[Nfbwv-talk] President Riccobono's Notebook for 8-28-17

Smyth, Charlene R Charlene.R.Smyth at wv.gov
Tue Aug 29 13:59:33 UTC 2017

August 28, 2017
President's Notebook
National Federation of the Blind
Mark A. Riccobono
officeofthepresident at nfb.org<mailto:officeofthepresident at nfb.org>
(410) 659-9314

Dear Fellow Federationists,

I am preparing for the 85th leadership seminar this weekend. One thing that has truly distinguished our organization from all others is the investment we make in growing leaders. It is also one of the most time consuming and sometimes difficult things that we do. It takes energy, imagination, heart, and thoughtfulness to do it right. As each of you know, leadership is not easy and building leaders who are prepared for the dynamic situations in which we often find ourselves is not easy. However, it is also one of the most rewarding things that we do. That we work on leadership all of the time is why we have been successful. To that end, I have gotten some very good feedback regarding a potential gathering of affiliate presidents before Washington Seminar. There are many competing needs for training and leadership building around the Washington Seminar. I am currently attempting to juggle all of the priorities. I will be back with this leadership group soon, so that you can plan for the 2018 Washington Seminar.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our Federation sisters and brothers in Texas and Louisiana as they deal with the impact of Harvey. If we learn of ways that Federation members can help our members in need, I will certainly let you know. Otherwise, we encourage you to participate in any of the many general aid programs for the citizens impacted by the continuing storms.

We are currently ramping up some stronger efforts to coordinate our communications. Affiliate websites are an important part of our overall communications strategy. Please note the assignment we are giving affiliate webmasters. This should be a priority for our elected leaders. If you need help, I hope you will let me know.

Finally, I hope that you noticed my invite to a call for all presidents for September 5. As we did this month, we will work hard to make sure we utilize your time effectively. If you have questions or concerns about hosting Meet the Blind Month activities around the Do You Dream In Color film, please send them in advance so we can make sure they are addressed.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Critical Actions This Week:
Urgent Need for Affiliate Web Updates:
This weekend twenty webmasters from across the country came to Baltimore for training on how to update NFB affiliate websites nationwide. As these are often the "front doors" of our organization, we want them to be welcoming, informative, and up to date. We are asking all affiliate webmasters to accomplish the following five tasks:
1.       Ensure you have a high-quality image of the current logo featured prominently on your site. The logo includes the icon, your full name (National Federation of the Blind of...), and tagline. We can provide files with an email request to communicationsteam at nfb.org<mailto:communicationsteam at nfb.org>.
2.       The One Minute Message language should be on the homepage somewhere and old branding language should be removed. We can provide this if you need it.
3.       Update KNFB Reader mentions on your site to read "Learn more and purchase KNFB Reader for iPhone, Android, and Windows 10 devices at www.knfbreader.com<http://www.knfbreader.com/>." The new website will be launching very soon. Please remove the "Make the Print Yours" tagline and ensure National Federation of the Blind messaging comes first on your site.
4.       Ensure social media "follow" icons (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) are on the homepage. These can be local accounts or national accounts if there is no local account. It is fine to include both.
5.       State convention information should be updated and easy to find, especially for upcoming fall conventions. At the very minimum, remove outdated convention information Once you notify communicationsteam at nfborg<mailto:communicationsteam at nfb.org> that your convention information is up to date, we will promote it on our homepage.
If resources are preventing you from making these updates, please reach out to me directly and I will help get you the resources you need.

Membership Committee:  Do you have a member or two in your affiliate who seem to naturally bring people into the Federation? Please send me nominations for individuals from your affiliate who are able and willing to participate actively in further developing the Membership Committee. Nominations should be sent by September 8.

News:  Onkyo Braille Essay Contest-Deadline Today!:
The Onkyo Braille Essay Contest is for people of all ages. Contest winners receive cash prizes valued from $500 to $2,000. Essays may be written on a wide range of Braille-related topics. Essays must be received by August 28. The link for full information and application for the contest is http://www.nfb.org/onkyo-braille-essay-contest.

Staff Changes:  Many are likely used to communicating with Clara Van Gerven regarding the Federation's technology efforts. Clara recently left the staff to pursue her next career-starting with a master's degree in social work. We wish Clara well and expect her to continue to be a marcher in our movement. ICYMI (that is "in case you missed it" for those of you not up on the lingo), well-known Federationist and former affiliate president Eric Duffy is our director of access technology. You can reach Eric here at extension 2401 or eduffy at nfb.org<mailto:eduffy at nfb.org>. Please coordinate technology-related activities with him.

WIOA Letter to DOE:  Last week, the National Federation of the Blind delivered its analysis in support of the Department of Education's regulations implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 to Education Secretary DeVos and forty-five members of Congress. Specifically, the analysis supported the Department of Education's definition of "competitive integrated employment," stating that the implementing regulations are consistent with congressional intent. This analysis was provided in response to a recent letter authored by Congresswoman Noem (R-SD) asking Secretary DeVos to rescind the regulations. Read the entire response at https://nfb.org/images/nfb/documents/pdf/sign-on-letters/response_letter_secretary_devos.pdf.

NABS YouTube:  The National Association of Blind Students has a new YouTube channel, titled "How Blind Students See It." As it continues to develop, it will be a platform for different blind students to show us what is going on in their lives and their different successes. This channel will also have different videos educating people on different situations that blind people face and how blind students accomplish their goals. The first video introduces the NABS board<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnLE5sghKic&feature=youtu.be>.

New Member Form:  Please make sure that each of your chapter presidents is using the new member form to enter information for new members as they join. The purpose of the form is to enter information into our growing database and to engage new members in ways that we have not in the past. Once the form is submitted, the new member will receive a series of seven emails welcoming them to the Federation and suggesting literature with links to read speeches and other addresses. These materials provide a great introduction to the philosophy of the Federation. The NFB New Member Information Form is located at https://nfb.org/new-member-form.

Vehicle Donations:  One of the easiest ways to gain funding to build the Federation is through our cars program. Our vehicle donation numbers are improving. So far in August we have twenty-two cars donated. Special mention goes to New Jersey and Illinois. Since those states have actively asked radio stations to play our PSAs, donations in these states have increased. Thanks to everyone who promotes our vehicle donations. For ideas, please reach out to Patti Chang at pchang at nfb.org<mailto:pchang at nfb.org> or extension 2422. And please ask stations to play our public service announcements.

Dates to Keep in Mind:

  *   Fall Conventions<https://nfb.org/state-conventions>
  *   September 12-17, 2017: BLAST<http://blindmerchants.org/blast-2017/>, Nashville, Tennessee
  *   November 1, 2017: 2018 Scholarship Application<http://nfb.org/scholarships> period begins
  *   November 6-8, 2017: Dare to Be Remarkable Conference<https://nfb.org/dare-be-remarkable-call-presentations>, Baltimore, Maryland
  *   January 29, 2018: Great Gathering-In, Washington, District of Columbia

 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.

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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