[Greater-Baltimore] February Minute Message

nfbmd nfbmd at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 21 20:00:14 UTC 2016

February Minute Message 

Fellow Federationists: 

February is Valentine's season, which is the season of love and the season
to help your family. Our federation family in Maryland needs your help and
participation very much. We need to support our colleague and friend Yasmin
Reyazuddin who is involved in a suit against Montgomery County for its
failure to provide her with accessible technology to perform her job. Yasmin
has been fighting with them for nine years. On Monday, February 22, we need
people to attend the closing arguments of the case at the Federal Court
House, 6500 Cherry Wood Lane in Greenbelt, Maryland. The case will be going
to the jury when the lawyers finish their arguments. We will let you know
the result when we have it. 

All hands are needed in Annapolis on March 3 and March 8 for the hearings on
our blind parent's custody bills. I will be sending out a call for letters
on these bills in a separate message to the list serves. We are the primary
movers of these bills, so it is up to us to supply a crowd of supporters.

LBPH needs your help. 

We need to make sure that the LBPH budget is not cut by the Maryland General
Assembly. In a separate message, I will tell you who to call next Tuesday or
Wednesday, February 23 and 24. First we will call Senators. On March 1 and
2, we will call Delegates. These calls are crucial. We must make sure that
our library can function because currently it is not able to fulfill its

Equal Employment Act update. 

If you have not written your letters of support for the Equal Employment Act
SB417 and HB420, please do so quickly. We had two very good hearings. We are
trying to get everyone to agree on amendments and to make sure that the bill
remains strong despite these amendments. We received excellent press
coverage on the Act. You will read a sample in the Braille Spectator, which
will be coming out soon. Maryland Public Television also did a nice job of
covering these hearings. I will send you the link when it is up.  

Basket bingo tickets. 

Please purchase your basket bingo tickets immediately. Tickets are sold on a
first come, first serve basis. We have great prizes, food, raffles, and you
will not want to miss this event on March 11. As you may remember, basket
bingo takes place at the lodge, 2832 Nine Mile Circle, Catonsville,
Maryland. Doors open at six; games begin at seven. Buy your tickets through
Paypal or call Sharon Maneki at 410-715-9596 to arrange to purchase tickets.

Victory in the Maryland election case. 

Many thanks to Janice Toothman and our national team for their excellent
work. We recently learned that the United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Judicial Circuit upheld the ruling in National Federation of the
Blind et al. vs. Linda H. Lamone et al. requiring the state of Maryland to
make an accessible online ballot-marking tool available to blind voters who
wish to vote by absentee ballot.

Many thanks to all of our chapters for arranging for the local boards of
elections to demonstrate the electronic voting machine that we are supposed
to use in our upcoming primary election on April 27. Problems have developed
with this machine, so only disabled voters will use it which means we will
be forced to have a segregated ballot and could lose our secret vote. Stay
tuned for more information on this problem as we move closer to the time to

Please review the calendar below for upcoming events. Don't forget to make
calls on behalf of the LBPH budget and to do letters on the custody bills
and the Equal Employment bill. I look forward to seeing many of you at the
Reyazuddin trial and at the hearings on March 3 and March 8. Check with your
chapter presidents about transportation to Annapolis.

Dates to Keep in Mind

March 3.  Hearing for HB976, House Judiciary Committee, Lowe House Office
Building 1st Floor, 1 pm. 

March 3.  Diabetic Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code
is 720125.

March 8.  Hearing for SB765, Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Miller
Building 2E, 1 pm.   

March 11.  Basket Bingo takes place at The Lodge, 2832 Nine Mile Circle,
Catonsville.  Doors open at 6 pm.  Games begin at 7 pm.  See www.nfbmd.org
for further information and to purchase tickets.

March 14.  Senior Issues Conference Call, 10 am. Call 712-432-1500. The
access code is 759633#. They will be discussing how to ask for assistance.

March 31. Deadline for National Scholarship applications. Got to
https://nfb.org/scholarships for more information. 

April 2.  NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, time and place TBD.

April 7.  Diabetic Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access code
is 720125.

April 9. Workshop at LBPH. How to write braille using UEB. Light lunch
available at 11:30. Workshop from 12-1:30. Please RSVP to Robyn Hughes at:
robynhughes04 at verizon.net by April 5, 2016.

April 11.  Senior Issues Conference Call, 10 am. Call 712-432-1500. The
access code is 759633#.

April 15. Deadline for application for NFBMD scholarships. 

April 17.  Gospel Concert to Benefit NFBMD Youth Programs at Pikesville
Seventh Day Adventist Church.

June 4.  NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, time and place TBD.

June 30-July 5. National Convention, Orlando, Florida.

July 18-29 excluding weekends. Salisbury NFB BELL Program.

July 25-Aug 5 excluding weekends. NFB BELL Programs in Baltimore and Glenn

August 5.  Annual Crab Feast, Columbus Gardens, Baltimore, Maryland. 

August 27. NFBMD Board of Directors Meeting, time and place TBD.

October 28-30.  NFBMD 50th State Convention, Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor
at Camden Yards Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland.     


Sharon Maneki, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland



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