NFB State of the Union Response

February 3, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

In your January 28th State of the Union Address, and via a conference call with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Perez on January 29th, it was announced that all contractors would be required by executive order to pay their federally funded workers at least $10.10 an hour under any new contracts. The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, urges you to include workers with disabilities in this executive order, affirmatively and explicitly. We further urge you to announce that you will sign the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act (H.R. 831) if and when that legislation reaches your desk. With a Republican sponsor and substantial Democratic co-sponsorship, this nonpartisan piece of legislation will responsibly phase out the discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage.  Continue reading

Karen Hingson In Hosptal – Updates

Karen Hingson

Here is the Facebook update from Michael about Karen’s current condition. You can make donations to help defray her medical expenses bo going to Michael’s Website here: www.michaelhingson.com or simply clicking on Karen’s picture here. 

“Hi everyone,

THANKS VERY MUCH for all of your thoughts and concerns about Karen and me. I appreciate them a great deal. Here is where we are at present.

Karen is improving, all be it at a slow rate. We are optimistic. As you know, Karen contracted pneumonia which advanced to include acute respiratory distress syndrome which means her lungs are very inflamed and thus breathing is extremely hard for her. Over the past week she has been heavily sedated and on an ventilator. They began reducing sedation levels last Thursday and took her off the sedative completely on Saturday. Continue reading

Launch of Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship Fund

Dear All,

Excited to share details of the new Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship Fund targeting students with disabilities entering college in the fall.  This is a new initiative from Microsoft and the DisAbility Employee Resource Group (ERG), built in partnership with Seattle Foundation.  The scholarship website is open to applications until March 15th.  Please, use your sharing/posting super powers to distribute details to your communities and anyone you feel may benefit.  All the details are enclosed, and below.

Any questions, do let me know.  Let’s change the number 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Jenny
Chair DisAbility ERG,
Senior Director Accessibility Customer Experience, Privacy and Online Safety Support.  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

National Federation of the Blind Announces Winners of 2013 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest

Competition Encourages Braille Usage Among the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (December 18, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. The NFB administered the Onkyo Braille Literacy Essay Contest in the U.S. on behalf of the North American/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union. The essay contest, sponsored by Onkyo Corporation, a Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer, and the Braille Mainichi, part of the Mainichi Newspaper Company in Japan, was created to promote Braille literacy and to encourage the sharing of social and cultural information among blind and visually impaired persons. Continue reading

Skies Are Still Unfriendly For The Blind

By Marc Maurer – 11/18/13 09:00 AM EST

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year, so most planning to fly home for the holidays are prepared for high fares, long lines, and potentially substandard service. Thankfully, passengers have ways to prepare for the complications – compare fares online to get the lowest rate, monitor flight delays using mobile apps, print boarding passes ahead of time, and check bags using the kiosk – but the blind and other disabled passengers are denied access to these services. Continue reading

National Federation of the Blind Mourns Passing of Dr. Abraham Nemeth

Hello Friends,

I knew Dr. Nemeth during his lifetime.  I first heard of him in 1959 when I received my first copy of his code for producing mathematical Braille.  I still have that one volume Braille book in my library.  Dr. Nemeth’s code provided me and many blind people with our first systematic entree to writing mathematical symbols and formula in Braille, the reading and writing language of blind persons.  Over the years Dr. Nemeth improved and enhanced his code.

He was a force for Braille and for the education of blind people all over the world.  I will miss his humor and wisdom, and I am sure many other blind people will miss him as well. Continue reading

9/11 Survivor, Michael Hingson, Talks About Mind Control

This is a great interview that I did with Michele Rosenthal. As noted on her website “Change You Choose,” Michele struggled with un-diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for 24 years. Then she was diagnosed and went on a healing rampage! Today she inspires others to reclaim their lives by creating change they choose.

I was interviewed by Michele and you can hear the interview here:

9/11 Survivor, Michael Hingson, Talks About Mind Control

Have fun!

Fake Service Dog IDs Causing Problems For Disabled

PETALUMA, Calif. –  Service dogs have special access to places that other dogs don’t, such as restaurants and airplanes, leading some people to lie and claim their pets are specially trained.

According to service dog trainers, all it takes for dog owners to obtain special access for their pets is a vest or a badge that says “Service Dog,” and such identification can be found online for just a few dollars.  Continue reading