June 2024 Minute Message


Fellow Federationists:


We are just a few short days away from our 2024 NFB National Convention, and I know you’re just as excited as I am to be together at our annual family reunion.  There’s nothing like the sound of thousands of canes tapping, talking signs directing us towards General Session, and voices we haven’t heard in a while.  I love it when our members visit me at the Maryland Flag to say hello, so please pop by.  And of course, that absolutely magnetic moment when the gavel drops is unparalleled! 


Even as we look to National Convention, we’re incredibly busy with the work of the movement at the local level.  We are in the middle of our first NFB BELL Academy of the summer here in Maryland, and our kids in Southern Maryland are learning from and being mentored by amazing blind role models.  We’re getting ready for our other two NFB BELL Academies this summer, preparing for our Crab Feast, working hard on Basket and Bag Bingo, preparing for Wizarding Weekend, and so much more!


Read on for more information!


We Need Your Experiences!

We are seeking your experiences concerning the following areas if any of the below occurred in Maryland:

  • If you have experienced accessibility barriers – physical and digital – in housing, including rental applications, leases, mortgage applications, underwriting information, search websites and databases, communications, accessible signage and elevators in larger buildings, rental or purchase denials due to blindness, or other discriminatory experiences;
  • If you have encountered discrimination in the employment arena (other than in the Federal government), including inaccessible job applications or recruitment websites, drivers license requirements where driving is not an essential part of the job, automated and AI screening that shuts out applicants who are blind, or other employment discrimination;

We need your stories.  Please reach out to me at President@nfbmd.org or at 443-426-4110.  If possible, please connect with me by June 30, 2024.


Get ready for Orlando in 2024!

The NFB 2024 National Convention will take place from July 3 – 8, 2024 in Orlando, Florida.  The Rosen Center Hotel will be the primary location.  Shuttles will be available to transport individuals who are staying at one of the other two Rosen properties.  Preregistration for the convention closed May 31, 2024, but on-site registration will be available beginning July 3.  There is also a virtual convention experience, for which registration costs $10.  To register for the virtual experience, go to https://nfb.org/convention


The agenda is online and on Newsline.  To access the agenda and other convention information, visit https://nfb.org/convention


We can’t wait to see you in Orlando!


NFBMD National Convention Orientation – Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at 8:00PM

The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland will once again be hosting a National Convention Orientation for Marylanders on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 starting at 8:00PM.  All Marylanders who are attending an in-person NFB national convention for the first time or those who just want information about the Convention are welcome.  We will be discussing what to expect, Maryland-specific events and activities, and mentoring and getting assistance during the convention.

Click this link to join: https://zoom.us/j/6248138327?pwd=eTZlYUgwR3ZQVVl1dXBLSHcrbml1QT09 


Meeting ID: 624 813 8327

One tap mobile



NFBMD Caucus– July 4

We will be holding the Maryland Caucus in person during the NFB National Convention, and it promises to be action-packed.  Come to meet the NFBMD State Scholarship winners, discuss the resolutions that will come before the convention, and so much more!  This is a very important event, so please plan to attend.


We will meet on July 4 from 8 – 10PM in Salon 1 at the Rosen Center Hotel. 


Those wishing to exchange their banquet tickets with Maryland should bring them to the Caucus.


We hope to have a Zoom option for those attending the convention virtually, but as we have no control over the technology and internet connectivity at the hotel, we cannot guarantee this will work out.


Click this link to join: https://zoom.us/j/6248138327?pwd=eTZlYUgwR3ZQVVl1dXBLSHcrbml1QT09 


Meeting ID: 624 813 8327

One tap mobile



Support NFBMD By Donating and Then Getting Stuff

We will be conducting a National Convention donation drive and accepting donations in Orlando at our affiliate table at the Exhibit Hall, and members of the affiliate may also be on hand throughout the Convention to receive donations to NFBMD.  In appreciation for donations at a certain level, we will offer in appreciation a particular item.  You can donate at various levels and can combine levels to get more tokens of appreciation.  Here’s what our menu looks like:

  • In appreciation for a donation of $1, you can have a snack item.
  • In appreciation for a donation of $5, you can get a fidget spinner.  Supplies are limited.
  • In appreciation for a donation of $10, you can receive a pen toolkit.  This pocket-sized pen tool includes a flashlight and several multi-tool features.  This pen tool is branded with the NFB of Maryland logo.
  • In appreciation for a donation of $10, you can receive a crab-shaped luggage tag.  This luggage tag is branded with the NFB of Maryland logo.
  • In appreciation for a donation of $10, you can receive an entire back of assorted snacks.
  • In appreciation for a donation of $20, you can receive a clear backpack with the NFB of Maryland logo on it.  This stadium-approved bag is fun and practical, and it even has an outside pocket for your other stuff.  This backpack is branded with the NFB of Maryland logo.  Supplies are limited.
  • In appreciation for a donation of $40, you can get your very own set of NFB of Maryland Scrubs, complete with the Maryland crab and NFBMD logo on them. Supplies and sizes are limited.


We’ll also have available the Sorry Try Again drawing, where you can, for a dollar per try, win instantly $1, $5, $10, $20, or some delicious mints.


You can make your donation in person using cash, via Zelle (President@nfbmd.org), or you can do so online using PayPal.  Those participating in the Convention Virtual Experience are welcome to donate as well, and we will arrange for delivery of your tokens of appreciation. 


