Join Us in Orlando: the 2017 McDonald Fellowship Program

The 2017 NFB National Convention is an experience you do not want to miss.
Many of those who have attended our national NFB conventions are amazed at how meeting and interacting with over 3000 other blind and low vision convention attendees has positively changed their lives. They not only learn how the problems of vision loss can be overcome, but also experience the confidence that comes with solutions.

Robert and Marian McDonald selflessly contributed to our Virginia affiliate to further the progress and better the lives of those who are blind, visually impaired, and low vision in Virginia. In their honor, we recognize the personal benefits that come to people who attend a national convention for the first time. In their memory, the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia (NFBV) continues their legacy of education and empowerment to Virginia’s blind citizens.

We anticipate awarding fellowships to assist each recipient with costs of attending our 2017 NFB National Convention to be held in Orlando, FL, from July 10- July 15. Please note: The banquet ends late in the evening of Saturday, July 15 and fellowship winners are expected to attend the banquet so return travel must occur on Sunday, July 16 or later. This event will take place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

The McDonald Fellowship program was established in 1998 to assist those who are legally blind and have never attended a convention of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) or those who have not attended in years and wish to come to a convention this year.

Federationists are welcome and encouraged to apply for both the Virginia specific McDonald Fellowship and a national Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship. Details on the Jernigan Scholarship program will be emailed separately.

We will link each of our fellowship winners with mentors who will assist them in getting the most out of their national convention experience. McDonald Fellowship winners are expected to attend the entire NFB convention and share their experiences by addressing our 2017 NFB of Virginia state convention.

Deadline for applications for the McDonald Fellowship is Saturday, April 15, 2017. Winners will be announced May 15, 2017.

Your application should be in the form of a letter delivered via electronic mail. There is no specific form for the application. Applicants should write a brief letter outlining reasons why they should be considered for a Fellowship and the letter must include:

  • A) Name, Address, phone and email, contact information
  • B) Chapter or other connection with the affiliate
  • C) How you will benefit from the experience
  • D) How you have participated with your chapter or the affiliate in the
    past year
  • E) Any other pertinent details

In addition, you are required to contact your Chapter President or an Affiliate Board Member for a letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are due by Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Applications or questions about the Fellowship program should be sent to Mary Durbin, Chairman, McDonald Fellowship Committee,

or by phone at 757-431-1205 (home) or 757-472-2495 (Cell).

Our committee wants to help you make 2017 the year you attend our national convention. The convention will be even better because you were there.

  • Mary Durbin
  • McDonald Fellowship Chair
  • 700 Biltmore Drive
  • Virginia Beach, VA 23454
  • 757-431-1205 (home)
  • 757-472-2495 (cell)
  • 757-962-3913 (fax)