The mission of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota is to bring about the complete integration of the blind into our community on a basis of equality. Included in this mission are the removal of legal, economic, and social discrimination; the education of the public to develop more positive attitudes toward blindness; and the achievement by all blind people of the right to exercise, to the fullest, their individual talents and capacities.
We establish the policies to carry out the mission of our organization through state convention resolutions.
A person can gain some understanding of blindness by reading about it and talking to persons who are blind. However, no second-hand study can match the knowledge gained by living with blindness day-in and day-out. This first-hand experience makes people who are blind most qualified to deal with other blind people in overcoming problems they meet.
The newly-blinded person faces a difficult adjustment. The most effective help is meeting other blind people to learn of their jobs and the techniques they use without sight. Membership in the National Federation of the Blind provides this common meeting ground. Even more, it provides a renewal of participation and restoration of confidence.
The National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota is here to help every one of Minnesota's 10,000 blind people receive the same training, education, and opportunity as our sighted citizens. If a blind person has a problem with the workplace, the school, the family, or the government, we are always here to help bring about the necessary solution.
We do not duplicate programs and activities already provided by government or private charities for the blind. We fill the gaps in these programs with positive attitudes and self-confidence.
EDUCATION -- increasing public understanding of blindness and the capabilities of blind people to reduce misconceptions and stereotypes.
NFBM presents talks, films, and seminars to local and statewide organizations. We speak to schools, civic clubs, churches, and community organizations. If your group would like a speaker, please contact us. There is no charge for speakers, but contributions are gratefully accepted.
NFBM serves as an information center for blind persons of all ages, their families, people losing their sight, and the public at large. Contact us for information about blindness.
NFBM publishes and distributes free newsletters containing information on blindness, work done by blind persons, and current issues facing the blind:
- The Minnesota Bulletin, published quarterly, contains information of direct interest to the blind.
- The Braille Monitor, published monthly by the NFB national office, contains national news and information on issues facing the blind.
- The Voice of the Nation's Blind, the Web log, or blog, of the National Federation of the Blind features news and commentary on issues affecting the blind.
- Future Reflections, published quarterly by the NFB national office, contains news and information on issues facing the parents of blind children. It helps parents deal with the specific problems they face in getting their blind children through today's educational systems.
NFBM distributes other resource materials produced by the NFB national office for use by anyone interested in learning more about blindness and problems faced by the blind:
- Various resource guides for parents, educators,employers, and blind senior citizens.
- Material dealing with public attitudes toward blindness aimed at dispelling misunderstanding and stereotypes. Contact us for literature.
ADVOCACY -- working to be sure that blind Minnesotans receive the services they need to lead active, fulfilling lives.
Each morning people everywhere pick up a newspaper and read it over a cup of coffee. Now, blind people can read the newspaper every day too through NFB-NEWSLINE®. This service combines the ease-of-use of the telephone with the power of the computer to provide blind and severely visually-impaired people daily access to hundreds of newspapers and magazines. To apply for NFB-NEWSLINE® in Minnesota, call State Services for the Blind at (651) 642-0500 or visit the NFB-NEWSLINE® sign-up web page.
NFBM helps to secure more instruction in Braille, white cane usage, dog guide usage, and other "alternative techniques."
NFBM acts to be sure blind people have access to vital services such as telephone directory assistance, public transportation, the voting booth, banking, airline travel, etc.
SELF-AWARENESS -- overcoming the notion that blindness means inferiority, incompetence, and helplessness.
NFBM is a continuing forum for discussion of the day-to-day problems often faced by blind people and a source of practical solutions to those problems.
NFBM supports opportunities for blind persons to develop confidence in the use of the alternative techniques of blindness (for example use of white cane and Braille).
NFBM provides role models that are a living demonstration to other blind people that they too can compete on terms of equality.
NFBM helps blind people deal with the crushing feelings of shame and inferiority many feel due to public attitudes toward blindness.
MUTUAL-HELP -- exchanging knowledge gained from first-hand experience with blindness.
Blind Minnesotans share information, questions, and solutions with blind people all over the nation through NFB Net, the Email/Web/FTP service of the National Federation of the Blind. A key feature of this service is the sharing of information through email lists covering numerous topics, areas of interest, and professions. Some of these lists are for:
- Art Education for the Blind
- Agricultural and Equestrian
- Blind wheelchair users
- Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)
- Blind Lawyers
- Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
- Blind computer programmers and professionals
- Info and discussion list for blind veterans
- Blind Parents Mailing List
- Diabetes Talk for the Blind
- Jobs for the Blind
- Blind Professional Journalists List
- Blind Office Professionals
- List for blind crafters and artists
- Science and Engineering
- Blind Educators
- Senior blind
- Discussion of new quiet cars and pedestrian safety
- Sports and Recreation for the Blind
NFBM serves as a counseling and referral center for blind Minnesotans seeking rehabilitation and employment.
NFBM presents seminars for blind students and for parents of blind children.
NFBM helps blind college students to continue their education through a state scholarship and the NFB national scholarship program.
NFBM makes available aids for blind people such as white canes, talking clocks and calculators, watches, Braille slates, styluses and paper.