[Greater-baltimore] Minute Messages From the Movement (At Long Last!)

Melissa Ann Riccobono melissa at riccobono.us
Thu Jun 26 18:14:43 UTC 2014

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

Minute Messages from the Movement 

Melissa Riccobono, President

President at nfbmd.org

Phone number 410-235-3073


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Note from the President


So here it is, the beginning of summer, and I realized I have not brought
you any Minute Messages since May! Where has the time gone? There certainly
has been a lot going on in the NFB of Maryland. The Sligo Creek Chapter put
on a very successful diabetes seminar, our two bills were signed into law,
there was a hearing regarding an online ballot marking tool (and there will
be a future hearing on August 13 and 14 on this issue) there was a MDPOBC
bowlathon which raised over $2000, the National Harbor Chapter and the NFB
of DC put on a wonderful crab feast fundraiser, and more!

On a personal note, my husband, Mark, and I have had our first experiences
as advocates for our own blind child in the Baltimore City Public Schools
System. Our daughter, Oriana, recently turned four, and she will be starting
Pre-K this fall. Mark and I attended her first IEP meeting in May. We are
very grateful to have the National Federation of the Blind behind us as we
work with Oriana's IEP team in order to ensure she receives the best
services possible during the upcoming school year.

Now that school is officially out, our house is filled with books, as all
three of our children are participating in a summer reading program at our
public library. It is also filled, more than usual, with Braille, as Mark
and I are doing our best to work with Oriana so she can learn the whole
Braille alphabet before starting school this fall.  Our days are also filled
with trips to the playground in our neighborhood, water play on our deck,
sidewalk chalk, bike and tryke riding, roller skating, and time with
friends. Throw in a lot of building with Legos, some board games, Austin's
first "novel" he is writing and illustrating, and a few movies or TV shows
and you now can picture a "typical" day at the Riccobono house. Or, maybe a
"typical" week.

Of course now we are all getting ready for the NFb National Convention; I
know many of you will be joining us in Orlando. Here are a few Minute
Messages before we all leave for Florida. I hope they will be of interest to
those who are not attending convention this year as well.

Here's to summer! May all of you find it as enjoyable, and busy, as the
Riccobono's have found it so far. 



.         Maryland Caucus at National Convention: Members of the National
Federation of the Blind of Maryland will hold our convention caucus on
Wednesday, July 2, at 9:30 PM. The caucus will take place in Salon 4. Please
come and join us as we welcome first time convention attendees, introduce
our NFBMD scholarship winners, discuss banquet exchange and our upcoming
Crab Feast, reward those who sold at least 35 spring raffle tickets, and get
pumped up for the rest of the convention. I hope to see all of you there.

.         Congratulations! Tracey Hall-Henigan and Clarence Henigan are now
proud grandparents! Ja'Nyahh Star Brown was born Sunday, May 18, and weighed
7 pounds, 8 ounces. Tracey and Clarence were able to get to the hospital
before her birth. They enjoyed holding her soon after she was born, and
haven't wanted to put her down since! As my mom always says, "If I knew how
wonderful being a grandparent was, I would have become a grandparent first!"
I know Tracey and Clarence agree.

.          Sad News: Nikki Tippett, president of the Tricounty Chapter,
shares the following: It is with a heavy heart that i ask for thoughts and
prayers for a long time nfb of md member, angela gaillot (formerly
cummings.) Her beloved husband samuel v gaillot (Sammie) passed away very
unexpectedly june 9,2014. Angela has a great faith in God, and she is using
that faith to strengthen her during this time in her life. She is also
surrounded by loving family and friends, including members of the NFBMD.
Please remember Angela and Sammie in your prayers. 

.         New Chapter Joining the NFBMD Family: On Thursday, June 19th, over
20 enthusiastic Federationists gathered at the home of Jesse and Mary Jo
Hartle in order to begin the process of creating a new NFBMD Chapter!
Although this chapter has not developed a constitution yet, or held
elections, (both of which are scheduled to happen at the July meeting) rumor
has it that the chapter will be named the TLC Chapter. The TLC stands for
Towson, Timonium, Lutherville, and Cockysville. As president of the NFBMD, I
am excited about the fantastic turn out for this first meeting, the
wonderful ideas and fellowship which were shared, and I look forward to
watching this chapter grow. If you live in the Towson, Timonium,
Lutherville, Cockysville area, please consider joining the TlC chapter at
its next meeting. This meeting will take place on Thursday, July 15, at 7
PM. The chapter will now meet at the Image Center for People with
Disabilities, 300 East Joppa Road, Suite 312. Buses 3, 8, 11, 48, and 55 all
stop at or near this location. We look forward to seeing you on the 15th.

.         Crab Feast: Please join the NFB of Maryland for our annual Crab
Feast on Friday, August 1, from 7-midnight. The feast will be held at
Columbus Gardens. Tickets will be $50, and will be available online. Funds
raised will benefit our scholarship fund, which is used to support two
college students with scholarships annually, and is also used to help youth
attend summer programs to gain blindness skills. Gather friends and family;
this is an event you won't want to miss!

.         NFB BELL is ringing in Maryland! The NFB BELL Program will once
again take place in Baltimore and Glendale, Maryland. This two week summer
program, which will run this year from July 28-August 8, is for blind and
visually impaired elementary school children (ages 4-12) who are just
learning Braille, have had no exposure to Braille, or need to work on
reading speed and fluency. Children participate in fun and engaging Braille
lessons, meet and interact with positive blind adults, go on field trips,
complete craft and cooking projects, make new friends, and acquire literacy
skills. On the last day of the program, August 8, all BELL participants will
come together for a fun activity in Baltimore. Parents of BELL participants
will also come together in Baltimore for an informative seminar. To apply
for the program visit http://www.nfb.org/bell

.         Senior Fair: Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM) is
holding a fair for seniors losing vision. This fair will take place on
Thursday, August 21, from 9-3, at 3345 Washington Blvd. Technology vendors,
wellness exhibits, demonstrations, guest speakers, lunch, and a goody bag
are all a part of this event. Registration is necessary. The cost of the
fair is $20. Please contact Shirley Riffle at sriffle at bism.org or
410-737-2600 for more information. This fair is sponsored by BISM, with
support from MSDE DORS OBVS.


ComingAfter Convention:

* Spot light on National Convention.

* More information on Crab Feast

* State convention information

* Fall raffle


Dates  to Remember


.         July 1-6, 2014: NFB National Convention (Orlando, Florida)

.         July 15, TLC Chapter meeting, (chapter constitution and
elections): 300 East Joppa Road, Suite 312, 7-9 PM. Contact Mary Jo Hartle
for more information, mjhartle23 at gmail.com or 318-243-4135

.         July 28-August 8: National Federation of the Blind Braille
Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Programs; visit
http://www.nfb.org/bell for more information and to apply

.         August 1, 2014: 7:00 PM NFBMD Crab Feast (Baltimore, Maryland)

.         September 9: Web Accessibility Day at NFB Jernigan Institute

.         October 15-17: NFB Technology Train the Trainers

.         November 14-16, 2014: NFB of Maryland Annual Convention (Towson,


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