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

Video on fair wages for workers with Disabilities

Dear Fellow Federationists:

We wanted to share a video with you that supports our call for fair wages for workers with disabilities. We asked American workers at an event outside Johns Hopkins Hospital what they thought of the fact that Americans with disabilities can be paid less than the minimum wage. Their reactions are powerful. 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

Information technology pro, guide dog teach the workplace, world about trust and teamwork

Veteran information technology salesman Michael Hingson once had a job interview scheduled with a technology company that was abruptly canceled.

The headhunter who arranged the interview phoned Hingson a few days beforehand and asked: “I see you’ve worked with blindness-oriented organizations. Is someone in your family blind?”

I’m blind,” Hingson said. His meeting was called off early the next morning.

Hingson, who holds a master’s degree in physics, was far from surprised. According to the Social Security Administration, 70 percent of employable blind workers are unemployed and that’s primarily because employers reject their capabilities, said Hingson, who uses a talking smartphone, talking email and other tools. Here’s a link to the whole article

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: 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!

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


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