[Ohio-talk] Buckeye Update
eduffy at deltav.org
Sat Dec 7 00:06:48 UTC 2013
National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
Buckeye Update, December 6, 2013
I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving. I always enjoy the holiday
season beginning with Thanksgiving. The weather for the next several days
will certainly not let us forget that we are in the month of December now.
As you know, Dr. Marc Maurer has been our national president since 1986. He
has served as president longer than any of our previous presidents and has
guided us through a period of unprecedented growth and change. It was under
Dr. Maurer's leadership that we established the Jernigan Institute and all
of the programs that have been so successful in demonstrating the truth of
our assertion that given proper opportunity and training, blind people can
live and work as others do.
In particular we have developed many programs designed to provide
blind children and youth with the skills and confidence they need to compete
fully in their education and to develop their life ambitions. We have
conducted the Youth Slam, Science Academy, and more recently the BELL
In the area of technology under Dr. Maurer's leadership we developed
the KNFB Reader Mobile allowing blind people to have immediate access to
print with nothing more than a cell phone and special software. Then there
was the Blind Driver Challenge. There is no question that lack of access to
reliable transportation remains a major barrier for blind people. Yet, the
Blind Driver Challenge showed that we could develop the technology to enable
a blind person to drive a car, not simply sit passively in a car that drives
These are the expressions of Dr. Maurer's leadership. Yet at the
heart of his leadership is his spirit and his belief in every blind person.
He has inspired and encouraged us, faced the most difficult challenges with
resolution and strength, and he has kept us together, and never let us
waiver in our belief in our own right to live normal, productive lives. I
for one have come to appreciate all that Dr. Maurer has given to the
National Federation of the Blind and thus to me more and more in time.
On Saturday afternoon Dr. Maurer told the National Board of
Directors that it is his intention to not seek reelection to the presidency
next summer at our national convention. He feels the time is right to
transition to the next president, the next individual who can lead us for a
quarter century or more. Dr. Maurer is in good health and believes that it
is important that he step down from the presidency while he is able to
assist with the transition. Dr. Maurer told the board that he, Dr. Maurer,
plans to support Mark Riccobono as the next president of the National
Federation of the Blind.
Mark Riccobono currently serves as the Executive Director of the
Jernigan Institute. I believe He is an accomplished individual with the
strength and wisdom to assume the serious responsibility of leading our
movement. He has brought to his work the imagination and competency we
demand from our president.
I do not know Mark well, but I believe this to be true. I do not
know his wife Melissa very well at all, but I have enjoyed watching them
with their children when I have been at the National Center.
The demands of the NFB presidency are unimaginable. We require our
leader to give all of his time, all of his imagination, and all of his
personal reserve of judgment to leading our organization. This is what Dr.
Maurer has done for the past 27 and a half years, and it is what Mark
Riccobono will do for the time of his presidency.
No one understands the demands of the NFB Presidency than does Dr.
Maurer. Therefore, if Dr. Maurer believes Mark Riccobono is the best person
to assume the presidency at this time I will trust his judgment, and do all
that I can to be supportive during this time of great transition. I trust
and hope that you will do the same.
I have called a meeting of the Board of Directors of the National
Federation of the Blind of Ohio for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM. We had a
December meeting last year at which time I appointed the committees that
will do much of the work of the organization. I plan to appoint committees
on Tuesday. We will also discuss the 2014 convention and our next
scholarship program. We will also set the date for our January meeting.
Other business might arise, but only if it absolutely must be discussed
before our January meeting.
You do not have to be a member of the board to participate in these
meetings. I encourage you to join us. Shortly before 8:00 PM. on Tuesday
call (605) 475-4875. When prompted use access code 201909 followed by the
We had a very successful Bid for Equality online auction. I want to
thank everyone who helped spread the word and made a Bid for Equality. I
want to especially thank those who donated items or who got items donated.
Three items were donated from Ohio. Barbara Pierce won the Ohio State quilt
that was donated by Angela Clark in the Capital Chapter. I placed the
winning bid for her. That is probably the closest I will every get to buying
an Ohio State Buckeye anything. I am happy to report that we received more
than $10,000 in bids to support the work of the National Federation of the
We are doing some fund raising of our own in Ohio. At this point I
am not going to list the names of those who have ordered Malley'sChocolate.
I will do that once the sales have closed. Although we are much closer, we
still need to get a few more orders before reaching our minimum goal of
$1,000 in sales. We are running out of time, but I hope to report that we
have surpassed this goal in the next update. Online ordering ends December
15. The Springfield chapter pulled together on order so that no one would
have to pay for shipping even if they only wanted to order one thing
On Tuesday Debbie Baker and I attended a meeting of the advisory
board for the Teacher Preparation Program and the Orientation and Mobility
Programs at OSU. It was a good meeting, and starting in January we may begin
working on a plan for legislative action to change education law for blind
children in Ohio.
Following that meeting I attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the
new Ohio State School for the Blind. This is an impressive facility. I must
say it feels strange to not know my way around that building. It is worth
remembering that I met with Governor Ted Strickland when a plan to combine
the campuses and operation of the School for the Blind and the School for
the Deaf had serious traction. We helped put a stop on that plan.
Barbara has finished her work on the convention issue of the
newsletter. I will read through it tonight, and you should see it in your
inbox and on NEWSLINE early next week.
Our friends at Vanda Pharmaceuticals are running a campaign to raise
awareness of Non-24 Hour Disorder and raise funds for the National
Federation of the Blind at the same time. Non-24-Hour Disorder (Non-24) is a
serious circadian rhythm disorder that causes significant nighttime sleep
problems and a wide range of daytime difficulties, including an overwhelming
urge to sleep during the day. According to Vanda, Non-24 affects nearly 70
percent of people who are totally blind. Sign up to learn more about
Non-24-Hour Disorder by calling 1-855-856-2424, and a portion of $24,
divided among several other blindness organizations, will be donated to the
NFB! And even better, every time you share the program with someone you know
and he or she signs up, Vanda will make another $24 donation. Sign up and
spread the word! I have done this. It is an easy way to get a few dollars in
to the treasury of our national organization. I will be interested to see
how many members of the board have taken the five minutes to make this phone
call by the time of our meeting on Tuesday evening.
I will write again next week. I will see you on the call Tuesday
night. Here is my last reminder about Malley's.
The National Federation of the Blind of Ohio is conducting a
fundraising activity with Malley's Chocolates of Cleveland, Ohio.
A website has been setup specifically for the National Federation of the
Blind of Ohio fundraising campaign. All purchases made on that site will
directly benefit the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. To connect to
this site, please visit
Thank you very much,
Eric Duffy, President National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
Our mailing address is:
13400 Brookpark Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44135
Contact us by phone: 1-800-275-6255
All website content C Copyright 2013 Malley's Chocolate. All rights
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