National Federation of the Blind, Inc.

Live the life you want

aka Blind Federation of America   |   Baltimore, MD   |  http://www.nfb.org

Mission

The mission of the National Federation of the Blind is to serve as a means for blind people to come together to work collectively to improve our lives. By providing public education about blindness, information and referral services, scholarships, literature and materials about blindness, specialized aids and appliances, adaptive equipment, and support for blind people and their families, the members of the National Federation of the Blind strive to spread the word that the blind are normal individuals who can compete on equal terms with their sighted peers. Together, with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.

Ruling year info

1949

Principal Officer

Mr. Mark Riccobono

Main address

1800 Johnson Street

Baltimore, MD 21230 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

02-0259978

NTEE code info

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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. It is these low expectations that are the true obstacles, not the actual disability of blindness as many are led to believe.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Integration

Seek to integrate the blind into society on a basis of equality through broad-based interaction with blind persons, their families and members of the general public utilizing multiple venues, media, and activities. All blind persons and persons with visual disabilities in the United States (approximately 6 million as reported by the United States Census Bureau) are potentially benefited by these activities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

Protect civil rights, strengthen self-organization, monitor and improve governmental and other services, advocate for and conduct projects to meet social, educational, economic, and employment needs of the blind. All blind persons and persons with visual disabilities in the United States (approximately 6 million as reported by the United States Census Bureau) are potentially benefited by these activities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

Develop, promote, evaluate, and distribute nonvisual access technology, devices, methods, and systems that remove vision-based barriers preventing full participation by the blind in society. All blind persons and persons with visual disabilities in the United States (approximately 6 million as reported by the United States Census Bureau) are potentially benefited by these activities.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Ultimately, the National Federation of the Blind is aiming to accomplish the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. “Full integration" means that blind people are afforded the same opportunities and responsibilities as their sighted peers, at the same time and on the same playing field. It means that a blind person is judged on his or her merit as a person, and not judged by a single characteristic among many. Finally, it means the blind are not considered a separate class of people, held to different rules and lower expectations, but are capable, contributing members of the society in which they live. Full integration can only be achieved through widespread emotional acceptance and intellectual understanding that the real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight but the misconceptions and lack of information which exist.

To achieve its goals, the National Federation of the Blind conducts broad-based communications programs directed at the general public, with the aim of making massive changes in the way that blindness is understood. The organization's communications seek to inform the general public of the real nature of blindness, and then ask the public to act to help solve the problem. As a component of the general public, blind people are recipients of this effort, and work must continue to both reach those aware of the organization and those unaware of its existence and its resources. The organization's strategy couples personal responsibility and accountability with a demand for opportunity and equality. The National Federation of the Blind believes that with this opportunity and proper training, blindness can be reduced to a physical nuisance, and that blind people will be endowed with independence, self-assurance, and hope for the future.

By providing public education about blindness, information and referral services, scholarships, literature and materials about blindness, specialized aids and appliances, adaptive equipment, and support for blind people and their families, the members of the National Federation of the Blind strive to spread the word that the blind are normal individuals who can compete on equal terms with their sighted peers. Together, with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.

The National Federation of the Blind is a membership organization of blind Americans experiencing all degrees and types of blindness, as well as their families, educators, and other interested parties. Since its founding in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind has grown to become the largest and most influential organization of the blind in the United States, now boasting a membership of more than fifty thousand, organized into chapters and affiliates in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The National Federation of the Blind is the only organization that believes in the full capacity of blind people, and has the power, influence, diversity, and determination to help transform our dreams into reality.

The National Federation of the Blind's expertise runs the gamut of issues impacting blind people. With decades of nonvisual access technology expertise, the National Federation of the Blind recognizes the utility of innovative technology in improving educational, employment, and social outcomes for blind people. In 1990, the organization opened the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind (IBTC), the leading evaluation and training center on technology for the blind in the world—now housing a comprehensive collection of speech and Braille technology worth over $2.5 million. Through the IBTC, the National Federation of the Blind provides opportunities for training for blind people and technology developers alike, and is considered to be the premier source for unbiased consultation in the access technology world.

The National Federation of Blind also has significant capability in the analysis and application of United States law that impacts the nation's blind. The National Federation of the Blind provides legal assistance to blind individuals in complaints involving diverse areas of discrimination, violation of laws requiring equal access in education and public accommodations, rehabilitation services, and employment opportunities.

The National Federation of the Blind has been instrumental in some of the most transformative initiatives and activities for the blind and for other people with disabilities over the years since its founding in 1940. Important elements of United States law—laws that include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act—have been inconsistently applied for blind individuals. The NFB works to ensure that existing laws protecting blind Americans are applied, and that the general public is aware of the rights of blind people.

Perhaps no other organization has been so focused on the use of emerging technologies to address the real and practical day-to-day concerns of blind people. The National Federation of the Blind played key roles in the design and development of important technological innovations for the blind, including the first text-to-speech system (a system that automatically translates text on a page into audio) developed by Raymond Kurzweil, and the first Braille notetakers (hand-held personal computers that have the ability to display a line of modifiable Braille text) that were precursors to mainstream PDAs for the sighted population.

As part of its Blind Driver Challenge® project, the National Federation of the Blind played a key role in the design and development of a system that allows a blind person to make real-time driving decisions, showcased at the Rolex 24 in Daytona, Florida, in 2011. The organization created the world's first, free, digital talking newspaper service that offers the blind the complete text of more than three hundred fifty leading national and local newspapers through the use of a touch-tone telephone. More than one hundred thousand blind people across the country currently subscribe to the service.

The National Federation of the Blind's proudest accomplishment is the impact it has on blind people and those they love, and the thousands of lives it has touched. The combined programs of the National Federation of the Blind reach thousands of blind people each year with services and support, exemplified by the organization's free slate and stylus distribution program and free monthly and quarterly publications.

While significant progress has been made to eliminate the stereotypes and misconceptions that surround blindness, more is yet to be done. The National Federation of the Blind does not believe that we have reached the full integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality, and we have not yet gained widespread emotional acceptance and intellectual understanding that the real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight but the misconceptions and lack of information that exist.

Financials

National Federation of the Blind, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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National Federation of the Blind, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Pamela Allen

No Affliation

Mark Riccobono

No Affliation

Pam Allen

Ron Brown

No Affiliation

James Gashel

No Affliation

Jeannie Massay

Denise Avant

Everette Bacon

Amy Buresh

Shawn Callaway

No Affiliation

Norma Crosby

No Affiliation

John Fritz

No Affiliation

Ever Lee Hairston

No Affiliation

Cathy Jackson

No Affiliation

Carla McQuillan

No Affiliation

Amy Ruell

No Affiliation

Joe Ruffalo

No Affiliation

Adelmo Vigil

No Affiliation

Terri Rupp

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/27/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data