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!

Word of Mouth

By Mary Fernandez

Editor’s Note: Some of you may have met Mary Fernandez from one of her visits to Virginia. Though she calls New Jersey home, she is a friend of the Virginia affiliate and was a part of the team who prepared the original proposal for what would become Project RISE. Though this article, borrowed from the Student Slate archives, was published a long while ago, the core message remains relevant today and will hopefully serve as a source of encouragement for anyone currently looking for a job.

Protected Class? Not So Fast: The Exploitation of Workers with Disabilities

By Sarah Patnaude

Editor’s Note: Sarah Patnaude is our affiliate’s corresponding secretary. Among other tasks, Sarah oversees our social media channels, our website, newsletter production, and promotion campaigns surrounding events like the state convention. She is a member of the Potomac Chapter and represents the chapter in the Chapter Leadership Institute. In May 2019, Sarah graduated from George Mason with a Masters in Social Work, and before leaving the halls of Academia, she wrote an article for the university newspaper that appears below with permission.

My Experience of Being a Member of the National Federation of the Blind

By Chris Walker

Editor’s Note: The following article by one of our own appeared in the April 2019 edition of the Braille Monitor. The text follows.

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Proposed 2020 State Convention Principles of Engagement

Nothing in these rules of engagement is intended to change Article IV, Section 2 of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia’s (NFBV) constitution. The Convention remains “the supreme authority of the NFBV. It is the legislature of the NFBV . As such, it has final authority with respect to all issues of policy. Chapter board delegates and members in attendance may participate in all convention discussions as a matter of right.

Minutes from the NFB of Virginia 5/16/2020 Board of Directors Meeting

From Evelyn Valdez, Recording Secretary, National Federation of the Blind of Virginia


National Federation of the Blind of Virginia
Meeting of the Board of Directors
Saturday, May 16, 2020
1pm-4pm
Zoom Session

The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia’s Board of Directors meeting was called to order by President Tracy Soforenko
Invocation: Chamiere Roberts from the Richmond Chapter
Heartfelt Words about Dr. Brian Miller by Bonnie O’Day

Coalition of Disability Groups Demand Access to Virginia’s Inaccessible Absentee Voting

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

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Facts about Blindness... According to Me

Editor's Note: The following first appeared on my personal blog at JoeOrozco.com, currently under reconstruction. Please get in touch with your own questions and answers, and who knows, maybe we could create some sort of resource playfully answering some of the more popular curiosities.

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Top Ten Benefits of Being a Blind Parent

By Jessica Reed

Editor's Note: Parenting is hard, no matter which way you look at it. In this follow-up piece, however, Jessica points out in no particular order a few items for which we might embrace some advantages as blind parents.

10. When changing a poopy diaper you don’t have to see it.

9. When littles are sleeping, you can still sneak into their bedroom to grab things without turning on a light and unleashing the monster of a woken child.

True North: Discovering the Strength of Your Inner Compass

By Kathryn Webster

Editor’s Note: During the last weekend in January 2019, Kathryn organized a joint conference for Project RISE participants and leaders from the National Association of Blind Students. On Saturday evening, the two groups came together for a banquet and keynote speech that merged the goals of both tracks in one inspirational presentation. Following is the text of Kathryn’s remarks.

It is not about chapter size. It is about chapter effectiveness.

By John Bailey

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of visiting many of our state NFB chapters.

One common wish I heard from chapter leaders was that they were frustrated because they didn’t have the membership numbers they wanted. After listening to them for a while, I realized they were comparing themselves to some idealized group with lots and lots of members, resources, and money in the bank.

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