1997 Convention Attractions
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 1997 Convention, June 29 through July 5. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The pre-convention agenda will list the locations of all events taking place before convention registration on Monday, June 30. The convention agenda will contain listings of all events taking place after that time.
Blind Industrial Workers of America
BIWA President Primo Foianini announces that the division will conduct a split cash drawing at this year's convention. The group will gather on Tuesday afternoon, July 1, for its annual meeting.
Blind Professional Journalists Group
If you are studying journalism, are working in this exciting field, or are interested in doing either, the NFB Blind Professional Journalists meeting is the place for you to be Sunday, June 29, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Please see the pre-convention agenda for the meeting location. The Blind Professional Journalists group, which organized last summer during the convention in Anaheim, is here to help everyone exchange ideas and answer questions about working for newspapers and magazines and in broadcasting.
If you have questions about BPJ, contact Elizabeth Campbell evenings at (817) 738-0350 or e-mail, [email protected] or Bryan Bashin at (916)441-4096 or e-mail, [email protected]
Child Care Information
Throughout our National Convention NFB Camp provides activities and programs for children under twelve years of age. Although it is generally referred to as "child care," the participants in NFB Camp will tell you otherwise. It is a tremendous opportunity to instill Federation philosophy in the camp counselors, the parents, and the children (blind and sighted alike). Advanced registration is required to ensure that the number of camp counselors is sufficient for the safety and happiness of the children. Blind and sighted children will enjoy the action-packed schedule awaiting them in New Orleans this summer. Call or write to register today.
NFB Camp is under the direction of Carla McQuillan, the owner and operator of Children's Choice Montessori School and Child Care Center in Springfield, Oregon. With seventeen years of teaching experience in early childhood education, Mrs. McQuillan received the Blind Educator of the Year Award presented by the National Federation of the Blind at our 1996 convention in Anaheim. Carla is also the mother of two children and the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon.
The team supervisor and activities director are employees of Children's Choice Montessori School. Both have extensive experience planning and expediting programs for children. Once again we are recruiting Head Start teachers from the local area to serve as our camp counselors. All of these individuals have CPR and First Aid certification, criminal record checks, and the education and experience to handle large groups of children with ease. In addition to the contracted staff, the Federation youth who participate in our CPR/First Aid baby-sitting class on Sunday, June 29, will be paired up with NFB camp counselors throughout the week for hands-on child care experience.
This year's convention setting offers a wide range of opportunities to explore areas outside the hotel. The children will be practicing their independence skills as they take various walking tours of the city, engage in scavenger hunts in the mall beneath the Hyatt, and challenge each other to water-pistol fights. There will be guest appearances by storytellers, musicians, magicians, and artists. We will be conducting philosophy discussions to complement the skills training that will be taking place daily. Each day, during general sessions, children will be encouraged to participate in a variety of activities both inside the hotel and out in the community. A schedule of NFB Camp activities will be available at the information table at convention.
NFB Camp will be open one half hour before the beginning of sessions and one half hour after sessions recess. Children must be picked up during lunch breaks. The schedule follows:
Sunday, June 29, during the seminar for Parents of Blind Children
Tuesday, July 1, during the Board meeting and afternoon committee meetings
Wednesday, July 2, during both general sessions
Thursday, July 3, during the morning general session, not tours
Friday, July 4, during both general sessions and the banquet
Saturday, July 5, during both general sessions
We will not serve dinner during the banquet. A late fee of $10 per child will be strongly enforced if children are not picked up from camp on time.
Registration fee schedule: full time (all hours of operation except banquet) first child in the family, $60, each additional child, $40; banquet, $10 per child; daily rates, $15 per child.
Registration for NFB Camp will be handled through the state office of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon. If you are registering by telephone and you would like to speak to a live human instead of an answering machine, call between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. If you mail your registration or leave a message on the answering machine, please be sure to include the following registration information: child's name; age; special needs, if any, such as blind or in wheelchair; parent's name, home address, and phone. Please list the days you will need child care and whether you need services during the banquet. Please call or mail the information to NFB of Oregon, Attention NFB Camp, P.O. Box 320, Thurston, Oregon 97482, (541) 726-2654. Complete information packets and medical releases will be mailed approximately two to three weeks after Mrs. McQuillan receives initial registration information.
Field Trips and Special Activities for Children and Youth New Orleans Children's Museum, ages four to twelve; cost, $10 per child (includes lunch); check-in, 8:30-9:00 a.m.
This June 29 trip begins with a brief orientation to the hotel and adjacent mall, featuring a stop in the food court for lunch. Children will divide into small groups for this activity. They will be paired with capable travelers selected from the membership and from National Federation of the Blind training centers. The children will have the experience of selecting and purchasing their own lunches. After lunch we will board a bus to the Children's Museum, which invites children and their adult friends to discover and learn in a hands-on environment. All exhibits are designed to encourage children to touch, explore, and get involved while having fun together. Children may be picked up at 3 p.m. when they return from the museum or stay in the NFB Camp room until the parents seminar adjourns.
Red Cross Baby-sitting Course, ages twelve and up, cost, $20 including lunch. Check-in, 8:00 to 8:30 a.m.
This is an opportunity for our youth to acquire valuable skills that will lead to year-round employment. Upon completion of the June 29 course, participants will receive Red Cross First Aid and Infant/Child CPR certification. The course will also include important tips and guidelines for the young baby-sitter, including songs, games, crafts, and other fun activities for children of various ages. Course graduates will be encouraged to participate in our Mentoring Program, where they will develop child care skills under the guidance of NFB Camp Counselors. Certification of child care course completion and internship will be awarded, and the list of graduates will be made available to convention attendees as a resource list for evening baby-sitters. Don't miss this unique opportunity! Space will be limited, so be sure to register early. The course will last approximately seven hours.
You may call or mail in registration for either activity. Please include the following information: child's name, age, home address, home phone, and special needs. Please designate whether each registrant will be attending the children's museum ($10) or the baby-sitting course ($20). Please send registration and payment no later than June 1, 1997, to reserve your spot. Mail to National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, P.O. Box 320, Thurston, Oregon 97482, or call (541) 726-6924, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), Monday through Friday.
We are planning a number of additional activities to take place throughout the week, such as a dance instruction session, a pre-banquet pizza party, tours of the hotel kitchen and the Superdome, tournament games, and an ice cream party. A schedule of activities for the week will be available at the information table at convention.
Committee on Associates
The Committee on Associates will meet in New Orleans on Tuesday evening. In addition, final standings will be announced at the National Board Meeting that morning. We look forward to a brisk final segment of the 1997 enrollment year and to some surprises in the top finishers. At the meeting we will discuss several items and plan to have the national treasurer as our guest. We will also hand out contest results and standings by state and enjoy other activities.
The enrolling of Associate members is a highly productive activity. It educates people to the positive aspects of blindness and should help them come to understand blindness as a characteristic. This program is severely under-used, and we need to think of ways to help our members understand how much of an impact they can have on family, friends, and community with Associates. As chairman of the Committee on Associates I extend my sincere appreciation to all Associate recruiters. You can contact me, Tom Stevens, at (573) 445-6091.
The Deaf-Blind Division will host three seminars at the National Convention in New Orleans, each to begin at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 29, location to be announced. We will try to have guest speakers from deaf-blind agencies in Louisiana.
Tuesday, July 1: Speakers from Louisiana's Helen Keller Regional Office and NFB representatives. Also Dean Blazie from Blazie Engineering will update us on its various portable note taker/data managers.
Thursday, July 3, Board Meeting: Members of the Deaf- Blind Division Board will give reports. We will have literature available from various groups and organizations who work within the deaf-blind community.
By the time you read this, Joe and Arlene Naulty will have moved fifty miles north. Their new address is 11943 Suellen Circle, Wellington, Florida 33414, (561) 753-4700. Please remember that we are now a division. Dues are $5 per person for the 1997 year and should be remitted to Treasurer Arlene Naulty at her new address. The Deaf-Blind Division Board officers are Joseph B. Naulty, President; Richard J. Edlund, (913) 296-7648, First Vice President, Topeka, Kansas; Burnell E. Brown, (202) 396-7370, Second Vice President, Washington, D.C.; John J. Salka, (914) 496-7186, Secretary, Monroe, New York; Arlene Naulty, Treasurer; and Board members Robert S. Jaquiss, (503) 626-7174, Beaverton, Oregon, and Dawn Salka, (914) 496-7186, Monroe, New York. We'll be needing volunteers and interpreters, so, if any of you can help out, please contact Joe Naulty or any other Board member.
I'm looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans. Please come; we need your support. We're going to have a great convention.
The Diabetes Action Network
The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind has been busy making plans for several months for the 1997 annual convention in New Orleans. Each year thousands of diabetics lose vision or become blind from complications of the disease. The Diabetes Action Network has the knowledge and experience to guide diabetics with vision loss back to a state of independent self-management of the disease.
