Braille Monitor                                                    April 2009

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2009 Convention Attractions

From the Associate Editor: Every year’s national convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the resolutions committee and the board of directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 2009 convention, July 3 through 8. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The convention agenda will list the locations of all events taking place during the week.


Access Technology Seminars
by the IBTC Technology Team

A speaker demonstrates equipment at an IBTC seminar.On Friday, July 3, the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute’s Access Technology Team will conduct four seminars covering a number of access technology topics ranging from DAISY production to mobile productivity.

From 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. join us as we look at the latest technology in mobile productivity on cell phones, including magnification and GPS. From 10:30 a.m. to noon. find out more about how to create DAISY books from your desktop. We will demonstrate some of the many ways to make DAISY books and use them to the best advantage.

From 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. learn about the differences between the Web as it was originally implemented and Web 2.0. Join us as we examine how best to use Web 2.0s features with screen-access software. From 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. learn more about some of the lesser-known names in screen-access software. We will demonstrate Thunder, NVDA, and Supernova.

Affiliate Action Action
by Joanne Wilson

Ready-set-go! Rev up your engines for the fast-paced 2009 convention activities hosted by the NFB Department of Affiliate Action. All sessions focus on providing strategies that members can use to reach out to new people, to change lives, and to build our movement. The following sessions are opened to all Federationists:

For further information about the program initiatives of the Department of Affiliate Action at the 2009 convention, contact Joanne Wilson, executive director of affiliate action, at (410) 659-9314, ext. 2335, or by email at <jwilson@nfb.org>.

Assistive Technology Trainers Division
by Michael Barber

Do you have students who are seemingly unteachable? How do you deal with them? How do you decide what note-taking device to recommend for a client? If you attend the Assistive Technology Trainers Division meeting at this summer's NFB convention, you will be able to listen, learn, and contribute to the lively discussion which is sure to take place. Come join us from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 5. We are looking forward to seeing you.

Attention All First-Time Convention Attendees

We invite you to attend a reception previewing our 2009 NFB convention agenda. Along with President Marc Maurer, former rookies will be on hand to welcome you to the convention and to answer questions about the week's activities. Our annual convention is a truly memorable and exciting event, and we look forward to sharing the week with each of you. Check the Affiliate Action Suite for other rookie events throughout the week.
Date: Friday, July 3, 2009
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Dress: Casual

For more information contact Pam Allen, (800) 234-4166; <pallen@lcb-ruston.com>.

BLIND, Inc., Karaoke Night
by Shawn Mayo

Victor Funck (GA) emceed Karaoke Night kicking off with “Wait till the Midnight Hour.”Whether you are a contender to become the next American Idol, you shatter the stereotype about blind people possessing great musical talent, or you fall somewhere in between, you'll have a great time at BLIND, Incorporated's annual Karaoke Night on Friday, July 3, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Find out what song the BLIND, Incorporated, staff and students will sing this year. Meet current students and alumni as they share their experiences from training. Bring all your friends or come make new ones and enjoy music, door prizes, and a cash bar. Admission is only $5, and song lists will be available in Braille that night. Don't miss your chance to be a rock star.

Braille Readers are Leaders: The Initiative for Change
by Fred Schroeder

On Monday, July 6, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., we will hold a meeting to share information about our Braille Readers are Leaders (BRL) initiative. Come learn about the exciting developments that have been made, discuss strategies for promoting coin sales, and find out how you can be a part of this momentous campaign. Each state affiliate should plan for at least one person to attend the meeting. With the release of the Louis Braille bicentennial coin on March 26, we have seen a tremendous step toward making certain that all blind children will be given the opportunity to read. Now, with your help, we can continue the work of ensuring Braille literacy for all. Come lend your support to our efforts and show the nation and the world that Braille readers truly are leaders.

NFB Re-Generation
Building Our Future: Youth Outreach in NFB Affiliates

From 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sunday, July 5, the NFB Jernigan Institute will be hosting a networking and idea-sharing session for NFB affiliates undertaking youth outreach programs. Do you need to rejuvenate and kick-start your affiliate with fresh ideas? Re-generate! Strengthen your youth outreach efforts and get a new generation involved. Join the NFB Jernigan Institute education team to learn more about program possibilities. Those considering how to begin new youth outreach initiatives should come network and learn from those who are already building our future with the next generation.


Federationists pose for a picture at the CARS seminar in 2006.CARS Division
by Joseph B. Naulty

The Classics, Antiques, and Rods or Special interest Vehicles (CARS) Division of the NFB will hold a seminar on Saturday, July 4, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Come and hear speakers from various automobile clubs talk about their activities. On Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. join car enthusiasts at an auto show featuring classics, antiques, and special interest vehicles. Finally, the CARS Division business meeting will cap this year's convention activities on Monday, July 6, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Here the division will hold a public board meeting and conduct elections of officers for the next term.

