[Nfbc-info] Fwd: NFB President’s Notebook - week of 05/8/2017

EverHairston ever.hairston at gmail.com
Mon May 8 20:28:56 UTC 2017

Ever Lee Hairston, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
H: 323 654.2975
C: 323 252.9188
ever.hairston at gmail.com

You Can Live The Life You Want

Begin forwarded message:

From: "President, National Federation of the Blind" <OfficeOfThePresident at nfb.org>
Date: May 8, 2017 at 1:10:55 PM PDT
To: "President, National Federation of the Blind" <OfficeOfThePresident at nfb.org>
Subject: NFB President’s Notebook - week of 05/8/2017

President’s Notebook
National Federation of the Blind
Mark A. Riccobono
officeofthepresident at nfb.org
(410) 659-9314
Dear Fellow Federationists,
This week will bring us to the two-month mark in the countdown to our 2017 National Convention. As you can imagine, all energy and time at the national office is now focused on pulling the logistical details together for our best convention ever. I have heard about some great plans in our affiliates for bringing new people to the convention. Keep building and do not forget to urge preregistration. 
There are a number of important things to pay attention to this week. Top of mind is the launch of our monitoring of our Uber and Lyft agreements. Please make sure your affiliate is activating on the kick off of our testing that will be in place for three years.
Please also give immediate attention to the fly-in (described in Critical Actions) being hosted by our blind merchants and determine if there is anything your affiliate can do to help.
And Happy Mother’s Day to all the Federation mothers!
Critical Actions This Week:
There is a National Federation of the Blind Fly-In in Washington, DC, on May 23, organized by the National Association of Blind Merchants, a Division of the NFB. The purpose is to target key congressional committee members. It is not essential that every state is represented. The committee members we are targeting are the states listed at the end of this article, so it is most critical to have members from those states.
There are three issues we hope to address:
1.                The Department of Defense’s effort to promulgate rules that will effectively eliminate the Randolph-Sheppard priority for military dining contracts. 

2.                HR 1990 that would commercialize interstate rest areas displacing almost four hundred blind entrepreneurs who now service vending machines at the rest areas. 

3.                The Veterans Administration’s refusal to recognize the Randolph-Sheppard priority at many VA facilities. 

Please contact and coordinate with Nicky Gacos, who is our merchants division president, if someone from your state wants to attend. He can be reached at nickycolorado at netscape.net or (908) 464-5359. 
The states we are targeting are Rhode Island, Mississippi, Nebraska, Arkansas, South Dakota, Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington, Minnesota, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
Delegate and Board Member Convention Expenses:
You should have seen an email last week describing the reimbursement policies and procedures as they relate to national convention. If you did not receive it, please notify Beth at bbraun at nfb.org.
Convention Fundraising Announcements:
Convention is right around the corner, and with it come many fundraising announcements. In an effort to make the information more readily available to convention attendees and cut down on the number of listserv emails during the busy convention season, we’ve put together a fundraising announcement form for affiliates and national-level divisions. If you will be selling candy, raffle tickets, or other items to benefit the NFB at the convention and would like to let folks know, fill out the form at nfb.org/fundraising-announcement-form. All announcements will be posted at nfb.org/national-fundraising-announcements. If you have any questions, please contact the communications team at communicationsteam at nfb.org.
Rideshare Testing:
As per their settlement agreements with the NFB, both Uber and Lyft have agreed to implement new driver training requirements and policies regarding drivers’ obligations to transport riders with service animals. On May 8, the NFB begins its Rideshare Testing Program to assess how successfully both companies are implementing these changes. If you use Lyft or Uber and have a service animal or travel with someone who has a service animal, your help with this testing process is critical. Please see nfb.org/rideshare for more information or contact Valerie Yingling at vyingling at nfb.org or (410) 659-9314, extension 2440.
NABS Mentorship Program:
Applications are live for the 2017 NABS Mentorship Program that will take place in Orlando, Florida, during the 2017 NFB National Convention. Those who apply to be either a mentor or mentee must be in attendance at this year’s convention. You need not be a student to apply for the mentor role, but we encourage only students to consider the mentee position. Applications close on June 15. Please direct questions to Kathryn Webster at nabs.president at gmail.com.
Senior Division Retreat:
The National Federation of the Blind Senior Division is organizing a retreat for October 8-14, 2017, at Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center. This is a rural setting, a camp owned and operated by the South Carolina affiliate of the NFB. The cost is $325 per attendee, which covers room, board, training, activities, and ground transportation from Greenville to Rocky Bottom, but does not include transportation to and from Greensville, South Carolina, the nearest airport to the camp. Eligible participants are legally blind seniors ages fifty-five and older with a strong desire to learn alternative, nonvisual techniques taught by blind instructors, who are responsible for taking all medications independently, and who have the stamina to be actively engaged for five full days of activities.
To apply, send a letter by August 1 requesting a retreat application to the attention of:
Mr. David Houck.
119 South Killbourne Road
Columbia, SC 29205
Community Service Division:
The National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division will hold its annual seminar and business meeting during the 2017 National Convention on the evening of July 12.We are looking for chapters and affiliates who are doing community service activities, or have done them within the past year or so, and would be willing to share their story with their Federation family. If you are interested in communicating your experience in terms of what your chapter or affiliate did; how blindness didn’t stop you from doing the activity; and how it benefited the membership, the community, and the federation; we would like to hear from you. Please send an email to NFB Community Service Division Vice President Dacia Cole at dacia.luck at gmail.com. Please include "Community service story" and the name of your chapter/affiliate (e.g., Chicago Chapter or Illinois Affiliate) in the subject line.
Dates to Keep in Mind:
·        Spring conventions
·        May 8, 2017: First day of NFB Rideshare Testing Program

·        May 29-August 18, 2017: NFB BELL Academy held at forty-seven sites throughout the nation

·        June 4, 2017: 6K Dot Dash
·        July 10-15, 2017: National Convention, Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida
·        June 15, 2017: Deadline for NABS Mentorship Program applications
·        July 23-29, 2017: Youth Slam, Towson University
·        September 12-17, 2017: BLAST, Nashville, Tennessee
·        October 8-14, 2017: Senior Division Retreat, Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center
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.
Mark A. Riccobono
200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314 | officeofthepresident at nfb.org

The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation’s blind. Every day we work together to help blind people live the lives they want.

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