From the 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 2010 convention, July 3 through 8. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The convention agenda will list the times and locations of all events taking place during the week. Remember that times and dates announced in this column are still tentative and may change. Consult the convention agenda as the final authority for convention happenings. This listing is intended to give those planning or considering coming to Dallas a sense of what will be going on, but at the date of this writing (early March), some details remain fluid.
Access Technology Seminars
by the IBTC Technology Team
On Saturday, July 3, the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute’s Access Technology team will conduct four seminars covering a number of topics. Apple’s products will be discussed in the morning. Sessions on Blackboard Learn, eBay, and e-books will take up the afternoon.
The first session (9:00 to 11:30 a.m.) will be devoted to the increasing number of fully accessible Apple devices. The first hour-long session will provide an introduction to the Mac operating system. After a half-hour break, the session will resume with a focus on Apple’s portable devices—the iPod series, the iPhone, and the iPad.
From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Ebay will co-present with the Access Technology Team to discuss the work they have done to improve accessibility on the buyer side of ebay.com.
Blackboard Learn is perhaps the most commonly used online platform for education. Blackboard has made great strides in enhancing accessibility in its latest release, and in this session (2:15 to 3:30 p.m.) we will discuss the access improvements as well as some of the outstanding issues in the platform.
From 3:45 to 5:00 p.m. the day’s final topic will be e-books. The Access Technology Team will examine the rapidly expanding market of digital books and the devices used to access them.
by Joanne Wilson
First-Time Convention Participants: You are invited to participate in a gathering for first-time conventioneers in the Affiliate Action suite on Monday, July 5, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. This gathering will be a great opportunity to meet new people and to have your convention questions answered by experienced Federationists. Food will not be available, but you are welcome to bring your lunch. See you there.
NFB Link: On Tuesday, July 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Affiliate Action suite people are invited to come and learn how to get connected through NFB Link, the National Federation of the Blind's online mentoring program. Each person is a resource of incalculable worth. As blind people we experience this reality in an especially powerful way through our participation in the National Federation of the Blind. Members of the Federation give and receive mentorship in countless areas, and we have an Internet-based mentoring program called NFB Link so that blind people throughout the world can share in this vibrant exchange of ideas and friendship.
Through NFB Link you can find a blind mentor who can answer questions on a wide variety of topics, including career choices, being a blind parent or a parent of a blind child, student issues, and the pursuit of hobbies from skydiving to knitting. Our 227 mentors come from a dazzling array of career fields. They include entrepreneurs, educators, computer programmers, engineers, artists, and CEOs. Currently, 272 men and women who are blind or who have questions about the skills of blindness are signed up as mentees with NFB Link.
This year at national convention you will have an opportunity to learn how you can be part of this exciting online mentoring program. Learn how to join NFB Link, network with mentors and mentees, and receive training on how to use the NFB Link site. Come and see how we have enhanced the program by introducing more personalized and thorough matching and evaluation processes, established contacts in each state between mentees and their local affiliates, and improved the operation of the NFB Link site. Through NFB Link blind men and women share knowledge and life experience, living the reality that it is respectable to be blind.
Assistive Technology Trainers Division
by Michael Barber
Are you an assistive technology trainer who would like to network with other trainers? Come join the NFB Assistive Technology Trainers Division Monday, July 5, from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. We will discuss determining the right notetaker for your student, plunging without fear into Windows 7 with Cathyanne Murtha of Access Technology Institute, assessing whether your client will benefit from Jsay Pro, and teaching the Mac.
You can always count on lively and informative discussions as we meet each topic head-on. Please come join us. If you care to join our division, dues are $5 per year, and we will be happy to add you to our email list. If you have questions, call Michael Barber at (515) 771-8348 or email him at <[email protected]>. Come join us in Dallas.
Attention All First-Time Convention Attendees
We invite you to attend the Rookie Roundup, a reception previewing the 2010 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: Saturday, July 3, 2010
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
For more information contact Pam Allen (800) 234-4166; <[email protected]>.