An Evening at the Colorado Center for the Blind
by Julie Deden

Take charge; challenge yourself. You are invited to an open house on Tuesday, July 7, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The staff and students of the Colorado Center for the Blind want you to discover what good training can do for you. Here you will meet staff and students from the center and have a wonderful evening full of fun and learning.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, July 7, at our open house.

Committee for the Promotion, Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology
by Gary Wunder

On Sunday, July 5, from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Committee for the Promotion, Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology will conduct a meeting in which exhibitors from the convention hall will each be given a five-minute segment to tell us what they are exhibiting, where they are in the hall, and other contact information they may wish to share. Following these presentations, we will hold a brief meeting to conduct committee business, to evaluate the effectiveness of what we now do, and to consider programs we might conduct in the coming year. For more information write to Gary Wunder by emailing <gwunder@earthlink.net> or by calling him at (573) 874-1774.

Committee on Research and Development
by Curtis Chong

The committee on research and development of the National Federation of the Blind is interested in technological developments and research projects that will truly benefit blind people. Think about the Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader--a technology that was conceived, designed, and implemented with the full and active involvement of the National Federation of the Blind--and one can imagine what spectacular accomplishments are possible if blind people themselves are a meaningful part of any technological or research project. If you have an interest in new technologies that will benefit the blind, come to the 2009 meeting of the committee on research and development at the National Federation of the Blind convention.

The meeting of the committee on research and development will occur Tuesday evening, July 7, from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Previous meetings of the committee have touched on a wide variety of interesting and thought-provoking subjects, and I feel confident that this meeting will be no different.

If you want more information about the committee or the meeting, contact Curtis Chong, chair of the committee, using the following contact information: 3663 Grand Avenue, Apartment 606, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; home phone (515) 277-1288; email <curtischong@earthlink.net>.

Deaf-Blind Division
by Burnell Brown

The Deaf-Blind Division will meet on Sunday evening, July 5. Registration begins at 6:00 p.m.; the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. We will have time for committee reports and a discussion about the newest technology to assist deaf-blind people. We will conclude no later than 10:00 p.m. Don't forget our table in the exhibit hall. The traditional T-shirts will be available. Again this year we are promoting NFB flipflops. See you there.

Diabetes Action Network Seminar
by Mike Freeman

The Diabetes Action Network will hold its seminar and business meeting on Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. We will again hear from Ann S. Williams, PhD, RN, CDE, who is a diabetes educator with much experience with diabetic issues. She will discuss her project to demonstrate that the blind can use insulin pens without difficulty and with the same accuracy that sighted people achieve. We will also learn what is happening in the quest to get rid of warnings by some insulin pen manufacturers concerning use of their pens by the blind. A panel discussion on adaptive diabetes equipment will occur. We will have time for questions. The seminar is free and open to the public.

Employment Committee
by Buna Dahal

Innovation and authenticity produce abundant opportunities. The 2009 employment committee seminar will focus on key strategies for hunting for jobs in this tough economic climate. Join us for this dynamic, practical, and resourceful employment seminar on Friday, July 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn the secrets for obtaining and maintaining employment. Whether you are a job seeker, trainer, or provider, you will find something valuable at this event. For further information contact Buna Dahal, committee chairperson, (303) 758-1232; <BunaDahal@DynamicBuna.com>.

Ham Radio Group Emergency Preparedness Seminar
by D. Curtis Willoughby

In accordance with long-standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2009 convention will be the Emergency Preparedness Seminar conducted by the NFB Ham Radio Group. The seminar will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, July 3. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention, and especially those to be used in the event of an emergency call-out during the convention. We will also discuss architectural features of the convention hotel and other information NFB hams need to know if an emergency response is necessary. Any Detroit hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact Curtis Willoughby, KA0VBA; (303) 424-7373; <ka0vba@dimcom.net>.

The Ham Radio Group has a service project to serve the Federation by handling the distribution of special FM receivers. These receivers allow hearing-impaired conventioneers to hear a signal directly from the public address system. This signal is much easier to understand than the sound that regular hearing aids pick up in a large meeting room. The same receivers are used to allow Spanish speakers who do not speak English fluently or do not understand it well to hear a Spanish translation of the convention and the banquet.

We will take some time at the Emergency Preparedness Seminar to prepare for this project as well. We may also play a formal part in the Motor City March this year. If this develops, plans will need to be made. It is important that all group members willing to help come to the seminar.

Ham Radio Group Annual Business Meeting
by D. Curtis Willoughby

The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Wednesday, July 8. In addition to our regular business, we will consider the amendment of the division constitution that we adopted last year, which needs a change before we submit it for acceptance.

The Human Services Division
by Melissa Riccobono

Are you a psychologist; counselor; social worker; music, art, or dance therapist; or someone working in a related field? Are you a student interested in a human service career? If so, plan to attend the annual meeting of the National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division. The meeting will take place on Sunday, July 5, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Dues are $5, and registration begins at 1:00 p.m. We are planning an exciting program this year which will include, among other things, an open question-and-answer period on the way human service professionals succeed in job interviews, fill out paperwork, read charts, and much more. Please come with your questions ready.

