Projects, Programs, & Committees

Adopt Adaptive Equipment

Joe Ruffalo, Chair
Phone: 973-743-0075
Email: nfbnj1@verizon.net
Ed Godfrey, Co-Chair
Phone: 856-848-6372
Email: egodfrey137@gmail.com

Individuals wishing to donate equipment are matched with individuals requesting certain equipment. Our most popular items are CCTVs (Close Circuit TVs). The donor and the recipient must make their own arrangements for the pick up of equipment.

BELL (Braille Enrichment through Literacy and Learning) Academy

Mary Jo Partyka, Coordinator
Phone: 609-888-5459
Email: choirnfb@gmail.com
Holly Miller, Co-Coordinator
Phone: 732-610-5478
Email: pobcnj@gmail.com

The BELL Academy is a two-week program for visually impaired and blind children ages 4 through 12 who have had minimal exposure to braille. It is also for those who could use more exposure to braille and blindness skills. It is an opportunity for positive role models with our blind mentors, both adults and teens. We have a “braille-rocks” attitude, with fun, games, field trips, and friendships.

Blind Children’s Resource Center

Carol Castellano, Coordinator
Phone: 973-377-0976
Email: blindchildren@verizon.net
Website: http://www.blindchildren.org/

The Blind Children’s Resource Center is a collection of items useful for the education and development of blind children.

Braille Mentoring Program

Mary Jo Partyka, Coordinator
Phone: 609-888-5459
Email: choirnfb@gmail.com

Do you know someone who is having difficulty reading print due to conditions such as glaucoma, Retinitis pigmentosa, etc? Or are you the person with these difficulties who would like to learn how to write down important telephone numbers, recipes, or labels for kitchen items? If you can answer “yes” to either of these questions, you may be interested in participating in our Braille Mentoring Program sponsored by the Braille Division of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey.   Members of our Braille Division will try to find someone close to where you live who can get together with you on a weekly basis and help you learn the Braille alphabet, numbers, etc. There is no charge for this service and you may find that you will be able to read and write the information you need to become more independent.

Building Chapters & Membership Committee

Rick Fox, Chair
Phone: 973-743-6107
Email: richardfox1@comcast.net

As we grow the affiliate’s local chapters and divisions, please contact Rick for an overview with helpful procedures.

Green Drop

Linda DeBerardinis, Coordinator
Phone: 856-735-5559
Email: ljdeber3@comcast.net
Website: www.nfbpickup.org

The National Federation of the Blind has teamed up with GreenDrop to collect donations of clothing and household items. The funds raised from this program go to the National Federation of the Blind general fund to support programs for blind STEM students, veterans, and seniors, as well as the ongoing efforts to improve equality for the blind.

Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Liaison

Rebecca Bryant, Liaison
Phone: 973-723-6559
Email: rirvin14@optonline.net
Anthony Lanzilotti, Co-Liaison
Phone: 609-361-3038
Email: Tti777@gmail.com

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) has enabled voters with disabilities to fully exercise the fundamental right to vote privately and independently by requiring that every polling place have at least one accessible voting system for all federal elections. In addition, many states have enacted legislation to require at least one accessible voting system in each polling place for all state and local elections. An in-depth video on the subject is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_yTfEO2Kz8.

KNFB Reader Liaison

Rick Fox, Liaison
Phone: 973-743-6107
Email: richardfox1@comcast.net
Website: www.knfbreader.com

The KNFB Reader app is a revolutionary tool that you can use, with the touch of a single button, to read virtually any type of printed text, including mail, receipts, class handouts, memos, and many other documents. The KNFB Reader is now fully sponsored by the NFB! To learn more about the app and how to download, visit www.nfb.org/knfbreader.

Legislative Coordinator

Ryan Stevens, Coordinator
Phone: 856-240-1497
Email: RYSteve@comcast.net
Anthony Lanzilotti, Assistant Coordinator
Phone: 609-361-3038
Email: Tti777@gmail.com

These are the people responsible for alerting the members of the state affiliate about pending legislation which impacts the blind and actions that need to be taken in response to such legislation. They also coordinate meetings between members and New Jersey Congressional representatives during NFB’s Washington Seminar.

Liability Insurance Committee

Phil Harrison, Chair
Phone: 609-545-8575
Email: mailto:pbharrison39@comcast.net

The state affiliate has secured liability insurance for all state activities, local chapter and division meetings, and for fundrraisers.

