Spring activities abound in the NFBMD. The Maryland Association of Blind Students and the Maryland Parents of Blind Children held successful seminars in May. To encourage blind students to get active in their communities, both inside and outside of school, the students held an afternoon at the gym to stretch their limits and raise expectations. While at dinner they also made new friends and had lots of opportunities for networking. The parents held two successful workshops, and are planning a third workshop on May 21. The theme of these workshops is transitioning, the specific topics will be decided by each group. The student seminar was held in Laurel, and the parents seminars were held in College Park and Salisbury. The remaining parent’s seminar will be held in Hagerstown. As you can see, we are reaching out to areas across the state.
Chapters continue community outreach and a wide variety of fundraising activities. Local Chapters and the State Affiliate set-up exhibits to help us find blind persons that are not aware of our organization. For instance on April 30, we participated in the Foundation Fighting Blindness Technology workshop for parents. We distributed NFB literature, advertised parent activities, demonstrated NFB Newsline and the KNFB Reader. Many thanks to Chrissie Day, Chris Danielson, and Joel Zimba for staffing that exhibit.
May 24 is Global Accessibility Day. To make this day meaningful, participate in the events at Towson University. Visit www.BaltimoreGAAD.org to learn more about the Baltimore event and GAAD as a movement or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Be sure to friend or like the NFBMD Facebook page. We have a great committee who is making sure to post the latest happenings. Check it out. Go to https://www.facebook.com/nationalfederationoftheblindofmaryland.
Many thanks to Latonya Phipps, and her committee for organizing our second successful Gospel Concert. It truly was an afternoon of inspiration. Many thanks to those who shared their musical talents, and to those who showed their support through audience participation.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in our voter survey. We will use the data to demonstrate that the policies and practices of the State Board of Elections need to be revised to ensure that the ballots of disabled voters will not be segregated as they were in the primary. We also hope to eliminate the confusing instructions given to judges. The ultimate goal is to make sure that blind persons can continue to vote independently and privately.
Many thanks to everyone who made our efforts in Annapolis during the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly a success. On May 10 Gov. Hogan signed SB765/HB976 into law. This law will lessen the discrimination that blind persons face in custody, guardianship and adoption cases. On May 19 Gov. Hogan is expected to sign SB417/HB420 into law. This law will eliminate the practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage by 2020. For a full explanation of this new law read the Spring issue of the Braille Spectator at www.nfbmd.org. Look under current newsletter. You may also read this issue of the Braille Spectator on the local channel of NFB Newsline.
We are very excited that Maryland has a National Scholarship winner this year. Nathan Clark, who will be a senior at Towson University next fall, is one of our thirty National Scholarship winners.
We are pleased to also have two NFBMD Scholarship Winners. Jason Polanski will be a sophomore at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. He is majoring in business and marketing. Erin Daring is a student at Montgomery Community College. After completing her associate’s degree, she intends to go on to get a BA in Education and become a teacher of blind students.
Upcoming Events that need your attention in May
It is time to prepare to attend our National Convention in Orlando, Florida from June 30 – July 5. Remember, pre-registration will end on May 31. Save some money by registering for the convention and buying your banquet ticket today. If you want to use Paratransit at the national convention in Orlando, you should register now. The number for the service there, Access LYNX, is 407-423-8747.
The Greater Carroll County chapter will celebrate its first anniversary by hosting the NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting for the first time. Join us at the Carroll Lutheran Village, 201 St. Mark Way, Westminster to meet new Federationists and to plan statewide events. Date: June 4, 10am-2pm. If you can attend, call 410-715-9596. Lunch will be $12.
There is still time to promote Braille literacy by signing up for the 6 Dot Dash. This 6K walk or run takes place on June 5, and kicks off at 8am at the National Center. Team Sharon needs more participants. To register, go to www.nfb.org/dot-dash
Dates to Keep in Mind
May 15-21. White Cane Week.
May 21. Networking Face to Face: Better than Facebook, Ramada Plaza, Hagerstown. For more information email email@example.com
May 24. Event to Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Towson University, the building at 7800 York Road, 4:30-7:30.
June 2. Diabetes Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code is 720125#.
June 4. NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, Carroll Lutheran Village, 10:00am-2:00pm.
June 5. Dot Dash 6K Walk or Run for Braille Literacy. Race begins at 8am at the National Center for the Blind, 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore.
June 13. Senior Issues Conference Call, 10 am. Call 712-432-1500. The access code is 759633#. Discussion Topic: Cooking for Pleasure.
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 18. Possibilities Fair for Seniors Losing Vision at BISM.
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