Fellow Federationists:

New Addition to the Family

One of the highest priorities of our organization is searching for new members and making sure that all members remain engaged in our activities. It is crucial that every blind child and adult comes to understand that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. You can live the life you want, blindness is not what holds you back. In this spirit, join me in welcoming the Maryland Association of Blind Merchants, the newest division of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. Congratulations to Melba Taylor, President; Patty Holman Eitington, First Vice President; Steve Brand, Second Vice President; Tassie Thompson, Secretary; Andre Sconion, Treasurer and board members Don Morris, Mike Bullis, and Dr. Michael Gosse.

The Right to Travel

Throughout its history, the National Federation of the Blind has been insuring that blind people have the right to travel. We do this in many ways. Since National White Cane Week is May 15-21, I want to remind everyone to spread the word on our free white cane program. Our national organization will give any blind person a free white cane twice a year. Go to for more information and to request a white cane.

The newest example of protecting our right to travel is our Uber and Lyft Testing Program. The National Federation of the Blind has created a rideshare testing program to measure Lyft and Uber’s efforts to eliminate driver discrimination against riders with guide dogs or service animals. If you use a service animal or are accompanying someone who does please fill out a short form about your experience, each time you use Uber or Lyft. Please go to to complete the survey. Please give us information about both good and bad experiences. Spread the word, we need information from every blind person whether they are a member of NFB or not. Sarah Baebler is the Maryland coordinator for this program. If you have questions email her at

Let’s Get Co-sponsors for our Federal Legislation!

I hope that you made your calls to or emailed Senator Van Hollen to ask him to co-sponsor SB 732, the Access Technology Affordability Act of 2017. Did you ask your congressman to co-sponsor the house version of the Access Technology Affordability Act, HR 1734? During the remaining weeks of May, we will be trying to get co-sponsors for the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education Act and for the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act. Look for further information in the listservs.

Important Reminders

National Convention is coming! Please remember to pre-register by May 31 by going to The 77th convention in Orlando, FL from July 10-15 will be filled with fun, fellowship and information. Don’t miss it!

If you are a student, start your summer off on the right foot by attending the Successful Summer Seminar. Place: Jernigan Institute; When: Weekend of June 2-4. You must register by May 28 by emailing

Did you sign up for the Dot-Dash for Braille literacy yet? This is a 6K walk or run to be held on Sunday June 4, at 8 am. The starting point is 200 East Wells Street and it is a nice opportunity to enjoy views of the Harbor that you wouldn’t ordinarily see. Team Sharon still needs participants. Rumor has it that the Greater Baltimore Chapter has a team for this event, so the competition is on! To register, go to Don’t forget to select your team!

Help NFBMD When you Shop

Since this is the season for graduations, weddings and anniversaries, mother’s and father’s day, etc. remember if you are shopping online to use AmazonSmile and select NFBMD as your charity so that we can receive a small portion of your purchase. Go to:

NFBMD recently joined the list of charities you can donate to on eBay. You may donate a portion of what you sell or make a direct donation during checkout when you purchase an item. Make NFBMD your favorite charity in your eBay account.

Save These Important Dates

  • June 1, 2017. Diabetes Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code is 720125#.
  • June 2-4, 2017. Regional Student Seminar. The Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230.
  • June 3, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting, Salisbury.
  • June 4, 2017. 6 Dot Dash, 8 am. 200 East Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230.
  • 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.
  • September 9, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting, time and place to be announced.
  • 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.