Monthly Digest

Welcome to our January 2024 monthly Digest: a monthly newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania!

The events and information listed below will be within the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania as well as any pertinent information from the National Federation of the Blind and the Pennsylvania blind community.

If you or anyone you know have any upcoming events or information that can pertain to the blind community in Pennsylvania, please send them to Stacie Leap at nfb.stacie@gmail.com  by the 27th of the month so it can be added to our calendar for the following month.

Editor’s Note

Hello all:

I do apologize that December 2023’s edition never came out. I was experiencing some hardships and had to remove myself from certain obligations. Thank you to those who checked up on me and kept me in their thoughts and prayers.

On a happier note: the Monthly Digest is one year old! We started this monthly newsletter in January 2023 and it was such a pleasure sharing all of this information with everybody! I have received so many emails with positive feedback and I am glad that people are reading this newsletter. That was a fear of mine: that people would not read this newsletter and just delete it. However, I am happy to hear that people are engaging with the newsletter. Thank you all! 

– Stacie Leap

A Message from our State Affiliate President

Dear Members and Friends,

Happy New Year! It was wonderful spending time with you at our recent State Convention in November 2023.  We had record registration, record attendance at the Banquet and the Possibilities Fair and an overflowing Exhibit Hall.  The feedback I have received about the programming has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Thank you to the many hands, hearts and minds that went into putting this together!!!

Looking forward to wonderful things in 2024!

Sincerely,

Lynn Heitz

President, National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania

president@NFBOfPA.org

Google Calendar Links

The National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania also has a Google Calendar that can be viewed either through the web or subscribed to your calendar apps.

You can view the calendar at www.NFBofPA.org/calendar.

However, if you wish to subscribe to the calendar and get the events on your calendar apps, please Subscribe and go through the steps to subscribe:

Member Spotlight: David Goldstein

Each month, we will highlight someone within our affiliate. The goal is to allow us to learn about other members within the affiliate. We hope you enjoy this little spotlight!

David Goldstein was recently elected to the position of First Vice President of our state affiliate during our 2023 State Convention! He is also the Treasurer of the Keystone Chapter and Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Blind Merchants. He also is one of the hosts of White Canes Connect, our official state affiliate podcast.  In addition, he is also our web coordinator of our new affiliate website: www.nfbofpa.org. If you do not think that is enough, he is the President of Digital Graphics Design, LLC. David is a father of two adult children and a dog dad to Ziggy, a golden retriever.  He is into technology and has his own podcast, iCantCU, where he chronicles his life and the different activities, he is involved in. In his own words, “iCantCU sounds like a sentence, but it is only 7 letters long. It is like blind people for dummies.” If you ever get a chance to meet David, do not forget to say, “Hello!”

Calendar of Events

The following events are also on our Google calendar with the Zoom information or meeting location. If anyone within a chapter, division, or group see any errors or misinformation, please contact Stacie Leap at nfb.stacie@gmail.com

The below information is correct as of the first week of the month. The information is most up-to-date on the Google Calendar so please check back periodically to ensure the right information.

Coffee with the State President and Board

This monthly discussion meeting brings everybody together to get to know the state affiliate board members and the happenings within the state’s divisions, chapters, and advocacy efforts. This meeting is typically held the 1st Wednesday of the month. For more information, please contact State President Lynn Heitz at president@nfbofpa.org

Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 7:30 PM.

Jigsaw Chapter monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who do not have a local chapter in their geographical area. This is our at-large chapter Meetings This meeting is typically held on the first Saturday of the month.

Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 10 AM

Deaf Blind Division Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who consider themselves to be Deaf Blind and their supporters. This meeting is typically held on the second Monday of the month. For more information, please contact Division President Chris Westbrook at westbchris@gmail.com

Monday, January 8, 2024 at 6 PM.

Pennsylvania Association of Blind Merchants (PABM) Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who are or wish to be involved with the Business Enterprise Program, entrepreneurship, and their supporters. This meeting is typically held on the second Wednesday of the month. For more information, please contact Division President Pamela Baquero at oneblindhippie@yahoo.com 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 6 PM.

Greater Berks Chapter Monthly Meeting

A monthly meeting for those who live in the Greater Berks County of Pennsylvania This meeting is typically held on the second Friday of the month. For more information, please contact Chapter President Rosemary Freedman at dogguide.winston@icloud.com

Friday, January 12, 2024 at 10 AM.

Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter Monthly Meeting

A monthly meeting for those who live in the Greater Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.  This includes Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and the surrounding areas. This meeting is typically held on the second Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Chapter President Cheryl Frazier at cherylnfrazier@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 10 AM.

Keystone Chapter Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who live in the Philadelphia area. This is one of two local chapters in the Philadelphia area. The other chapter is the Greater Philadelphia Chapter. This meeting is typically held on the second Saturday of the month at the Penn Museum. For more information, please contact Chapter President Harriet Go at goharriet00@hotmail.com

Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 10:15 AM.

Happy Valley Chapter Monthly Meeting

A monthly meeting for those who live in or surrounding State College, Pennsylvania.  This meeting is typically held on the second Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Chapter President Michelle McManus at michelleandremy@gmail.com

Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 1 PM.

Diabetes Action Network (DAN) Group Monthly Meeting

A monthly meeting for those who have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or at risk for developing diabetes. This group typically meets on the third Monday of the month. For more information, please contact Group Chair Christine Palmer at tinybuchanan1204@gmail.com

Monday, January 15, 2024 at 7 PM.

