Voice of the Nation's Blind


The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Danielle Trevino
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If you want to help the blind, blindfolding yourself isn’t the answer

From the Editor:

Arielle Silverman is an independent disability research consultant living in Washington D.C. She is a past president of the National Association of Blind Students who conducted research on the effects of blindness simulations at the University of Colorado as part of her Ph.D. program. Her findings can be found in the Journal of Blindness Innovation Research.

 

By Arielle Silverman

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A Member of the Team: Playing an Active Role on Your Blind Child’s IEP Team

From the Editor:

 

Participating in your child's IEP meeting is extremely important to ensure that he or she is set up for success. In the third installment of our blog series on this topic, Melissa Riccobono gives us tips on how to be an active member of the team.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

 

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Challenging the Fear of Blindness

By Mark Riccobono

In my banquet address at this year’s national convention, I talked about fear and how “if we resolve ourselves to face our fears, respect the power within those fears, and turn that power into action, we can take control of our own destiny, diminish the negative fears of others, and raise our expectations.” I also outlined the ways that the conditioned fear of blindness is used as a tool to generate funding, sell unnecessary products, and limit the rights of blind people. A new campaign has been launched that plays to the conditioned fear of blindness, and I am calling on blind people to push back on this harmful campaign by telling the world about blindness through social media.

 

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A Victory for Voters in Maryland and Perhaps Beyond

By Mark Riccobono

 

Last week the Maryland Board of Elections took a new and important step in ensuring that all blind Maryland voters can exercise our right to cast our ballots privately and independently. The board agreed, after forceful persuasion by the National Federation of the Blind and other advocates, that poll workers must inform all Maryland voters of the availability of an accessible method for reading and marking their ballots.

 

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An Overview of IEP Assessments

From the Editor:

This week, Melissa Riccobono gives us an overview of the different factors and assessments that go into an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for school-aged children. Visit www.nopbc.org for more information.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

In order to craft appropriate goals for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the team needs recent, high quality data. This data needs to cover the child’s current skills, strengths, and FACTOR IN future success.

Here are some things to keep in mind when assessments are administered to, and interpreted for, children who are blind or low vision.  

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It Happens Every Day

From the Editor:

Preparing your family for the back-to-school season can be overwhelming, especially if, along with the ABCs, you have to worry about IEPs. In this post, Melissa Riccobono writes about the all-too-common experience parents of blind children encounter when advocating for the success of their children in the classroom. For more information about parenting resources, you can visit the website of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children at www.nopbc.org.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

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My experiences switching to Android

By Karl Belanger

Introduction

I’ve used Apple devices since 2010, first an iPod Touch, and then several iPhone models. Over the years I’ve played with Android several times and have always been disappointed and frustrated with the experience. Recent updates to Talkback and Android have changed things considerably. As I detailed in my post in May, gestures are much more responsive, web navigation is much better, and the whole Android experience is the best it has been. So, I decided to take the plunge and switch to an Android phone full time. I settled on the Motorola Moto G Plus 4th Generation, as I felt it had reasonable specs, and a nearly stock (original) version of Android. Plus Motorola has a reputation for getting updates out faster than most other manufacturers.

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Don’t Deny AIM-HE

From the Editor:

Kathryn Webster is the president of the National Association of Blind Students (NABS), the largest organized group of blind students in the United States. In this piece, she writes about the critical need for blind students in higher education to receive instructional materials at the same time as their sighted peers. To learn more about NABS, visit www.nabslink.org

 

By Kathryn Webster

 

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A Blind Voter's Experience

From the Editor:

Lou Ann Blake is the Deputy Director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute. In this week's post, she writes about her voting experience as a blind person and the importance of advocating for our right to vote privately and independently.

 

By Lou Ann Blake

For the last two elections held in Maryland I have used the accessible electronic ballot delivery system that is now available to Maryland voters with disabilities thanks to a lawsuit that was brought by the National Federation of the Blind against the Maryland State Board of Elections. However, prior to 2014 I voted at my local polling place using the audio ballot feature on the accessible Diebold AccuVote voting machine.

 

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Double the Blessing

From the Editor:

Nikki Jeffords' journey to becoming a parent wasn't easy, but through her persistence she was able to give birth to twin girls. Now, Nikki is a proud mom who is teaching her kids that blindness does not hold her back; she is living the life she wants.    

 

By Nikki Jeffords

Mom:    “You have a college degree, a good job, a great husband, a beautiful home, that should be enough for you!”

Me:        “I seriously doubt anyone ever questioned your decision to become a mother.  Just because I am blind, does not mean I do not have the same hopes, dreams and desires as any other woman.”

 

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