For more information or to make a donation using PayPal, please visit: https://nfbmd.org/donationdrive


Please note that those using PayPal will be asked to pay $1 additional for donations of $10 or less and $2 for donations of $11 - $40.


Crabbing for Student Scholarships

Please purchase your tickets today for the NFB of Maryland Annual Crab Feast.  This fundraiser supports the John T McCraw Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to blind post-secondary education students.

When: Friday, September 20, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Where: Rosedale Gardens – 8037Philadelphia Road - Baltimore, MD 21237

Tickets are $75 each if purchased before August 31, or $85 afterword’s. Children 6 and under are free. 

Special Promotion: Buy or Sell 25 or more tickets and get your ticket FREE!

Dancing, 50 / 50 Raffle, Door Prizes, and more.

Menu Includes:
Steamed Crabs, fried chicken, beef Bar B Que – All You Can Eat!
Plus a Buffet of Entrees Including Maryland-style crab soup, corn-on-the-cob, other sides, salad, fruit, cake…
Yuengling and Miller beer
Carbonated Beverages, iced tea, and Coffee

To purchase tickets, visit http://www.nfbmd.org/crabs

For additional information contact me at (443) 426-4110 or email President@NFBMD.org


2025 State Convention Theme Contest

Each year, we choose a State Convention theme that is representative of our hope, priorities, or expectations for the convention and what comes after.  Recent themes have included: “Expect Much, Give Much, Get Much!”, “Celebrating our Stories, Defining our Future,” “Rise Up,” “Focus Forward,” and “Reconnect, Reimagine, Reignite.”


We use the theme to inform the opening ceremonies, tie together the presidential report, and hold seminars and other activities. 


If you have a suggested theme, please call, text, or email it to me by July 31, 2024.  The person whose theme is chosen will get a free banquet ticket for the 2025 state convention.


Please email me at President@nfbmd.org, text me at 443-426-4110, or call me at that number.  Please be sure to tell me in your email, texts, or voicemail who you are.


The BELLs Toll Once Again in Maryland!

The NFB BELL Academy provides children with Braille and nonvisual skills instruction through fun, hands-on learning activities.  The NFB BELL Academy—which stands for National Federation of the Blind Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning®—is a nationwide summer program that prepares blind and low-vision children to grow into confident and independent blind people who live the lives they want.  Activities at NFB Maryland BELL are provided in a day program. In addition to Braille crafts, games, and other engaging projects, children learn vital independent living skills, interact with blind adult mentors, and enjoy field trips to sites related to the NFB BELL Academy curriculum. Through these activities and interactions, the children learn that blindness or low vision does not define them or their future.


The NFB BELL Academy is appropriate for blind and low vision children ages four through twelve who:

  • Do not receive enough Braille and nonvisual skills instruction in school
  • Could benefit from more Braille exposure over the summer
  • Would enjoy connecting with blind role models


The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland is offering three in-person sessions, including:

  • A one-week NFB BELL Academy session in Southern Maryland from June 24 – 28, 2024;
  • a two-week in person NFB BELL Academy session in Baltimore, Maryland, From August 5 – 16, 2024;
  • a one-week in person NFB BELL Academy session in Salisbury, Maryland, in partnership with Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, From August 5 –9, 2024.


To register for the NFB BELL Academy, visit: https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy.  For questions, contact NFB of Maryland NFB BELL Academy Coordinator Melissa Riccobono at MelissaARiccobono@gmail.com.


Remember to Pay Your 2024 Dues!

NFBMD maintains an online portal for individuals to pay their chapter and division dues.  We are asking members to pay their 2024 dues as soon as possible so we can ensure that our rolls are accurate.


Individuals may use NFBMD’s Dues Portal to pay their 2024 annual dues and/or lifetime membership dues for those chapters that have lifetime membership.  The portal lists all NFBMD chapters and divisions and their dues amounts.  Individuals may pay for as many chapters and divisions as they wish.  The portal is located at http://nfbmd.org/dues.  Alternatively, individuals may mail a check to their chapter or division treasurer.


Individuals may also pay their chapter dues at the Registration Table at the State Convention.


Please note that those paying via the online portal will incur a small processing fee.



Important Upcoming Dates

  • June 24 – 28, 2024 – In Person NFB BELL Academy, Southern Maryland
  • June 26, 2024 – NFBMD National Convention Orientation, anywhere and everywhere
  • July 3 – 8, 2024 – NFB National Convention, Orlando, Florida
  • August 5 – 16, 2024 – In Person NFB BELL Academy, Baltimore, Maryland
  • July 5 – 9, 2024 – In Person NFB BELL Academy, Salisbury, Maryland
  • September 20, 2024 – NFBMD Crab Feast, Rosedale, Maryland
  • October 1 – 31, 2024 – Blind Equality Achievement Month
  • October 2, 2024 – Give a Hoot Comedy Fundraiser, Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • October 18, 2024 – Basket Bingo, Catonsville, Maryland
  • January 16, 2025 – NFBMD Day in Annapolis, Annapolis, Maryland
  • February 3, 2025 – Washington Seminar Great Gathering In, Washington, DC
  • February 4, 2025 – NFB of Maryland Day on the Hill, Washington, DC
  • February 14 – 16, 2025 – NFBMD 2025 Convention, Ocean City, Maryland