Back to Basics
by Rosy Carranza
Are you looking for new ways to reach potential members, strategies to energize existing members, or methods to liven up your chapter meetings? If so, you don’t want to miss this session, scheduled for Monday, July 5, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. At the top of each hour a new topic will be introduced, so you are welcome to come to some or all of the meeting. Topics include membership building, developing an action-packed chapter meeting agenda, designing and using public relations materials, legislation and advocacy, working with youth, fundraising, and including Federation philosophy in local meetings. Attendees will receive a membership development tool kit. Special recognition will be given to chapter presidents and to newly formed chapters. You don’t want to miss out—put this information-packed session on your convention calendar.
BEP: U. S. Currency Identification Focus Group
by Ellen Gano
Representatives of the United States Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will once again attend the NFB’s annual convention to provide an update on the BEP’s progress to provide meaningful access to U. S. currency for blind and vision-impaired people. This year the BEP will conduct open forums on two days during the convention—one Tuesday, July 6, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. and one Wednesday, July 7, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.—to give attendees flexibility scheduling a session to fit their busy convention agendas.
In addition to a general update and an open discussion, representatives of the BEP’s Office of Product Development and the project manager of the Meaningful Access Team will discuss some of the feature concepts the BEP is currently testing. The BEP is interested in hearing NFB members’ opinions about the effectiveness of these feature concepts in helping blind and vision-impaired people identify U. S. currency.
BLIND, Inc., Karaoke Night
by Shawn Mayo
Whether you are a contender to become the next American Idol, shatter the stereotype about blind people possessing great musical talent, or fall somewhere in between, you'll have a great time at the BLIND, Incorporated, annual Karaoke Night on Saturday, 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.
by Linda Mentink
The Blind Musicians Group will meet Sunday, July 4, at 1:00 p.m. Those interested are encouraged to come and share ideas and tips and network with other blind musicians in the NFB. For further questions or information beforehand, contact Linda Mentink, chairwoman, by phone (402) 563-8138 or email <[email protected]>.
by Joseph B. Naulty
The Classics, Antiques, and Rods or Special-interest Vehicles (CARS) Division of the NFB will hold its seminar and business meeting on Monday, July 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Come and hear speakers from various automobile clubs talk about their activities and participate in the division business meeting. On Sunday, July 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., join car enthusiasts at an auto show featuring classics, antiques, and special-interest vehicles. Join us for an exciting ride in 2010.
Committee for the Promotion, Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology
by Gary Wunder
On Monday, 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 <[email protected]> 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 will meet during the convention from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7. Of late the committee has considered such far-ranging topics as nonvisual access to automated transportation systems of the future, various ways for the blind to read commercially-produced electronic books, technologies to supplement the use of a white cane or guide dog in independent travel, and enhancements to refreshable Braille display technology to improve teaching methods for this valuable tool of literacy for the blind. The committee is also interested in the direction of technological developments because, for the most part, these developments tend to exclude the blind. Perhaps developers must change the ways future technologies are designed.
If any of these questions interests you, then come to the meeting of the committee on research and development. Perhaps you can suggest a technology or an approach that nobody else has considered. For more information about the committee on research and development or to learn more about the July meeting, contact Curtis Chong, the chairman of the committee. He can be reached by phone at (515) 277-1288 (evenings and weekends) or by email at <[email protected]>.
by Burnell Brown
The National Federation of the Blind Deaf-Blind Division will meet on Tuesday evening, July 6. Registration will begin at 6:00 p.m.; division business, including presentations of interest to deaf-blind people and elections, will occur from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Visit our table in the exhibit hall and support our work. If anyone is in need of an interpreter for this meeting or for the convention generally, please contact NFB Deaf-Blind Division President Burnell Brown at (202) 832-0697; email: <[email protected]>.
Members of the Education Department at the NFB Jernigan Institute would like to help you develop quality programs for youth in your state while regenerating your Federation spirit. From Braille literacy programs like Braille Readers Are Leaders to science academy programs or youth mentoring, a fit for every shape and size affiliate can be found. Gain valuable insights and resources to strengthen your affiliate’s efforts. We will meet Sunday, July 4, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Friends of Recovery
by Gary H. Ray
All convention delegates involved in or interested in twelve-step recovery programs are invited to attend meetings during the convention from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, July 5 and 7. Questions may be directed to Gary Ray at (828) 505-0299; email <[email protected]>.
