2013 Washington Seminar
Greetings! First of all, I would like to apologize for this late issue of the bulletin. I was confident that I would be able to share good news from the 2013 Washington Seminar and here it is! “The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013” bill now has a sponsor. Congressman Greg Harper (MS) will head up the effort to abolish subminimum wages for disabled workers in the USA. This is a landmark event for the blind. We will need to have all hands on deck to educate and encourage California members of Congress to pass this critical legislation. I will let you know when we have a number and language.
In addition, Federationists were able to recruit at least twenty co-sponsors for the “Equal Access to Air Travel for Service-Disabled Veterans (HR 164).” Provide travel privileges to totally disabled veterans. This bill amends Title 10 of the U.S. Code, to permit veterans who have a service-connected, permanent disability rated as total to travel on military aircraft in the same manner and to the same extent as retired members of the Armed Forces entitled to such travel.
Thank you to all of the teams members of the 2013 Washington Seminar. This year, fourteen Californians managed to visit with fifty five members of congress and senators over a three day period. Tiffany Manosh and Michael Hingson did an exemplary job of organizing and tracking all of the appointments. Now it’s up to us to follow through and contact our representatives in local district offices to let them know that we need their support. Let your voices be heard.
National Scholarship Deadline is March 31, 2013
Please help spread the word that there are thirty scholarships available to eligible blind college students. The awards range in value from $3,000 to $12,000. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2013. Winners will be invited to attend the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando, Florida between July 1 and July 6, 2013. For more information and guidelines, go to https://nfb.org/scholarships.
California Chemistry Camp is Coming
Fifteen high school students will learn how blind professionals use science in their careers every day. Armed with the knowledge of how to make science accessible these young aspiring scientists will share three days and two nights of intense hands-on experiments. On May 3 through 5 specially selected students will travel to Napa for an all expense paid weekend of hard work, empowerment, and life changing mentoring experiences. Watch for more information in the March Bulletin.
At Large Chapter Meetings
The purpose of the At Large Chapter is to give blind people living in rural communities the opportunity to participate in a regular monthly support group of the National Federation of the Blind of California. Each month, on the second Thursday, interested people can call in to a conference call number and become fully informed and involved in the unique issues facing the blind of California. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, February 14 at 7 p.m. The call in number is 712-432-0175 and the code is 184220# so mark your calendar for March 14, April 11, May 9, and June13.
BELL is coming to California
The Braille Enrichment Literacy and Learning Program is an intensive two week Braille enrichment program. Children four to twelve will benefit from summer time fun, hands-on experiences with Braille. California will hold two BELL Programs this year, one in Sacramento and one in Los Angeles. Los Angeles will be held between July 15 and July 26, 2013. Sacramento will be held between June 17 through June 28, 2013. Watch for additional information and applications in the next bulletin.
Mary Willows, President
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588