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:


“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for the holidays to do that?”- Bob Hope

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.”

2015 Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31, 2015
Are you a legally blind college student living in the United States or Puerto Rico? This annual program offers 30 scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2015, up through grad students working on their PhD degrees. These merit scholarships are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. In addition to the money, each winner will receive assistance to attend the July 2015 NFB annual convention in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations. To apply, read the rules and the Submission Checklist, complete the official 2015 Scholarship Application Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president (unless the president requests a later date). Applications are accepted for five months, from November 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015. Go to scholarships for complete rules and requirements.

Dr. Newel Perry is inducted to the Hall of Fame
On October 17, 2014, the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky held the annual induction ceremony to the Hall of Fame for individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of work with the blind. We are pleased and proud to report that the National Federation of the Blind of California sponsored the plaque to honor Dr. Newel Perry in the “Hall of Fame”.
On December 10, 2014 the California School for the Blind will have a formal dedication of the APH Hall of Fame Award to honor Dr. Perry. President Mary Willows will be present to give remarks about Dr. Newel Perry and how his work and inspirations spawned progressive legislation and opportunities for the blind. To read more about Dr. Perry and the foundations of the National Federation of the Blind, I recommend that you go to the following link. Enjoy:

Enjoy the chapter celebrations over the holidays. Enjoy the season. Stay safe. See you in the New Year!

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


Greetings Fellow Federationists,

Convention Registration
Register now for the 2014 annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of California. The theme this year is CHANGE. Creating Hope through Advocacy and New ideas with Gratitude and Enthusiasm. The dates are October 9 through 12. The location is the Embassy Suites South, 1440 East Imperial Avenue, El Segundo, CA 90245. Make your reservations as soon as possible. The deadline for the convention hotel rate of $125 is September 19, 2014. Convention registration is $20. There will be one luncheon for the Diabetes Action Network on Saturday October 11 for $25. The highlight of the convention will be our banquet Saturday evening for $30. Registration and two meals can be purchased for $75. You will need your hotel reservation confirmation number in order to complete the pre-registration form. Click on the following link to register for the convention

Transportation Arrangements
We have tentatively reserved buses that will pick up passengers in the south and north. You must be pre-registered in order to get a seat on the bus. The northern California bus will originate in Sacramento at the Amtrak station on Thursday, October 9 departing at 9 a.m. with one stop at the Dublin / Pleasanton BART station at approximately 10:30 a.m.

The southern California bus will originate at the Goeske Center, 5257 Sierra Street, Riverside at 10:00 a.m. There will be one additional stop at the McDonald’s located at 9147 Central Avenue in Montclair. For questions contact the bus coordinators. The southern bus coordinator is Carmen Weatherly 909-486-2004. The northern bus coordinator is Rick Watson 707-673-7094.

Convention Events
On Thursday evening, October 9, we will hold a “Meet the Blind Month” event at the Manhattan Beach Pier. All who can get there should meet at the Stage Hotel at 6 p.m. The California Association of Guide Dog Users will lead the way on a walk along the pier at sunset. Participants will return to the hotel at 9 p.m. for a hospitality meet and greet with light snacks.

On Friday the Board of Directors will meet, along with the Resolutions Committee, students, and the exhibit hall, which is open to the public. From 7 to 9 Friday evening we will showcase our California Idol Talent Show. A donation of $5 will be accepted at the door. For more details on this terrific show, see the flyer at the end of this bulletin.

From 9 p.m. to midnight the California Association of Blind Students will host Monte Carlo night. Guests can purchase bags of poker chips for $10 at the door.

The annual convention is the only place where blind and sighted alike can meet and network with mentors and role models who share their experiences, courage, and inspiration. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can live the life you want.

Scholarship Application Now Available
Every year the National Federation of the Blind of California presents scholarships to qualified college students. This year we are proud to announce that there will be three scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. Applications are now being accepted. The deadline is Completed applications and all required documents must be postmarked by September 15, 2014.

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.



