June 2017 Minute Message

Fellow Federationists:

Get Ready for Orlando

Have you figured out how you are getting from the airport to your hotel and back? You have several choices. Consider using a Mears Shared Shuttle. Mears is offering a discount of $4 off the roundtrip price with the NFB Mears Shuttle coupon. Go to the link for the NFB Mears Shuttle Coupon. Follow the instructions on the coupon to reserve your shuttle in advance or simply present the coupon at any of the four Mears Transportation ticket counters located on level 1 of the Orlando International Airport terminal. Call 800-759-5219 with questions.

You may also wish to try SuperShuttle. It is $29 roundtrip to and from the Rosen Shingle Creek. To make reservations call 800-258-3826. The reference code is SRDT3. There will be no extra charge for making phone reservations. You can also book online at http://group.supershuttle.com/group-page/the-national-federation-of-the-blind-2017-annual-convention/.

For those who wish to use paratransit while in Florida, you must call and register with Access Links in advance. The number is 407-423-8747.

To make sure you don’t miss any convention events, consult the national convention agenda by going to the Convention Agenda online. The agenda will also be on NFB Newsline® soon.

Don’t miss the Maryland caucus! Date: July 11; Time: 9 PM; Place: Sewanee 11 in the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel. If you wish to sit with people from Maryland at the banquet, be sure to bring your banquet ticket to the caucus for the exchange.

We need your help at the Maryland Table. We will be selling snacks and instant lottery tickets. Please contact Tyron Bratcher or Amber Woods to let them know when you can help. Don’t forget to buy as well as sell items. If you have a shift at the Independence Market, please remember to fill it. This is a great way to meet people from across the country and make new friends.

Scholarship Winners

We are pleased to have a National Scholarship winner from Maryland this year. Wayne Thomas Smith is a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park. He plans to get a degree in computer engineering. We also have two State Scholarship winners: Akierra Burks and Christopher Nusbaum. Akierra will be a sophomore at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She plans to get a B.A. in English. Chris will be a freshman at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. He plans to get a B.S. in Education, with an emphasis on teaching blind students. Be sure to congratulate these three scholars when you meet them at the convention.

Crabs Anyone?

Be sure to get your ticket for the Annual Crab Feast, to be held on August 19 at Columbus Gardens in Baltimore. Please note that the crab feast is on Saturday this year. On August 19, from 6 pm to 11 pm, feast on all-you-can-eat crabs, pit beef, ham plus a full buffet of six entrees, sides, salads, and dessert. Of course there will be beer, music and dancing. This is our major fund raiser for the NFBMD scholarships, youth stipends and BELL programs. To purchase tickets, contact Steve Brand at steve@ayst.net.

BELL Volunteers Needed

In our three BELL programs, blind volunteers have the opportunity to raise the expectations of blind children so that they can live the lives they want. Getting to know and work with these students is also fun. If you wish to help in the Salisbury program, July 17-28, contact Danielle Earl at dearl@bism.org. If you wish to help in the Baltimore program, July 31 through August 11, contact Melissa Riccobono at melissa@riccobono.us. If you wish to help in the Glendale program, July 31 – August 11, contact Debbie Brown at deborahb14@verizon.net.

National Certification in Unified English Braille (NCUEB) Test Special Rate Available

Spread the word! Do you want to save $200? To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Braille Bill in Maryland, the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland will subsidize the test fees for the first ten blindness professionals in the state making the cost to these individuals $75. The National Blindness Professional Certification Board will offer the NCUEB exam in conjunction with the Braille in the 21st Century Literacy Conference.

  • DATE: October 19, 2017
  • TIME: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • PLACE: NFB Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

To register for the test go to https://nbpcb.org/members/login.php?r=/members/er.php?eid=328.

You must register and pay your fee by October 5, 2017. You must also register separately for the Literacy Conference to be eligible for this discount.

Please check www.nbpcb.org/ncueb for important details including what information is covered on the NCUEB exam, what to bring, what is prohibited, and much more!

Paper will be provided, but you must bring your own Braille writer.

If you have questions, contact braille@nbpcb.org.

For more information about the Braille Literacy Conference go to https://nfb.org/brailleconference.

Braille Spectator on the Web and on Newsline

The spring 2017 edition of the Braille Spectator is available for your reading pleasure on both NFB Newsline® and the NFBMD website. On Newsline, look under the local channel. For the web edition go to https://www.nfbmd.org/newsletter.

Save These Important Dates


  • July 6, 2017. No diabetes call.
  • 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.