[Greater-Baltimore] FW: Follow-Up -- NFB Presence at BronyCon 2017

Ringlein, Ellen ERinglein at nfb.org
Fri Jul 21 12:18:16 UTC 2017

Dear Chapter Members,

I was asked to share the following.



From: Matthew Palumbo [mailto:palumbo.ms at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 8:14 AM
To: Ringlein, Ellen
Cc: 'Lindsey'; 'Michelle L Mcmanus'
Subject: Follow-Up -- NFB Presence at BronyCon 2017

Good Morning Ellen:

Thank you for the opportunity to share the benefits of Baltimore's annual BronyCon convention.  The staff, attendees, and special guests have treated those with special needs with optimal respect with everyone being very caring and supportive.  This is why I've used this annual event to help educate those at the event through my panel series "Coping With Limitations".

Please consider the following.

Feeling welcome in a public setting is not always easy for those of us with visual limitations.  However, since 2013, I've found an extraordinary event where being blind has never been seen as a sort of defining factor of who I am.  This event is BronyCon.

BronyCon has been an annual event in Baltimore since 2013.  It's a family-focused convention where creativity is celebrated through the animated series "My Little Pony:  Friendship is magic".

What brought me to participate in this convention and become a presenter is how people from all walks of life attend to share not only their interest in the show but also their own talents in the arts.  The staff are caring and questions anyone has ever asked me about being blind have always been thoughtful instead of condescending.

I've developed a panel series that has drawn over 200 people each year entitled "Coping With Limitations".  It's here that I've met many families, young adults, and children who have never realized how they can reach their full potential through resources, like the NFB, along with state and local services.

With the NFB headquartered in Baltimore I had tried to get more attendees who have, or know someone, with visual impairments to help positively illustrate the "Can Dos" of blindness to the attendees who come from all over the world to be a part of this event.  This way we can make a stronger impression on the world about blindness that goes beyond the current knowledge available to the general public.

This year's event takes place between Friday, August 11th and Sunday, August 13th.  My team's presentation is slated to occur on Saturday, August 12th at 10:00 AM.  Those who pre-register for all three days' pay $70 with children twelve and under paying $40.  One day badges are $40 for all ages above five years old on Friday and Saturday and $30 on Sunday.

Parents with children attending have opportunities to meet celebrity guests one-on-one in the child-friendly "Crusader Clubhouse".  Children are also given priority when meeting all special guests.  The "Accessibility Pass" allows visitors to have additional assistance getting into events and meeting special guests.

If you're interested in attending you can learn more and Pre-Register at www.bronycon.org<http://www.bronycon.org>.  For any accessibility issues you can e-mail info at bronycon.org<mailto:info at bronycon.org>.

Too expensive to attend but still interested in seeing the positive impact of this convention on those who are blind or have other special needs?  I've created a series of posts and documents on Facebook that can bring you the experience from home.  You can access it by visiting https://m.facebook.com/hapotales/<https://m.facebook.com/hapotales/>.

Interested in viewing the fan animation that helped me positively accept my descent into total blindness?  It's called 'Snowdrop' and stars a pony who is totally blind but illustrates how a character with visual impairments can be presented without typical societal stereotypes.  It can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do6RDSwaWek&t=33s<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do6RDSwaWek&t=33s>.

I thank you for considering to be a part of this event and what it has helped to represent towards building the self-esteem of myself and many others with special needs.  If you should have any other questions please feel free to e-mail me at Palumbo.ms at gmail.com<mailto:Palumbo.ms at gmail.com>.


Matthew S. Palumbo
(814) 590-4384 - Mobile
Palumbo.ms at gmail.com<mailto:Palumbo.ms at gmail.com>


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