From 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. we will have the opportunity to mingle and network with one another in a more informal setting. If you have any questions about the NFB Human Services Division, please contact Melissa Riccobono, president, at (410) 235-3073 or by email at <melissa@riccobono.us>.

The knfbReader Mobile
by James Gashel

Multiple meetings will be held on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday of the NFB national convention to demonstrate the power of the knfbReader Mobile. Use your cell phone to read print--it's really that simple. Come and learn how this fabulous, life-changing technology can work for you. Go totally mobile and join the reading revolution today.

Krafters Division and Krafters Korner
by Joyce Kane

The NFB Krafters Division will sponsor several exciting activities for Federationists interested in crafts during the 2009 convention in Detroit. On Friday, July 3, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. visit our Krafters tables. You will have a chance to meet some talented Federation crafters and purchase their handmade items. Join us on Sunday, July 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for the annual business meeting of the NFB Krafters Division. At this meeting we will review our accomplishments during the last year and unveil new craft initiatives, including plans for our new Website, details about a variety of division-sponsored crafts classes, and information on our Monday night nationwide chats.

NFB Krafters Division dues are $5 a year. For further information about paying dues, contact NFB Krafters Division Treasurer Diane Filipe at <dianefilipe@peoplepc.com>. As of Saturday, February 21, 2009, those wanting to participate in any NFB-Krafters-Division-sponsored classes must be current with their annual dues. For further information about the Krafters Division, visit the Krafters Korner Blogsite (soon to be replaced with a fully operational Website) at <http://krafterskorner.blogspot.com/> or join the Krafters Korner discussion list at <http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-krafters-korner_nfbnet.org>. Finally, join NFB Krafters Division leaders for their Monday night nationwide telephone chats by calling (610) 404-9100. Enter access code 27238 to join the conference calls. We look forward to seeing you in Detroit or communicating with you before the national convention.

Lions Clubs
by Ramona Walhof

On Friday, July 3, at 8:00 p.m., NFB members who are also Lions are urged to meet to share ideas and experiences. The better we coordinate, the more our clubs and districts can help the blind. We will take time to hear from all clubs represented and to plan for the year ahead. Please wear Lions vests or shirts, and we will try to get a good picture. If any blind Lions are going to the Lions International convention in Minneapolis, please contact Ramona Walhof at <rwnfbi@qwest.net> or Milton Ota at <Mota@Hawaii.rr.com>.

Living History Group
by Michael Freholm

The Living History Group (LHG) is dedicated to recording, preserving, and appreciating our organizational history. Join the LHG at the NFB national convention on Sunday, July 5, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. to discuss our current projects and to make future plans.

The Louisiana Center players take a bow after a performance.The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players
by Jerry Whittle

The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players present Sometimes Truth Repels, a play about the teaching career of Louis Braille on Sunday, July 5. This play will be performed at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Louis Braille must fight for his blind students to find literacy through his new method of reading and writing. This play features an historic account of how Braille's method prevailed against all the odds. Price $5. All proceeds support the summer training program for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

Making the Most of Your Jernigan Institute
by Mark Riccobono

In this detailed workshop you will receive an overview of the programs and services of the only research and training institute developed and directed by the blind—the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute. Led by Mark Riccobono, the staff of our Jernigan Institute will provide resources from the work of the Institute and will demonstrate how those resources can be applied to build Federation programs in local communities. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet many of the Institute’s staff as well as learn about ways to stay more closely informed throughout the year about progress at the Institute. This session is meant to help members fully understand the work of the Jernigan Institute and its relationship to the grassroots activities of the Federation. This session is not meant to be a focus group for discussions about future directions for the Institute (although we hope that it sparks many formal and informal discussions on that very topic through the course of the convention). This workshop will strengthen the dynamic connections between the blind of America and their research and training institute and will spark new, imaginative ideas for future exploration at the Institute as well as connections that will build the Federation across the country. This workshop will run twice during the convention: Friday, July 3, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 4, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

The 2009 March for Independence
by Kevan Worley

March for Independence participants walk along a street in Dallas.Here we come, Michigan! Here we come, Detroit! On July 6, as the sun rises over the city of Detroit, we will walk to support our Imagination Fund Campaign in the third annual March for Independence–A Walk for Opportunity. This year’s Motor City March is once again the culmination of our year-long Imagination Fund Campaign. We are still working on our plan, but rest assured this year’s event will outshine those of previous years. The Marriott Renaissance Center is a striking building situated on the riverfront; it will be an extraordinary setting for another memorable rally. Imagine well over one thousand of this nation’s blind citizens walking around the Detroit riverfront with energy and enthusiasm backed by our great organization and the work that we accomplish. Imagine rallying for Braille literacy, independence, security, and opportunity. Again this year our March and ceremonies will exemplify the independent spirit and true capacity of the blind. As always in the National Federation of the Blind, we will do it with imagination, gusto, and flair.

