General News

Washington Seminar Information on NFB-NEWSLINE

It’s that time of year again! Washington Seminar is next week in DC and the nation’s blind will be visiting the capitol. The Washington Seminar is an annual event of the National Federation of the Blind to introduce the agenda of blind Americans–the priority issues requiring congressional attention over the coming year. The issues are selected from official positions of the Federation and may address concerns in the following areas:

  • relevant civil rights issues;
  • educational programs and services;
  • rehabilitation of the blind for competitive employment;
  • the operation of vending facilities by blind persons on public property;
  • specialized library services for the blind;
  • the organization and funding of federal programs;
  • Social Security and Supplemental Income programs;
  • and other timely topics.

    Approximately three legislative initiatives are chosen for priority attention during the Washington Seminar.
    We have posted the NFB 2017 Washington Seminar Agenda and Fact Sheets on NFB-NEWSLINE, under the NFB National Channel.
    To reach this information using the telephone access method, press one from the main menu for National Channels and NFB-NEWSLINE Information, then one for NFB National Channel, and then press five to read the NFB 2017 Washington Seminar Agenda or press six to read the NFB 2017 Washington Seminar Fact Sheets.

To reach this information using the free NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile app, choose Publications, Publication Options, All Publications, and find the NFB 2017 Washington Seminar Agenda or NFB 2017 Washington Seminar Fact Sheets.

Safe travels to those heading to DC. If you are interested in how you can get involved, contact your local state NFB affiliate. A list of these can be found on the website at, slash, state, dash, and, dash, local, dash,organizations.

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Issuance of “508 Refresh” Regulations

The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for blind Americans to gain equal access to information and technology, today applauded the publication of new technical standards to bring information and communication technology (ICT) into compliance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, which requires government agencies and contractors to make their electronic information and technology accessible to the blind and others with disabilities.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:

Information and communication Technology has changed a great deal since the last Section 508 regulations were issued, and has become an even more integral part of everyday life. Yet blind people, particularly blind federal employees, continue to struggle with access barriers when interacting with electronic and information technology used or procured by federal agencies.

For these reasons, we are extremely pleased that the new Section 508 standards have finally been published. Government agencies and contractors should now understand how to make information and services accessible to the blind, allowing federal employees to perform their job functions effectively and other blind Americans to exercise our rights and responsibilities as citizens.

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their ICT accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.


The U. S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) wants to hear from voters with disabilities about their Election Day stories. Please take time to give your personal feedback to the EAC, good or bad. Either way the EAC wants to hear from us.

Please e-mail your personal Election Day story to

The Help America Vote Act contains landmark provisions requiring the secure, private, and independent casting of ballots by voters with disabilities, including blind and low-vision voters. Even so, on Election Day this year, the EAC and the NFB heard from voters who faced a variety of difficulties with the voting process. Other blind and low-vision voters reported positive experiences. It is very important that EAC hears what each of us has to say.

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Issuance of Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act Regulations

The National Federation of the Blind commented today on the issuance of regulations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama to protect the blind and other pedestrians from the dangers posed by silent hybrid and electric vehicles.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:

Having raised concerns on behalf of blind Americans about the dangers posed by silent hybrid and electric vehicles, the National Federation of the Blind is extremely pleased that technical specifications for a safe level of sound to be emitted by such vehicles have now been issued.
The full implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 will protect all pedestrians, especially the blind, as well as cyclists. This regulation will ensure that blind Americans can continue to travel safely and independently as we work, learn, shop, and engage in all facets of community life.

Studies conducted by NHTSA indicate that, under certain low-speed scenarios, the odds of hybrid and electric vehicles being involved in collisions with pedestrians are thirty-five percent higher than those for comparable internal combustion engine vehicles and that the odds of hybrid and electric vehicles being involved in collisions with cyclists are fifty-seven percent higher than for comparable internal combustion engine vehicles.
The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act was passed by unanimous consent in the United States Senate and by an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote of 379 to 30 in the House of Representatives. It was signed by President Obama on January 4, 2011.

Schedule update for Decatur Chapter meeting

Decatur Chapter November Meeting

The November meeting of the Decatur chapter of the NFB of Georgia will be held the first Saturday, November 5th.
The meeting will be at the regular location, Decatur Rec: 231 Sycamore St; Decatur, Georgia 30030, from 12 PM to 2 PM.
This change of date only applies to the upcoming November meeting.

If you have any questions, or need more information, contact president Wayne High at 404-216-7408 or Vice President, Randy Malone at 470-383-0071

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Continued Support from Google for KNFB Reader

Google Supports Continued Development of Text Recognition App that Gives the Blind Access to Print

Baltimore, MD (October 7, 2016): The National Federation of the Blind is pleased to announce that Google continues its support of the development and distribution of KNFB Reader. For a limited time, KNFB Reader will be offered for the reduced price of $19.99 for the Android app.

