Voice of the Nation's Blind

The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Danielle Trevino
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Spreading the Good News About Technology Accessibility

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

From the Editor:


Today's post was co-written by Natalie Shaheen and Leah Jacobs. Natalie is a dedicated Federationist who works with blind students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). She is in the process of earning her doctorate degree from Towson University. Leah is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park and is working with Natalie to bring awareness of the importance of accessibility on the internet.


By Leah Jacobs and Natalie Shaheen

A brief look at the iPad Pro

Blog Date: 
Monday, April 18, 2016

By Karl Belanger



I recently had a chance to use an iPad pro for a short time, and wanted to share some things I noticed as a VoiceOver user. The iPad Pro is Apple’s biggest tablet, and the first to have a specially designed keyboard and stylus, called the Apple Pencil. For the most part, using the iPad Pro is identical to using any other iOS device. All the gestures, buttons, and VoiceOver commands are identical. The iPad Pro, by virtue of having the largest screen size, fits the most on the screen and gives the most accurate positioning of items when exploring by touch. However, the device does have a few interesting benefits and drawbacks.


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Parenting by the Dots

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

From the Editor:

Cheryl Orgas and Bill Meeker are long-time members of the Federation from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who are passionate about promoting Braille literacy in the lives of blind people within their community. In this piece, they write about how important Braille has been in their experience as parents.

By Cheryl Orgas and William Meeker

Twenty-two years ago on October 8, 1993 we brought into the world a 7 pound 13 ounce baby boy we named Christopher William Meeker. We both have been blind all our lives but we had never been parents. As most parents are, we were scared to death of being responsible for this precious little one who was dependent on us for his every need.

As blind parents, we used many alternative techniques. But the one tried and true technique we used on a daily basis was reading and writing Braille.

Walking Away from Low Expectations

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

From the Editor:

John Pare is our Executive Director of Advocacy and Policy. He spends his days working tirelessly on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that the rights of blind and low vision individuals are protected. Today, John walks the halls of the U. S. Capitol, his neighbourhood in Baltimore, and everywhere in between. Read on to learn about how a walk home almost kept him from moving forward.


By John Pare

The Advantages of Being a Blind Parent

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

From the Editor:

In this post, First Lady of the National Federation of the Blind and President of the Maryland Organization of Parents of Blind Children, Melissa Riccobono writes about how the perceived disadvantages of being a blind parent are actually advantages for her family.  

By Melissa Riccobono

The relationship between NFB and GreenDrop

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

From the Editor:

Spring is finally here and with it comes warmer weather, the return of baseball, and spring cleaning. Our post this week comes from guest blogger, Samantha Kresz. Sam works for GreenDrop, one of the organizations that helps us raise funds through donated clothing and household items. Keep reading to learn how those odds and ends you don’t need anymore can be used within the National Federation of the Blind. 

By Samantha Kresz

Community Marketing Coordinator, GreenDrop

There are so many ways to give to your favorite charities. There’s money, time, and clothing to name a few. Our partner charity, the National Federation of the Blind, has several ways for donors to support its mission to make a difference in the lives of blind people across the country.

The discrimination of low expectation

Blog Date: 
Friday, March 18, 2016

By Jeannie M. Massay, M.A., LPC



When I returned to college as a non-traditional student who happened to be newly blind, I somewhat expected for others to have low expectations of me. However, I had rather high expectations of myself. This concept was instilled in me , quite literally, from birth. My mother was an educator; need I say more about the level of expectation within my family?

It Burns

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

By Anil Lewis

A Community of Opportunity

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By Mark A. Riccobono
President, National Federation of the Blind

As a parent, I often think about creating opportunities for my children to learn and grow. Sometimes it is simply being present to recognize those opportunities that emerge in the course of a normal day. Other times it is creating opportunities for learning through new experiences. No one ever taught me how to do this as a parent. In fact, when our first child was born I remember the doctor very clearly reporting to us how healthy the baby looked and, despite her extensive searching, there was no instruction manual included.

The Orion TI30XS Multiview Talking Scientific Calculator

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

By Karl Belanger