 Nation's Blind Podcast Transcript

July 21, 2022 - Reviewing an Outstanding Convention

In this episode, Anil and Melissa chat with President Riccobono, as well as Chris Danielsen and Danielle McCann, who participated in the “pre-shows” for virtual experience registrants prior to the board meeting and general sessions during the recent national convention. They give an overview of our first in-person convention in three years, discuss some of their personal favorite moments, and share information about how you can relive your own favorite moments or experience aspects of the convention for the first time.

June 10, 2022 – Prepare for Convention

In this episode, Anil and Melissa chat with John Berggren, Executive Director for Operations for the National Federation of the Blind and chairperson of convention organization and activities. He tells us about some of the features and amenities of our two hotels, including dining options and where our meeting spaces and exhibit hall will be located. They also discuss our COVID safety protocols, including how you can acquire and submit a test result prior to arriving in New Orleans and what to do if you feel ill during the convention. Finally, they preview the virtual experience for those who are unable to join us in person.

May 19, 2022 - Center for Excellence in Nonvisual Access #GAAD

In this special episode for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD), Anil Lewis and his special guest co-host take a deep dive into the work of the National Federation of the Blind Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access (CENA). Meet the team behind the work of this center, funded in part through a grant from the Maryland Department of Disabilities, and learn about the events and trainings provided, as well as resources like the International Braille and Technology Center, Accessibility Switchboard, and more. The episode also includes a message from Maryland Secretary of Disabilities Carol A. Beatty. For more information about the CENA or to collaborate with us, visit or email [email protected].

January 19, 2022 - Behind the scenes of JAWS with Ted Henter

The Nation’s Blind Podcast is back for 2022! On this first new episode, recorded in the fall of 2021, Anil and Melissa talk with Ted Henter, who is one of the pioneers of the modern Windows screen reader. Mr. Henter was the cofounder of Henter-Joyce, which created the original Job Access With Speech (JAWS) screen reader still available and widely used today. Listen to find out about his fascinating life before JAWS as well as about how this groundbreaking, life-changing product came into being.

    More Information

    To listen to previous episodes, please visit the Nation's Blind Podcast archiveIf you have any questions about the Nation's Blind Podcast, or if you would like to contribute to future episodes, please email us at [email protected] or call 410-659-9314, extension 2444.