Diabetes Action Network Division Meeting and Seminar
by Mike Freeman
On the afternoon of Monday, July 5, the Diabetes Action Network (DAN), a division of the National Federation of the Blind, will hold its annual meeting and diabetes seminar. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m.; the seminar will take place from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The seminar will include a presentation on diabetes by a certified diabetes educator or endocrinologist from the Dallas area; an update on the research into the efficacy of the use of insulin pens by the blind recently conducted by Dr. Ann Williams; a panel discussion on strategies to get medical insurance providers to cover diabetes management equipment accessible to the blind; and presentations on what's new in diabetes management devices accessible to the blind. Election of DAN officers and members of its board of directors will also be held during the seminar, and a report of DAN activities during the past year will be given.
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 Thursday, July 8.
Ham Radio Group Emergency Preparedness Seminar
by D. Curtis Willoughby
In accordance with long-standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2010 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 Saturday, 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 Dallas hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact Curtis Willoughby, KA0VBA; (303) 424-7373; <[email protected]>.
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. It is important that all group members willing to help come to the seminar.
Human Services Meeting
by David Stayer
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 Monday, July 5, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.; registration will begin at 1:00 p.m. Dues are $5. We are planning an exciting program this year. Please come with your questions.
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, contact David Stayer, president, at (516) 868-8718 or by email at <[email protected]>.
Independence Science LLC
by Pei-Lin Weng
Independence Science, LLC, a new start-up assistive-technology company, in collaboration with Purdue University researchers, will be conducting two focus groups to collect feedback on a new portable handheld data collection device for blind students to be used in high school science laboratories. We are seeking a limited number of participants to examine and offer feedback about this portable scientific information collection device. A modest stipend will be provided for those who volunteer to participate in this three-hour exercise. These sessions will be held on Saturday and Monday, July 3 and 5, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Contact Pei-Lin Weng at <[email protected]> by May 15 for more information and to participate in a pre-focus group questionnaire to assess suitability for study participation.
by David Stayer
A service for interested Jews attending the NFB convention in Dallas will be held on Sunday, July 4, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Consult the convention agenda for further details.
knfbReading Technology, Inc., Presents
by James Gashel
James Gashel, vice president for business development with knfbReading Technology, Inc., will present Experience the Blio Reader: Making the World's Books Enjoyable, Usable, and Accessible to Everyone. Learn how printed books are becoming digital and accessible to the blind through the Blio e-book reader developed and distributed by knfbReading Technology, Inc., Blio is free e-reader software specially designed for dynamic, flexible, and accessible presentation of digital media, including cookbooks, travel guides, how-to books, school books, children's stories, magazines, and more. Relax, learn, work, or play.
Shop endless titles at the online Blio bookstore with access to over one million free books and a huge library of today's best sellers as well. Read wherever you are by syncing your digital library to your favorite on-the-go-mobile device. To learn more about how Blio can enrich your life, come to one of our small group demonstration sessions on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, July 3 or 4, or to one of our evening sessions on Wednesday, July 7. Consult the convention agenda for specific times. Experience and share the joy of access to books through Blio.
Legislative Strategies Seminar: Moving Legislation on the State and National Level
by Ronza Othman
This interactive seminar, held on Tuesday, July 6, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., will focus on the best methods of increasing support for our legislative priorities on the state and national levels. Participants will have the opportunity to share firsthand accounts on how successful their affiliates have been at getting legislation enacted.
Jesse Hartle, Lauren McLarney, and Ronza Othman, the NFB Governmental Affairs staff, will facilitate this session. Each affiliate should send at least one representative. Plan to join us for this instructive session. Changing lives through laws is our business.
Library Services Committee
by Dave Hyde
The NFB library services committee, charged with working on organization policy toward the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, will meet on Sunday, July 4, at 7:30 p.m. Consult your convention agenda for an ending time for this meeting. Contact David Hyde, chairman, at (608) 758-6152; email <[email protected]>.
by Ramona Walhof
If you are thinking of joining a Lions Club or are already a Lion, we encourage you to join us Saturday, July 3, at 8:00 p.m. to meet Lions and share ideas and experiences. The better we coordinate, the more our clubs and districts can work with the blind. Several notes have appeared recently in the Lions Magazine about the Braille coin and other relevant matters. We will exchange names and contact information, take time to hear from all clubs represented, and plan future activities. If any blind Lions are going to the International Lions Convention in Sydney, Australia, please contact Ramona Walhof at <[email protected]>. We always learn new things at these meetings. Wear your shirts or vests, and we'll try to get a good picture.
