February 2015 Minute Message from the Movement

Fellow Federationists,

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.  Amazon is a great source for everything including valentine treats.  Be sure to use Amazon Smile and help NFBMD put a smile on a blind child’s face.  We will use funds from this project to support our three NFB BELL programs in Maryland.  Please send this link to all of your relatives, friends and neighbors.  http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1301033.

I am pleased to announce that Congressman Chris Van Hollen is a co-sponsor of HR 138, The Transition to Integrated, Meaningful Employment, or TIME Act. I hope the remaining members of the Maryland Delegation will join Congressman Van Hollen in co-sponsoring this important legislation so that all workers with disabilities will be paid at least the minimum wage.

Many thanks to everyone who attended our day in Annapolis on January 22.  Now we must work to ensure that the $250,000 appropriated by the Governor for the Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce, is not cut from the budget by the General Assembly.  We must also work for the passage of SB 538 AND HB535,   Orientation and Mobility Instruction for blind and visually impaired children. Our third issue is protecting the rights of blind persons to parent their children, SB 550 AND HB 1083.  To read the fact sheets on these issues, go to www.nfbmd.org and look under current advocacy issues, 2015 Annapolis issues. Check the list serves for information on letter writing to the various committees who will be considering these bills.

Congratulations to the 33 students who participated in the Braille Challenge on February 7.  Many thanks to all of the volunteers and speakers who helped make this day an informative one for parents and students. Look for further information about the Braille Challenge in our newsletter, the Braille Spectator, which is coming soon.

Did you buy your tickets to Basket Bingo yet?  Remember tickets are $20 through March 12, and $25 at the door.  March 13 will be your lucky day.  Over $3500 in prizes will be awarded. Be a winner and help the NFBMD.  Go to www.nfbmd.org to read about the event and purchase tickets.  If you need a Braille or large-print bingo card, send me a note off list or give me a call.

Join us for an afternoon of musical inspiration on Sunday, March 22 from 4 to 7pm at the Pikesville International Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 4619 Old Court Rd., Pikesville, MD 21208. Performers include: The Maryland Boychoir, The Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Chorus, The Singing Sensations of Baltimore Youth Choir, St. Bernadine's Gospel Choir, a spoken word performance, various soloists and more.  Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.  Go to www.nfbmd.org for more information.

Important Dates:

February 28. Goalball Clinic in Baltimore. For more information, email mdgoalball@gmail.com.

March 4. 1pm, Hearing for SB 538 at the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, Miller Senate Office Building, 2nd Floor.

March 13. Basket Bingo (for tickets and further information call 410-715-9596). Over $3,500 in prizes! All baskets filled!

March 22.  An afternoon of musical inspiration to be held at Pikesville International Seventh-Day Adventist Church. This event will benefit NFBMD Youth Programs. For further questions or information send an email to AAOMI2015@gmail.com.

March 26-27. Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium.

March 31. Deadline for National Scholarship applications. For applications go to: https://nfb.org/scholarships.

April 11. UEB Workshop, sponsored by NFBMD and ACBMD, to be held at LBPH.

April 15. Deadline for NFBMD Scholarship applications. For applications go to: http://nfbmd.org/drupal/scholarship.

April 18. Bowl-a-thon to benefit Maryland Parents of Blind Children. Get your team ready to bowl from 2-4pm. For more information, contact Teresa Graham at teresagraham3@gmail.com.

May 9. Be OK with Blindness.  This seminar, presented by MDPOBC and BISM, is for parents, siblings and teachers of BVI children. Location: 3345 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD.  For more information send an email to Melissa Riccobono,mdpobc@nfbmd.org.

June 7. Third annual Dot Dash 6k. Run or walk for Braille literacy. Race begins at 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230.

July 5-10. 75th Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

August 7. Crab Feast to be held at Columbus Gardens, 4301 Klosterman Ave Baltimore, MD 21236. For the benefit of the John T. McGraw Scholarship.

November 13-15.  NFBMD Annual State Convention, to be held in Ocean City, MD.

Sharon Maneki

Sharon Maneki, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland