December Minute Message

Fellow Federationists:

Many thanks to everyone who attended and participated in our very successful 2015 State Convention.  We reached our goal of at least 25 new members and were delighted to have registered 344 people.  Check the website,, for the 2015 Presidential Report.  Don’t miss the panel “Living the Life you Want: Three Federationists Demonstrate How it is Done.”  The audio of this panel will be on under Success Stories.

At the convention we created a Diabetic Action Network committee.  The purpose of this committee is to communicate information and offer support to people facing blindness and other diabetic complications. The committee will hold its first conference call meeting on January 7 at 7 pm.  Tom Ley, who has a wealth of experience concerning diabetes, will facilitate these calls.  The call-in number is 641-715-3272.  The access code is 720125. Please spread the word to all diabetics and to everyone who is interested in learning about this leading cause of blindness.

One of the speakers at our convention, Mr. Chris Koermer, who is the director of transportation at the Maryland Public Service Commission promised to send us the complaint process that passengers may use if they have a problem with taxis in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Hagerstown. You cannot complain about taxi services in other jurisdictions because they are not regulated by the Public Service Commission.  The Public Service Commission also regulates transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.  There are four ways to submit taxi or transportation network company complaints to the Public Service Commission.  Here are the ways,

“Online –,

In Person – Transportation Division, 6 St. Paul Street, 18th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland, By Mail – Public Service Commission, Transportation Division, 6 St. Paul Street, 18th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202,

Over the Phone – 410-767-8128 or 410-767-8062.”

NFB v. Lamone: Oral Argument
In November the NFB had the appeal hearing in the case against the State of Maryland for its preventing access to an absentee ballot marking system. The court has posted an audio recording of the hearing, which you can access at

Since we are in the midst of the season of shopping, please remember to use Amazon Smile and select NFBMD as your charity.  Amazon Smile has everything from toys to DVDs, food and much, much more.  Please spread the word to your relatives and friends.  Here is the link to use.

Let’s make sure that every blind child in Maryland gets a Braille letter from Santa.  Until December 19, parents and others can go online at and fill out a Santa Braille Letter request form.


Here is a quick calendar summary.

December 14. Senior Division conference call. 10 am.  Contact Ruth Sager for more information.

January 7, 2016.  Diabetic Committee conference call.  7 pm.

January 21.  Day in Annapolis. 

January 25.  Washington Seminar begins.

January 26.  NFBMD visits Maryland congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and your family. May we continue to live the lives we want, not only throughout the holidays, but all year long.

Sharon Maneki, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland