[Greater-Baltimore] March Minute Message from the Movement

president at nfbmd.org president at nfbmd.org
Mon Apr 1 04:15:28 UTC 2019

March 2019 Minute Message 

Fellow Federationists:


Spring has arrived, and it is a season of planting seeds so that flowers and
gardens may grow as the year progresses.  We in the National Federation of
the Blind of Maryland have been very busy with a myriad of projects and
initiatives, and we are using every extra minute of daylight Spring has
given us to help our members and Maryland's blind live the lives they want.


Yanking the Weeds of Voter Segregation and Planting the Seeds of Equality in

In March, NFBMD attended numerous hearings related to desegregation in
voting and regulating e-scooters.  We need assistance Monday evening, April
1 and Wednesday through Friday, April 3 - 5.  If you are available to go to
Annapolis on any of those days, please contact Sharon Maneki at
<mailto:NFBMD at earthlink.net> NFBMD at earthlink.net.  If you recall, this year,
our legislative priorities include: ending segregation in voting and
restoring the secret ballot to disabled voters by ensuring a single voting
system for all; establishing regulations for electronic/Dockless scooters;
and protecting the $250,000 appropriation in the Governor's budget for the
Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access (CENA) to Education, Public
Information, and Commerce. You may read the fact sheets about each issue by
visiting  <https://nfbmd.org/legislative/2019>
https://nfbmd.org/legislative/2019 or on the Information Channel on
Newsline.  Thank you to those of you who have written letters to your
Senators and Delegates on our issues; we need you to make one last push
toward getting the legislation advanced as the Maryland General Assembly
winds down its legislative session on April 8.  Thus, we are asking you to
email and call your representatives.  For specific information about to whom
to write and how to contact them, please visit
<http://www.nfbmd.org/node/297> http://www.nfbmd.org/node/297. 


Digging Out Discrimination in the Entertainment Industry: Time for a Protest

The CW television network, which is affiliated with CBS, plans to launch a
television series called in The Dark that features a blind character who is
not played by a blind actor.  We issued a strong statement
inment-industry-cast-them>  urging the cancellation of the series and
reached out to all of the executives affiliated with the show. We have
received a response but have yet to secure a meeting prior to the planned
April 4 debut. We now need to follow up with action. We cannot allow
Hollywood to define us any longer.  


On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the National Federation of the Blind will be
holding a protest in New York concerning the use of sighted actors to
portray blind characters in the entertainment industry.  The Maryland
affiliate will be participating in the protest, and we need to know who will
be able to attend. We will be providing transportation and leaving from the
National Center in Baltimore at 5:30AM and returning at about 6:00PM.  If
you are able to attend, please contact Ronza Othman at President at nfbmd.org
<mailto:President at nfbmd.org>  or by calling 443-426-4110.  The blind belong
at the center of our own stories, playing blind characters and taking our
place on screen along-side our sighted colleagues.


Growing the Movement Through Food and Auction

Get ready for a nice evening out. Join us on April 6 from 5 to 9 pm for our
Bid-for-Opportunity dinner and auction to benefit the John T. McCraw
Scholarship Program and NFBMD youth activities. The event will take place at
the VFW Post 9619, 6527 Suitland Rd, Morningside, MD 20746. For more
information email Debbie Brown at  <mailto:deborahb14 at verizon.net>
deborahb14 at verizon.net or Michelle Clark at  <mailto:mcikeyc at aol.com>
mcikeyc at aol.com.  There will be transportation from the NFB National Center
in Baltimore for those who need it; please contact Ronza Othman at
President at nfbmd.org <mailto:President at nfbmd.org>  or at 443-426-4110. 


Planting the Seeds of Networking: Elevate Your Business - and Support Our

Come join the NFB of Maryland's Merchant's Division for an afternoon of fun,
great food, delicious cocktails, business connections, 50/50 raffle & more
on Saturday, June 13, 3:00 - 6:00 at a Spring Networking Mixer at Flavor
Restaurant, 15 East Center Street, Baltimore, MD.  Please RSVP to Melba
Taylor at m.taylor at EncoreAssoc.com <mailto:m.taylor at EncoreAssoc.com> .


Growing the Movement Through the NFBMD Scholarship Program

The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland administers a scholarship
program for post-secondary students.  The deadline to apply for an NFBMD
Scholarship is April 15, 2019.  Each year, the NFB of Maryland awards the
John T. McCraw Scholarship to two students in the amounts of $2,000 and
$1,500 each.  NFBMD may award a third scholarship to a former McCraw
scholarship recipient.  

-         Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement and
community involvement.

-         Application materials must be submitted (online or postmarked) by
11:59PM on April 15, 2019.

-         To be eligible, applicants must:

o   Be legally blind in both eyes;

o   Be a legal resident of Maryland or be pursuing post-secondary studies at
a school in Maryland;

o   Be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, post-secondary course of
study in a degree program in the Fall of 2019; and

o   Attend the entire National Convention of the National Federation of the
Blind in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 7 through 12, 2019 and the annual
convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland in Baltimore,
Maryland from November 8 - 10, 2019 (scholarship finalists will receive
convention assistance).

-         To apply:

o   Submit an application using the online application system at
<http://nfbmd.org/scholarship/apply> http://nfbmd.org/scholarship/apply; or

o   Download, complete, and email or mail in a hard copy application form by
visiting:  <http://nfbmd.org/scholarship> http://nfbmd.org/scholarship.


Growing the Movement Through Fun Raffles

The NFBMD spring raffle is underway. During the month of May, you have the
opportunity to win $50 Sunday through Friday, or $100 on Saturday. Purchase
a 3-digit number raffle ticket for $5. You will be the only one who has this
number.  If you want to buy or sell tickets, please contact Melissa
Riccobono at  <mailto:MelissaARiccobono at gmail.com>
MelissaARiccobono at gmail.com. 


Growing the Movement Through Song 

Join us on May 5, 2019 for a Recital and Sing-A-Long, benefiting NFBBELL
Academy at the Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230,
featuring Melissa Riccobono. Advanced tickets cost $10. Tickets will be $15
at the door. To purchase tickets in advance, contact Melissa Riccobono at
MelissaARiccobono at gmail.com <mailto:MelissaARiccobono at gmail.com>  or Ronza
Othman at President at nfbmd.org <mailto:President at nfbmd.org> . 


Enjoying the Fruits of Our Labor: Membership

In the coming months, each local chapter will be holding a Membership
Ceremony for existing members.  It is at this chapter meeting that members
will receive their long-awaited and eagerly anticipated NFB Membership Coins
- and other surprises.  For questions about the specific date and time of a
particular chapter's membership ceremony, please contact your chapter


The Movement in Splendor: National Convention

You will not want to miss the 2019 National Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada
from July 7-12. Save money and pre-register today! Pre-registration closes
on May 31 at midnight. You may pre-register and purchase a banquet ticket
online <https://convention.nfb.org/> .


Planting the Seeds of Equality in RideShare Programs: NFB RideShare Testing

We still need your help.  If you use a service animal or are accompanying
someone who does, please fill out a short form about your experience each
time you use Uber or Lyft. In Maryland, we have to complete a certain number
of surveys each year.  You can submit a survey for every trip you took, so
please look back at your ride history and do this if you haven't already
done so.  Please go to  <https://nfb.org/rideshare-test>
https://nfb.org/rideshare-test or use the NFB Connect app (instructions
below) to complete the survey. Please give us information about both good
and bad experiences. Spread the word, we need information from every blind
person whether they are a member of NFB or not. Ashley Alvey is the Maryland
coordinator for this program. If you have questions email her at
ashleyalvey1994 at gmail.com.


NFB Connect App instructions for Rideshare Survey

1.	On the top left corner of the screen, you will find a button that
says, Menu button. Double tap Menu.
2.	After double tapping on menu, at the top left corner of the screen,
you will see Home.
3.	Swipe to the right once and you will see Fast Facts. Double tap Fast
4.	You will swipe right until you see, Rideshare Survey. Double tap
Rideshare Survey.
5.	Lastly, swipe to the right. When you see First Name, this is where
the form begins and this is where you put in the information for the survey.


Important Dates for 2019

*	April 6 - Bid for Opportunity at VFW Post 9619, 6527 Suitland Rd,
Morningside, MD 
*	April 13 - MABM Networking Mixer at Flavor Restaurant, 15 East
Center Street, Baltimore, MD 
*	April 15th - Deadline for NFBMD Scholarship Applications.
*	May 5 - Recital and Sing-A-Long, benefiting NFB BELL Academy,
Jernigan Institute, 200 East Wells St., Baltimore, MD
*	June 1 - Board of Directors Meeting; Columbia, Maryland
*	June 16 - 22 - NFB EQ, Baltimore, MD
*	July 7-12th - NFB National Convention Las Vegas, NV.
*	July 22 - August 2 - NFB BELL Academy, Salisbury, MD
*	July 29 - August 9 - NFB BELL Academy, Baltimore and Glendale, MD
*	August 17th - Annual Crab Feast - Tall Cedars, 2501 Putty Hill Ave.,
Parkville, MD 21234
*	November 8-10 - Annual State Convention - Crown Plaza Baltimore




Ronza Othman, 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.



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