NFB of PA White Cane Coffee Fundraiser

Helping the affiliate has now become as easy as drinking your morning cup of coffee!! As featured at the 2019 State Convention, White Cane Coffee and the National Federation of the Blind of PA are working together.

Purchase your coffee here:

10% of the sales will come back to us – the NFB of PA – so we can continue to help our fellow blind and increase our programs for our seniors, students, and children!

Spread the word!

2019 NFB of PA State Convention Announcement

National Federation of The Blind of Pennsylvania
2019 State Convention
The Radison Hotel and Conference Center
1150 Camp Hill bypass, Camp Hill, PA 17011
800 – 333 – 3333

Friday, November 1 – Sunday, November 3, 2019

Reserve your room at the hotel now! Call the hotel at (800) 333-3333
A special room rate of $89.00 is available for convention attendees from Wednesday, October 30th through Sunday, November 3rd
FOR MORE INFORMATION call Joseph Drenth, Convention Chair, at (215) 827 7787 or e-mail
Please register online at


Friday Events:

  • Technology Seminars, Roundtable Discussions, and Breakout Sessions
  • Exhibit Hall
  • Meetings of Blind Students, Parents of Blind Children, Deafblind/Hearing-Impaired, and Guide Dog Users.
  • Resolutions Committee Meeting
  • State Board Meeting
  • Hospitality
  • Auction (donations requested)

Saturday Events:

  • Report from the National Representative (TBD)
  • Interesting speakers, presentations, and panels
  • Banquet Saturday Evening

Sunday Events:

  • Chapter Sharing Breakfast
  • State Business Meeting
  • Adjourn at Noon

CALL TO ACTION to preserve independent blindness services in Pennsylvania

We need your help right now to preserve blindness services in Pennsylvania. The Secretary of Labor and Industry is considering doing away with the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services and rolling those services into the general disability services bureau. If this happens, all of the services now provided by BBVS will be in jeopardy, including individualized vocational rehabilitation, Independent Living Older Blind, Business Enterprise Program, and specialized services for children and adults.

Please email the Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry, Mr. Jerry Oleksiak, at to request that he immediately stop considering this merger and that he not ignore the unique needs of blind and visually impaired individuals. You can also say that the blind and visually-impaired community of Pennsylvania does not deserve to be treated like second-class citizens

When you email Secretary Oleksiak, please copy Joe Drenth, on the email.

Also, please contact Governor Tom Wolf to express the same sentiments. You can call his office at 717-787-2500 or you can complete an online form to submit your comments electronically at

Finally, you should also contact your state representatives to tell them about this issue and to ask them to do everything in their power to preserve independent blindness services. Meeting with them in person is the best way to reach them, but commenting on their social media channels and sending them phone and email messages are good ideas, as well.

Thank you for taking action on this important issue right away. You should contact these people as often as possible, even every day, so they cannot ignore the problem.

Here is more background information:

The idea of doing away with Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) and lumping those services under the general disability vocational rehabilitation services bureau (BVRS) has been mentioned several times recently by the Secretary of Labor and Industry and by the Acting Executive Director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), under which BBVS and BVRS currently exist as independent bureaus.

This idea of merging the bureaus has been around for a long time, but it is being talked about by these individuals and a few others more and more frequently over the past months, such as at State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation meetings, Blindness Enterprise Program meetings, and several other events. Their increasing focus on this plan is alarming and should not be allowed to continue.

Although OVR’s official position is that no decision has been made to merge these services, they are doing more and more planning behind the scenes in preparation for taking this drastic step. They use the argument that this change would save money, but no reports or information is available that backs up this claim. Even if it saved a little money, we cannot allow them to continue considering this option in their numbers game to get OVR out of its budget shortfall. There are many other ways to save far more money that do not damage the lives and livelihoods of thousands of blind and visually-impaired Pennsylvanians.

2015 Possibilities Fair

“Vision loss does not have to mean the loss of independence. Once an individual experiencing vision loss has access to information, transportation and inspiration, they can remain a contributing member of the community.”
– David J. DeNotaris, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Imagine Independence…
Possibilities Fair for Adults 55 and Older
October 9, 2015

Take hold of the opportunities with the National Federation of the Blind Possibilities Fair for Older Adults Who Are Losing Vision and for Their Families
Friday, October 9, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $5.00, includes lunch
Where: Surrey Services for Seniors
60 Surrey Way (formerly Chestnut Ave.)
Devon, PA 19333

This Possibilities Fair will provide a hands-on opportunity for those 55 and older who are losing vision to learn how to improve their lives. The Fair will include demonstration areas featuring alternative techniques, equipment, services for older adults losing vision, and helpful hints about enjoying life.

To register, please call 215-988-0888 or download the following form in one of the two formats provided here and mail it to the address on the form:

Possibilities Fair Registration Form (Word document)

Possibilities Fair Registration Form (PDF document)

2016 Convention

The NFB of Pennsylvania 2016 Convention will be held Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13 at
Atherton Hotel in State College,  125 S Atherton St, State College, PA 16801.

Make your reservations now by calling the hotel directly   (814) 231-2100 or 800-832-0132.  To receive the special room rate, you need to mention the NFB of Pennsylvania when making your hotel reservation.

More information to follow.

Possibilities Fair – July 2014

On a sunny, bright Friday in July the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania and Surrey Services for Seniors hosted a Possibilities Fair for older adults dealing with vision loss. The fair, held at Surrey Senior Services in Berwyn, P.A, boasted a wealth of knowledge, demonstrations and resources for older adults in this community.

The fair provided a hands-on opportunity for those 55 and older, losing vision, to learn how to improve their lives. The event highlighted demonstration areas featuring alternative accessible techniques and equipment as well as, state services for older adults losing vision. This was a meaningful opportunity for older adults dealing with vision loss to gain and maintain independence. Information for spouses and families to gain understanding and to become supportive of their loved ones struggling with vision loss was also shown at the event.

The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the PA Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, CARIE- Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, the William Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center and PA NewsLine (Free Telephone Newspaper Service) were all in attendance at the fair, providing direct support and hands-on demonstrations as well as quality of life tools and tips. Demonstration stations included speech output devices, mobility practice sessions, and techniques for the kitchen as well as a display of helpful aids and appliances available to make everyday tasks more accessible.

Breakfast refreshments and goody bags were provided as the day began. Attendees and family members were escorted to the various sessions and demonstration booths to explore their own possibilities. At the end of the remarkable event, a lunch wrap-up session with state president, Jim Antonacci and notable NFBP members gave attendees another insightful glimpse into the lives of older blind adults.

To learn more about vision loss and your own possibilities, contact the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania at 215-988-0888

BELL Program for 2014

brailleThis summer will be the second annual Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program in Pennsylvania.

The goal of this program is to introduce young students to Braille and to encourage other students in their Braille study.

We especially want to reach out to children who would not otherwise be taught Braille.

This two-week program makes Braille fun through games, activities, lessons, field trips, and stations where students practice reading and writing Braille.

If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact our main office at 215-988-0888 or e-mail us at