I’m sure many of my friends and family wonder why I put so much time and energy in spreading the message of the National Federation of the Blind. The message that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Why am I so passionate about educating blind people and parents of blind children that the real problem is the low expectations, that those low expectations are what create the obstacles between blind people and their dreams?
This grass roots organization of innovative, imaginative, energetic, and inspiring individuals is the reason I am an independent and confident person today. For the first twenty or so years of my life, I lived in shame and fear about my low vision. I used words like legally blind and visually impaired to described my vision loss. these low vibration words attempted to soften the blow of blindness in it’s political correctness. Ironically, referring myself as visually impaired or legally blind,, suffering from low vision, led me to low self worth, low self confidence, and always wondering if everyone was seeing through my, “Fake it till you make it,” facade. It wasn’t until I met positive blind role models, finally became literate at the age of 23 when I learned Braille, and embraced my blindness. I learned that I no longer needed to try to fit into a sighted world. Thanks to the endless support, mentorship, and love of my federation family I freely and whole heartedly identify with the, “B,” word. I am proud to be blind, proud to raise my Marley to be her own self advocate. Finally, I am proud to serve as the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada.
It is my dream that one day that my Marley will live in a world where she will have complete access to her textbooks at the same time as her sighted peers. A world where she can independently use all electronic devices she comes into contact with from voting, to checking in at the airport, to shopping, to renting a movie on a Red Box machine. I give tirelessly so that all blind children can one day have access to Braille instead of the 10% who are receiving Braille instruction today. I dream of a world where blind parents no longer need to fight for their rights to raise their children because sighted social workers question whether or not a blind person can take care of a baby. I ask you, my friends and family to give on this Giving Tuesday and support the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind.
To learn about some of our year’s achievements and to make a donation, visit