Those who participated in our first and second March for Independence walks will remember the camaraderie, the solidarity of spirit, and the pride as we marched together as one movement through the cities of Atlanta and Dallas. Those who missed our first two events must be sure to be a part of the action in Detroit.

Leading the March will be NFB President Marc Maurer. Walking shoulder to shoulder with him will be this year’s March for Independence honorary chair. President Maurer will address the blind who lead the blind at the ceremonies, which this year will conclude the March. The rally is sure to be a spectacle to remember, with even more surprises than last year. After our rally we will enter the Marriott to begin the sixty-ninth annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

So raise your money. Anyone who raises at least $250 will receive official NFB Motor City March memorabilia. From T-shirts to medallions, and lots of surprises in between, all of us will definitely want to raise as much as we possibly can to support our local and national outreach efforts. This year we will read the names of all of the $1,000 medallion winners; their names will echo across the river as we once again announce all top fundraisers. Each year we have had roughly one hundred medallion winners; this year let’s plan to double the number of names read and medallions awarded.

Raising money for our Imagination Fund is important work. Being a part of the March for Independence with all of our brothers and sisters is exhilarating. A T-shirt, a medallion, and other surprises are fine tokens of a job well done, but the work for which we raise the money is reward in itself. The pride we will feel when we march as one Federation through the streets of Detroit will be deeply fulfilling. So start now; ask your friends, family members, and those you meet every day to contribute toward your participation in this year’s Motor City March. Here we come, Detroit. Here we come, America. The blind are on the march—the March for Independence.

Meet the Blind Month Activities and Other Special Events Seminar:
Plans and Action Equal Success
by Jerry Lazarus

October is Meet the Blind Month. Find out about lively and entertaining events that enable sighted people to meet their blind neighbors. This session includes exchanging successful ideas and encouraging chapters to try new types of fundraising and meet-and-greet events. The seminar will be conducted by Jerry Lazarus, NFB Jernigan Institute director of special projects, Sunday, July 5, 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.

Membership Committee
by Ron Gardner

The membership committee of the National Federation of the Blind will convene for its annual meeting on Saturday, July 4, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For further information contact Ron Gardner (801) 299-0349; <ronandjan@qwestoffice.net>.

Moving Legislation on the State and National Level
by Jesse Hartle

This seminar will focus on the best methods of increasing support for our legislative priorities on the state and national levels. Each affiliate should send one representative to this seminar on Monday, July 6, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. We will hear first-hand accounts from Federationists on how successful their affiliates have been at getting legislation enacted, and we will discuss how members can help shape national laws after they have returned from Washington Seminar. Plan to join us for this instructive session. Changing lives through laws is our business.

National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith
by Tom Anderson

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, July 5. Registration will be at 12:30 p.m., and the meeting will be called to order at 1:00 and adjourn at 5:00 p.m. The theme of this year’s meeting will be Overcoming Obstacles through Courage and Determination. We will have a panel discussion regarding blind people educating sighted members in places of worship about our capacity and capabilities. We will also receive updates regarding the production of religious literature.

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will again coordinate the devotional services that will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 7 and 8. The theme of the devotions will be saving grace, saving faith. Devotions will begin an hour before the morning sessions and will adjourn fifteen minutes before the opening gavel each morning.

Please contact me if you wish to preach or sing at these devotional services. My home address is 5628 South Fox Circle, Apartment A, Littleton, Colorado 80120. My home phone number is (303) 794-5006. My work phone number is (303) 778-1130, ext. 220. My email address is <tanderson@cocenter.org>.

National Association of Blind Lawyers
by Scott LaBarre

Each year the National Association of Blind Lawyers (NABL) conducts its annual meeting at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind, and this year is no different. We will meet on Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The purpose of our annual meeting and seminar is multifaceted.

We will examine emerging trends in the law that affect blind people and others with disabilities. For example, we will address the ongoing struggle to gain equal access to Websites (including legal sites), access to employment, meaningful access to legal texts, and access to a level playing field for legal examinations like the LSAT and bar exams. We will also review other discrimination and civil rights cases. We will discuss how to practice law most effectively as a blind or visually impaired legal professional. Undoubtedly we will hear from the American Bar Association as well as local law schools and bar associations about their outreach efforts to blind and visually impaired students and legal professionals. Because our agenda covers substantive areas of the law and addresses the practice of law itself, many of our members have applied for and received continuing legal education credits for our seminar.

At the conclusion of the seminar we will hold a reception for NABL members and seminar participants to promote networking and fellowship within our membership. If you are a lawyer, legal professional, or law student or are otherwise interested in law, the NABL meeting in Detroit on July 5 is the place to be.

Mock Trial
by Scott LaBarre

The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor its twelfth annual Mock Trial at the 2009 NFB convention. This trial will reenact an old Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other arguing the merits of the two positions.

We have not selected this year’s case, but it will undoubtedly highlight a case in which a blind person or people have faced different treatment based on their blindness in the area of education, employment, or other civil rights. Stay tuned to Presidential Releases and NFB listservs for details on this year’s case. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.