The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players
by Pamela Allen
The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players will present two performances of Broken-Hearted River to Freedom on Monday, July 5, at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. During Civil War times a man loses his sight in the war, returns home, and learns to deal with his blindness and his family. The ticket price for this production is $5. All proceeds support the summer training program for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.
Finding, Attracting, and Keeping New Members in our Chapters and Affiliates
by Ron Gardner
The membership committee of the National Federation of the Blind will convene for its annual meeting on Sunday, July 4, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For further information contact Ron Gardner (801) 299-0349; <[email protected]>.
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 Monday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Registration will be held from 12:30 p.m. until the start of the meeting.
The purpose of our annual meeting and seminar is multifaceted. We will examine emerging trends in the laws that affect blind people and others with disabilities. For example, we will address the ongoing struggle to gain equal access to Websites (including legal-based 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. Other discrimination and civil rights cases will be reviewed. We will discuss how to practice law most effectively as a blind or vision-impaired legal professional. We will undoubtedly hear from the American Bar Association as well as local law schools and bar associations about their outreach efforts to blind and vision-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 Dallas on July 5 is the place to be.
by Scott LaBarre
The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor its Thirteenth Annual Mock Trial at the 2010 NFB convention. This trial will reenact a previous Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other, arguing the merits of the two positions.
We have not yet selected this year’s case, but it will undoubtedly highlight a case in which a blind person or persons 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 the past trials. A charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Sunday, July 4, at 4:30 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 Monday, July 5, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. This year registration for our division meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. Our agenda will focus on protection of the priority and the creation of new, dynamic, and profitable 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.
National Association of Blind Office Professionals
by Lisa Hall
The annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Office Professionals (NABOP) will be held on Saturday, July 3. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m.; the meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. Consult your convention agenda for room location. If you are interested in working in an office and would like to learn about what blind people are doing in this profession, this is your chance to be involved. If you are a Braille transcriber, Braille proofreader, telephone operator, receptionist, or customer service representative or work in any other office position, you are welcome to come and participate in our discussions of challenges found in the office setting. You will learn what is new in adaptive technology, what jobs people are doing, and how blind people solve various problems at work.
Our agenda is currently being developed, and anyone wishing to submit suggestions may contact Lisa Hall by email at <[email protected]> or by phone at (513) 931-7070 in the evenings or during the weekends. Lisa can also be reached by cell phone at (513) 550-5155. Membership dues are $5 per year and may be sent to Debbie Brown, treasurer, 11923 Parklawn Drive, Apartment 104, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Debbie can be reached by phone at (301) 881-1892; email <[email protected]>.
National Association of Blind Piano Technicians
by Don Mitchell
The National Association of Blind Piano Technicians invites you to join us on Monday, July 5, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. for a stimulating discussion of blind stereotypes. The field of piano tuning for the blind has long been considered a stereotypical career choice for the blind. Is this true? What can we do about it? Come join us and help us change what it means to be blind. Consult your convention agenda for room assignment, or contact Don Mitchell, division president, at the hotel.
National Association of Blind Students
by Arielle Silverman
The National Association of Blind Students (NABS) will again be holding its annual business meeting at the NFB convention in Dallas on Sunday, July 4, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Arrive early (between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.) to register with NABS and become a NABS member. Students, young professionals, parents, teachers, and anyone else interested in learning about issues affecting blind students are all invited to join our meeting. Come to learn about the latest developments in technology and resources for blind students and to meet other members of NABS.
On Wednesday, July 7, we will be holding a fundraiser and social from 8:00 to 11:30 p.m. Stay tuned for details. To learn more about the National Association of Blind Students, visit <www.nabslink.org> or contact NABS President Arielle Silverman at <[email protected]>.
National Association of Guide Dog Users
by Marion Gwizdala
The National Association of Guide Dog Users will convene for its annual business meeting on Saturday, July 3. Registration will begin at 6:00 p.m.; the meeting will run from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. A reception and seminar will also be sponsored on Monday, July 5, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.
