Thanks to our 2014 Sponsors
New York State Commission for the Blind • The Lighthouse Guild Services
Vis-Ability • Strictly Car Service
HIMS International • Vanda Pharmaceuticals • New Utrecht Pharmacy
Guide Dog Foundation • Independent Living Aids • 3D Photoworks
Town Meeting with the Commission for the Blind of New York
Commissioner Brian Danials
Philosophy discussion: What’s your response when people offer unwanted assistance?
Mindy Jacobsen, Vice-President NFB of New York State
NFB of NYS Board of Directors meeting
Carl Jacobsen, President NFB of NYS
Call to order, Carl Jacobsen, President, National Federation of the Blind of New York State and member, Board of Directors, National Federation of the Blind
- Invocation, Laura Herman
- Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance, Boy Scouts of America
- National Anthem, Valeria Paradeso
Presentation of the Scholarship Class of 2014
Cayte Mendez, Chair, Scholarship Committee; President, National Association of Blind Educators; and Secretary, New York City Chapter NFB.
State of the State Address
State of the Union Address
Kevan Worley, former President, National Association of Blind Merchants and Executive Director, Worley Enterprises of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Future is Ours, with His Help
Christine Moore, Xavier Society for the Blind.
And Now a Word From Our Sponsors
Olmsted Center for Sight: What’s New?
Tammy Owen, President and CEO, Olmsted Center.
Jill Rothstein, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library.
Thanks for all your support: A presentation to Senator George Maziarz
My Long and Winding Road with the Beatles
Art Schreiber, former radio broadcast journalist.
Ringing our BELL: Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning
Communicating with Gestures, an interactive presentation
Maria Garcia, President, Parents of Blind Children of New York.
So How Do We Get It All Done?
Brian Daniels, Associate Commissioner, New York State Commission for the Blind, Rensselaer, New York
Banquet Keynote Address
Presentation of Scholarships to the class of 2014
Report from the Resolutions Committee
Chancey Fleet, Committee Chair, and 2nd Vice President, New York City Chapter, NFB
Presentation on Community Involvement
Cheryl Echevarria, Vice President, Long Island Chapter NFB, and President, Travel and Tourism Division, NFB
Chapter and Division Reports
Charting our Path into the Future
National Federation of the Blind of New York State
Resolutions for 2014
Regarding Accessibility Requirements in State RFPs and Contracts
WHEREAS, the State of New York and its agencies contract with private entities on a regular basis, and these contracts often involve information and communication technologies; and
WHEREAS, whenever new technologies are implemented through the State or any of its agencies, Federal and state law requires that those technologies be usable by all; and
WHEREAS, unless explicit and robust accessibility requirements are built into the language of a request for proposal and subsequent contract, accessibility of the resulting information and communication technology cannot be assured; and
WHEREAS, information and communication technology that is inaccessible excludes people with disabilities from activities of employment, education, civic responsibility, and other activities supported by technologies which the state procures: Now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of New York State in Convention assembled this ninth day of November, 2014, in the City of Niagara Falls, New York, that this organization work with New York State to ensure, through whatever means necessary, that all requests for proposal and subsequent contracts entered into by the State or any of its agencies require that all information and communication technologies be accessible.
Regarding TASC Accessibility
WHEREAS, the New York State Education Department adopted the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) as the replacement for New York's previous high school equivalency exam; and
WHEREAS, the TASC is available in hard copy standard print, large print, braille, and a computer-based version developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill, a producer of educational materials; and
WHEREAS, computer-based tests are notoriously fraught with accessibility issues; and
WHEREAS, both the computer-based and braille formats of the test require the provision of quality tactile graphics to be meaningfully accessible to blind test-takers; and
WHEREAS, CTB/McGraw-Hill plans to integrate Common Core Standards into the TASC over the next three years, altering the test framework to include questions with new forms of interaction which will necessitate new approaches to accessibility; and
WHEREAS, CTB/McGraw-Hill has not been fully transparent with stakeholders regarding the accessibility of its computer-based test and provision of tactile graphics; and
WHEREAS, the practice materials provided to stakeholders have not met the needs of all blind test-takers; and
WHEREAS, CTB/McGraw-Hill has been reluctant to allow for the needs of all blind test-takers when approving accommodations, including requests for multiple testing modalities; and
WHEREAS, fully accessible computer-based testing, meaningfully accessible tactile graphics, and the provision of multiple testing modalities are all critical components of a testing process that allows blind test-takers to compete on terms of equality: Now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of New York State in Convention assembled this ninth day of November, 2014, in the City of Niagara Falls, New York, that this organization work with and support the New York State Education Department in its effort to demand that CTB/McGraw-Hill make the TASC fully accessible to all test-takers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization request that New York State Commission for the Blind continue to engage with the Education Department to provide technical assistance and advocacy to improve the accessibility of the TASC; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call on CTB/McGraw-Hill to work with the NFB and other stakeholders to provide all test-takers with a level playing field by making the TASC fully accessible now and going forward as changes are made to integrate Common Core Standards.