February 2017 Minute Message

Fellow Federationists:

Congratulations and Thank You

Many thanks to the 55 Federationists who attended our day in Annapolis on January 19. We had a great start in educating the Maryland General Assembly about our three priorities for the 2017 session. Special thanks to Karen Anderson, who coordinated our Facebook presence for this event. We also had a very successful visit to Washington. Congressmen and Senators certainly knew that the National Federation of the Blind was on Capitol Hill on February 1. To get further information on the Washington issues, go to https://nfb.org/washington-seminar#Legislative%20Agenda%20and%20Fact%20Sheets.

Congratulations to the National Harbor Chapter on its seventh anniversary. The February 4th celebration demonstrated that the Federation is definitely raising expectations in PG County.

Action Needed

Happy Valentine’s Day and happy President’s Day to all. Even though we should enjoy and celebrate these nice holidays, we also must take immediate action.

(1) If you did not sign the petition asking Congress and President Trump to support the Accessibility Instructional Material Higher Education Act, please do so right away. Go to: https://www.change.org/p/united-states-congress-remove-barriers-to-classroom-equality-ensure-accessibility-of-instructional-materials.

(2) Attend our hearings in Annapolis. The hearing for the Procurement Bill SB439 is February 16, and the hearing for the Library Reorganization Bill SB587 is March 1. Contact your local chapter President for transportation notifications.

(3) Write letters to Senators asking for their support for both of these bills. Consult the listservs for specific Senators that you need to contact on each bill.

Basket Bingo Is Coming

You will not want to miss the over $3,500 in prizes that you may win at basket bingo. Sandwiches, pizza and snacks are also available. Call me at my number 410-715-9596 if you would like a large print or Braille bingo card. Date: March 10. Time: Doors open at 6, games begin at 7. Place: The Lodge, 2832 Nine Mile Circle, Catonsville. Buy your ticket quickly, we often sell out. You may purchase a ticket by using PayPal and going to: www.nfbmd.org or by sending a check to 9013 Nelson Way, Columbia, MD 21045.

How to Access the NFB Presidential Release

There is an important change in accessing the NFB Presidential release. To those that have been using the dedicated call-in number, it will only be available through the end of March. Please plan to use NFB-NEWSLINE® to listen to or play the release, starting with the April release.

There are several ways to access the Presidential Release each month:

Website (in English and Spanish):



Select 1 for National Channel and NFB-NEWSLINE® information
Select 1 for NFB National Channel
Select 4 for NFB Presidential Release


Select Publications
Select Publication Options
Select All Publications
Select NFB Presidential Release

Select Media


Subscribe to National Federation of the Blind Presidential Release podcast:
English: https://nfb.org/podcast/presidential-releases-en/rss.xml
Spanish: https://nfb.org/podcast/presidential-releases-es/rss.xml
Or from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/national-federation-blind/id797758840?mt=2

Save These Important Dates

  • March 2, 2017. Diabetes Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code is 720125#.
  • March 10, 2017. Basket Bingo, The Lodge, Catonsville, MD.
  • March 31, 2017. Deadline for submitting National Scholarship Application.
  • April 1, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting and Leadership Seminar.
  • April 15, 2017. Deadline for submitting State Scholarship Applications.
  • April 30, 2017. Gospel Concert, 4 pm. Pikesville International SDA Church, 4619 Old Court Rd., Pikesville, MD 21208.
  • May 7, 2017. Deadline for Youth SLAM student applications.
  • July 10-15, 2017. National Convention, Orlando, FL.
  • July 17-28, 2017. NFB BELL Academy in Salisbury, MD.
  • July 23-29, 2017. NFB Youth SLAM Towson University, MD.
  • July 31-August 11, 2017. NFB BELL Academies in Baltimore and Glendale, MD.
  • August 19, 2017. Annual Crab Feast, Columbus Gardens, Baltimore, MD.
  • October 19-20, 2017. Braille Literacy in the 21st Century Conference, jointly sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind and the Maryland School for the Blind. 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • November 10-12, 2017. Annual State Convention, Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel in Towson, Maryland.