Voice of the Nation's Blind

The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Chris Danielsen
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Harold's Story

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

By Sheila Leigland

Hello, my name is Sheila Leigland and my husband’s name is Harold. We live in Great Falls, Montana and have been married for thirty years. We both have attended college and have bachelor’s degrees. My degree is in music education, and Harold’s degree is in social science with an extended minor in psychology. We have raised one child, and my husband worked as a massage therapist for over thirty-five years. We are active in our church and are members of the National Federation of the Blind. Two years ago, we had the privilege of participating in the Rock Center piece and speaking at the National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind on the issue of subminimum wages.

Share the Love

Blog Date: 
Friday, February 13, 2015

The following message is excerpted from the February 2015 issue of the National Federation of the Blind newsletter, Imagineering Our Future. To subscribe to the newsletter, please email iof@nfb.org

Message from the President

Dear Friends:

Nothing is sweeter than the sound of hundreds of canes tapping at a national meeting of the National Federation of the Blind. Five hundred members of the Federation recently gathered in Washington, DC to discuss the enforcement of existing laws and changes needed in the policies impacting blind people. In the process of those discussions, we are reminded of the critical role our organization plays as a unified voice on behalf of blind people across the country—thousands of individual efforts, collectively focused.

National Federation of the Blind 2015 Summer Internship Program

Blog Date: 
Monday, January 26, 2015

The National Federation of the Blind 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.

National Federation of the Blind Urges Smarter Balanced to Fix Accessibility Barriers and Policies Before Launch of K-12 Assessments

Blog Date: 
Friday, January 23, 2015

The National Federation of the Blind, along with seven national disability advocacy and technology organizations, sent a letter on January 23, 2015, to the governing board of Smarter Balanced, a consortium of twenty-one member states that will administer Common Core assessment tests to K-12 students starting this spring. The letter advises the board to take immediate action to fix outstanding accessibility barriers and policies before the tests are launched. The letter identifies five issues that, if left unresolved, will prevent students who are blind or have other disabilities from participating equally in the tests, and from receiving necessary accommodations, as required by federal law.

The TIME Act: Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act

Blog Date: 
Friday, December 12, 2014

By Rose Sloan

When you are reading through the legislative agenda for the National Federation of the Blind Washington Seminar next month, do not be alarmed when you do not see the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2015. Our effort to responsibly repeal Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act will still be a huge priority this year at Washington Seminar, and Congressman Harper has already agreed to once again champion this effort with us.  Although the content of the bill is exactly the same, the title of the fair wages bill has simply changed to Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act or TIME Act.

Where is the Outrage?

Blog Date: 
Monday, November 17, 2014
By: Rose Sloan

Last month, the Labour and the Conservative Parties in the United Kingdom (UK) were united in their views regarding the worth of people with disabilities. Lord David Freud, the United Kingdom Welfare Reform Minister, a position equivalent to the Secretary of Labor here in the United States, was secretly recorded saying that he believes there is a group of people that are not worth the full wage. However, since the UK passed their first national minimum wage bill in 1999, people with disabilities have been entitled to the same wages as non-disabled workers. Both the Labour Party and the Welfare Reform Minister’s own party, the Conservative Party, were outraged that a public official would make such an ignorant statement. Everyone deserves the protection of a minimum wage. 

Living the Lives We Want: My Reflections on 23 Blast

Blog Date: 
Friday, October 24, 2014

By Mark A. Riccobono, President

A new film, 23 Blast, about a high school football star who goes blind but continues to play, will open in select cities today. The movie is based on what the filmmakers bill as “the amazing, true story of Travis Freeman,” the star of his high school football team in Corbin, Kentucky, until he loses his sight due to a virulent infection. It chronicles Travis’s adjustment to his blindness, which is an emotional struggle for him, and his ultimate, triumphant return to the field.

The Wrong Choice for the National Council on Disability

Blog Date: 
Thursday, October 16, 2014

By Rose Sloan

Access to Absentee Ballots for Maryland Voters with Disabilities

Blog Date: 
Friday, September 26, 2014

By Lou Ann Blake

On September 4, Judge Richard D. Bennett of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued a historic ruling requiring the Maryland Board of Elections to make its online ballot-marking tool available to voters with disabilities in the November election. The ruling in National Federation of the Blind et al. vs. Linda H. Lamone et al. means that Maryland voters with disabilities will be able to mark absentee ballots online for print out and mailing to the Board of Elections. 

However, before you can use the online ballot marking tool, you must first request that the ballot be delivered to you by email.

Following are steps to request email delivery of your absentee ballot:

Unachievable or Unwanted: Why Is ACE Opposed to Accessibility Guidelines?

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

By Mark A. Riccobono, President

Last Friday, the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter to Senator Harkin outlining their problems with his proposed Higher Education Opportunity Act reauthorization. Harkin’s draft includes a provision to address accessible instructional materials that was modeled after the Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act. I was thrilled when I heard that Harkin included TEACH Act language in his draft because gaining equal access to electronic instructional materials for blind college students is one of the Federation’s most important priorities.