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June Bulletin

by NFBCal

Greetings Fellow Federationists:

National Convention of the Blind is Coming Soon!
Don’t miss the largest gathering of blind people in the world. The annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be held July 1- 6, 2013 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Make your hotel reservations now. We are now filling an overflow hotel, which is very near the Convention Center and headquarters hotel. Room rates start at $79 per night.

2013 National NFB Agenda
Visit to read all about events and activities which will occur at the National Convention in Orlando, Florida. The highlight of the convention is our annual banquet. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Marc Maurer, President National Federation of the Blind. Be sure to register for the convention and buy a banquet ticket so you can hear about the strength and growth of the world’s largest organization of the blind.

BELL Comes to California
If you are living in the Los Angeles area or know children who do, please spread the word about the innovative summer program called BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning). This is the fastest growing program of the National Federation of the Blind. Eleven states will be holding BELL programs this year. For more information, contact our coordinator, Kia Vaca at (818) 288-3726.

Pay Disabled Workers Minimum Wages
HR 831, The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 continues to gain support from representatives in Washington. Please help us to repeal the most discriminatory piece of legislation of our day. Disabled workers are the only population which still can receive less than the minimum wage. We are fighting for the rights of all disabled workers including the blind. We need your help. Go to to sign our petition and end discrimination of disabled workers.

We Now Have a Vehicle Donation Program
Do you own an old clunker that is not worth fixing up? How about your neighbor’s or friend’s? Donating your vehicle to the National Federation of the Blind is convenient, easy, and may qualify you for a tax deduction and best of all, your donation of a used vehicle will ensure a brighter future for all blind children and adults. In Northern California contact Darian Smith at (415) 215-9809. For Southern California, contact Cheryl Thurston at (909) 829-1466.

Calling All Frances Blend Students
If you were one of the students who benefitted from the education you received at the Frances Blend School in Los Angeles, we are asking for your testimony. Please send a brief description of the skills of blindness and educational experience you received. The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning termination of this specialized program for the blind. The education of blind children should be provided through a full continuum of programs and services. Blind and visually impaired students in Los Angeles risk full inclusion into the regular public schools where they will be lost in a sea of bureaucracy and minimal specific skills training. Don’t let this happen to the younger generation. Write your personal testimony letters to the Superintendent, members of the Board of Education, and the Independent Monitor of the Modified Consent Decree or contact Joy Efron at or (323) 464-1877.

Accessible Taxi Dispatch Acts
The Center for Accessible Technology in Berkeley is working with the California Public Utilities Commission to ensure that taxi dispatch apps like Uber, SideCar, Lyft and others are accessible in accordance with state law. If you have any experience with these apps and can contribute to this discussion about why it is important for blind people to be able to access these apps, please contact Melissa Kasnitz at or (510) 841-3224 x 2019.

There will not be a July 2013 Bulletin as I will be in Orlando at the world’s largest gathering of blind people in the world. To learn more, go to

Mary Willows, President
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588
(925) 462-8575

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