You, the audience, will serve as the jury. This year's trial promises to be just as entertaining and thought-provoking as past trials. A nominal charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Saturday afternoon, July 4, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

National Association of Blind Merchants
by Kevan Worley

Revolutionizing Randolph-Sheppard: Creating New, Robust, and Diverse Small Business Opportunities for the Blind of America will be the theme of this year’s annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Merchants. This symposium will take place Sunday afternoon, July 5, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. This year registration for our division meeting will begin approximately thirty minutes after adjournment of the board of directors meeting. Our agenda will focus on protection of the priority and the creation of new, robust business opportunities and outreach to young people to develop their interest in small business ventures. For more than a generation the National Federation of the Blind has worked tirelessly to protect and defend the Randolph-Sheppard program. The need to expand business opportunities and to develop new business initiatives for the blind is pressing. On Tuesday, July 7, from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. we invite you to our ninth annual Randolph-Sheppard reception. Socialize, network, and learn more about Randolph-Sheppard and other business opportunities we can create through our work in the National Federation of the Blind. On Monday morning, July 6, our Federation merchant team will be participating in the third annual National Federation of the Blind Motor City March for Independence. We will carry our Federation merchant team banner high, proclaiming the independence of the blind.

National Association of Blind Office Professionals
by Lisa Hall

The National Association of Blind Office Professionals (NABOP) will conduct its annual business meeting at the NFB national convention in Detroit on Friday, July 3, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. This meeting is open to anybody with an interest in the full range of office positions, but particular emphasis will be placed this year on Braille transcription duties. The bulk of this year's meeting will be dedicated to a hands-on Braille proofreading workshop. In order to plan for this program item, please let us know by May 15 if you expect to attend. In addition, we will feature a guest speaker from Seedlings Braille Books for Children, who will talk about its Braille transcription services and how the company began. Finally, an open forum for general questions and an exchange of contact information will occur.

For further information or to join the division, contact Lisa Hall, president, (513) 931-7070 during evenings and weekends; <lhall007@cinci.rr.com>.

National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
by Nadine Jacobson

This year our National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB) seminar will be held on Sunday, July 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. We will present information about the commemorative Louis Braille silver dollar, the NFB Share Braille Website project, and other Braille news. Come and help us celebrate Louis Braille's two hundredth birthday in some special ways. We hope to see you all in Detroit.

National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals
by Melody Lindsey

On Sunday, July 5, the National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (NABRP) will meet for our annual seminar and business meeting. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the seminar and business meeting will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The NABRP meeting is a great opportunity for all rehabilitation professionals in the blindness field to get together, network, share mutual interests, find placement strategies, examine concerns about the rehabilitation profession, and generally shape quality rehabilitation services for the blind in the nation.

If you are involved in rehabilitation for the blind, you don't want to miss this meeting. We promise to have nationally recognized leaders in the rehabilitation field to help us examine and discuss current issues in rehab. If you have any questions about this meeting, contact Melody Lindsey at (804) 371-3323.

National Association of Blind Students
by Terri Rupp

A player examines the hand he has been dealt at Monte Carlo Night. The National Association of Blind Students (NABS) will be celebrating its forty-second birthday at the NFB national convention in Detroit on Saturday, July 4. Arrive early for our meet and greet from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., where NABS board members and numerous past NABS presidents will be socializing with everybody. Help promote Braille literacy by bringing your information (name, phone number, email, and state of residents) in Braille on an index card for registration, which begins at 6:00 p.m. The business meeting will conclude with a farewell to the outgoing NABS board and elections to choose the division's new leadership.

As usual NABS will be hosting our annual Monte Carlo Night. Try your luck at any of the usual card games found on a casino floor. Whether you're a gambler or a dealer, we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday evening, July 7, from 8:00 to 11:30 p.m. A bag containing thirty chips can be purchased for $10. The three people holding the most chips at the end of the evening will win $100, $75, and $50 cash prizes. Plan to join NABS for lots of fun in Detroit. For questions or information, contact Terri Rupp, NABS president, (707) 567-3019; <nabs.president@gmail.com>.

National Association of Guide Dog Users
by Marion Gwizdala

Are you a guide dog user or interested in issues of guide dog handling? Do you know what to do if you and your guide dog face an in-flight emergency? Would you like to learn more about how to advocate for others who are discriminated against? Would you like the chance actually to work a guide dog? Then the seminars of the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) are for you.

The recent crash of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River has caused us to wonder, “What if I had been on that plane with my guide dog? What could I have done?” These questions will be answered during our seminar. We are inviting officials from a major airline to join us at our seminar to discuss emergency procedures for us and our guide dogs, such as what to do if the plane loses cabin pressure, how to use the emergency slide, and how to employ flotation devices. We will also discuss the challenges we often face when traveling with our guide dogs in an effort to develop better communication with airline personnel.

