[Greater-Baltimore] March Minute Message
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Sun Mar 19 20:03:02 UTC 2017
March Minute Message
March Madness NFBMD Style.
Just like March Madness in basketball, March Madness for NFBMD means it is a
time with lots of activities, a time of surprises and time to take action
quickly. On March 1 we met the challenge in Annapolis of having to attend
three hearings at the same time. These hearings were on HB1140: the
Procurement bill, SB 587: Library Governance and Structure, and HB 1446: a
bill to limit BISM's priority in obtaining state janitorial contracts. We
did not know that this bill was going to be introduced, but when we learned
of it we stood up for the need to protect the livelihood of blind workers.
We also learned of HB 1493: the Assertion of Bad Faith bill. We convinced
the sponsor to withdraw this bill because this bill would punish persons
with disabilities who falsely claimed that a website was not accessible.
This bill was unfair and unnecessary because it offered protection to
businesses who should be complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Instead, this bill would have limited the civil rights of persons with
During the second week of March we had both Basket Bingo and Annapolis
activities. Our March 10 Basket Bingo event was a great success. Many
thanks to all who participated. Special thanks to the Central Maryland
Chapter, who always runs this important event. Basket Bingo not only raises
much needed money from the public, but also educates the public about the
capabilities of blind persons in a fun environment.
On March 7 we attended the House hearing on HB 1094 concerning changing the
governance and structure of the libraries in Maryland. This bill will move
library functions out of the Maryland State Department of Education and into
a new Maryland State Library agency. This change will benefit the Library
for the Blind because it would be able to manage its own resources and would
lessen the bureaucracy. I hope everyone made their calls and sent their
emails about the library bills. Be looking at the listservs for further
details or calls to action.
March is a Time for Planning.
The Deaf-Blind and Hearing Loss Issues Committee is planning an interesting
seminar on Independent Travel with Blindness and Hearing Loss. This seminar
will look at high-tech and low-tech approaches to maintain independent
travel. Date: April 22; time: 12:30 - 3:30 pm; place: Wallace Presbyterian
Church, Building B- which is also called House of the Crossroads, 3725
Metzerott Rd, College Park, MD 20740. For more information, contact Janice
Toothman, janice.toothman at verizon.net <mailto:janice.toothman at verizon.net> .
The Maryland Association of Blind Students is helping to plan a regional
weekend seminar for students from several northeastern states, including
Maryland. Date: May 19-21; place: The Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells
Street, Baltimore, MD 21230. For further information, contact Ellana Crew
at eemcrew at gmail.com <mailto:eemcrew at gmail.com> .
Don't miss An Afternoon of Musical Inspiration, a gospel concert with
proceeds benefitting NFBMD summer youth programs. Date: April 30; time: 4
pm; place: Pikesville Internationals SDA Church, 4619 Old Court Road,
Pikesville, MD 21208. For further information contact Latonya Phipps,
phippslatonya at gmail.com <mailto:phippslatonya at gmail.com> .
Calling all Parents and Students.
It is time to fill out scholarship applications and forms for summer
programs. Remember, the National scholarship deadline is March 31. Go to
this link for more details: <https://nfb.org/scholarships>
https://nfb.org/scholarships. The NFBMD John T. McCraw applications are due
April 15. Go to this link for more details: <http://nfbmd.org/scholarship>
http://nfbmd.org/scholarship. Youth Empowerment Stipends are available to
help middle and high school students attend summer training programs, such
as those run by Blind Industries and Services of Maryland and by our three
NFB centers in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Colorado. Applications are due at
least 30 days before the funds are needed. Go to
It is not too early to enroll students in one of the Maryland BELL academy
programs. The Salisbury Academy will be held July 17-28, 2017, and the
Baltimore and Glendale Academies will be held July 31-August 11, 2017. No
weekends. To apply go to https://nfb.org/bell-academy#apply_now.
Save These Important Dates.
March 31, 2017. Deadline for submitting National Scholarship Application.
April 1, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting and Leadership Seminar.
April 6, 2017. Diabetes Conference Call, 7 pm. Call 641-715-3272. The access
code is 720125#.
April 15, 2017. Deadline for submitting State Scholarship Applications.
April 22, 2017. Independent Travel Seminar sponsored by Deaf-Blind and
Hearing Loss Issues Committee, 12:30 - 3:30 pm. Wallace Presbyterian Church,
Building B, 3725 Metzerott Rd., College Park, MD 20740.
April 30, 2017. Gospel Concert, 4 pm. Pikesville International SDA Church,
4619 Old Court Rd., Pikesville, MD 21208.
May 7, 2017. Deadline for Youth SLAM student applications.
May 19-21, 2017. Regional Student Seminar. The Jernigan Institute, 200 East
Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230.
June 3, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting, time and place to be announced.
June 4, 2017. 6 Dot Dash, 8 am. 200 East Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230.
July 10-15, 2017. National Convention, Orlando, FL.
July 17-28, 2017. NFB BELL Academy in Salisbury, MD.
July 23-29, 2017. NFB Youth SLAM Towson University, MD.
July 31-August 11, 2017. NFB BELL Academies in Baltimore and Glendale, MD.
August 19, 2017. Annual Crab Feast, Columbus Gardens, Baltimore, MD.
September 9, 2017. Board of Directors Meeting, time and place to be
October 19-20, 2017. Braille Literacy in the 21st Century Conference,
jointly sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind and the Maryland
School for the Blind. 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, Maryland.
November 10-12, 2017. Annual State Convention, Sheraton Baltimore North
Hotel in Towson, Maryland.
Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.
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