[Ohio-talk] Buckeye Update

Eric Duffy eduffy at deltav.org
Mon Dec 23 21:10:07 UTC 2013

National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
Buckeye Update, December 23, 2013
	Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. This is a happy time
of year, and it always seems to me that people we know and those we meet on
the street go out of their way to wish others a Merry Christmas or happy new
year and some times to be more helpful or nice. We should do that all year,
and this time of year would be even more special.
	For the second year in a row Shelbi and I attended the Cleveland
Chapter Christmas Party. It was a very nice party and I enjoyed the chance
to spend some time with long-time friends and getting to know others better.
I want to thank the chapter for inviting us and making us feel so welcome.
In particular I want to thank William H., Suzanne Turner, and Cheryl Fields.
Richard Payne was also there, and we enjoyed our time with him as well.
	On Friday afternoon prior to the party, Those whom I just mentioned
along with Cheryl Fischer met with Dr. Steve Freedman, Director of the
Cleveland Sight Center. This was an historic meeting. The President, Vice
President, Secretary, of the affiliate, two chapter Presidents, and a
chapter Vice President met with the Director of the Sight Center. 
	Among other things we agreed that the NFB of Ohio should be a part
of meetings with BSVI and the facilities serving the blind in Ohio to help
determine how to improve Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind in
the state. Dr. Freedman also agreed that we should also visit Centers that
we have identified as having the best training programs. I thought it was a
very productive meeting. 
Tuesday marked one of the saddest days in the history of the National
Federation of the Blind of Ohio as far as I am concerned. I am in no way
going to rehash the discussion here, but suffice it to say that several of
us engaged in a discussion of internal matters in a very public way using
the Ohio-Talk Listserv. That should not have happened, and I am sorry that
it did.
	Since joining the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio in 1984 I
have done what I can to be an effective leader. I was in college when I
first joined, and I was one of the youngest members by far at the time. Many
of those I met told me that my friends would join, but it would not happen
until later.
	I was thought of as a young whipper snapper by some. I saw the need
for change, but I also saw the need to learn from others with more
experience in the organization. When Bob Eschbach stepped down from the NFB
of Ohio Presidency, the organization became factionalized   for a short
period of time. Both factions wanted me to see things their way. 
	It did not take me long to join forces with Barbra Pierce and to do
what I could to help her build a strong and united organization, and I'm
glad I did. I worked with the leadership to change those things that I could
change, but I also accepted those things I could not change. 
	I have learned much about myself and the organization over the
years. I believe that I have helped lead the way toward organizational
change and systemic change that have benefited the blind for a long time
now, and I will continue to do so. One of the things that I have learned is
that the way we deliver a message is often every bit as important as the
message we deliver.
	I have made a concerted effort to update the membership on a weekly
basis. I have taken the step of putting the updates on newsline so that
anyone who is a newsline user but does not have Email can read them. I want
the membership to know what we are doing as an organization and what I am
doing as President.
	I don't have a problem when people disagree with the decisions I
make as President of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. It is all
part of the volunteer job that I have willingly accepted. However, I want to
be sure that we do not discuss our family matters in public again. We are a
strong and united family, and I am proud to serve as your president. I want
us all to continue to love and enjoy working with each other. I know we all
want what is best for the organization. Occasionally, there is some
disagreement over exactly what that is. Disagreement is fine. Let's all just
do it respectfully and keep discussions that should b among family just that
This is a reminder that 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.
	Our next Scrip order is due by 7:00 PM on January 5. Please Email
your order to me if you need help placing it. 
	I will give you the results of our Malley' fund raising campaign as
soon as I have them, but again thank you to everyone who participated to
make it the success that it was.
	We are making preparations for our participation in the Washington
Seminar at the end of January. Debbie Baker, Marianne Denning, and I will be
traveling to Baltimore for BELL training on January third. 
	We have done good work to change what it means to be blind in Ohio
this year. There is much more to be done in the year to come. We are the
only organization to lead the way and make those changes happen. I am proud
of what we have done and excited to think about what we will do in the year
to come.
	I will probably not write another update until January 10. So again
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the New Year
be filled with love, happiness, prosperity, and lots of good work on behalf
of the National Federation of the Blind.

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