This is the part of the website where you will be able to find the most current information about subjects of interest to the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri. Check this page often as it should be updated anywhere from daily to weekly.
2-17-17 Photo Added
From left to right Sarita Cann, Representative Brandon Ellington and Ruby Polk at the 2017 Legislative trip to Jefferson City. Sarita is a constituent of Representative Ellington. He has introduced HB 520 which provides for accessible voting machines in all elections.
2-16-17 Rittgers Fund section added to the State Convention Menu
2-16-17 Newspaper Article
courtesy of the News Tribune, Jefferson City Mo (Link to Article)
Blind Federation members lobby lawmakers
Members of Missouri's National Federation of the Blind (NFB) chapter visited the Capitol this week, delivering their message that "low expectations create obstacles between blind people and their dreams. Blindness is not what holds us back."
Their annual lobbying effort involves informing lawmakers of some of the key, special issues facing blind Missourians that those with sight may not have considered.
Requiring a research-based, standardized reading media assessment.
Missouri law says "no blind person shall be denied instruction in Braille," but it does allow school districts to determine whether print or Braille is "the most appropriate method for reading and writing for a given student," the NFB reminded lawmakers. "Far too often print is determined to be the most appropriate reading medium because the process used in making evaluations is flawed and because the strong preference of teachers and school administrators is to teach what they know and use the resources easily available to them."
However, if blind students aren't provided materials in Braille when they need them, the group said, there can be physical and health consequences.
"It is common practice for students with visual impairments to hold reading materials very close to their faces, and/or to hunch their bodies over the materials when reading," the NFB explained.
"In addition to the posture and other health concerns these reading positions raise, years of field practice and experience have demonstrated that youth who read print materials at very close distances suffer eye strain, headache, neck and back pain, fatigue, and diminished concentration, reading speed, and comprehension."
So any test the state uses should "ensure that children are evaluated when sitting up straight and with materials held or placed at standardized distances," the group said. "We urge the Missouri General Assembly to embrace literacy for the blind with the same vigor that our society embraces literacy for the sighted."
Mandating accessible voting in all elections.
The federal "Help America Vote Act" requires each polling place to have at least one voting machine, during each federal election, that can be used by a blind person without requiring the assistance of a sighted person.
The federation wants to see those voting machines used "consistently" in state and local elections as well as federal contests — and doing so would bring the state into compliance with two other federal laws, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
Changing state law involving the identification required to buy alcohol.
Recently, the NFB told lawmakers, a blind chemist, 35, visiting from another state was not allowed to buy alcohol because Missouri law didn't recognize his state's non-driver license as being valid.
They said current law, which lists Missouri's non-driver license and a valid out-of-state driver's license as acceptable identification, should be updated to include valid non-driver's licenses from other states.
2-13-17 Jefferson City Legislative Session
On Monday & Tuesday (February 13 & 14) a large group of dedicated members of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri convenes in Jefferson City to address lawmakers on our current legislative agenda.
Great News! SUCCESS on the "Required Identification to Purchase Alcohol" agenda item.
Identification, acceptable forms.
311.328. 1. A valid and unexpired operator's or chauffeur's license issued under the provisions of section 302.177, or a valid and unexpired operator's or chauffeur's license issued under the laws of any state or territory of the United States to residents of those states or territories, or a valid and unexpired identification card or nondriver's license as provided for under section 302.181, or a valid and unexpired nondriver's license issued under the laws of any state or territory of the United States to residents of those states or territories, or a valid and unexpired identification card issued by any uniformed service of the United States, or a valid and unexpired passport shall be presented by the holder thereof upon request of any agent of the division of alcohol and tobacco control or any licensee or the servant, agent or employee thereof for the purpose of aiding the licensee or the servant, agent or employee to determine whether or not the person is at least twenty-one years of age when such person desires to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages procured from a licensee. Upon such presentation the licensee or the servant, agent or employee thereof shall compare the photograph and physical characteristics noted on the license, identification card or passport with the physical characteristics of the person presenting the license, identification card or passport.
2-12-17 Online Convention Registration goes live.
2-4-17 Convention Archives Added
Convention Archives have been added under the State Convention Menu.
1-31-17 Launch of the new nfbmo.org site
I like to call it nfbmo.org 2.0. This is a completely new, redesigned website. I have gone to the drawing board and built the website from the ground up. Changes include a more professional, cleaner look, an updated platform that will be used to support possible future upgrades, an easier to navigate layout and a large number of fixes.
Please take a look around and let me know what you think. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org All feedback is greatly appreciated.
Randy Carmack, Website Administrator