The National Federation of the Blind of of California
Uniting Blind People
Love, Hope and Determination
to Live the Life We Want

We are now accepting pre-registration forms for our 2015 State Convention.

The National Federation of the Blind of California will assemble in convention on October 30, 31 and November 1, 2015.

Where: The Doubletree by Hilton Newark/Fremont
39900 Balentine Drive
Newark, CA 94560

For hotel reservations call: (510) 490-8390. Press 2 on the option menu to make your reservation with staff at the front desk.
Group code: NFC.
Note: You will need your hotel confirmation number to complete the pre-registration form.

Room rates: $109.00 + tax – without breakfast buffet
$129.00 +tax – with breakfast buffet for two guests

The fun will begin on Thursday evening, October 29. So be sure to arrive early. The Exhibit Hall and Board of Directors meeting will begin on Friday, October 30 at 9:00 A.M. The Orientation Center for the Blind Alumni Association Inc. will meet over lunch at 12:00 noon ($20.00). Don’t forget to bring your best Halloween costume for the Masquerade Ball and contest at 8:00 P.M. on Friday evening.

On Saturday, October 31 The general session will begin promptly at 9:00 A.M. The afternoon sessions will break out into “Round Table” discussion groups. The highlight of our convention will be the banquet on Saturday evening when we will get to hear the keynote address from our national representative, Pamela Allen, First Vice-president, National Federation of the Blind and the Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

Sunday morning will wrap up the event with elections, resolutions and other Federation traditions.

Please note: If you would like to take advantage of bus transportation to the convention on Thursday, October 29 you will need to pre-register soon so we can reserve the buses. More information about locations and times will follow. There will be two buses coming up from southern California and one bus from northern California.

Register now for the NFB of California 2015 convention


The 2016 Washington Seminar Application is now available on our web site. All interested participants should complete the Washington Seminar Application form. The deadline to submit your request is Thursday October 15th, 2015.


August 2015 Bulletin

Dear Fellow Federationists,

“The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.”


After 75 years of love, hope, and determination, the National Federation of the Blind continues to break records. On July 8, 2015, two thousand four hundred and eighty enthusiastic supporters filled the parking lot behind the Rosen Center Hotel in Orlando, Florida to create the world’s largest umbrella mosaic. You can watch the Youtube video of this landmark event documented by the Guinness World Record by going to

This year, President Mark Ricobonno delivered his first Banquet speech and Presidential Report. Californians cheered when he mentioned three of our members who are involved in disputes which have required legal assistance. Nearly three thousand Federationists’ roared and cheered when President Ricobonno sang with the band on stage Friday morning as the General Session opened.

The 75th Anniversary Ball was a smashing success. President Ricobonno and his wife Melissa dressed up for the occasion in 1940′s attire. The Resolutions Committee brought twenty nine resolutions to the floor for adoption. You can read all of them at the website. Again, the bulk of the resolutions concerned information, accessibility, and technology.

National Federation of the Blind of California State Convention
California will continue the celebration at our 2015 State Convention, which will be held on October 30, 31, and November1 at the Doubletree By Hilton Hotel located at 39900 Balantine Drive in Newark, CA 94560. Room Rates are as follows: Singles-$119.00 per night, plus taxes, include 1 breakfast. Doubles-$129.00 per night, plus taxes, includes 2 breakfast. Please spread the word that we are celebrating 75 for $75. Registration, Diabetes Action NETWORK Luncheon and Banquet, will cost $75. The pre-registration forms will be available on our website at

The 2015 NFB of California Scholarship Committee is accepting applications. This year, we will award $5,000 to three outstanding college students (two at $1,500 and one at $2,000). The applications and guidelines are available at deadline for submissions is midnight, September 25, 2015.

During the month of August, Congressional representatives will be in their home districts meeting with constitutes. Please gather two or three chapter members together and make an appointment to meet with your representative to educate them about the need for “Integrated Competitive Employment”. This will phase out 14c of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is time for blind and disabled Americans to earn a fair wage. Also, remind them thatwe are actively seeking to pass legislation that will address the accessibility of instructional materials in post-secondary education institutions.

The Life Story of Ever Lee Hairston:
NFB OF California, First Vice-President, Ever Lee Hairston has opened her life and shred her story in a book entitled “Blind Ambition”. Adventures and disappointments as she grew up and made her way across the country. We are lucky to have her as one of our leaders and a member of the National Board of Directors. Order your copy by going to and search for “Blind Ambitions” or download it on ibooks.

Mary Willows, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588
(925) 895-2778


NFBC Grant Application Now Available

The National Federation of the Blind of California is pleased to announce that the 2015 National Convention grant application is now available. The deadline to submit your application is April 15th,2015.

Grant Application:


Dear Fellow Federationists,

I start this March Bulletin with our new branding. The following is the essence of the 75 years of love, hope and determination. Commit it to memory. It will get you through all kinds of situations.
“The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.”

2015 Summer Internship Application Deadline
If you or someone you know has a desire to learn about current legislation, education, technology, civil rights, public relations, and much more, applications and accompanying documentation should be submitted to Anil Lewis at by March 13, 2015. The program runs from June 1 to August 7 and includes a trip to the 75th anniversary convention of the National Federation of the Blind. This opportunity is being made available through the Jernigan Institute located in Baltimore, Maryland. More information can be found at:

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Money Reader is Still Available
If you did not attend the National Convention in 2014 and receive a free money reader, you can still apply for one at the web site: You must be a qualified patron of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). On a personal note, I would like to tell everybody these very helpful, portable readers have been very handy for sorting and organizing paper currency when I did not have sighted assistance readily available. I recommend that everyone apply now.

Chapter Development in California
Two of our NFB of California Board Members, Rochelle Houston and Ever Lee Hairston travelled to our Riverside / San Bernardino Chapter to build membership in California. Rochelle told of her journey into blindness and shared tips on fundraising ideas for building the organization.
The Pathfinders Chapter held the annual membership recruitment reception. Ever Lee Hairston spoke to the group about her experiences learning to become an independent blind adult. The reception was a success resulting in four new members.

Viejas Casino Trip
If you want to try your luck at the role of the dice on your way to the pot of gold, join the Pathfinders and San Fernando Valley Chapters on Saturday April 4, 2015.
If you live in the Los Angeles Area, lucky participants will meet at the
Greenline Park & Ride at 8 a.m. which is located at 11901 South Crenshaw Blvd, Hawthorne, CA.
If you live in the San Fernando Valley Area, meet at 7 a.m. at the home of Robert Stigile located at 19831 Friar Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
Donation $2. This fun filled event will help raise money to get people to the 75th Anniversary Convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando, Florida this summer.
For reservations and more information, contact Rochelle Houston at
323-807-0300 or email or Robert Stigile at 818-381-9568 or email

First Annual Senior Division Seminar Saturday, April 11, 2015
The National Federation of the Blind of California Senior Division is inviting you to join us for a seminar in knowledge, information, & methods of living with blindness. We are planning on door prizes and lots of fun!

WHEN: Saturday, April 11, 2015
TIME: Noon – 3pm
WHERE: Hometown Buffet
12139 Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90230

RSVP by March 31st, CONTACT:
Charlotte Carroll – (310) 625-6558, email
Cheryl Thurston – (909) 821-9589, email

Mary Willows, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588
925) 895-2778