Minute Message from the Movement

As we start the holiday season with Thanksgiving, I want to share some reasons for thanks.

I am thankful for the leadership of our immediate past president, Melissa Riccobono and hope to carry on her great ideas such as periodically writing these messages.  I look forward to the suggestions and ideas of all of our members so that we can continue to help all of the blind of Maryland live the life we want.

I am grateful to everyone who made our state convention such a great success and an appropriate kick off for the celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind.  During the coming months, be on the look out for highlights from the convention on our website, www.nfbmd.org and in our newsletter The Braille Spectator.     

In November, we honor veterans, members of the military and their families in a special way.  We owe them a large debt of gratitude for their many sacrifices.  The Federation work to help blind veterans is very important. Ed Jackson, a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Baltimore Chapter, and a US Army Veteran, was featured in an NFB Youtube video. To learn about Ed Jackson’s story go to http://youtu.be/pag2qFe_3dk.  Let us continue to find opportunities to salute all veterans.

The holidays will be a little brighter for blind persons because of the settlement between the US Department of Justice and the owners of the grocery delivery service Peapod.com.  . The Department of Justice alleged that Peapod violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not making its website accessible to people with disabilities. Under the agreement, Peapod will ensure that all of its services are accessible to all people with disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision.   For more information visit: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-enters-settlement-agreement-peapod-ensure-peapod-grocery-delivery-website and http://www.ada.gov/peapod_sa.htm.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being in the Federation is the opportunity to work with blind children so that they may have a brighter future.  Please spread the word so that we can make sure that every blind child in Maryland gets a Braille letter from Santa.  Between November 17 and December 19, parents can go online at www.nfb.org and fill out a Santa Braille Letter request form. The form can also be printed and faxed to (410) 685-2340. Beginning December 1, the Braille letters from Santa will start going out to blind boys and girls around the country. The Braille letter will also be accompanied by a print copy (for mom and dad to read). Requests for letters must include the writer’s name, the child’s name, birthday, gender, mailing address, a telephone number, and email address in case Santa’s helpers at the National Federation of the Blind have questions. For the inside scoop on how Santa and his elves work together on the Braille letter project got the video Santa Wrote Me a Letter http://youtu.be/K8ZqfFuzswk.

Dates to Remember:

  • January 22, 2015 – NFBMD Day in Annapolis
  • January 26, 2015: NFB Washington Seminar Great Gathering In
  • January 28, 2015 – NFBMD members visit Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill
  • March 26-27, 2015: Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium
  • March 31, 2015:  Deadline to submit National Scholarship applications
  • July 5-10, 2015: 75th Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind

Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving and an enjoyable holiday season!

Sharon Maneki