The Diabetes Action Network will first host an open forum on diabetes and the associated complications of the disease. A panel of experts will assemble to answer questions on all aspects of diabetes and techniques for managing the disease after vision loss or other complications. In addition, a discussion of the new generation of fast-acting humalog insulins will be held. The forum will occur on Monday afternoon, June 30, from 2:00 to 4:00, room to be announced. Get your questions ready because this forum is not to be missed.
Then, on Tuesday evening, July 1, from 6:30 until 9:00, the Diabetes Action Network will host the annual diabetes seminar and division business meeting, room to be announced. The subject for the keynote address will be the new system of counting carbohydrates and doing meal planning. For those unfamiliar with this new system, it introduces many simplifying techniques for planning meals. Come join the membership of the division and help plan the events of the upcoming year; review the accomplishments of the past year; discuss diabetes with experts; and enjoy the lively, spirited crowd. Remember, brush up on all of those diabetes facts to see how much money you can make the president pay. See you in New Orleans!
Entrepreneurial Interest Group
Tuesday evening, July 1, 1997, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., we will conduct a meeting for blind individuals interested in being part of a division whose focus will be entrepeneurialism. Assuming sufficient interest, we plan to adopt a constitution, elect officers, and establish widespread communication of ideas. If you are a business owner or if you wish to know more about owning your own business, this group could be a vital link. From the development of a business plan to the networking achievements of others, this formation meeting has plans for tomorrow, and it will be enhanced by your participation.
If you plan to be in Louisiana for the 1997 convention and intend to join us, please call Connie Leblond at (207) 772-7305. We know there is tremendous interest in this meeting, and we would like to get an approximate count of attendees. See you in New Orleans.
Bringing NEWSLINE to Your Community: How Foundations and Corporate Giving Programs Can Help
Sunday June 29, 1997, 1:00 to 4:30 P.M.
Securing funding from foundations and corporate giving programs is challenging, but certainly all of us can learn how to write clear, targeted proposals and master the research techniques that can find the right grantor for our projects. Many local chapters and state affiliates are eager to pursue local foundations and corporate-giving programs to establish and continue funding to bring NEWSLINEŝ to their communities permanently. Although only 12 percent of the charitable contributions made in this country come from foundations and corporations, many of us can be successful funding NEWSLINE and other projects once we learn the basics.
Dr. Betsy Zaborowski, NFB Director of Special Programs, and several NFB members who themselves have been successful at raising funds will share their strategies for identifying appropriate foundations and corporate giving programs, writing proposals, and selling a project once an interview has been arranged. Workshop participants will learn the ten basic steps for good proposal writing, print and on-line resources for researching funding sources, and communication techniques to use once you get to promote your project in person. Participants will be given some helpful materials and time to discuss problems they have had in the fund- raising arena. All are welcome; however, this workshop is recommended for those who will be actively working on funding projects such as NEWSLINE.
Human Services Division
The keynote speaker this year at the meeting of the Human Services Division of the National Federation of the Blind will be NFB Treasurer and Michigan affiliate President Allen Harris, who will kick off a dynamic program by talking about skills needed to complete your education, get a job, and keep it. The Division will meet from 1:15 to 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the NFB Board meeting (Tuesday, July 1, 1997) at the NFB National Convention in New Orleans. Ask yourself: did or will your rehab program give you the skills needed by blind people? This question will be answered by a panel of our experts. Here are some other questions: How do I get a job? How do I keep it? Who else is working in my professional field? How can I network with these people on the Internet? All these questions and more will be answered at this year's divisional meeting. Don't miss it. Come early and stay late to network with fellow professionals. We'll see you in New Orleans. And laissez les bon temps rouler at the Human Services Division this year.
An Introduction to the Internet
Are you tired of hearing about the Internet without knowing how to take advantage of its many features? What do they mean when they say "surf the Web"? What is "Real Audio"? What is e-mail?
The Internet is one of the most exciting and informative ways to use the power of your computer. With a knowledge of the Internet you can send and receive messages from people throughout the world and have access to libraries and online books from colleges and universities as well as newspapers from cities all over the U.S. You can even listen to radio broadcasts, music, and sporting events.
Want to know how? Make plans to attend "An Introduction to the Internet" on Sunday, June 29, at the NFB convention. We'll give you the information you need to get started on a journey that never has to end.
Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB)
Someone out there knows the answers to your questions about employment. Your best chance to find that person will be among the thousands of people attending the largest convention of blind Americans to take place in 1997. JOB helps people locate each other at convention. Ask us.
