Chapter meetings spotlight information

Please check out our Spotlight On section this week. Enjoy your week.

Kudos Corner…

Join president Chris Walker on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 from 12:15 PM to 12:40 PM. Chris has been invited by the Winchester host Lions to be a guest speaker.
Chris will share his story and provide resources regarding the National Federation of the Blind. You can join in through the below zoom link.
Chris is also A member of the Lions Club and is involved with many community service projects. Building relationships and collaborations with different local organizations in the Winchester area.
Live the life you want! Blindness is not what holds us back!

Spotlight On…

Greetings fellow federationists! It is Women’s history month!
Below I will give you a historical tidbit about the influential and inspiring Sojourner Truth. Following that, I will include a poem I wrote that expands on the theme and then brings it back to the original message with the final line. The poem is called “Black And”.

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in 1797 in the state of New York. She was told she would be granted her freedom on July 4, 1826. After her liberty was refused, she walked to freedom and emancipated herself. Sojourner Truth delivered a now famous speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights convention in Ohio. Truth’s purpose was to persuade people that women, black or white, deserve to be treated equal to men and thus have equal rights. Further, she posed a question rhetorically, aint I a woman? This question served to point out the discrimination that is experienced by being a black woman. Now, there is some debate as to whether Sojourner actually spoke the words “aint I a woman” and so there are different versions of the speech being argued. However, none of this takes away from the overarching theme, which is… equality.

Black And

Oh I can’t feel a way?
Because I’m black…
And a woman
Gotta reframe it
My expression
Or you’ll get the wrong impression
Rename it
Claim it’s
Simply… because…
I’m black
And a woman?
But I’m a woman first
Still you refuse to allow me
To be me
To speak passionately
Due to my skin’s reflection
My obsidian complexion
But I’m a woman first
So you can feel comfortable, I gotta check my tone?
But last I checked…
I was grown
But I gotta dim… my light?
So you don’t label me, relabel me
Gotta shrink down tight
Gotta push down my true self
So you don’t complain?
So you don’t campaign
Against me
Perpetuate false history
Oh, so I can’t be feisty
My debates can’t be spirited?
Gotta cool down my hot, my spicy
Gotta be bland and inhibited
Simply… because…
I’m black
And a woman
But I’m a woman first
You know, half the population
Of the universe
You started this conversation
So let me finish it
Replenish it
Until you diminish
Your harmful rhetoric
Your incorrect narrative
That I can’t be clear and distinct
With my speech
That I can’t speak prominently
So you police
My words my tone
My voice my face
So much so
That you erase
The message
The point
I’m trying to make
Simply… because…
I’m black
But aint I a woman?


References › ... › Her Words › texts › aint-i-a-woman

I received an advocacy request. I do remember thinking the last time I used the Metro that I could not hear the faregates and I just thought I missed it, or that the particular one I was going through was quiet. Apparently not. See below:
Christine Grassman, President, Potomac Chapter

Metro has started installing updated fare gates. Unlike the previous systems, these are harder to hear when they open, and the only reason I’m personally able to see if they’ve opened is that the screen flashes green. These systems are not accessible though, because if you are not fast enough, especially when walking with a guide dog, they will prematurely close on you. I’ve gotten caught twice just this week alone. Can we somehow reach out to Metro and bring this to their attention?

I want to point out also that if one cannot hear the faregates in a crowded, noisy station, and it is not a station with which you are familiar, it will be difficult to locate them in the first place. It is also my understanding that:
1. The fare machines currently beep if you have your fare card facing the wrong way. That's another accessibility issue all on its own. The older machines would activate regardless of how your card was facing, but the point here is that the machine should emit some sort of audible tone to let the individual know the gate has opened. The tone should be different from the error tone.

2. There needs to be a longer interval before the gate closes. My guess is the motion censor is not detecting movement past a certain height as the dog [guide] moves forward. I am further assuming the gate is designed to close if it thinks no one is moving through to avoid piggy backing. It needs to be fixed to allow passengers a moment longer to safely move through the gate. This is not just a blindness issue or even just a service animal issue. Older passengers could experience difficulty if they have to walk slower.
Please share this, and send your fare gate encounters (if you have any at the few stations where they have been installed — we have to address this before a full execution — to:
(202) 570-2447
If you have media contacts which might be able to assist, please reach out to them.

Join the Winchester Chapter as we participate in the 95th Apple Blossom Festival. We are pleased that we have a parade float representing Virginia and the National Federation of the Blind.
The great news is that we still have space availability on the float if you want to participate and ride along and wave to the crowds. We have eight seats available and it is on a first come first serve basis.
The parade takes place on Saturday, April 30, 2022. The parade will kick off at 1:30 PM. If you're interested, please call me and I can provide further information and details.
The float is pink and green and white. It has a bridge that goes over. But those riding we will have pink or green T-shirts available. They will have the NFB logo, National Federation of the Blind Virginia on the back of the shirts.
we are so excited and we hope that you all can make it. You can also be on the sidelines cheering us on as we bring awareness and outreach to the community.
Below is a link for more information for Apple Blossom. Thank you.

Chris Walker
President, Winchester Chapter

The future belongs to the people who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Jacki Bruce

Corresponding Secretary, National Federation of the Blind of Virginia

Follow us on Twitter @NFBVirginia
Find us on Facebook @NationalFederationoftheBlindofVirginia

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The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation’s blind. Every day we work together to help blind people live the lives they want.
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