[Greater-Baltimore] August Minute Message
nfbmd at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 17 19:59:40 UTC 2018
Urgent Action Needed.
Even though it is August and you may be in vacation mode, please take the
time to do the following two actions: Maryland does not have any
Congressmen as cosponsors on the Access Technology Affordability Act (H.R.
1734). Fortunately, both of our Senators are on this legislation. Please
email or call your Congressman and ask them to cosponsor this important
bill. Our advocacy and policy team want us to focus on this legislation now
because the Joint Committee on Taxation is working on the bill to determine
its cost. If we can increase our cosponsor list, the bill has a better
chance of moving forward.
When you call or email, you might say something like the following:
"Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your
representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your
representative] to cosponsor H.R. 1734, the Access Technology Affordability
Act. This bill would increase the availability of access technology thereby
increasing educational and employment opportunities for all blind Americans.
The bill does this by creating a tax credit for the purchase of access
technology. I urge [your representative] to cosponsor the bill. Thanks."
You can contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol switchboard
and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you
email your representative, please copy Sharon Maneki at
<mailto:NFBMD at earthlink.net> NFBMD at earthlink.net and John Pare at
jpare at nfb.org <mailto:jpare at nfb.org> .
It is critical that we move on this quickly, so please strive to make your
calls and send your emails as soon as possible.
The second action that I am asking you to immediately take is to sign up to
be a mentor with the NFB Career Mentoring Program. Maryland is lucky enough
to be one of the states that will host this program. Blind and low-vision
youth need exposure to positive blind role models who demonstrate a genuine
belief in them and in their natural abilities. Here is a wonderful
opportunity for you to give back to the next generation and to help them
achieve their full potential. If you do not feel you have the time,
remember that in many instances, a phone call, an email, or a text may be a
life changing interaction. Sign up by going to:
The State Convention is Coming.
You will not want to miss the state convention at the Carousel Hotel in
Ocean City which takes place on November 9-11, 2018. It is time to make
your reservation by calling the Carousel at 410-524-1000. Convention Room
Rates: Standard Room - $85 per night, Ocean Front Room - $125 per night, 2
Bedroom condo - $185 per night. Tax on sleeping rooms is 10.5%. These room
rates start on Thursday, November 8, 2018. The deadline for room
reservations is October 9, 2018. Be looking in your mailbox and on the
website <http://www.nfb.org> www.nfb.org for the preregistration forms.
They will be available soon.
Attend the Board of Directors Meeting.
Everyone is invited to attend the Board of Directors meeting on Saturday,
August 25 to help us plan the convention. This is a phone conference Board
meeting which begins at 10 am and will end at noon. The call-in number is
641-715-3272. The access code is 720125.
Maryland Parents of Blind Children Back to School Picnic.
Parents of blind children should bring the whole family to the Back to
School Picnic, which begins at 2 pm on Sunday, August 26. Enjoy food, fun
and fellowship. Network and get your questions answered about opportunities
for blind children during the next school year. The picnic is at Hammond
Park, 10514 Hunters Way, Laurel, MD 20723. For more information, contact
Melissa Riccobono, Melissa at riccobono.us <mailto:Melissa at riccobono.us> , or
Teresa Graham, teresagraham3 at gmail.com <mailto:teresagraham3 at gmail.com> .
Maryland Day at the Jernigan Institute.
Are you coming to Maryland Day on September 8 from 10 am to 4:30 pm? You
must let your chapter president know if you are coming by September 1. This
is a chance to visit the Technology Center, the Independence Market and get
acquainted with our National Center. You will not want to miss our
interesting, thought provoking workshops where we will share tools and tips
on how we can further the work of the Federation.
Do You Need a Computer with Speech or Magnification?
Here is a good opportunity to get a low-cost computer with screen access.
If you have questions, please contact Computers for the Blind (CFTB) at
Computers for the Blind (CFTB) has access to additional grant funds to
offer computers for $60 off regular price. Here are the details:
* Eligible persons include persons on SSI or SSDI due to blindness.
of Social Security reward letter required.
* Grant also includes parents of legally blind children or youth.
Required documentation is an e-mail from the TVI or caseworker stating that
the child needs a computer, would benefit from it, and purchasing a new
computer with the expensive software would create a hardship on the family.
No eye reports or income verification needed.
* These are desktop computers w/larger screens, and a home edition
of JAWS, Fusion, or ZoomText of the clients choice. Price includes JAWS
* Cost for grant covered desktops is $70.
* The only persons eligible for a grant covered laptop is a college
student that is currently taking classes on campus. Proof required.
Cost for laptop under the grant is $125.
* See article in AccessWorld for more details:
NFB Krafters Divison.
Terry Powers, a longtime member of the Sligo Creek chapter, wanted you to
know the following.
The National Federation of the Blind Krafters Division was established in
July 2008. This organization began its inception from Joyce Kanes desire
to share the love of crafting among individuals who are blind and visually
impaired. The K in Krafters is a tribute to our founder, Joyce Kane. We
meet via a conference call each Monday night at 7:30 PM Eastern. The
general conference chat line is 605-475-4000, participant access code
966659. Our Monday night chats are open to members and non-members alike.
We discuss crafting and blindness related topics. We offer crafting classes
via conference call and email. Our classes are taught by and for visually
impaired individuals, meaning detailed verbal description is given. If an
individual is interested in our classes, but not sure if they would like to
join our division, we offer one trial class of their choice for free. Our
yearly membership dues are $20. By joining our division, you may take as
many classes as you like during the membership year. We have offered
classes in the following categories: needle knitting, loom knitting,
crochet, beading/ jewelry making, safety pin beading, quilting, sewing,
basket making, kumihimo, clay, plastic canvas, felting, latch hooking,
macramé, origami, soap making, and other miscellaneous crafts. Presently,
classes are managed via our website <http://www.krafterskorner.org>
www.krafterskorner.org. There you can read about all the happenings and
sign up for classes. We also have an email listserv where we discuss
crafting topics and develop new friendships. To sign up for the listserv go
Should you have further questions, please contact Tammy Freitag, President
email: krafters.division.president at gmail.com
<mailto:krafters.division.president at gmail.com> or phone: 402-904-5105.
August 25 Board of Directors Meeting Conference Call, 10 am to Noon. All
are invited to attend. Call 641-715-3272. Access Code is 720125.
August 26 MDPOBC Back to School Picnic, 2 pm
, Hammond Park, Laurel, MD.
September 8 Maryland Day at the Jernigan Institute, 10 am to 4:30 pm.
October 1-31 Meet the Blind Month.
October 5 Maryland Candidates for Governor Forum on Disabilities,
1:30-3:30pm, Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel, 300 Light Street,
October 15 National White Cane Awareness Day.
October 27 Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Maryland LBPH, 415 Park
Ave., Baltimore, MD.
November 9-11 Annual State Convention, Carousel Hotel, Ocean City, MD.
Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland 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.
More information about the Greater-Baltimore