The National Federation of the Blind of California will showcase phenomenal voices from coast to coast on Friday, October 10, 2014

So, get the dust out of those pipes of yours and be a contestant at our state convention
Prizes for first, second and third will be awarded
There’s no fee to enter the competition, but you must first, be blind or visually impaired, second, send an email with your Name, contact number and email address to Rochelle Houston or call 323 807-0300
Third, provide the committee with your song choice. All songs must be emailed or received by Rochelle Houston by the designated deadline
Spots for this competition are limited so hurry and submit your entry!
Deadline is Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Of course you want to be there to experience this exciting showcase of talent!
Donation: $5 at the door
If you have any questions, please contact one of the following committee members:
Rochelle Houston
Charlotte Carroll
Chuy Vaca
Kia Vaca

Mary Willows, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588
925) 462-8575


Greetings Fellow Federationists,

“If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy”. Thomas Jefferson

Washington Seminar 2014
Even Thomas Jefferson would have opposed sub-minimum wages for disabled persons. This past week hundreds of members of the National Federation of the Blind roamed the halls of congress to visit representatives to ask for their support for HR 831 Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013, HR 3505 The Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act (TEACH Act) and seeking a sponsor the Air Carrier Technology Accessibility Act.
The California delegation broke up into four teams and visited all fifty four representatives and senators from our state. This year, many of us had the opportunity to meet with our representatives who were in town for the State of the Union address by President Obama. The national office will be updating us with the responses that we received. To stay informed go to and read about the highlights of the 2014 Washington Seminar.

Chemistry Camp 2014
Applications are being accepted for a three day accessible science experience. We are looking for blind high school students ages 14-18 who have a desire to learn about how a blind person can study science. During this exciting and busy three day experience, students will get to learn how blind and visually impaired people use chemistry in their careers. If you know of any blind and visually impaired high school students, please have them contact Angela Fowler at 530) 902-0987 or email her at

Accessible Tax Forms
The IRS has made tax forms and other products available to taxpayers with disabilities. Please help us to spread the word about these services which are available at

Job Opportunities for Teachers of the Blind and Visually Impaired (TVI’s)
There are several open positions for teachers of the blind and visually impaired in California. As you know, there is a shortage of teachers with the expertise of Braille instruction and/ or orientation and mobility. If you know of a qualified TVI, please contact Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Benito County Office of Education, San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, and the Orange County Office of Education.

San Francisco State University and California State University Los Angeles TVI programs have received a federal grant to assist applicants with financial support for this fall. Please help locate applicants for the programs at San Francisco State University and California State University, Los Angeles. Check with recent college graduates, paraprofessionals who enjoy working with students with visual impairments, individuals who are seeking a fulfilling career change, and other general/special ed teachers who wish to add VI credential.

The Program in Visual Impairments at San Francisco State University is accepting applications for Fall 2014 semester.
If you know of anyone seeking a rewarding professional career and would like to become a TVI, please refer them to the following websites for more information. Program in Visual Impairments

Application requirements

How to Apply

National Federation of the Blind Commends Microsoft and GW Micro for Groundbreaking Accessibility Partnership
During the Washington Seminar Californians discussed the issues blind people face in dealing with technology that is not accessible. Recently, GW Micro and the Microsoft Corporation announced a partnership to make Window-Eyes, a screen reading software program, available for free to users of Microsoft Office 2010 or higher. More details about this groundbreaking offer are available at

Announcing the 2014 Microsoft Disability Scholarship Fund
We are excited to share details of the new Microsoft Disability Scholarship Fund targeting students with disabilities entering college in the fall. This is a new initiative from Microsoft and the Disability Employee Resource Group (ERG), built in partnership with Seattle Foundation. The scholarship website is open to applications until March 15th. Contact:
Disability Employee Resource Group
Microsoft Corporation

NFB Scholarship Application Deadline March 31, 2014
The NFB Scholarship Program invites blind students who will attend college in Fall 2014 to apply for a scholarship. The National Federation of the Blind offers 30 awards, worth from $3,000 up to $12,000, plus assistance for the 30 winners to attend the July 2014 Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. For full information and the online application form, go to

Mary Willows, President
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588
(925) 462-8575


Grants to the 2014 National Federation of the Blind Convention Are Now Available!
Your presence at the national convention is important! By your presence, you are a part of the largest gathering of blind people held anywhere in the world. The Federation needs your ideas and your voice, and you need the strength and knowledge that comes from common association and collective action. The NFB of California Board of Directors is hopeful that you will join us in the power and unity of purpose that we find at a national convention. Therefore, we are offering grants in the amount of five hundred dollars to assist blind persons and their families to attend the convention in Orlando, Florida. The convention will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel on July 1 to July 6, 2014.

Two Grants Available:
Wilbur Radcliff Grant – This grant is for first time convention attendee’s. The NFBC Board will select 10 recipients to attend national convention under this grant. To apply, please fill out the form and submit it before May 19th, 2014. Wilbur Radcliff Grant Form

NFBC Grant – This grant is to assist those who have attended a convention before and need a little help getting to the 2013 national convention in Orlando, Florida. The NFBC board will select 10 recipients to attend this year’s national convention. To apply, please fill out the form and submit it before May 19th, 2014. NFBC Grant Form