Sauder Schelkopf is investigating potential lawsuits against the National Federation of the Blind and the National Blindness Professional Certification Board for alleged sexual misconduct in its programs. In January 2021, The Washington Post reported that the organization had formed a task force and hired an outside consultant after apologizing for allegations of sexual misconduct in its programs, which surfaced in an open letter. According to The Washington Post, the open letter includes hundreds of signatures from people the letter describes as “victims, survivors, and witnesses of sexual and psychological abuse at programs, conventions, and blindness rehabilitation centers . . . and their allies and supporters.” The letter calls for an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations and the institution of new policies by Aug. 31  to prevent misconduct, among other demands. Advocates said they were motivated to come forward amid a movement to shine a light on sexual misconduct.
As explained in the open letter:
“We are writing this open letter to urge action to be taken to reduce and eliminate the widespread instances of emotional/psychological abuse, sexual assault/harassment, racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and all other forms of abuse within these agencies.”
On December 16, 2020, President Mark Riccobono, on behalf of The National Federation of the Blind, issued an open letter of apology where he stated:
“Our hearts break for the survivors of abuse and sexual misconduct who have bravely shared incidents that have happened within our organization over the decades. During the past couple of weeks, a number of courageous individuals have shared painful stories about their experiences on social media and in individual conversations. We thank those brave survivors for sharing their stories because we recognize how difficult that is and how each story creates a unique set of emotions and challenges.”
If you or someone you know has been a victim, please contact the attorneys at Sauder Schelkopf by completing the form on the right.
These are only allegations and have not at this time been proven in court.
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If you are a survivor of physical and/or sexual abuse, you can confidentially contact the lawyers at Sauder Schelkopf by filling out the form on this page or calling 888.711.9975