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 Monday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Registration for this meeting will start at 12:30 p.m. This year’s theme for the meeting will be Meeting Challenges: Gaining Opportunities. We plan to have representatives from various faith-based libraries and publishing houses to describe what their organizations do. Time for questions will be available. Additionally, we will also have speakers who will discuss how their faith has helped them face and overcome challenges. We may also have a discussion regarding problems which members may be having with full participation in their places of worship. A brief business meeting will follow these discussions. In this business meeting we will work to set goals for the next year.
The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will again coordinate the devotional services that will take place Tuesday morning, July 6, through Thursday, July 8. The theme of the devotions will be Redemption through His Blood. Devotions will begin an hour before the morning sessions and will adjourn fifteen minutes before the opening gavel. Contact Tom Anderson 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 phone number is (303) 794-5006, and my email address is <[email protected]>.
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 Monday, July 5, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. We will present information about the remaining commemorative Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollars that can be purchased from the NFB's Independence Market and elsewhere, the NFB Share Braille Website project, and other Braille news. We hope to see you all in Dallas.
National Organization of Blind Educators
by Sheila Koenig
On Monday, 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.
Newsletter Publications Committee
by Norma Crosby
The newsletter publications committee will conduct its annual meeting and a brief workshop for affiliate newsletter editors on Sunday, July 4, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Join us to learn about developing an effective local publication to carry the Federation's message. For further information contact Norma Crosby, chairwoman, at <[email protected]>.
NFB Imagination Fund: Grant Writing Seminar
by Mark Riccobono
Each year 25 percent of the money raised through the NFB Imagination Fund is used to support innovative grant proposals presented by affiliates and divisions of the Federation. Come learn how to plan, write, and submit a strong grant application. Discover key points and strategies about the various components of the grants process including identifying appropriate funders, making a good impression, organizing your materials, and pulling together that winning proposal that any funder would be pleased to support. Preparing the NFB Imagination Fund grants is good practice for submitting proposals to funders outside the organization. We encourage each affiliate to send a representative to this meeting. This seminar will be held on Wednesday, July 7, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
NFB in Computer Science
by Curtis Chong
The annual meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will take place on Monday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Here are some of the program items that are being planned:
1. We will have a program item called The Macintosh as a Productivity Tool for the Blind. This will be a panel discussion. Panelists will be blind people who use the Apple Macintosh on a daily basis to get real work done--giving practical demonstration to the idea that the Apple Macintosh is, for many blind people, the tool that enables them to be productive every day of their lives.
2. Anyone who uses the Internet regularly has doubtless encountered the visual CAPTCHA--those pesky graphical representations of letters that a person is expected to copy into an edit box to prove that he or she is, in fact, a real human being. A CAPTCHA-solving service has been established called Solona, which is essentially a volunteer service that helps to crack the visual CAPTCHA. We will be hearing from Bernard Maldonado, the founder of this interesting service.
3. We will be hearing from a representative of the Association of Information Technology Professionals. I hope through this presentation to begin building a bridge between aspiring or currently employed blind information technology professionals and the mainstream information technology profession. What skills are important in today's information technology profession? Do blind people have what it takes to compete? Does the industry really understand what the blind have to offer, and does it have a realistic expectation of the contributions that the blind can make to this ever-changing and dynamic profession?
4. We plan to hear from Rob Sinclair, the director of accessibility at Microsoft. Four years ago Mr. Sinclair spoke to our members, and at that time he talked about Windows Vista and the fact that for the first time ever an operating system would be released that would be accessible to the blind right out of the box. We now have Windows 7, which seems quite accessible today, and we are facing the imminent release of a newer version of Microsoft Office. One wonders what other products from Microsoft can be made accessible to the blind.
This being an even-numbered year, the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will be electing officers and board members. Our current officers and board members are president, Curtis Chong; vice president, Steve Jacobson; secretary, Mike Freeman; treasurer, Susie Stanzel; and board members, Brian Buhrow, Lloyd Rasmussen, and D. Curtis Willoughby. Membership dues for the organization remain at $5 and can be paid in advance of the meeting or at the meeting itself. If you want more information about our 2010 meeting or are interested in paying dues to become a member of the NFB in Computer Science, contact Curtis Chong, president, National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, 3663 Grand Avenue, Unit 606, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; Phone: (515) 277-1288 (evenings and weekends); Email: <[email protected]>.