Pennsylvania Organization of Parents of Blind Children (PAOPBC) Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for parents of blind children and their supporters This meeting is typically held on the third Tuesday of the month. For more information, please contact Division President Emily Gindlesperger at vp2@nfbp.org

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 1 PM.

Pittsburgh Chapter Monthly Meeting

A monthly meeting for those who live in the Greater Pittsburgh area. This meeting is typically held on the third Wednesday of the month. For more information, please contact Chapter Revitalizing Team Members Emily Gindlesperger at vp2@nfbp.org or Denice Brown at dbrown8827@aol.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 6 PM.

Capital Area Chapter Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who live in the Greater Harrisburg area. This meeting is typically held on the third Saturday of the month. For More Information, please contact Chapter President Jason Polanski at jaedpo96@gmail.com

Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 10 AM.

Erie County Chapter Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who live in Erie County Pennsylvania. This meeting is typically held on the third Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Connie Scheu at conniej1250@gmail.com

Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 2 PM.

Blind Parents Group Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for blind parents, grandparents, and their supporters This meeting is typically held on the third Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Group Chair Stacie Leap at Stacie.leap@gmail.com

Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 7 PM.

Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students (PABS) Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for blind students of all ages and their supporters. This meeting is typically held on the fourth Monday of the month. For more information, please contact Division President Simon Bonenfant at sbonenfant2@gmail.com

Monday, January 22, 2024 at 7 PM.

Blind Seniors Group Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who are seniors or almost seniors as well as their supporters. This meeting is typically held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. For more information, please contact Group Chair Connie Scheu at conniej1250@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 7:30 PM.

Brandywine Valley Chapter Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who live in the Brandywine Valley area of PA. This meeting is typically held on the fourth  Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Chapter President Lynn Heitz at president@nfbofpa.org

Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 10 AM.

Greater Philadelphia Chapter Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who live in the Philadelphia area. This is one of two local chapters in the Philadelphia area.  The other chapter is the Keystone Chapter. This meeting is typically held on the fourth Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Chapter President Denice Brown at dbrown8827@aol.com

Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 10 AM.

Pennsylvania Association of Guide Dog Users (PAGDU) Monthly Meeting

a monthly meeting for those who have or are considering getting a guide dog as well as their supporters. This meeting is typically held on the fourth.Saturday of the month. For more information, please contact Division President Becca Weber at  weberbecca630@gmail.com

Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 4 PM.

White Canes Connect Podcast

Did you know that the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania has a podcast? It is hosted by members David Goldstein and Lisa Bryant as well as some guest hosts. It features interviews with our PA members as well as interviews and resources for the blind community. The monthly digest is also on the podcast for those who wish to hear a human’s voice instead of a screen reader. You can listen to it wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen on  Apple PodcastsSpotifyAmazon MusicIHeartRadio, and on YouTube @PABlindPodcast. Contact White Canes Connect at whitecanesconnect@gmail.com if you have any show ideas or wish to be on the podcast.

State Convention 2023

We had our state convention in November 2023 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Here are some highlights! 

  • We had 28 people register for our Senior Possibilities Fair. This was our 2nd year having it at the convention and this was our highest number of registrants!
  • 10 people attended the state convention as a first timer! Welcome to our NFB of pA family!
    • A total of 125 people registered for the convention!
    • We had our state board elections and the following people have been elected:
      • President: Lynn Heitz
      • First Vice President: David Goldstein
      • SecondVice President: Emily Gindlesperger
      • Secretary: Harriet Go
      • Treasurer: Brian Mackey
      • Board Director: Denice Brown
      • Board Director: Kirk Hunger
      • Board Director: Michelle McManus

Diabetes Action Network (DAN) Group formed in Pennsylvania!

We are delighted to have a new group join our NFB of PA family! This group, Diabetes Action Network (DAN), aims to educate and provide peer support for those living with diabetes or for those who are at-risk for developing diabetes. The group plans to meet quarterly on the second Monday of the month at 7 PM. For more information, please contact the Group Chair Christine Palmer at tinybuchanan1204@gmail.com

Washington Seminar 2024

At our Washington Seminar, members of the National Federation of the Blind convene to learn about and advocate for legislative initiatives that will improve the lives of blind Americans.

Dates: Monday, January 29 through Thursday, February 1, 2024

Location: Holiday Inn Washington Capitol – National Mall
550 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

If you want more information on what the NFB of PA is doing in regards to Washington Seminar, please contact our Legislative Director Emily Gindlesperger at vp2@nfbp.org

For more information on Washington Seminar, please visit www.nfbofpa.org/washington-seminar

Shout-Outs and Announcements!

Birthday Wishes

The National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania would like to wish all those who were born in December & January a very happy birthday!

Fundraisers

Blind Parents Group T-Shirts Fundraiser

The t-shirts come in either black with white letterings or white with black letterings. Both shirts say “I Support #BlindParents” with the NFB of PA Logo and “Blind Parents Group” at the bottom. Funds raised will start a financial fund to assist blind or visually impaired parents and their family through financial life hardships. To purchase a t-shirt, please contact Stacie Leap at nfb.stacie@gmail.com

NFB Pledge

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind; to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

NFB Message

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.

Many thanks to everybody for all they do within the Federation!

Thanks!

the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania team

www.nfbofpa.org

NFB of PA
33 Merganser Drive
Sinking Spring, PA 19608