[PACapitalChapter] November Meeting Agenda

Anna Walker missannawalker at gmail.com
Fri Nov 15 20:43:18 UTC 2019

Here is the Agenda for our November meeting. I am sorry this went out so

Anna C. Walker

Capital Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania Board
Meeting Agenda Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:00 a.m. EST

*Community Room at the Camp Hill Giant, 3301 Trindle Rd. Camp Hill, PA,

*If you cannot attend, our conference call-in number is (605) 472-5521.
After dialing in, press the access code, 661198, followed by the pound sign


Welcome/Personal Updates:

Congratulations to Hillary McFadden

·       Article called “speeding Toward Her Goals” in the BUSINESSWoman

Secretary’s Report:

Treasurer’s Report:

Checking Balance:* $515.26*

Savings Balance:* $1,161.47*

Total Income:* $0.00*

Total Expenses: *$5.00 (October 2019 NFB PAC—pre-authorized contribution)*

Current Balance (as of September 21, 2019): *$1,676.73*

Old Business:

Vote on changing the chapter’s Constitution that was read at the last

Vote on Bi-law change number one

Vote on By-law change number two

Hosting the Hospitality suite   State Convention   Meet the Blind Month

NFB Presidential Report:

Greetings fellow Federationists, today is Wednesday, October 30, 2019 and
this is presidential release number 488. Yes, this is the November release
but I'm doing it a few days early as I'm going to be on the road traveling
to Washington, DC and Arkansas for our NFB of Arkansas convention and on to
Georgia for some Federation business so I wanted to get this release in
early. We are in the final stretch of the fall convention season there is
so much great stuff happening all around the country. And we're getting
ready for the fall meeting of the board of directors, that will happen here
in early December. So there's a lot of great things happening.

Let me begin this release by thanking each and every one of you for the
tremendous National Federation of the Blind Meet the Blind month events
around the country. I've gotten some great feedback from many of you and
some interesting things have happened to engage the community in
understanding the perspective, hopes and dreams of the members of the
National Federation of the Blind. So thank each and every one of you for
that and I look forward to the new creative ideas we'll come up for the
months to come and in the year ahead.

I have a number of things to talk to you about on this release. You may
have seen that there is a federal regulation that is receiving comments
right now regarding our Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act. The regulation
that is being clarified is the one that allows car companies to have
multiple sounds for cars. That means a car could have one or two or three
different sounds that a customer could choose from that their car would
make. There's some misinformation going on out there about this and I
wanted to help clarify it on this release.

First of all, you know that the National Federation of the Blind helped to
pass the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in early 2011, it was signed by
President Obama and we were the lead organization in negotiating that law.
We also followed through with the regulations. Early on in the process we
agreed that there could be multiple sounds that car companies could have
multiple sounds as long as the sounds that they have meet all of the
qualifications that are required in the federal regulations. Now we agree
with the qualifications. We helped to set the standards. And so, from our
perspective as long as the sounds meet the federal standards for what we
want them to be we weren't too worried and still are not worried about
there being multiple sounds.

Every car company is permitted to come up with its own sound and some of
them want to come up with more than one sound to help with consumer
adoption. They're unlikely to come up with too many sounds because they
have to get each of them certified as meeting the federal standards and
that costs them a lot of money, so it's not likely to cause a problem. What
has always been important for us is that we have a soundscape that is
hearable and recognizable as a moving vehicle. And we have done extensive
testing of our own, we've been very influential with the car companies and
they've come to our point of view.

The current request for information about regulations you can go to our
website and see what we've said about multiple sounds. We've always been in
favor of it. It was in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act so we continue
to support it. We believe that the sounds will be compliant with the
federal standards, which we do support. So you can go on to the government
website and enter comments if you would like, we're not necessarily calling
for members of the Federation to do that but I wanted to clarify the
multiple sound question because there are some things circulating that
suggest that this is rolling back what we got implemented with the
Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act and that's simply not true.

We are going to have a convention in 2020 and I need to talk to you about
that. You may have already received this news. We have a great reputation
in the National Federation of the Blind for negotiating with hotels, being
a good partner with our hotels as well as the cities we're in. We announced
that the national convention this year that our convention next year in
2020 would be in Houston, Texas from June 30 to July 5. And in fact, we
were planning on that. The city of Houston came to us a couple of weeks ago
and said they had a need to talk to us about potentially moving the dates
of our convention. We initially told them there's no way we can do that.

We talked to them a little further and as I say, we have a great reputation
of working collaboratively and that is one of the reasons we get the rates
and benefits that we do to host a convention of our size. The board of
directors ultimately agreed to move the dates for the 2020 National
Convention back two weeks to July 14-29, 2020. These dates are now set in
stone, you can bank on them unless something really traumatic happens.
These dates are set in stone. And we apologize for any inconvenience that
this may have caused but we believe for the National Federation of the
Blind and for our relationship with hotels and negotiating future contracts
that this is a good move for the organization. we also believe that it will
present some opportunities for the convention itself.

It did occur to me that when we were in Orlando, we used to always tell
people that the convention dates were not set in stone until November 1 and
that was a provision, we had in our contract to permit some flexibility,
which helped with our negotiations. We may be should go back to saying that
again so people don't immediately jump up and make all sorts of plans. I do
apologize on a personal level if this has caused any inconvenience. It is a
little unusual but it was the smartest thing for us to do for the
organization overall. We are going to have a great convention in Houston.
We're looking forward to it and I do hope that you can still be with us in
Houston, Texas July 14-19. There'll be more information about the
convention in the December Monitor.

Now that we're approaching November 1, our national scholarship program
applications are available on our website. As you know, our scholarship
program is for blind students pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time
post-secondary program in the fall of 2020. The eligibility requirements
and frequently asked questions, the application can all be found on our
website at www.nfb.org/scholarships. I encourage you to help spread the
word, our scholarship program is the most extensive program for blind
students in the nation and as you know, it comes with mentoring from some
of the most dynamic leaders in the field of blindness.

And it creates personal relationships that are more valuable than the
dollars that it provides to the students. And as you also know, we have
some great partners working with us on our scholarship program that add
value to it. Please spread the word, we want to get as many blind students
to apply as possible so that we can also get connected with them. Visit our
website, talk to your local university, spread our scholarship information
to all the places you can think of.

Let me talk a little bit about Braille on this release. I've mentioned
previously that the Braille Readers Are Leaders contest is coming up and
you can now register for the contest, which is both a reading contest for
blind children and for blind adults. So it's a great opportunity to
encourage Braille reading, sharing of teaching techniques and reading
techniques within your chapter. The Braille Readers Are Leaders contest is
administered by the America Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, a
strong partner of ours and we continue to be a partner in this contest.

Blind children and adults across the country will compete in the contest to
read the most pages and you'll log those pages and submit them to the
contest. There will be prizes for participating and for the winners in each
category. The contest officially runs from December 1, 2019 to January 18,
2020. You can learn more about the contest at actionfund.org/bral. I
encourage you to use this as a way to promote Braille, Braille reading, and
sharing within your chapters.

Also, it's the time of year where we partner with Santa Claus. So we have
an announcement from Patricia Maurer, which says Santa Claus has made the
staff at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute honorary
elves once again. He has asked us to help him send letters in Braille to
very young blind boys and girls. Those under the age of 10. The program is
for blind children in the United States and the applications or the form to
fill out to get a letter from Santa Claus will be available starting
November 11 and will continue to be available through the 16th of December.

Parents can go online at www.nfb.org/santa-letters and fill out a Santa
Braille letter request form. You can find the form there and if you need to
you can print it and fax it to 410-685-2340. Or you can e-mail the form to
communityrelations at nfb.org. The letters will start leaving our building on
Monday, December 2 so that they can be there in time. You'll want to get
your request in no later than December 16 so it's there just in time for
the end of December when it needs to be. If you have questions you can to
our website and read more information. This program has been one we are
doing for a number of years; it is one that is always met with joyful
anticipation by families.

It's made a great difference in our doing outreach and so I encourage you
to promote it. It's a fun thing I always look forward to our doing. By the
way, what gets sent is a Braille letter from Santa Claus as well as some
fun activities, often a tactile picture. I've heard rumors about what the
elves are thinking about for 2019 it's going to be really cool. And I'm
sure we'll have a change to talk about it in the future but get the little
ones that you know of that want a Braille letter from Santa signed up for
this. We do send a print letter as well so that the parents know what Santa
has communicated to blind kids across the country.

Speaking of Braille, I do want to let you know that in the last month we've
experienced some delay with the Braille version of our flagship
publication, The Braille Monitor. We apologize for that. The vendor that we
used ran into some difficulties and that put the August/September issue
behind schedule in terms of getting out and into your hands. We think that
delay has now been rectified it's possible it will have an impact on the
October and possibly the November issue as well. We certainly hope not but
we've worked with our vendor on what the problem was and you should be
anticipating those Braille copies of The Braille Monitor coming to you real

And since I'm talking about it, just an opportunity to say please, send
articles, ideas for articles to Gary Wunder, our Braille Monitor editor.
He's eager to get content from Federationists about things you'd like to
see in The Monitor and especially if you write it, your stories, your
experiences, we'd like to consider them for The Monitor. You can send them
to gwunder at nfb.org.

I do have a couple of Federation family notes here on this release. I do
regret to inform you that this past weekend Herbert Maggin of Maryland
passed away. You may have gotten to know Herbert around our national
convention. He was a figure in and around the convention for many years
especially helping to promote our Kenneth Jernigan fund selling raffle
tickets and talking to people about opportunities to build the Federation.
Herb was sighted but he was blind at heart and came to be a strong marcher
in our movement. We're very saddened about his passing, he had been sick
for some time. Dr. Maurer had the opportunity to visit with him last week
before he passed away and to represent us at the funeral. I encourage you
to keep Herb and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

I do have a joyous piece of news coming from our Missouri affiliate. Ben
and Theresa Versalone report the birth of their daughter, Mi Kyong Lee
Versalone who was born on October 17, 2019 weighing eight pounds, 13 ounces
and measuring 21.5 inches long. Mi Kyong means beautiful and bright in
Korean and that is certainly what we expect her life to be. And we expect
that she will bring that also to the proud parents who are both doing well.
I had the opportunity to speak with Ben briefly, I noticed he sounded a
little sleepy, which is what you would expect from a new father. So
congratulations to the Versalone family and welcome Mi Kyong as the newest
member of the National Federation of the Blind.

We have been working on a number of other things throughout the Federation
including here at our national headquarters. We are almost done with our
construction. We went through the final punch list earlier this week. That
doesn't mean we're exactly done but we've given the construction team their
final marching orders about what they need to do. We've been putting in
comments on a number of policy matters at the national level including the
National Instructional Materials Access standard. You can find information
about that and other happenings on our website.

I continue to be so pleased with what's happening all across the nation and
especially with the new members who are coming into our organization, I
want to congratulate all of our chapters on doing some fantastic outreach
to welcome people into the Federation, help them know about our
organization. I encourage you to keep it up, this is a busy time of year
with Federation activity and holiday and families but it's one of my
favorites. I also hope that you had a very happy Halloween and that you'll
have a great safe and joyous time with all the many holidays coming up. I'm
looking forward to saluting our veterans on Veteran Day. It's just a great
time of year, lots of fun family things happening. It is always fun around
the National Federation of the Blind to celebrate our Federation family as

Before we get to the customary endings, I want to leave you again with my
salute to your work and say let's go build the National Federation of the

New Business:

New member voting process

New Member induction ceremony

Motion to Adjourn:

Next Meeting:

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Future meeting dates and times:

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Anna C. Walker
President, Capital Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of
Vice-president, Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students
101 Kelly Drive
Carlisle, PA   17015
Cell: (717) 658-9239

More information about the PACapitalChapter mailing list