NFB Jernigan Institute: Where Do We Go from Here?
by Mark Riccobono
Three focused discussion times will be facilitated to gather input on priorities and directions for the only research and training institute developed and directed by the blind. While these sessions will give brief overviews of current Institute programs and activities, they are intended to be facilitated discussions about the concerns, hopes, and dreams of the blind of the nation in order to inform and direct future program development. Bring your ideas, solutions, and priorities so we can together formulate the programs that are most relevant to the blind of the nation. Sessions will have specific themes in order to focus the dialogue. Consult your agenda for themes, times, and locations.
NFB National Employment Seminar
by Buna Dahal
Please join the members of the employment committee at the employment seminar on Saturday, July 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to gain the secrets of obtaining and maintaining employment during this tough economic environment. For further information contact Buna Dahal, chairperson, at (303) 758-1232 or by email at <[email protected]>.
NFB-NEWSLINE® Seminar and Convention Events
by Scott White
Would you like to get the scoop on the latest enhancements to NFB-NEWSLINE®, the free audible newspaper service? Would you like to know about the new access methods like Podable News, which provides podcasts of publications and their sections that you can download to your MP3-playing device, and KeyStream, which streams NFB-NEWSLINE content over the Internet to your computer? If you would like to learn more about these initiatives and how you can use them to get even more benefit from the service, please attend one of the two seminars we’ll be hosting at the upcoming national convention, either on Sunday, July 4, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. or Wednesday, July 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
We will also be discussing our new voices and our new on-demand article request feature, so, whether you access the service on the phone or want to use the new online initiatives, we’ll have some good news to share with you. You may also visit us at our table in the exhibit hall, where you can learn more about and sign up to use NFB-NEWSLINE. For more information about NFB-NEWSLINE activities at the 2010 national convention, contact Scott White at <[email protected]>.
National Federation of the Blind Senior Division
Seniors Welcome You…with a Twist
by Judy Sanders
We are the National Federation of the Blind Senior Division, and we cordially invite you to join us for our annual meeting. Reserve the afternoon of Monday, July 5, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. for an inspiring time with your elders.
But first here is something new. Many of us have had the opportunity to learn how to make our blindness become simply an inconvenience. However, many of our seniors have not had such a chance. Therefore the NFB Seniors Division is sponsoring a seminar on Saturday, July 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to provide some introductory blindness skills instruction. Blind instructors will introduce seniors to Braille; use of the long white cane; eating in public; games; and more. Of course this seminar will have a dose of Federation philosophy, and everyone is guaranteed to have fun. This seminar is not open to everyone. In order to give our students the attention they deserve, we are limiting attendance to around thirty-five people.
Who should come? Anyone who is new to blindness or, for whatever reason, has never had the exposure to things we take for granted is welcome to let us know of their interest. You can do so by emailing or calling me at the address and phone number found at the end of this article. This seminar is being cochaired by Ruth Sager and Ramona Walhof. Our hope is that our students will go home and demand that their state rehabilitation services give them their independence. A minimal charge for a box lunch will be assessed.
And now for our annual meeting, where everyone is welcome. We will open the doors on Monday, July 5, 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 from Federationists, both in items for the auction and emptying of wallets and checkbooks. Make sure your items arrive in time for eager bidders. For questions about the auction and to let her know what you will donate, call Ramona at (208) 338-1595 or email her at <[email protected]>.
The theme for last year's meeting was Seniors in Charge, and it worked so well that we are continuing it. This is to prove we have longevity. As a continuation of Saturday's seminar, the focus 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 best moments to share.
If you have questions or suggestions for the agenda, call Judy Sanders at (612) 375-1625. Email: <[email protected]>. The agenda is not finalized; so, if you have a topic of interest to seniors, let me know.
Performing Arts Division
by Dennis H.R. Sumlin
Presidents and Treasurers Seminar
by Bridgid Burke
All state affiliate presidents and treasurers are asked to attend this session on Sunday, July 4, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. to learn the status of the state financial program, to ask questions regarding financial data, and to examine best practices for financial bookkeeping. We will talk about internal controls, state charitable registrations, end-of-year preparations, and individual state issues with presidents and treasurers. You will have an opportunity to address questions to and talk with Charlie Brown, Ron Gardner, Bridgid Burke, and Nick Lambright.
