The Greater Williamsburg Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind was organized in March, 2004 by Corlis and William Jones of Williamsburg. During that time, the Joneses were members of the Peninsula Chapter, and Corlis was serving as Secretary. The Peninsula Chapter met in Hampton, Virginia which is a 40 minute drive one way from Williamsburg. Due to the long commute and the growing needs of the blind and visually impaired within the Williamsburg/James City County area, Corlis, with the encouragement of her husband William, began plans to organize the Greater Williamsburg Chapter under the mentorship of Althea P. Pittman, then president of the Peninsula Chapter.
The first meeting of the Greater Williamsburg Chapter was held at the Croaker Library - James City County. There were seven people in attendance. During the remainder of 2004, members reached out to inform the community about the chapter by participating in the James City County Fair, the Senior Health Fair, and by getting out information about the chapter via newspaper ads and word of mouth.
Some of the Greater Williamsburg Chapter's activities include educating the public through speaking engagements, supporting the newly blind, participating in our local county fair, health fairs, etc.
The chapter has invited the James City County para transportation coordinator and a representative from DBVI to address transportation issues, the local election registrar to demonstrate new voting machines, and the affiliate president to speak about matters relevant to the members. Each year chapter members have joined fellow Federationists for the Richmond Seminar, the state and national conventions to voice their concerns and to learn more about how to advance the interests of the blind and visually impaired.
The Greater Williamsburg Chapter's officers are President, Corlis M. Jones; Secretary, Deborah Jackson; Treasurer, Jack Rhein; and Chaplain,
Hazel Wallace. Other members include Patrice Rhein, Lenora Adams, Cathy Morrison, William T. Jones, Selena Wallace, Lisa Kavitz, Janet Kavitz, and Jim Kavitz.
The chapter meets on the third Saturday of each month at 1:00 pm at the James City County Recreational Center 5301 Longhill Rd. Williamsburg, Virginia.