What Being a Scholarship Finalist Taught Me

I applied for the National Federation of the Blind scholarship program in 2018 just to say I did and get some of my friends off my back. I never thought I would be selected as a scholarship finalist, but I can say, without hesitation, that the experience changed my life.

A Preliminary Victory for Blind Students

Last summer, I wrote about actions by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that substantively curtailed the rights of students and of organizations like the National Federation of the Blind to seek remedies for discrimination by colleges and universities.

Finding a Career in Music Therapy

Music therapy, like blindness, is very misunderstood. As a blind student in a field in which disabled people are just starting to become the helpers rather than solely the recipients of help, I've needed to find my own solutions to many complicated problems.

United States Senate Greenlights Marrakesh Treaty and Implementing Legislation

The United States Senate today provided its advice and consent for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The chamber also approved the treaty's implementing legislation (S. 2559), which will make modest adjustments to US copyright law to fully comply with the treaty.

Science, Cooking, and Summer

Want to explore science with your blind or sighted child this summer? Consider cooking together.

Let's take an example like browning apples. What can we learn?

  • We can learn about, or review, the scientific concepts of physical and chemical change.
  • We can support the development of science process skills like smelling, tasting, measuring, and investigating.
  • We can practice life skills including rinsing apples, peeling off the skin with a ceramic peeler, using an apple corer and paring knife to cut apples into pieces, and stirring the apples, butter, and spices in a pan.

Step One: Gather Supplies

Begin by gathering up your supplies. You will need some apples, butter, spices, a ceramic peeler, an apple slicer/corer, a paring knife, a frying pan, and hot mitts. You will also need a hot plate or stove.

Disturbing Developments at the Department of Education

The National Federation of the Blind is actively engaged in improving access to education for blind students. Our activities on this front include our push for passage of the AIM HIGH Act, our self-advocacy in Higher Education Toolkit to help students assert their rights, and, when necessary, the filing of discrimination complaints against colleges and universities. In the past, the Office for Civil Rights within the United States Department of Education (OCR) has often been an ally in the struggle to make colleges and universities meet their legal and ethical obligations to blind students. But the recent activities of OCR show troubling indications that we can no longer count on such an alliance.

Teaching Technology with Tactile Toys

“This is hard! I don’t understand why I have to go left and right and up and down. My notetaker is so much easier.” I encountered several statements like this the summer I worked as a tech instructor for an independence summer program for blind high school students.

Sensational Diagramming

The first time I attended college in 2001, a time I lovingly refer to as College 1.0, I was studying computer science. This required a decent level of mathematics, and the ability to gather information from, and create, certain technical diagrams.

Coloring Inside the “Tactile” Lines

My mom, who was also blind, had been a teacher before I was born. She understood child development and was determined that I would participate in the same activities my sighted peers were doing, even if that meant I did them slightly differently. 

Leveraging Technology to Achieve Greater Braille Literacy

I am fond of a blog post entitled Braille Is Not Dead (So Stop Trying to Kill It). The author articulately and systematically discusses the reasons why Braille remains critically important now and into the future

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