March is always an exceptionally busy month for the NFBMD. We are able to meet our goals and get our work done because many people are willing to lend a hand and participate. Many thanks to everyone who donated money, provided baked goods and participated in our basket bingo fundraiser which took place on March 11. Special thanks to the Central Maryland Chapter, who hosts this event each year. Plan to be at the next basket bingo on March 10, 2017.
Many thanks to everyone who attended the hearings for HB 976 on March 3 and SB 765 on March 8. These bills will offer greater protection to disabled parents and caregivers who are involved in adoption, custody, visitation and other court matters involving their children. At the time of this writing, the bills are still in committee but we are hopeful that they will make it to the House and Senate floor in time before the Maryland General Assembly adjourns. The Braille Spectator, which is coming soon, will have further details.
At the time of this writing, the Ken Capone Equal Employment Act (SB 417) passed the Senate on March 17. The companion bill HB 420 passed the House of Delegates on March 21. I am very optimistic that the General Assembly will pass this law in the required deadline. Here is how State Circle covered the hearing on this bill that occurred in the Senate on February 11. (You have to listen to the first six minutes of the show in order to get to the coverage). The State Circle segment can be found at this link: http://video.mpt.tv/video/2365672376/. Our own Rose Sloan is one of the speakers that you will hear. The Braille Spectator will provide a more detailed explanation of what this bill will do for disabled Marylanders. Many thanks to all who wrote letters, sent emails and made calls on all of our legislative issues. We look forward to reporting significant victories when the General Assembly adjourns on April 11.
Important Upcoming Events.
We need your ideas and suggestions, so be sure to come to the Board of Directors meeting on Saturday, April 2. Our host for this meeting is the Sligo Creek Chapter. The meeting starts at 10 am and will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 10401 Armory Avenue, Kensington, MD, 20895. If you are planning to come, please contact Debbie Brown, so that she can get an accurate count for lunch. If you are coming on the Baltimore transportation, I have already given Debbie your names, so you do not have to contact her. Please send her an email off list at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be planning for our upcoming 50th State Convention, which will be held the weekend of October 28 – 30 at the Marriott at Camden Yards, 110 S. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, and much more.
Reading the Unified English Braille Code (UEB) is easy, but can you write it? Come to the Writing UEB Workshop if you want some tips. Date: Saturday, April 9; Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm; Place: Library for the Blind, 415 Park Ave., Baltimore. Bring your own writing equipment. Debbie Brown, who is a Quality Assurance Specialist at the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, will be our instructor. The Friends of LBPH will provide a light lunch. Please email (off list) or call Sharon Maneki by April 5 if you plan to attend the workshop.
An Afternoon of Musical Inspiration to benefit NFBMD summer youth programs. Date: Sunday, April 17; Time: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm; Place: Pikesville International SDA Church, 4619 Old Court Road, Pikesville, MD 21208; For tickets: Sabrina Richardson (443) 824-6606, Latonya Phipps (443) 465-8761, Paypal for Will Call: www.nfbmd.org.
Calling All Students.
Did you fill out your National Scholarship application yet? Time is running out. Remember the deadline is March 31.
NFBMD will be awarding two scholarships at the State Convention. However, the deadline for these John T. McCraw Scholarships is April 25. Email your completed forms to the scholarship chairman, Jesse Hartle. His email is email@example.com. He will send you an application if you need one. The time to act is now. If you snooze, you will definitely lose.
Credit Card Alert.
If you attended our 75th National Convention in 2015, be sure to check your credit card statements to make sure they do not contain unauthorized charges. Here is what the Rosen Hotels & Resorts reported. Please read it careful and follow the advice.
Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (RH&R) recently learned of a security incident that may involve the payment card information of some of our guests. Cards used at RH&R between September 2, 2014 to February 18, 2016 may have been affected.
Together with their third party cyber security expert, they have removed the malware and continue to work tirelessly to contain and address the incident. Additional, enhanced security measures have been implemented to help prevent this from happening again. If you have any questions about the incident, additional information can be found on the RH&R, Inc. website at www.rosenhotels.com/protectingourguests or by calling 855-907-3214, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET.
NFB believes that the Rosen Hotels has swiftly taken steps to secure their network. We have no reason to believe that this problem will negatively impact those planning to make reservations for our upcoming 2016 convention at the Rosen Shingle Creek. If you have any concerns while making plans to be with us in Orlando, we encourage you to speak to the team at the Rosen Hotels as indicated above.
Dates to Keep in Mind.
March 31. Deadline for National Scholarship applications. Go to https://nfb.org/scholarships for more information.
April 2. NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, 10 am.
April 7. Diabetic Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code is 720125#.
April 9. Workshop at LBPH. How to write Braille using UEB. Light lunch available at 11:30. Workshop from 12-1:30.
April 11. Senior Issues Conference Call, 10 am. Call 712-432-1500. The access code is 759633#. Discussion: Traveling Outside My Comfort Zone.
April 15. Deadline for application for NFBMD scholarships.
April 16. 2-5 pm at AMF Woodlawn Lanes, 6410 Security Blvd, Baltimore, MC 21207. Bowl-a-thon to benefit Maryland Parents of Blind Children. For more information contact Melissa Riccobono, firstname.lastname@example.org or Teresa Graham, email@example.com.
April 17. Gospel Concert to Benefit NFBMD Youth Programs at Pikesville Seventh Day Adventist Church.
June 4. NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, time and place TBD.
June 30-July 5. National Convention, Orlando, Florida.
July 18-29 excluding weekends. Salisbury NFB BELL Program.
July 25-Aug 5 excluding weekends. NFB BELL Programs in Baltimore and Glenn Dale.
August 5. Annual Crab Feast, Columbus Gardens, Baltimore, Maryland.
August 27. NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, time and place TBD.
October 28-30. NFBMD 50th State Convention, Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland.
Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland