What Is Normal Anyway? | Michael Hingson

I have always regarded myself as a pretty normal kind of guy. I am 64 years old and have been married for half my life. I have a Masters degree in Physics from the University of California at Irvine which I received in the usual timeframe. Following in the footsteps of most normal people after college I obtained a full-time job which for me happen to be in sales. I sold high tech computer related products for over 25 years. Sounds pretty normal so far? Continue reading

Help! My Baby is Blind!

Every expectant or new parent anticipates getting only the most “perfect baby in the world.”  If the newborn child looks in any way different, or if the doctors find “something wrong” with the child, all joy and enthusiasm can come crashing down around the new parents and their families.

A perfect example of this is what happens to any mother who gives birth to a child which happens to be born blind.  In my case, for example, the blindness was not diagnosed until four months after I was born, and the blindness was not technically there at birth, but it was caused by me being given a pure Oxygen environment right after birth.  You see, I was born two months prematurely and the Oxygen-rich environment was necessary in order to keep me alive.  The condition which caused my blindness is known as Retinopathy O Prematurity.  Blindness is not always the result of a pure Oxygen environment for newborns, but it can be a condition that results. Continue reading

Funds for First Timers to the NFB National Convention in 2014

Do you need a little extra cash to be able to attend the national convention in Orlando this summer?

The Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship Fund invites members of the National Federation of the Blind who have not been to a national convention before to make an application. The three largest expenses are round-trip travel costs, usually by plane; the room cost from arrival on July 1 to departure on July 7; and food costs when mostly eating in a hotel.  The fund will usually cover one of the three. To understand what the committee needs to know about you, read the article by me, Allen Harris, chairperson of the Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship Fund, which is published in the March “Braille Monitor.” Here is a direct link to the article: Continue reading

National Federation of the Blind and H&R Block Announce Agreement Assuring Accessibility

National Federation of the Blind and H&R Block
Announce Agreement Assuring Accessibility

H&R Block Will Make Online Tax Prep and Mobile Apps Accessible

Boston, Massachusetts (March 25, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, and H&R Block, which prepares approximately one in seven tax returns in America, announced today that they have reached an agreement to make H&R Block’s Web site, online tax preparation products, and mobile applications fully accessible to blind taxpayers. Blind people access computers, Web sites, and mobile applications through screen access software that converts what is on the screen into spoken words or Braille, but improperly coded Web sites and applications can prevent this software from working properly, denying the blind user equal access. The agreement is contained in a consent decree ending litigation involving NFB, two of H&R Block’s subsidiaries, two blind Massachusetts residents, and the United States Department of Justice. The consent decree outlines steps that H&R Block will take to assure that its Web site, including the utility for preparing income tax returns, is accessible by January of 2015 and that its mobile applications are accessible by January of 2016. The agreement also contains measures to ensure that accessibility is maintained and that blind users and others with disabilities can provide feedback and receive assistance with accessibility issues. Continue reading

Blind Man to Drive Motorcycle at Thunder in the Valley Air Show

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org

Read More

Blind Man to Drive Motorcycle at Thunder in the Valley Air Show

Columbus, Georgia (March 11, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind today announced that one of its members, Dan Parker, an experienced racecar builder and driver who lost his sight as the result of a racing accident in 2012, will again independently operate a three-wheeled motorcycle with the help of a GPS system that gives him audible cues in order to help him maintain a straight course. Mr. Parker will drive his custom-built motorcycle on the runway as part of the Thunder in the Valley Air Show in Columbus, Georgia, this weekend. Continue reading

Service Dog Owners Still Hounded Despite Change In Law

Tony Gonzalez, The (Nashville) Tennessean 11:28 a.m. EST March 7, 2014

Source:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/07/service-dogs-law/6163211/

NASHVILLE — Tennessee law changed last year to make travel with service dogs easier – but if a law changes and few people know, has it really changed?

The new law aims to protect people with disabilities from having to show documentation about their disabilities or their service dogs when entering businesses. It’s a change that brought Tennessee in line with long-standing protections in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark
1990 federal law that gave equal standing in public accommodations to disabled people.

But some Tennesseans with disabilities continue to be asked for proof, forcing them to argue that the law is on their side. Attorneys at the Disability Law and Advocacy Center worry that not much has changed. Among the concerns still rolling in: a man with a service dog asked by staff to leave a funeral home; a woman with epilepsy told not to bring her dog to medical appointments. Continue reading

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Senate Introduction of TEACH Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org

Read More

National Federation of the Blind Applauds 
Senate Introduction of TEACH Act

Senators Warren, Hatch Introduce
Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act

Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC (February 28, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, applauds Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for yesterday introducing the Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act (S. 2060). The TEACH Act, which is the result of collaboration between the NFB and the Association of American Publishers, and which has been endorsed by eleven other organizations of and for people with disabilities, will create accessibility guidelines for electronic instructional materials and related information technologies used by institutions of higher education. The introduction of the bill was announced during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing focusing on college access and success for students with disabilities. Continue reading

Under Obama Order, Workers With Disabilities To Get Pay Hike

Under Obama Order, Workers With Disabilities To Get Pay Hike By Michelle Diament | February 12, 2014  From Disability Scoop

An executive order requiring federal contractors to be paid at least $10.10 per hour will apply to workers with disabilities too, White House officials say.

President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order Wednesday raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, including those with disabilities employed under service or concessions contracts with the government.

The move represents an about-face for the White House. When the plan to hike pay for government contractors was originally announced during Obama’s State of the Union address last month, it left out many workers with disabilities.  Continue reading

GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Service-dog bill is gaining traction in Virginia

GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Service-dog bill is gaining traction in Virginia

BY CHELYEN DAVIS / THE FREE LANCE-STAR

http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2014/01/24/general-assembly-service-dog-bill-is-gaining-traction/

RICHMOND-With little discussion and no dissent, a Senate committee Friday advanced a bill to broaden Virginia’s service dogs laws to ensure that they include dogs used to help those suffering from PTSD.

The bill comes from Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania. Lori O’Bry, with the Stafford SPCA, came to Richmond to urge its passage. Continue reading