Voice of the Nation's Blind


The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Stephanie Eller
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National Federation of the Blind 2017 Summer Internship Program

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. Since 1940, the members of the National Federation of the Blind have come together in state affiliates and local chapters to share the real life experiences, practical techniques, and innovative strategies we use to transform our dreams into reality. In 2004, we established the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute as the first research and training facility developed and directed by blind people.

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National Federation of the Blind Celebrates a Successful Washington Seminar

By: Chris Danielsen

With a new administration in Washington promising sweeping change, many wonder what the prospects for legislative success are in the rapidly evolving political environment. Throughout our history, the National Federation of the Blind has worked with political leaders of both parties to craft public policy that helps blind Americans live the lives we want, and our goal is to continue to do so. Judging by the outstanding success last week of our 2017 Washington Seminar, there are plenty of partners willing to work with us and champion our issues, presenting ample and exciting opportunities to make positive change.

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CES Las Vegas Highlights Accessible Technology for the Blind

By: Clara Van Gerven, ‎Manager of Accessibility Programs at National Federation of the Blind

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The Future of Braille is Refreshing: How the National Federation of the Blind is Making Refreshable Braille Displays Affordable with the Orbit Reader

By Amy Mason

Every year on January 4 we celebrate Louis Braille’s birthday because of his invention of the Braille code—the most powerful and successful reading and writing system designed for the blind. It has given us freedom that only a scant 200 years ago we couldn’t have imagined. It allows us to study the sacred and mull the mundane. From Christmas cards to Coraline, The Great Gatsby to grocery lists, the Bible to the beer menu, and everything in between, Braille has changed the fortunes of the blind by opening the written word to us.

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My Experiences Switching to Android, Part 2: Tips, Tricks, and Lessons Learned

By: Karl Belanger

Editor’s note: Karl is a blind Android user and a member of the National Federation of the Blind’s Access Technology team. This post is a follow up to Karl’s September 6, 2016 post entitled My Experiences Switching to Android.

It’s been a little over three months since I’ve started using Android as my only mobile platform. In that time, I’ve found a lot of useful apps, tips, and tricks that have only improved my enjoyment of using Android.  If you haven’t read my initial post, I suggest you do so.

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The National Federation of the Blind Reflects on Another Successful Year of Advocacy for the Blind

by: Patti Chang, Director of Outreach

This year we have worked hard to defend the rights of blind people across the country to ensure we can live the active, successful lives we want. The National Federation of the Blind has much to be thankful about in 2016:

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The Legal Side of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for Blind and Visually Impaired Students

By Carlton Anne Cook Walker, J.D., M.B.A., M.Ed., Manager of Braille Education Programs for the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute

Overview
Legal Basis
Eligibility
IEP Team and Its Responsibilities
Development of the IEP
After the IEP

Overview

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) provide the basis for special education services and equipment provided to children with disabilities in the United States. For families, IEP meetings can be stressful and overwhelming. Having information about the law upon which IEPs are based can empower parents to advocate for their children with more confidence.

 

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Commitment Is More Than Checking a Box: Uber Fails to Get It

The National Federation of the Blind is the leader in nonvisual accessibility. We work diligently to assist those in government, education, and the private sector to gain a true understanding that accessibility is not an expensive burden that stifles innovation. Accessibility is an enhancement that makes products and services available and usable by people with disabilities, while simultaneously making the same products and services better and easier to use by everyone. The ever-growing integration of devices that talk and devices you can operate with your voice are examples of the innovation that emerges while striving for accessibility. We realize that in order to be successful, it is essential to consider accessibility throughout the lifecycle from concept, to design, to development, to implementation. Consumer involvement in this process at every stage is essential.

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It Starts with Me: Fundraising for the National Federation of the Blind

By Patti Chang

As I begin my second career as Director of Outreach for the National Federation of the Blind, I am privileged to work to build our movement by focusing on our fundraising. We need funding to help blind people live the lives we want, and we have an obligation to fundraise on behalf of this organization which has so positively impacted so many people.

I thought I would share with you all some tips and tricks. The first tip is to “make the ask.” Many people are uncomfortable asking for money. So, the easiest person to ask is yourself.

Have you donated to the National Federation of the Blind this year?  It’s easy. There are lots of ways to give. And, once you have given, you can begin your “ask” by saying something like, “I just gave to the National Federation of the Blind.”

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Getting Out in Our Community for Meet the Blind Month

From the Editor:

Meet the Blind Month is more than just a chance to get together with our fellow chapter members. It’s the chance to get out in our communities and show our fellow citizens that we can, and do, live the lives we want and that blindness is not what holds us back. In this post, Christopher Walker, a proud member of our Virginia affiliate explains why Meet the Blind Month is so meaningful to him.

 

By Christopher Walker

I am a proud member of the National Federation of the Blind.  I am the Outreach Chair for the Winchester Chapter of the NFB of Virginia.  I have had many opportunities to go to local events in the community to educate people and help to make them aware of blindness. Meet the Blind Month provides a great opportunity to do outreach to the Winchester community.

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