The 1997 National JOB Seminar June 29, (Sunday) 1 to 4 p.m. For three hours competent blind Americans tell you about their jobs and answer your questions. They got the jobs they wanted; why not grab their good ideas for yourself? This annual, lively, fact-filled, practical national job seminar has the most interesting mix of speakers! Here are just three of the agenda items for 1997: "How to Find, Train, and Fire Readers and Drivers"; "How to Start Hearing Windows"; and a panel presentation with a blind teacher sharing recommended blind techniques; Dr. Ralph Bartley, Superintendent of the Kentucky School for the Blind, who will tell us what he looks for when hiring teachers and other staff members; and William Gibson, Director of the Utah Division of Services for the Visually Impaired.
Have you refused to consider jobs outside your home territory because you wondered how to find a new apartment, make travel arrangements, and such? In addition to a seminar presentation titled "New Job in a New Place: Self-taught Orientation, Part 1," a sign-up sheet will be available at the JOB seminar for "New Job in a New Place, Part 2: A JOB Walking Workshop." The day after the seminar (Monday), Russell Anderson and Ron Bergese, professional cane travel instructors at BLIND, Inc., will lead a walking tour which supposes that you live in Minneapolis and have been hired by the Hotel Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. They will literally walk participants through some excellent methods for figuring out a new workplace and a new community. This JOB workshop is limited to the first twenty people to sign up at the Seminar, and you must be independently mobile in your home community.
JOB Networking Breakfasts
All week long you are invited to attend the daily (7:00 a.m.- 8:00 a.m.) JOB Networking Breakfasts, either those with a particular job topic or the generic breakfasts that cover whatever the individuals at the table have found of concern. BYOB (Buy Your Own Breakfast) is the rule. People are seated family style with a coordinator who is an expert in the topic.
So far twenty-one breakfasts are planned. The full list of breakfast topics will be posted during convention on the NFB Information Table in both Braille and print. You will notice that some of the breakfasts have a specific topic and some are generic. These latter are an open forum and networking opportunity for solving any problem related to employment and blindness. For the breakfasts with a specified topic, both those currently in the field and those who would like to be are invited to network. Please help spread the word to everyone you know with a special interest in one of these topics.
We are attracting such numbers to the JOB Networking Breakfasts that this year we have to begin something new-- excluding folks. If you are not personally involved in the topic for the specific breakfast, please eat at some other table with some other friends. These are working breakfasts.
Yes, you may decide at the last minute to show up. JOB Net-working Breakfasts start promptly at seven each morning. We will be seating attendees between 6:45 and 7:00 a.m.; after that we'll be networking too. Reservations are helpful but not required. Here is the 1997 list of topics along with the table coordinators:
SUNDAY, JUNE 29: (convention set-up day)
1 The Sunday first-timers breakfast Never been to a full NFB National Convention before? We'll help you get the most out of this full week of activities--the seminars, introductions to specific people, and the one-of-a-kind events that will help you reach your employment goals. Wayne and Carmen Davis, Florida
MONDAY, JUNE 30: (registration day)
2 The Monday First-timers Breakfast (A second chance for first-timers) Marianne and Buck Saunders, West Virginia; Connie and Seth Leblond, Maine; and David and Mariann De Notaris, New Jersey
3 Monday's Generic Breakfast for Job Seekers What problem are you running into in your job search? Brain-storming is our specialty at each generic breakfast. Loraine and David Stayer, New York
4 JOB's Third Networking Breakfast
for Travel Instructors Blind teachers share NFB-teaching techniques for long
canes. Louisiana Center for the Blind instructors
5 Emergency Dispatchers Networking Breakfast New! Brad Greenspan, New York
TUESDAY, JULY 1 (Board meeting day)
6 Tuesday's Generic Breakfast for Job Seekers Greg Trapp, JOB's ADA consultant, and Tonia Balletta, New Mexico
7 The Annual Breakfast for Blind Scientists and Engineers Ask John Miller, California, President of this NFB division for details. Home phone, (619) 587-3975, e-mail, <[email protected]>
8 JOB's Fourth Annual Breakfast for Blind People in Medical Fields David Stayer, New York (MSW), JOB consultant in medical fields
9 JOB's Fifth Annual Breakfast for Braille Proofreaders and Transcribers Mary Donahue, Texas
10 JOB's Eighth Annual Networking Breakfast for Blind Lawyers Coordinated by Povinelli and Kay (DC law firm), and the NABL
11 I Do Windows: The Second Annual JOB Networking Breakfast Steve Shelton, Oklahoma; Michael and Fatos Floyd, Nebraska; (3 Windows users) and Jim Watson of Henter- Joyce, Inc.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 2: (first general session)
12 Wednesday's Generic Breakfast for Job Seekers William Ritchhart, Indiana
13 The Sixth Annual Blind Artists Breakfast Money-making ideas and resources, Janet Caron, Florida (artist and JOB consultant on art)
14 A Networking Breakfast for Customer Service Representatives Chris Flory, Colorado Center for the Blind CTR Program; Mary Donahue, US Long Distance employee
THURSDAY, JULY 3 (tour afternoon and
15 Thursday's Generic Breakfast for Job Seekers Peggy and Curtis Chong, Minnesota
16 Writing for Money, a New Job Networking Breakfast Loraine Stayer, New York; Sharon Maneki, Maryland
17 The Job Coordinators Brainstorming Breakfast New! for JOB Field Service Network Volunteers, Diane Domingue, California
18 The Green Thumb Careers Breakfast, Pete Donahue, Texas
FRIDAY, JULY 4: (banquet day)
19 JOB's Last-Chance Generic Breakfast for Job Seekers Whom do you need to find? What do you need to know to help you get a job? Bring the problem up at this breakfast before convention ends this year and you go home leaving its rich resources behind you. Lorraine Rovig, JOB Director.
