[Greater-baltimore] April Message
nfbmd at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 18 13:06:25 UTC 2015
April Message from the Movement
Many thanks to all who helped make the 2015 session of the Maryland General
Assembly a very productive one for the blind of Maryland. Gov. Hogan
appropriated $250,000 to continue the work of the CENA, the Center of
Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and
Commerce. The Maryland General Assembly kept that money in the budget. We
look forward to the great things that CENA will accomplish, especially its
plan to provide access to the over 10 million books in the HathiTrust.
Because of our efforts more parents and students will learn about the value
of Orientation and Mobility instruction. We expect that many more students
who need this instruction will receive it over the coming years. The
Maryland General Assembly passed HB535/SB538 and we are hopeful that Gov.
Hogan will sign it in May.
Gov. Hogan proposed a very severe cut to the programs at the Library for the
Blind. The program would have been eliminated because the cuts were
scheduled to occur over a period of ten years. Because of our advocacy the
Maryland General Assembly struck this plan from the Budget Reconciliation
and Financing Act of 2015.
We joined with BISM to protect the jobs of blind Marylanders, especially
those who work in BISM's Baltimore plant. Although HB349 was passed by the
Maryland General Assembly, it was amended to study whether BISM would impact
the Minority Business Enterprise Program. The Maryland General Assembly
also struck language from the bill that would have prevented BISM from
bidding on janitorial product contracts. Protecting the livelihood of blind
persons is one of our highest priorities.
On the last day of the session, the Maryland General Assembly passed SB868,
a bill regulating how transportation network companies (services such as
Uber and Lyft) will operate in the state. These companies will be regulated
by the Maryland Public Service Commission. Because of our advocacy this
bill contains language instructing the Public Service Commission to issue
regulations to ensure non-discrimination on the basis of disability and the
accessibility of all websites and apps.
During the coming months we will be concentrating on growing the membership
of our movement. On April 18, we will conduct an outreach event in
Cumberland. On May 2, we will be introducing the NFB to people who live in
Carroll County and surrounding areas. On June 13, we will hold a special
event to recruit members for our three chapters that cover Baltimore City,
Baltimore County, and surrounding areas. Stay tuned for more information.
Mother's Day and Father's Day are right around the corner. Consider using
Amazon Smile when purchasing your gifts of appreciation and help the NFBMD
at the same time. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1301033.
Did you read the Spring 2015 issue of the Braille Spectator? Go to
Need a lift, spark of hope or something to renew your spirit? For the audio
2014 Presidential Report given at our State convention, go to
http://www.nfbmd.org/drupal/archives and select the 2014 Presidential
Thanks for all you do. Consult the calendar below to make sure you don't
miss any of these important events.
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 at gmail.com <mailto:teresagraham3 at 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 at nfbmd.org <mailto:mdpobc at nfbmd.org> .
May 21. Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Nonvisual Access will be
discussed and demonstrated at Towson University to educate students and
professors. For more information contact Natalie Shaheen, nshaheen at nfb.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.
July 27 thru August 7, excluding weekends. NFB BELL programs in Baltimore,
Glendale and Salisbury.
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,
Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
More information about the Greater-Baltimore