The year 1936 was memorable because of the drought, choking dirt storms, economic depression, and great unemployment. To many, it was also memorable because of the fact that this was the year that North Dakota Association of the Blind had its beginning.

The movement was sparked by a young piano tuner, Melvin Eckberg of Jamestown, in collaboration with Miss Bessie Brady, a staff member of the North Dakota School for the Blind at Bathgate.

A meeting was held in Jamestown, North Dakota, August 23-24, 1936. Eleven people attended nine of whom were visually impaired. At this meeting, North Dakota Association of the Blind was born and a constitution was adopted.

NDAB has been affiliated with the American Council of the Blind, a national organization, since 1961. Through its affiliation with ACB, the North Dakota Association of the Blind extends its influence to Washington, D.C. From its ACB affiliation, many far-reaching benefits, through legislation, are extended to individual members.