August 2017 Minute Message

Fellow Federationists:

It’s time to eat crabs!

  • When: Saturday, August 19th, 6-11pm
  • Where: Columbus Gardens
    4301 Klosterman Avenue.
    Baltimore, MD 21236
  • What: Steamed Crabs, Pit Beef, & Ham – All You Can Eat! Plus a Buffet of Entrees Including Shrimp Creole and Mild and Spicy Sausage, Sides, Salad, Cakes… Yuengling, Bud, and Coors Light on Tap Carbonated Beverages and Coffee

Good food, good friends, good cause. This fundraiser enables NFBMD to offer two college scholarships and youth stipends for younger students to attend summer training programs in the skills of blindness. It also helps us support three Bell programs. Purchase your tickets by August 12th for the price of $55. After that, tickets are $60. Go to

Bells are ringing in Maryland

The NFB BELL (Braille Enrichment Literacy and Learning) Academy served 27 students this year. It was exciting to see the discoveries that are two children who were blind for only a few months made throughout the program. It was also exciting to see the progress that our veteran students made throughout the two weeks. The next issue of the Braille Spectator will contain highlights from our three bell sites.

Summer travel

As you travel throughout the summer, please remember to fill out the form if you use Uber or Lyft and have a dog guide, or are riding with someone who has a dog guide. We need to know both good and bad experiences. To fill out the form, go to: Gathering this data is necessary to ensure that these companies live up to their obligation of non-discrimination.

The Convention is coming

Our annual state convention will be held during the weekend of November 10th-12th at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel at 903 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, Maryland. Our national representative will be Everett Bacon, who is a member of the national Board of Directors, and president of the NFB of Utah. You will definitely enjoy this new dynamic leader. Room rates are $95, plus tax. Make your reservation by calling 410-321-7400. You must make your reservation by Friday, October 13th. Details about registration will be available soon. It is not too early to start collecting door prizes.

Two important September events

Everyone is invited to attend the NFB board of directors meeting on Saturday, September 9th  at our convention hotel, the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel at 903 Dulaney Valley Road, in Towson, Maryland. The meeting begins promptly at 10am. We will be discussing the October Braille Literacy Conference, planning the state convention, and more. Please be prepared to purchase lunch at the hotel.

You are cordially invited to a NETWORKING MIXER, sponsored by the Maryland Association of Blind Merchants. Date: Friday, September 29, 2017 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Location: Peter’s Pour House at 111 Mercer Street Baltimore, Maryland (Corner of Water & Grant Streets – Main Entrance on Water Street). Come join us for an evening of networking and business connections. Meet Randolph Sheppard Vendors & other blind business owners, partners, suppliers, affiliates & supporters. We will be in a private room upstairs at the restaurant. Great bar, great menu and great networking. RSVP to Melba Taylor at or 240-381-1637.

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

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 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

For more information about the Braille Literacy Conference go to

New opportunity for seniors in Hagerstown and surrounding areas

BISM has started a new SAIL Program in Hagerstown. This is a great opportunity for seniors wishing to gain or improve their blindness skills. The program is from 10:00am-2:00pm on Wednesdays at the Trinity Lutheran Church at 15 Randolph Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740.  BISM also conducts a support group for seniors at the same location. For more information, contact Cindy Holden at 240-803-2091.

Important dates

  • July 31-August 11, 2017. NFB BELL Academies in Baltimore and Glendale, MD.
  • August 19, 2017.  Annual Crab Feast, Columbus Gardens, Baltimore, MD.
  • September 7, 2017. Diabetes Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code is 720125#.
  • September 9, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel at 903 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, Maryland. Meeting begins at 10 am.
  • September 29, 2017.  Networking mixer at Peter’s Pour House at 111 Mercer Street in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • October 1-31, 2017. Meet the Blind Month.
  • October 15, 2017. National White Cane Safety Day.
  • 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 at 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • November 10-12, 2017.  Annual State Convention, Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel in Towson, Maryland.