Voice of the Nation's Blind

The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Danielle Trevino
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The Advocacy Effect: An Update on Amazon and New York City Public Schools

From the Editor:

Many of our readers may recall that back in September of 2015, the NFB was ready and willing to protest a thirty million dollar deal between Amazon and the New York City Public Schools which would have left students who are blind at a disadvantage. This deal has since gone through and because of the school district’s willingness to listen, we were able to begin a productive dialog with Amazon.

Spreading the Good News About Technology Accessibility

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

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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A brief look at the iPad Pro

By Karl Belanger

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Parenting by the Dots

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

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

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

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

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

By Anil Lewis