Public Relations Committee
Meeting and Seminar
by Chris Danielsen
How many times have you wished that the media would show up to your fundraiser or Meet the Blind Month event so that you could get the NFB’s message out to the public? Don’t wait for the media to discover you. Come to the public relations committee meeting to share ideas and strategies on how to harness the power of the media to enhance membership recruitment and fundraising efforts. We’ll discuss how to craft press releases, pitch stories, and give informative interviews educating the press and the public about the NFB’s positive philosophy of blindness and the issues that are important to blind Americans. Join us Monday, July 5, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Roman Catholic Mass
by Mary Ellen Jernigan
Father Gregory Paul, C.P., will celebrate Mass on Sunday morning, July 4, at 6:30 a.m. Everyone interested in this service is invited to attend.
Salsa Dance Party
by Norman Gardner
Are you a dancer? Are you not a dancer? Are you willing to learn something new and have fun? Then come to salsa dance lessons and Latin dance party at our convention in Dallas. Come and get into the rhythm of the convention, learn to dance the salsa, and dance the night away. Bring your partner or find one here. Group and individual instruction will be provided at any level of proficiency. Come and support this fundraising event for the Spanish translation committee. There will be a $5 charge at the door. We are planning this event for Saturday, July 3, from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m., but check the agenda for the exact time and place. If you have a special song request, send it to <[email protected]>.
Social Security Seminar
by Ronza Othman
An informational seminar, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know, will take place on Wednesday, July 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The purpose of this seminar is to give an overview of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind, including eligibility criteria, application process, reporting obligations, and the appeals process for denials and overpayment determinations. Special emphasis will be placed on information about the income subsidy program for those receiving the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Ronza Othman, government programs 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 encouraged to attend.
by Alpidio Rolón
Blindness is blindness, no matter what the language, and Federation philosophy can help to dissipate all the negative stereotypes others see in it. Join Alpidio Rolón and others at the fifth annual Spanish Seminar on Saturday, July 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Meet new and old friends, and learn the truth about blindness in Spanish.
Sports and Recreation Division
by Lisamaria Martinez
Get up off your couch and get ready to get fit. Don’t forget to pack your exercise clothes for this year’s convention because the Sports and Recreation Division promises to deliver a rockin’ physical week.
This year enjoy tandem biking, rowing, swimming, and much more. For specific details and times for sports and recreational activities, please check out our event calendar at <www.nfbsportsandrec.org>, or contact Vice President Christella Garcia at (916) 208-3213 or by email at <[email protected]>. See you there. Our annual meeting will be on Monday, July 5, from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m.
by Dwight Sayer
The National Association of Blind Veterans will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, July 4. Consult the convention agenda for time and meeting room details. This meeting will include our annual elections, final plans for our veterans celebration during the convention’s opening session, and discussion of the plans to grow our division in the coming year. Make plans to attend this important meeting of the NFB's Veterans Division.
Voter Registration Drive
Learn how to plan and host a voter registration drive that will attract new members to your chapter and serve your local community, by attending a seminar on How to Hold a Voter Registration Drive in Six Easy Steps on Tuesday, July 6, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. The seminar will describe the steps necessary to hold a voter registration drive for the blind members of your community and will identify available resources. Consult your agenda for seminar location.
Webmasters Meeting in Dallas
by Gary Wunder
On Sunday, 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 <[email protected]> or by calling (573) 874-1774 for more information. Offers to present and recommendations for areas needing discussion are welcome.
by Robert Leslie Newman
Story Time Idol: Come tell and listen to tall and scary stories on Sunday, July 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $5 to get in the door and $1 to tell a story. Idol winners will share in the take. The annual Writers Division business meeting will be Monday, July 5, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. We will update members on division business, announce the 2010 winners of the youth and adult writing contests, visit with a published author and member of the NFB, and plan for the future.
Youth Track 2010
by Mary Jo Hartle
The Education Department of the NFB Jernigan Institute, in conjunction with the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, will host activities specially designed to educate and entertain youth throughout the week of national convention. This year a Junior Youth Track has been added for students ages eleven to fourteen; older students will participate in the regular Youth Track. Events and activities will include field trips, workshops, games, discussions, and more. Consult the convention agenda for details of this week-long program.