[NFBOK-Talk] NFB Presidents' Notes

Jeannie Massay jmassay1 at cox.net
Sun Feb 21 23:07:34 UTC 2016

Federation family, 


I hope that each of you is having a wonderful Sunday afternoon! We are
gearing up for our 42nd Annual National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
state convention to be held the evening of March 31st thru the 3rd of April
at the Holiday Inn City Centre located in downtown Tulsa. Sessions will be
fun and interactive. There will be items of interest for all blind persons
and those who WORK WITH THEM. Additionally, there will be sessions specific
to blind studetns as the Oklahoma Association of Blind Students are holding
their first Student Seminar on Friday, April 1st, in conjunction with the
Seminar day of our annual convention. 


General Session will include speakers and panels regarding rehabilitative
services for the blind in Oklahoma, programs and services for blind persons
of all ages including childrens programs in OKC and transition programs
offered in state and out-of- state. Additionally, if you are interested in
the Business Enterprise Program, are interested in Sports and Recreation or
are a student of any age, there will be Division meetings of the Oklahoma
Association of Blind Merchants, the NFB of Oklahoma  Sports and Recreation
Division and the Oklahoma Association of Blind Students. Our national
representative is Ever Lee Hairston, a Member of the Board of Directors of
the National Federation of the Blind and  a recently published author. 


For more information and to register for convention please go to the
following link or call Glenda Farnum at 405-255-6482:



A final few items before a message from President Riccobono about our
national organization:


1.       If you are planning on attending the National Federation of the
Blind national convention this summer in Orlando, Florida and are a first
time attendee and are an active member, you may apply for the Kenneth
Jernigan  Convention Scholarship. The KJ Scholarship provides assistance to
attend the national convention but is not designed to entirely pay for your
trip and attendance. Please read the article at this link
https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/bm/bm16/bm1602/bm160211.htm. Read
the directions carefully!!!! If you would like to apply, please contact me
soon. The applications including a letter of recommendation  from me must be
submitted by no later than April 15th. Please make sure to contact me before
April 1st in order to give me time to write a letter of recommendation for
you and to get your application turned in on time


2.       If you are a student who is legally blind or you know one, please
apply for the National Federation of the Blind annual Scholarship program.
Thirty scholarships ranging from $4,000 to 13,000 will beawarded to
deserving blind scholars from across the nation. We should have at least one
if not a few from Oklahoma. Part of the application process is an interview
with the President of the National Federation of the Blind of the state in
which you live. That would be me! If you are interested, please contact me
via e-mail to schedule an interview. You may reach me at
Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org <mailto:Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org> . For more
information and a checklist including the requirements for the scholarship
go to www.nfb.org/scholarships <http://www.nfb.org/scholarships> . Read the
directions carefully!!! The deadline for application is March 31st. You must
have scheduled your interview with me before that time but our interview
does not have to be before that date. The letter of recommendation from me
is sent directly by me to the Scholarship Committee. We have had a number of
students from Oklahoma in previous scholarship classes. Why not again?


The below message is from Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of
the Blind:


As you will notice by the number of items below, we are on the move in
February. Please continue to find opportunities to encourage people to apply
for our scholarship program, nominate people or organizations for Bolotin
Awards, recognize outstanding teachers, and apply for our summer programs.
The more connections we make with others, the stronger we make the



Marrakesh Treaty:
Last week President Obama transmitted the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate
Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or
Otherwise Print Disabled treaty to the United States Senate for
ratification. The Marrakesh Treaty was officially proposed in 2009,
successfully adopted in June 2013 by the World Intellectual Property
Organization, and signed by the United States in October 2013. For more
information on the treaty, please visit https://nfb.org/marrakeshfactsheet.


Access to Absentee Ballots:
We learned last week that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Judicial Circuit upheld the ruling in National Federation of the Blind et
al. vs. Linda H. Lamone et al. requiring the state of Maryland to make an
accessible online ballot-marking tool available to blind voters who wished
to vote by absentee ballot.


Medicare and Medicaid Lawsuit:
We have filed a federal lawsuit charging the US Department of Health and
Human Services through its sub-agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS), and its CMS sub-contractors, with systemically violating the
civil rights of blind Medicare recipients. The action seeks to require HHS
to provide blind individuals meaningful and equally effective access to
their Medicare information. More information is available in the press



Braille Book Fair:
We have started collecting donated books for this year's Braille Book Fair.
Please encourage members to ship (via Free Matter for the Blind) their
gently used, but no longer needed, Braille books to:

2016 Braille Book Fair

National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells St. at Jernigan Place

Baltimore, MD 21231


We Need Foreign Language Assistance:
We need help with our efforts to add languages to the KNFB Reader. If you
speak Russian, Greek, Czech, Bulgarian, Estonian, Ukrainian, or Indonesian;
use a supported iOS device; and are able to help; please send an email to
support at knfbreader.com <mailto:support at knfbreader.com> . Please specify
"Beta Testing" in the subject of the message.


Dates to keep in mind:

*       March 3-5: NFB STEM2U San Francisco

*       March 31: NFB Scholarship Program application deadline,

*       March 31-April 1: 2016 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium
<https://nfb.org/law-symposium> ; Diversity in the Disability Rights
Movement: Working Together to Achieve the Right to Live in the World

*       March31-April 3, 2016  National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
State Convention

*       April 15: Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Program nomination deadline,

*       May 1: Distinguished Educator of Blind Students Award application

*       May 17-20: BLAST, Chicago

*       May 19-21: NFB STEM2U Minneapolis

*       June 19-25: NFB EQ (first iteration)

*       June 30-July 5: National Federation of the Blind Convention, Rosen
Shingle Creek, Orlando, Florida


Mark A. Riccobono, President

National Federation of the Blind


I sincerely hope to see you at our upcoming state convention. Also, I do
hope that there are many students who will take advantage of the Scholarship
program and all of the opportunities that arise from being a recipient. As
you move through the week, may you find positive ways to interact with
everyone you meet. 





Jeannie M. Massay, President

National Federation of theBlind 

Of Oklahoma

505 Baker Street

Norman, OK 73072

Phone: 405-600-0695

Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org <mailto:Jeannie.massay at nfbok.org>  


The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day, we raise
expectations of the blind because low expectations create obstacles between
blind people and our dreams. Blindness is not what holds you back. You can
live the life youw ant.!. 


"Whatever you dare to dream, begin." - Goethe 


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