About the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa
The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa 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. Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.
What is the National Federation of the Blind?
The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa (NFBI), an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, is an 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. Members work together for a brighter tomorrow by raising expectations so that blind persons can live the life they want.
Who We Are
The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa is a 501c(3) nonprofit volunteer membership organization comprised of blind and interested sighted persons of all ages, their families and friends. Our committed local chapters, divisions, committees, programs, and well-trained leaders help newly blind people adjust to vision loss, and promote the full participation and integration of blind people in our communities. We bring our collective experiences together to effect change at the state and national level.
What We Do
- Assist blind persons to acquire the skills of independence
- Help blind persons to develop confidence in themselves through our many service activities
- Teach blind persons the skills of leadership through active participation in conventions, chapter meetings, and civic activities
- Encourage blind seniors to continue their active and meaningful lifestyles
- Prepare blind students for productive tax-paying careers through academic and training scholarships
- Inform diabetics about their options for coping with vision loss
- Support parents and friends of blind children with information about the capabilities of the blind
- Protect and promote the civil rights of blind persons through public education and legislative action
- Advocate for policies that eliminate discrimination and guarantee equal access to educational programs and high quality rehabilitation
- Educate the public through seminars, community activities and our publications
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. We believe in blind people because we are blind people. Our democratically elected leaders and our diverse nationwide membership are made up of blind people, our families, and our friends. We are bound together by our belief that the blind are capable of achieving our dreams and living the lives we want, and by the love and respect we have for one another and for all blind Americans. We support one another, act with courage and determination when we encounter barriers or experience setbacks, and engage in collective action to improve our lives.
Here is what some of our members are saying about the NFB.
“The National Federation of the Blind gave me a glimpse into a real and a successful future for my then three-year-old little girl who was going blind. Taking her to an NFB Braille camp and attending our first national convention changed our lives forever.”—Parent of a Blind Child, Nokesville, VA
“Before I found the National Federation of the Blind and decided to get the training I needed to improve my blindness skills and my confidence in using them, I was an emotional mess hiding behind paper successes. Now I can make my own choices about where I go and what I do, without depending on others or experiencing stress and anxiety. I am living the life I want and I strive to show others that it’s the best way to live.”—Blind Student, Seattle, WA
“The National Federation of the Blind is like a big brother who teaches you confidence, self-reliance, and determination. The NFB has mentored me in all aspects of my life and, in turn, I have been able to mentor others.”—Blind Professional, Atlanta, GA
“The National Federation of the Blind taught me that blindness did not have to make me a passenger in my own life, and from my mentors and friends in the Federation, I learned to be a driver. I am fortunate that I can now give this invaluable gift to others. I pledge to give all of my energy, my creativity, and my love to our movement. This is how I intend to pay it back, pay it forward, and make a future full of opportunity for blind people. I have no illusions that this will be easy, but I have every expectation that it will happen when all of us pull together to create the kind of future in which we truly live the lives we want.”—Mark A. Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind
Why should I join the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa?
The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa can help you:
- Find hope and move forward after vision loss.
- Access local and nationwide networks of blind people who can provide information and support about all aspects of living, working, learning, and thriving as a blind person.
- Work with other blind people to change misconceptions about blindness, policies and laws that affect the blind, and the individual lives of people who are blind or who are losing vision.
- Meet and make friends with blind people who share your profession, hobbies, interests, or goals.
- Learn about and select the right technology for your active and productive life as a blind person.
You’ll also have access to all of the following services and resources:
- The world’s largest audio information service for the blind, NFB-NEWSLINE®, is free to anyone who is legally blind. NFB-NEWSLINE® makes over four hundred newspapers and magazines, as well as TV schedules, localized emergency weather alerts, and job listings, available on demand to blind readers by telephone, online, or via an iPhone/iPad app.
- A free white cane, the basic tool for independent travel by the blind.
- A free slate and stylus, the basic tools for writing Braille.
- The National Federation of the Blind Independence Market, which offers hundreds of products especially designed for the blind.
- Thirty national scholarships, totaling over $100,000, for outstanding blind students, as well as other scholarships through our state affiliates.
- Innovative programs for blind children and youth, including the Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program for beginning Braille readers and a number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs especially designed for blind students of all ages.
- And much more!
But the most important reason to join the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa is that we need your time, your talents, your hands, your heart, and your dreams. In short, we need you!
How do I join the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa?
The best way to become a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa is to join your local chapter. That way, you’ll meet blind people in your community and learn about the organization, too. You can find your nearest chapter by contacting affiliate president Scott Van Gorp at 515-720-5282 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find your nearest local chapter by visiting our chapters page or by downloading the free NFB Connect iPhone app from Apple’s App Store. If there’s not a chapter near you, your state affiliate may have an at-large chapter that meets by conference call or other ways for you to get involved. You can also join one of our special-interest divisions , there’s a list of them at www.nfbi.org/divisions.
How can I support the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa?
You can send a donation to the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa, P.O. Box 93071, Des Moines, IA 50393. You can also learn about other ways to support the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa by visiting www.nfbi.org/contribution-opportunities.