Affiliate News

Friends-In-Art Scholarship

Friends-in-Art (FIA), a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing accessibility and opportunity for artists and audience members who are visually impaired, offers an annual $1,500 scholarship to college students who are legally blind and live in North America.

If you are a high school senior or a college student and are planning on, or are currently, majoring in the fields of music, art, drama, or creative writing, and are a blind or visually impaired, we encourage you to apply!  Note: Legal blindness is defined as an individual who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the corrected eye and/or 20 degrees or less visual field in the corrected eye. Only individuals who are legally blind in BOTH eyes are eligible to receive this scholarship.

To apply, go to and complete the application and upload/mail the required materials per the directions on the form by May 15, 2014. If you have any questions, contact Wayne Pearcy, FIA's scholarship chair, at

Illinois Council Scholarship

Applications for the 2014 Floyd R. Cargill Scholarship, awarded by the Illinois Council of the Blind, are now available! You may fill it out online, All students who are Illinois residents, who are blind or visually impaired, are eligible.  You must be an Illinois resident, but you do not have to be attending school in Illinois.
The scholarship, in the amount of $750, will be awarded during the 2014 Illinois Council of the Blind convention, Oct. 3-5 at the Sheraton Hotel in Lisle, Ill.  The application deadline is Aug. 15, 2014.  Along with your completed application, you must submit the required supporting documentation:

  • Autobiographical sketch. No more than 2 double-spaced typewritten pages, containing information about you. Tell us about your personal goals, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, honors, achievements, etc. Handwritten materials will not be accepted.
  • Certification from a doctor or blindness professional of your visual status.
  • Certified transcripts from the school you are presently attending or most recently attended – undergraduates, please include high school transcripts; graduate students please include undergraduate transcripts.
  • One letter of recommendation from a current or recent instructor or counselor.
  • Proof of acceptance in a post-secondary school. Entering and transferring students must submit a notice or letter from the admissions office, stating that they have been accepted or that they are under consideration for admission. (Students continuing at the same school do not need to submit this document.)

If you have questions, or would prefer a hard-copy application, please contact the Illinois Council of the Blind office at (217) 523-4967, or

Caribbean Getaway with BPI

Tired of the cold weather? Longing to get away? Want to take a cruise of the eastern Caribbean? Mark this date on your calendar: Nov. 8, 2014.
There really aren't enough adjectives to describe the colors of the Caribbean. The water shifts from aqua to turquoise to deep blue. Throw in some white-sand beaches, yellow, pink and green architecture, some rather colorful colonial history, plus great dive spots, duty-free shopping and you've got one amazing cruise vacation. And with freestyle cruising, it becomes one of the most relaxing spots on earth. So go ahead, find your place on a postcard-perfect beach and do absolutely nothing! 
Blind LGBT Pride International has scheduled a fun-filled vacation for all to enjoy!  Join us as we travel to the ports of Miami, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Nassau, Bahamas.
Here's what to do right now: Register with our cruise contact Michelle Zimmerman, 1-877-416-9722 ext. 4398.  Just let her know you are cruising with BPI!  There's a $125 deposit required. Book now and get $100 onboard credit (limited time only).
Inside Cabin: $1,529 (double occupancy), $2,094 (triple occupancy), $2,699 (quad occupancy)
Ocean View: $1,669 (double occupancy), $2,294 (triple occupancy), $2,959 (quad occupancy)
Balcony: $1,829 (double occupancy), $2,394 (triple occupancy), $2,959 (quad occupancy)
Rates are subject to change based on availability. If you have questions, contact BPI board member Mikey Wiseman at