KNFB Reader is a mobile app that reads print aloud. It’s easy to use. Take a photo and the app reads the text aloud in clear synthetic speech. And it’s fast–the print will be yours almost instantaneously.

The app is fully accessible thanks to Google TalkBack and app functionalities that guide the blind user in independently taking the perfect picture. The app can currently recognize text in nineteen different languages, and is compatible with connected Braille displays.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:

We are delighted that continued support from Google will allow us to further develop the KNFB Reader app and to get this life-changing technology into the hands of more people who can benefit from it. We deeply appreciate Google’s continued support because it means that more people who are blind or who have print disabilities will have a quick and convenient means of accessing the printed word.

One new KNFB Reader user said,

I had a minor medical procedure recently and upon discharge I was given a pile of papers which included my reported results. For the first time in my life, I was able to read my report in privacy and independently. If you are still wondering whether to buy this app, all I can say is that for me it was a good investment. I can imagine myself using the KNFB reader on a daily basis.

To purchase KNFB Reader for Android, , visit the Google Play store.

2016 NFBGA State Convention Cancellation

This is to inform everyone that the 2016 NFBGA Convention has been cancelled
due to inclement weather.

If you reserved a room at the hotel, I have been asked by the management to
advise you that the event has been cancelled by the hotel and there will be
no charge to you for this cancellation. This means that you do not have to
call to cancel your reservation because it has already been done by the

The Convention will be rescheduled, date and time to be determined. We will
inform you as information is provided.

Innovative ride-share partnership offers on-demand options for paratransit customers

A true attempt at changing access to transportation. The governor of Massachusetts had this to say:

“The reliability of our transportation system depends on the MBTA’s ability to improve its core infrastructure and provide efficient, innovative transit options that meet the needs of the system’s one million daily riders,” said Governor Baker. “This initiative represents the MBTA’s efforts to increase accessibility in a more cost-effective and efficient way that also delivers more convenient service for its paratransit customers.”

National Federation of the Blind Comments on Foundation Fighting Blindness #HowEyeSeeIt Campaign

The National Federation of the Blind commented today on the #HowEyeSeeIt challenge launched in the past month by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which has garnered considerable recent publicity. The NFB has also delivered a letter to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and NFB members are using the #HowEyeSeeIt hash tag to counter the campaign via social media.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: 
> The National Federation of the Blind is deeply concerned that the #HowEyeSeeIt challenge, as currently structured, will do lasting harm to the ability of millions of blind Americans to live the lives we want. In encouraging people who are not blind to don blindfolds and make videos of themselves attempting everyday tasks, this campaign perpetuates the fears, misconceptions, and low expectations that society has about blindness by giving those who take the challenge or view the videos an inaccurate understanding of the lived experience of blind people. In particular, suggesting that it is difficult or impossible for blind parents to care for their children is false and irresponsible. As a blind father of three children who also happens to be married to a blind person, I can say unequivocally that, with nonvisual techniques, we can, and do, capably parent thriving children every day. Yet children have been removed from the custody of blind parents solely because of misconceptions about their ability to care for them, without any actual proof of abuse or neglect, and the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign threatens to worsen this already grave problem. This is only one example of how this campaign will harm the chances of blind people, including board members and supporters of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, to live productive and happy lives.

To be clear, we have no quarrel with the Foundation Fighting Blindness or the medical research that it seeks to fund. However, we believe that this particular method of gathering support will harm the very people whom the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the National Federation of the Blind, in different but complementary ways, seek to help. I and other members of the National Federation of the Blind have told the Foundation Fighting Blindness that the perpetuation of misconceptions about, and by extension discrimination against, the blind is unacceptable, but so far we have been ignored. We therefore demand that the Foundation Fighting Blindness stop filling its coffers by spreading misconceptions and jeopardizing the dreams and aspirations of blind people.

This Month’s At Large meeting features a Candidates forum

Hello NFB of Georgia family

The NFB of Georgia Affiliate at-Large presents a Candidate Forum for the upcoming elections

Sell them in NFB history, is leadership as important as right now. The Direction, focus and future of your affiliate is at hand. Next month when you determine who will navigate the terrain for the blind community of Georgia, Know what you are getting.

There are seven board seats and for executive board seats to be filled. If you wish to be a part of the leadership or informed as to who wishes to be your leaders please
Call 712-432-4857 and enter room 14 at 7:00 PM on the last Thursday of the month September 29, 2016