As a strong and proud division of the National Federation of the Blind, NAGDU is committed to the goals of the NFB, including the right of individuals to choose the mobility tools that are best for them without facing discrimination. During the past year a number of guide dog users have been denied the right to access restaurants, health care facilities, taxis, and other places of public accommodation. The Federation, through the National Association of Guide Dog Users, has fought to protect the basic civil rights of these members. Though our adage is, “It is better to educate than to litigate,” we are willing to protect our civil rights by seeking the remedies available to us under state and federal laws. During our seminars members will hear about the cases we have advocated for and the creative ways we have resolved them. In addition we will offer the opportunity to become a volunteer advocate for others through a nationwide toll-free advocacy hotline.

The National Association of Guide Dog Users is establishing affiliate divisions throughout the country. As a grassroots organization we know that strong local groups are essential for us to educate businesses, our legislators, law enforcement officials, and the general public. NAGDU has several strong affiliates that are making incredible strides and achieving tremendous results. Their successes are energizing our organization, and we are realizing unprecedented growth. We invite you to be a part of the most dynamic group of guide dog users in the United States.

As we have done for the past several years, we will invite guide dog schools to bring dogs to give Federationists the chance to work a guide dog. Following the NAGDU meetings, guide dog trainers will offer anyone who would like to experience traveling with a guide dog the opportunity to take a harness in hand and go for a walk. Whether you are considering a guide dog or just want to learn what it is like to work a dog, this will be your chance. Come and experience the difference.

These are just a few examples of what NAGDU is offering during our national convention. Much more is in store for you at our seminars in Detroit. Our seminars will be held on Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 5. Registration begins each day at 6:00 p.m, and the seminars will be from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

If you or someone you know wants more information about guide dog handling, advocacy assistance, or NAGDU, contact Marion Gwizdala, NAGDU president, at NAGDU, National Federation of the Blind, 1003 Papaya Drive, Tampa, Florida 33619; (813) 626-2789; (800) 558-8261; <president@nfb-nagdu.org>.

Newsletter Publications Committee
by Norma Crosby

The newsletter publications committee will hold its annual meeting during the 2009 convention of the National Federation of the Blind. The committee and others in attendance will be treated to presentations about what should be included in a state newsletter, how to format a good publication, how to start a newsletter, publishing in accessible formats, and much more. We will have lots of opportunity to ask questions, and all newsletter editors are encouraged to attend. If your affiliate does not currently produce a newsletter, please send a representative so we can talk about how you can get started.

Newsletters are a wonderful way to publicize what an affiliate is doing, and they can also be a great recruiting tool. Publishing a newsletter should be a goal of every affiliate. Our committee is willing to help, so come and join us. The 2009 meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 4, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. If you have questions about the meeting before convention, you can contact Norma Crosby at (318) 251-1375 or <norma.crosby@gmail.com>.

NFB-NEWSLINE® Seminar and Convention Events
by Scott White

Would you like to know more about NFB-NEWSLINE®, a free service that offers access to newspapers, magazines, and TV listings to all members of the print-disabled community? Would you like to become familiar with our newest and most innovative initiative, NFB-NEWSLINE Online, which provides access to publications over a text-only Website or with a portable device such as the Victor Reader Stream? Would you be interested in learning how you can help to promote NFB-NEWSLINE in your own community? If you are unfamiliar with NFB-NEWSLINE, if you are a new user, or even if you are a longtime fan of the service, please keep some space on your calendar to attend one or more of our seminars and demonstrations at the upcoming national convention. We will be holding a variety of events to help our membership gain a better understanding of the NFB-NEWSLINE service, to provide hands-on demonstrations with NFB-NEWSLINE Online, and to learn how to spread the word about the service.

On Saturday, July 4, we will hold a seminar providing a basic understanding of NFB-NEWSLINE. We will also discuss updates to the service, including the new functionality offered through NFB-NEWSLINE Online’s innovative features: WebNews on Demand, NFB-NEWSLINE in Your Pocket, and two other initiatives as well. Additionally, throughout the convention we will be offering hands-on demonstrations of NFB-NEWSLINE Online’s components, so please plan to join us so you can learn how to make use of these new, exciting features. We will also hold gatherings to provide information on how you can help us to promote the NFB-NEWSLINE service within your own community.

For questions or information, please contact Scott White, director of sponsored technology with the National Federation of the Blind, at (410) 659-9314, ext. 2231; <SWhite@nfb.org>.
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NFB in Computer Science
by Curtis Chong

The 2009 meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will take place on Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Registration will commence at 12:30 p.m.

While the program has not yet been finalized, we are working to put together a number of items for blind people who are working in the field of information technology. It has been proposed, for example, that we hear from a panel of blind network administrators and blind people working to provide technical support for sighted computer users. The program is still fluid, and suggestions are always welcome.

Membership dues for the NFB in Computer Science are $5. You can pay your membership dues at the convention or send them directly to the NFB in Computer Science president, Curtis Chong, 3663 Grand Avenue, Apartment 606, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; home phone (515) 277-1288; email <curtischong@earthlink.net>.