Marketing Consultant

Amo Musharraf, Coordinator
Phone: 732-821-1691
Email: amo.musharraf@outlook.com

To assist with promoting the state affiliate’s state convention by providing audio and photographs for the state website.

Merchants Committee

Dan Facchini, Chair
Phone: 201-906-8655
Email: danfb@verizon.net

NFB-Newsline®

Jane Degenshein, Coordinator
Phone: 973-736-5785
Email: jdegen16@comcast.net
Website: http://www.nfb.org/audio-newspaper-service

NFB-NEWSLINE® is a FREE service that allows blind and print disabled individuals to listen to over 400 publications. The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the state’s sponsor.

PAC (Pre-Authorized Contribution) Plan Coordinator

Brian Mackey, Chair
Phone: 609-953-6988
Email: bmackey88@gmail.com

The PAC Plan is a method where individuals or groups of individuals can pre-approve a certain amount of money, as little as $5, each month and have those funds contribute to programs at the National Federation of the Blind. These programs include the distribution of free literature, funding the Free White Cane program, funding the Free Slate and Stylus program, fund legal battles, assisting with the national scholarship programs with funding, and provide free web hosting through NFBNet.org.

Parliamentarian

Ryan Stevens
Phone: 856-240-1497
Email: rysteve@comcast.net

Provides direction to the leaders and members of NFBNJ so that proper procedures are followed during meetings and conference calls.

Public Relations/Press Core Committee

Joe Ruffalo, Chair
Phone: 973-743-0075
Email: nfbnj1@verizon.net

Writes and distributes press releases to local and state media to promote activities throughout the state.

Resolutions Committee

Ryan Stevens, Chair
Phone: 856-240-1497
Email: rysteve@comcast.net

This committee reviews issues to discuss what is needed to present as resolutions at the state convention. Resolutions are the policy statements of the affiliate.

Scholarship Committee

Jerilyn Higgins, Chair
Phone: 973-239-8874
Email: jdhiggins3@verizon.net

This committee determines which individual(s) earn academic scholarships at our State Convention.

Social Media Coordinator

Vee Gaspa, Coordinator
Phone: 434-989-1868
Email: Veronica.gaspa@student.shu.edu

This individual is responsible for posting any items of interest onto our social media pages.

The Sounding Board

Kathy Gabry, Editor
Phone: 201-998-9427
Email: specialk38@aol.com
Mary Jo Partyka, Co-Editor
Phone: 609-888-5459
Email: choirnfb@gmail.com
Jerilyn Higgins, Co-Editor
Phone: 973-239-8874
Email: jdhiggins3@verizon.net
Barbara Shallit, Co-Editor
Phone: 201-213-2885
Email: barbart@tullensound.com

The Sounding Board is our semi-annual newsletter with information to read and share with others. Reflections from our membership, human interest stories, background of individuals and issues pertaining to the blind community are highlighted.

Vehicle Donation Program

Anthony Lanzilotti, Coordinator
Phone: 609-361-3038
Email: tti777@gmail.com
Website: http://www.carshelpingtheblind.org/

The National Federation of the Blind’s Vehicle Donation program accepts almost any vehicle, including cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles. All donations may be eligible for a tax deduction on the donor’s federal income tax return, and the NFB receives an average of $360 for each donated vehicle.

Webmaster

Brian Mackey
Phone: 609-953-6988
Email: bmackey88@gmail.com

The webmaster is responsible for the upkeep of the affiliate site with informative information, to raise expectations and to provide information to the visitor to learn the skills, techniques to live the life you want; blindness is not what holds us back.

White Cane Committee

Jane Degenshein, Chair
Phone: 973-736-5785
Email: Jdegen16@comcast.net
Brian Mackey, Co-Chair
Phone: 609-953-6988
Email: bmackey88@gmail.com

The national organization provides free white canes, please visit www.nfb.org/free-cane-program to order your free white cane. After receiving your free white cane, you will receive a welcome email and a follow up call from a member in your area to discuss numerous possibilities to learn the truth about blindness.

Left Hand Sidebar

Contact Information

Joseph Ruffalo, President
254 Spruce Street
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Phone: 973-743-0075
Email: nfbnj1@verizon.net

Coming Soon

NFB Washington Seminar
January 30 through February 2, 2017
Holiday Inn Capitol
550 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

NFB National Convention
July 10 through 15, 2017
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819