October is Meet the Blind Month
October is an active time of celebrating and educating for the blind community of Colorado. The National Foundation of the Blind (NFB) celebrates it as Meet the Blind Month, and October 15th as National White Cane Awareness Day. Colorado’s NFB chapter holds its annual state convention over the last weekend of every October.
The president of NFB Colorado’s Boulder Valley Chapter, Maryann Migliorelli, promises this year’s virtual convention will be even more exciting than usual, anticipating an expanded attendance that will include Colorado expatriates and friends from far and wide. The exhibit hall, normally a bunch of vendors’ tables navigated by 300 attendees with white canes and guide dogs, will be virtual and interactive.
There will also be a virtual choir and, Maryann says, “The most amazing food ever because you provide your own.”
Maryann and her husband, Paul, are long-time Boulder residents well-known and loved among Colorado’s blind community. In addition to her career in hospitality management and event planning, Maryann has run NFB Boulder since 2009.
The chapter meetings, virtual for now, traditionally take place on first Saturdays at the Boulder Library’s Main Branch. Paul worked as a radio sound engineer in New York and Colorado for decades and recently retired from a research position at Cochlear Americas. Paul, like Maryann, has been blind from infancy, but he gradually lost all his hearing starting at age ten. He had his hearing restored by cochlear implants in 2007 (right ear) and 2008 (left).
They have many common ties, but a particularly fruitful one is a talent for performance—Maryann, a Distinguished Toastmaster, and Paul, a stage actor—that most recently flourishes in the social media group Migs Motivation and Merriment. The traveling program motivates people with disabilities through improv classes, story circles, and the Migliorelli trademark: fun.
Matt Kissane, Director of Listener Services
Audio Information Network of Colorado. Providing blind & visually impaired individuals with audio access to reading materials. 303-786-7777, ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org/