Voice of the Nation's Blind

The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Chris Danielsen
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Unmasking the Exploitation of Workers with Disabilities

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Is Goodwill Tricking or Treating its Contributors?

By Anil Lewis

Shutdown Slams Blind Merchants

Blog Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2013
By Nicky Gacos, President
National Association of Blind Merchants
Since its inception in 1936, the federal Randolph-Sheppard program has become the most effective government employment program for the blind. Today some one thousand blind entrepreneurs operate businesses on federal property throughout the United States, ranging from full-service restaurants and cafeterias to vending machine stocking and maintenance operations. All of these businessmen and women are now adversely affected by the shutdown of the federal government, which has been in place for over a week now. 


Blog Date: 
Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization, S. 1356, has been reported favorably out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and may go to the Senate floor in the fall for a vote. As constituents and vested stakeholders in the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, which is being considered as part of the WIA reauthorization, we seek to #FIXWIA so that it will best serve the millions of people with disabilities reliant on this vital piece of legislation. To that end, we respectfully request members of the U.S. Senate to offer and support the following two amendments to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA):

Why I abhor the passage of Section 511 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act

Blog Date: 
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Open Letter to the Disability Community
From: Marc Maurer– parent with a disability, advocate, and president of the National Federation of the Blind 
Recognizing that healthy debate is the foundation of the development of good, sound policy, and democracy as well, I offer the following in response to a recent post by Michael Bailey, board chairperson and president of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN).  We in the National Federation of the Blind sincerely hope that the members of the U.S. Senate are afforded the time to review this informal debate, but more importantly that they review the language of proposed Section 511 for themselves so that they can make an informed decision on the merits, or lack thereof, of this legislation.

Vigilance Still Needed Against Airline Discrimination

Blog Date: 
Friday, August 23, 2013
By Jennifer Dunnam
When I first joined the National Federation of the Blind more than twenty-five years ago, ending discrimination in air travel was one of our major areas of focus. Articles from the Braille Monitor in the 80s tell the stories of these problems and our largely successful efforts to solve them. Recently I experienced a situation that reminded me of our struggles from long ago, and reminded me why it is that we must remain vigilant to hold onto the gains we have made.

Good is Simply Not Good Enough

Blog Date: 
Friday, August 23, 2013
By Anil Lewis

National Federation of the Blind Position Statement on Section 511 of Title V of the Workforce Investment Act

Blog Date: 
Thursday, August 8, 2013
This paper sets forth the position of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) with respect to the proposed addition to Title V of the Rehabilitation Act, known hereinafter as Section 511, contained in the draft reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act recently reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Although we recognize the intent behind the proposed Section 511, which is to reduce the number of youth with disabilities being tracked directly from school into subminimum wage employment in segregated work environments, we cannot in good conscience support Section 511.

No Help from the Senate HELP Committee: Increasing the Wage Disparity for Workers with Disabilities

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
By Anil Lewis
Yesterday was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a monumental piece of legislation for most American workers.  The FLSA provides for the payment of a federal minimum wage, which is now $7.25 per hour, to every American citizen.  To commemorate this seventy-fifth anniversary, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) conducted a hearing entitled "Building a Foundation of Fairness: 75 Years of the Federal Minimum Wage,” to discuss a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage. 

Historic Chance to End the Book Famine Must Not Be Lost

Blog Date: 
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
By Marc Maurer, President
National Federation of the Blind
I was moved recently by a story of a bright young Chinese-American woman named Michelle Yang.  Blind from birth, Michelle explained that as a child she could not read folk tales in Hmong, her native language, because they cannot be physically imported or e-mailed into the United States—or to any other country for that matter—in Braille.  
Instead, because of global copyright laws, they must wastefully be produced separately in accessible forms in every country where a blind child wants to enjoy and learn her own heritage in her own tongue.