NFB of Maine News Matters for May, 2013

Memorial Day Week end: Remember our Vets and never forget why they do what they do.

Vol.3 Issue 4



editor: Patricia E. C. Estes





"The Voice of the Blind in Maine-Changing What it Means to be Blind"




President, Leon Proctor, Jr


Vetarns poem
It’s the veteran
not the preacher
Who has given us the freedom of religion.

It’s the veteran
Not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It’s the veteran
Not the poet
Who has given us the freedom of speech.

It’s the veteran
Not the campus organizer
Who has given us the freedom to assemble.

It’s the veteran
Not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It’s the veteran
Not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It’s the veteran who honors the flag
It’s the veteran who serves under the flag
No matter where they serve,
God Bless Them All!
God Bless America!

Kate Smith sings it best:
(Thank you to NFB of NJ President for sharing)


National Association of Blinded Vets

The National Association of Blinded Vets is an organization that is part of and supported by the National Federation of the Blind. We do not have a chapter of NABV in Maine, but all of our mailings go to the VA Hospital in Augusta. A forward thinking rehabilitation program has been created at Togus for our blinded Vets. They were an exhibitor at our 2012 State Convention and spoke to our members. Our General Sessions of our national convention begin each year with these fine men and women of the NABV marching in and presenting the Colors. After The National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, each are personally introduced to the three thousand convention attendees assembled. For more information on the National Association of Blinded Veterans go to:
Thank you.




You may have noticed that our Affiliate President, Leon Proctor, has been out of state since March and will be until late Fall of this year. Leon is receiving intensive rehabilitation training in the skills and in the philosophy of blindness as he attends the Louisiana Center for the Blind. He has very little time outside of his studies to do all that he would like as the President of the NFB of Maine. We appreciate the great work he is doing to further his own personal success as a blind person. Leon will return with much to offer and we will get to hear from him in July when he is back home on a break. Join Leon and Suzanne at the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce July Breakfast as the NFB of Maine is welcomed into the Chamber as a new member. Also, you may have heard that two members of the NFB of Maine Board of Directors have had to resign in order to manage severe illness. They remain active Federationists and such resignations, while unfortunate, are a simple fact of life. Some have expressed concern for the growth of our Affiliate (which has been awesome, indeed!)because our President will be gone for several more months and two positions on the Board are now vacant. I do not worry about the NFB of Maine's continued growth and influence when it comes to the betterment of the lives of the blind of all ages in our state. Why? It is simple: I know something that you don't know! The message that each member of the NFB of Maine carries with us is needed now more than ever! The blind of Maine do believe in themselves, they do not buy the low standards of expectations for the blind that permeates State government and, more over, the blind of Maine are prepared to be empowered by Federation philosophy! I also know that the handful of Maine Federationists who have worked so hard for the blind of Maine these past three years have learned much, given much and have changed lives, as well as the perception of blindness. Seeds of Hope have been firmly planted and are growing-there's no going back now!


We may need to re-arrange our calendar of events, our pace may seem slower, but our commitment to high expectations for education, training, career planning and quality of life for the blind of Maine remains the same. The vital work of the Federation in Maine is rolling forward and picking up momentum! As we each continue to reach out to one another, share resources and a can-do attitude (in spite of great obstacles from State government that will only serve to further unite us, in the end) , other blind people will see that we are different and ask,"How can I have what you have?"

Recently, I was blessed to receive a thoughtful note from Dr. Marc Maurer. He brought my attention to the fact that where the Federation is strong, the services to the blind of that state are vastly improved and are even cutting edge. Think about our situation in Maine: services to the blind are unresponsive to our needs, as well as to our choices and higher standards that we expect from our service providers as well as ourselves. Our frustration is reaching critical mass! The NFB of Maine can and will go forward in a united, focused effort to bring to bear the changes needed in services to the blind. Olde attitudes about the blind and our contributions will be replaced with honest expectations based on our taking advantage of equal opportunities. The old myths and fears surrounding being blind will be replaced with examples of real blind people as an integral part of a healthy community.

And did you hear what I did on the news a couple of days ago? Feeling that the Legislature is "censoring" him, the Governor is moving his office out of the Capitol building. And there's more! We may be able to take advantage of Governor LePage "forbidding his Commissioners to talk with legislators." Would this mean that the consumer might have direct access to the Governor without any filter mismanaging our message? Well, frankly, I haven't a clue-I have never heard of such a thing! But I have heard of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine and we're not going anywhere!
Patricia C. Estes



(What do you mean "what raffle tickets"?)
This is a great week end to bring our raffle tickets with you to give your family and friends the opportunity to support the programs for the blind of the NFB of Maine!


Send the money you collect in to our treasurer and he can mail out some more tickets! Be sure to give him your mailing address on his voice mail or by email-or even in a note with the contributions that you send him to deposit! Send to:
Skip Estes
790 Pownal Road
Auburn, Maine 04210
207 344 7832

We have more raffle tickets to sell and we're raffling off $100.00! Who couldn't use that?? Our Fund Raising Chair, Mark Tardiff, has more info and tickets, also.

"The Brave will live forever.
The Cautious never really live."