The Vigilant Blog

How often have you had a question you felt too shy to ask? Sometimes you work up the courage and just ask. At other times, it’s better to read about someone else’s experience at your own speed and in the privacy of your own space.

Our blog is a collection of posts aimed at stimulating discussion about assistive technology, independent living, and blindness philosophy. Please comment freely to keep the discussion moving, and please share content you find thought-provoking with your social networks to help spread the discussion to people we might otherwise not reach.

And, please don’t forget to check out the publications from our parent organization. The Braille Monitor, our general magazine, and Future Reflections, our publication for parents, are just two examples of the excellent resources you’ll find in our NFB library.

Do you want to write a guest post? Send us a note, and tell us about your idea!

I Saw You Pour Your Water

By Lauren Merryfield

I recently moved to a retirement center where most of the residents are quite active.

One woman wanted to help me with every little thing, but, as she said, she was doing it because she didn't think a blind person could do this or that.

Use of Ballot Marking Tool for Print Disabled Voters

The following guidance is required by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Gary v. Virginia Dept. of Elections (Case No. 1:20-CV860) as the result of a consent decree.

Would You Go to a Blind Doctor? How the Blind Respond

By John Bailey

“Would you go to a blind doctor?", was the first of many challenging questions asked by Trisha Kurkarni At the February leadership seminar cohosted by the National Association of Blind Students in Falls Church, Virginia.

How the Blind Advocate for Ourselves in Richmond

By John Bailey

Some of us were nervous. Several had canceled at the last minute because of safety concerns. In any case, we were here in Richmond, Virginia to do a very important job for the blind of Virginia and we were not going to be deterred.

Annually, the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia hosts an event called the ‘Richmond Seminar’. For this two-day event, the vision-impaired and their friends gather in the city of Richmond to advocate for the blind by scheduling meetings with our elected officials.

I am a Federationist

By Jessica Reed

Editor’s Note: Jessica Reed is a member of the Historic Fredericksburg Chapter. She is the coordinator for the Blind Parents Group in Virginia, and in this rare insight into her story, we learn a little bit about what makes her one of our most valuable members in the movement.

Are You Following Someone Else's Dream?

Too many young people wind up in jobs they hate because they followed someone else's advice about how to use their talents. You would think that after a certain age we would be capable of making major choices independent of the influence of family, friends, or career guides, but too often we allow someone else's well-intentioned promptings to steer us in directions we would never have chosen for ourselves.

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Project RISE: From Low Expectations to High Impacts

By Lizzy Schoen

Resilience, Independence, Self-Advocacy, Employment: that is what the RISE in Project RISE stands for. Going into the program, I had low expectations; everything I had done so far had not prepared me for what I got. The power of Project RISE is not in the curriculum, though it is extremely beneficial, it is in the people who you meet and the lives the mentors are willing to share with you and teach you to attain.

From a young age, a blind person is taught two universal truths that, though probably not said out loud, are said by actions:

Virginia Agrees to Provide Accessible Absentee Voting Option for Voters with Print Disabilities

For Immediate Release
Media Contacts
American Council of the Blind: Clark Rachfal, crachfal@acb.org, 202-467-5081
disAbility Law Center of Virginia: Colleen Miller, colleen.miller@dlcv.org, (804) 225-2042
National Federation of the Blind: Chris Danielsen, cdanielsen@nfb.org, 410-262-1281
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP: Steven Hollman, shollman@sheppardmullin.com,

Authenticity Matters

By Sarah Patnaude

The sun was shining; the breeze was blowing. I could hear the crashing of waves in the distance. It was a normal week spent at my childhood vacation spot: Nags Head, North Carolina. Except it wasn’t. Unlike most thirteen year olds, I couldn’t be found bogey boarding or swimming. I wasn’t playing basketball or even relaxing inside. Instead, I made the porch my fortress for the week. You see, the back porch was my practice stage.

3 Steps to Launch a Website

For those of you interested in entrepreneurship, we try to run articles from time to time to help you in that venture. Without a doubt, setting up a website is essential to your operation. Here are a few ideas on how to get started.

Launching your own website does not have to be as complicated as people make it out to be. In fact, you can knock it out in a few simple steps:

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