National Organization of Blind Educators
by Sheila Koenig

On Sunday, July 5, the National Organization of Blind Educators (NOBE) will conduct its annual meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. NOBE is a network of blind teachers and those interested in careers in education. Our meeting will offer an opportunity to meet blind people teaching at various grade levels and in different content areas.

Many questions arise as people contemplate and realize their dreams of teaching: How will potential employers react to a blind applicant? How does a blind person manage students in a classroom? How does one accomplish the daily duties as well as the "other duties as assigned" for which teachers are contracted? During our seminar successful blind teachers will discuss such questions. Seminar participants will also meet in small groups specific to grade level and content areas of interest. In this way we can create a network of mentors extending beyond our meeting. If you teach or are considering a career in teaching at any level, plan to join us.

National Federation of the Blind Senior Division
Seniors Welcome You
by Judy Sanders

We are the National Federation of the Blind Senior Division, and we invite you to join us for our annual meeting. Pay close attention because we have changed our meeting time, and we do not want to surprise you. Reserve the afternoon of Sunday, July 5, for an inspiring time with your elders.

We will open the doors at 1:00 p.m. to begin registration and our ever-popular, somewhat-silent auction. To make the auction work, we are once again counting on generous contributions of Federationists both in items for the auction and in emptying wallets and checkbooks. Please make sure your items arrive in time for eager bidders. Our thanks to Ramona Walhof for coordinating this activity. To ask questions about the auction or to let her know what you will donate, contact Ramona Walhof at (208) 338-1595, or email her at <rwnfbi@qwest.net>.

The theme for this year's meeting is Seniors in Charge. The focus of our meeting will be finding ways to spread our message of hope to seniors who have recently become blind. Are there new approaches that we can take to teach others to understand and embrace our philosophy? Are there unique activities that are sponsored in our states that attract the attention of our ever-growing population of blind seniors? The NFB is loaded with talented and enthusiastic people who are ready to share what they are doing so we can take their ideas home with us and implement them. Join us to hear about these innovative activities and thoughts, and bring your own visionary ideas to share.

The meeting will adjourn no later than 5:00 p.m. If you have questions or suggestions for the agenda, call Judy Sanders at (612) 375-1625, or email <jsanders.nfb@comcast.net>. Everyone is welcome.

Performing Arts Division
by Dennis Holston

This year's Performing Arts meeting will be on Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. We are excited about this meeting. The division will unveil its long-awaited Music of the Movement album. Find out which NFB songs were redone for this album. A media company that is paving the way for blind audio professionals across the nation will also be making a presentation. You will hear directly from the artist recruiter associated with this media company. Other surprises are being planned. Membership dues are $5. For further information visit our new Website at <http://www.padnfb.org>.

The Guitar Seminar
by Dennis Holston

The Performing Arts Division is sponsoring a Guitar Seminar during the 2009 NFB national convention. Those who are interested in learning about the guitar or getting advice from a professional musician should make their way to the Guitar Seminar on Monday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Strife will facilitate this seminar. Mr. Strife has been a musician for fifteen years. He has played in the U.S. and Britain. He has one solo album, and he has appeared on other projects such as the 2007 Sound and Sight album that the Performing Arts Division of the NFB released. For more information about this artist visit <www.cameronstrife.com>. This will be an educational experience for all. The Performing Arts Division requests that those who attend this seminar make a $5 donation at the door.

Public Relations Committee
Grabbing Headlines for Your Affiliate
by Chris Danielsen

The public relations committee of the National Federation of the Blind and the PR staff at the National Center for the Blind invite affiliate presidents or their designated representatives, as well as others who are interested in learning about effectively working with the media, to attend a special meeting of the public relations committee. This meeting, held on Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., will include a comprehensive seminar entitled “Grabbing Headlines for Your Affiliate,” and will be conducted by Chris Danielsen and Jessica Freeh of the Public Relations office at NFB headquarters in Baltimore. The seminar will cover topics that will help you grab headlines for your affiliate, such as how to locate press contacts in your state or community, how to draft a press release, how to pitch story ideas to the media, and how to develop relationships with reporters and editors. An effective public relations strategy can help state affiliates and local chapters to raise funds, recruit new members, and educate the general public about blindness. It doesn’t take a public relations professional to carry out such a strategy, just knowledge of the proper tools and techniques needed to implement it. Come to this special seminar and learn how your affiliate can get its message to the media. We urge affiliate presidents to make sure that your state has a representative at this important seminar.

If you have any questions about the seminar, contact Chris Danielsen at the National Center for the Blind at (410) 659-9314, ext. 2330, or <cdanielsen@nfb.org>.

Rehabilitation Conference
The Future Is Ours and Theirs
Bridging the Gap Between Parents and Professionals
Eighth Annual Rehabilitation and Orientation and Mobility Conference
by Edward Bell

Come join this first-ever joint conference that brings families with blind youth together with education and rehabilitation blindness professionals. On Friday, July 3, from 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB), the National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (NABRP), and the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB) at Louisiana Tech University will cosponsor a day-long conference for parents of blind children and blindness professionals as part of the NFB national convention in Detroit. The morning session will present program items of mutual interest to parents and professionals alike. Break-out sessions of unique interest to parents, orientation and mobility specialists, and rehabilitation professionals will consume the afternoon. During the lunch hour the NBPCB will hold its annual awards banquet from noon to 2:00 p.m. The conference will conclude with a networking mix and mingle reception for everybody from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Online registration for education and rehabilitation professionals planning to attend this conference will be available at <www.nbpcb.org> after April 15. For further information about this seminar, see the article on NOPBC activities at the NFB national convention, elsewhere in this issue.

Roman Catholic Mass
by Mary Ellen Jernigan

Father Gregory Paul, C.P., will celebrate Mass on Sunday morning, July 5, at 7:15 a.m. Everyone interested in this service is invited to attend.

Showcase of Talent
by Adrienne Snow

Bee Hodgkiss performs on her banjo at the Showcase of Talent.The Performing Arts Division of the National Federation of the Blind will hold its fourth annual Showcase of Talent on Tuesday, July 7, beginning at 7:00 p.m. This year’s show is bound to be the best yet; all proceeds from the show will benefit our newly established scholarship program, dedicated to and in memory of Mary Ann Parks. The scholarship program will begin in 2009. Admission for spectators and performers is $5 per person, collected at the door. Signing up can be done by contacting division Secretary Beth Allred in her room at the convention. Audience members who attend the show will have a chance to win door prizes. This show promises to be fun for all. We look forward to seeing you all in Detroit.

Social Security Seminar
by James McCarthy

An outreach seminar, “Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know,” will take place Tuesday, July 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The purpose of this seminar is to share information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind, including the income subsidy program for those receiving the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Jim McCarthy, governmental program specialist for the National Federation of the Blind, will lead this seminar. Social Security representatives may be available to hand out publications describing their programs and to share tips about communicating with the Social Security Administration. Those wanting a better understanding of the programs and benefits offered by the Social Security Administration are strongly encouraged to join Jim at this seminar.

Sports and Recreation Division
Bigger and Better This Year
by Lisamaria Martinez

And you thought that the Sports and Recreation Division was in fine form last summer--well, you ain't seen nothin’ yet. On Friday afternoon, July 3, Annie Sawicki, the brains behind the AdapTap team at Notre Dame University, will sponsor a swimming workshop. Gear up for another goalball clinic on Saturday afternoon, July 4. Row Your Way into Fitness and Fun is the theme for Monday evening, July 6. To top it all off, join us on Sunday afternoon, July 5, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. for our first-ever interactive business session. Wear your sweats and come ready for hands-on presentations in judo, yoga, and much more. When packing for convention, don't forget your bathing suits, sneakers, sweats, and a comfy T-shirt. Come to convention ready to experience an extraordinary sports and recreation extravaganza. For specific times and further details, visit <www.nfbsportsandrec.org> before leaving for Detroit.

Attention Veterans
by Dwight Sayer

The National Association of Blind Veterans (NABV) will hold its third annual meeting on Sunday, July 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. as part of the NFB national convention in Detroit. This year's seminar will feature an interesting program of guest speakers and a review of some access technology. We will unveil the 2009 NABV pin, and we will kick off the 2009 dues deal. When you pay your $20, you will have covered your annual dues and purchased an attractive red NABV-3 polo shirt. We look forward to seeing you in the Motor City.

Webmasters Meeting in Detroit
by Gary Wunder

On Saturday, July 4, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. all Webmasters for NFB divisions and affiliates are encouraged to attend a meeting in which we will discuss the importance of an informative, accessible, visually attractive Website, how to develop the skills to be a Webmaster, how to share our strengths and expertise with one another, and how to spread the work of updating various information on a site by area of responsibility. Feel free to contact Gary Wunder by writing to <gwunder@earthlink.net> or by calling (573) 874-1774 for more information. Offers to present and recommendations for areas needing discussion are most welcome.

Writers Division
by Robert Leslie Newman

Come visit with a published author from our Michigan affiliate on Friday, July 3, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. during our Writers Division workshop. The cost for this event is $5. On Sunday, July 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. the annual Writers Division business meeting will occur. We will update members on division business, hold elections, and plan for the future.

Youth Track 2009
by Mary Jo Thorpe

It's back, and it's "all about me." Blind youth from across the country will meet during the 2009 NFB national convention this summer for the third annual NFB Youth Track. This year the theme "All About Me" will help youth ages fourteen to eighteen discover who they are as blind people while socializing with blind peers and learning from blind role models. The Youth Track parallels the main convention agenda and is sure to have something for everyone in its exciting seminars and social events. To learn more about this event, contact Mary Jo Thorpe, education program specialist, at (410) 659-9314, ext. 2407; <mthorpe@nfb.org>.

 

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