20 JOB'S Networking Breakfast for Computer-Access Teachers Are you teaching the use of computers adapted for blind students or adults; would you like to? Come on over and have a byte with us. Colorado Center for the Blind teachers
SATURDAY, JULY 5: (closing general session
21 JOB's Breakfast for Employment Professionals by Invitation Only Sharing the best ideas of the past year. Lorraine Rovig, Director, JOB
What is holding you back? Is it lack of opportunity where you live or lack of training in competitive-level blind techniques or in a job skill? At the NFB annual convention you can do research in all these areas with people who speak from experience.
It's not in any store; it's priceless; and it's free--but you have to go that extra mile to make it happen. You have to be ready to speak up, ready to seize the opportunity. Helping people locate good contacts at convention is one of my jobs. If you'd like some introductions to get you started, call me, Lorraine Rovig, now or talk to me at convention.
Job Opportunities for the Blind is a free, nationwide program, sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor. Call (800) 638-7518 (12:30 to 5:00 p.m. EST), or write JOB/NFB, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.
The Merchants Division
The NFB Merchants Division will offer a variety of items of interest to Federationists. Do you need to get up and get out? Don Bell, long a familiar face at our conventions, will present a seminar entitled "A Positive View for a Positive You" at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 29, at the Hyatt Regency. When Don, President of Management Management, Des Moines, Iowa, spoke at a past convention, there was standing room only. Tickets are $20 and will go on sale at 8:30 a.m. Let's get energized and have some fun.
The Merchants Division will again sell snack packs for $5. If you want to win $1,000 for an investment of only $1, buy one of our raffle tickets. The drawing will take place at the convention banquet. We plan to sell corsages (new and improved) for the banquet and give away free soft drinks. See you at our booth.
The Music Division will meet Monday, June 30, 1997. Registration for membership and for the Showcase of Talent will begin at 6:30 p.m. outside our meeting room. The meeting itself begins at 7:00 p.m.
If you have agenda requests, please contact Linda Mentink, 1737 Tamarack Lane, Janesville, Wisconsin 53545, (608) 752-8749. Division membership dues are $5. If you'd like to join or renew your membership before the convention, please send a check, payable to the Music Division, to Ben Snow, 358 Orange Street, Apt. 4091, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.
Again this year the Showcase of Talent will not be a contest with prizes, so there will be no fee for participants. However, since it is our only fund raiser, we will pass the hat so that those who wish to can make a free- will offering. We will need accompanists for performers who do not have tapes. If you are willing and available to accompany, please contact Linda Mentink.
If you would like to participate in the Showcase, here are the guidelines: 1) Sign up no later than noon, Wednesday, July 2. 2) Perform only one number, taking no more than four minutes to perform. 3) If you are using a taped accompaniment, be sure that the tape is cued up properly. Do not sing along with a vocal artist; you will be stopped immediately. 4) If you need live accompaniment, make your arrangements before the Showcase begins.
Children who plan to participate will be invited to perform first. The Showcase will be limited to two hours, about twenty-four performers. Come help us enjoy music.
We are also planning to have a lunch for musicians, open to anyone who would like more information about the Music Division or would just like to talk about music. Listen for the announcement of time and place during the general session.
National Association of Blind Educators
From 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1, the National Association of Blind Educators will hold its annual meeting as a part of the National Federation of the Blind Convention. Attending this meeting gives prospective job seekers valuable information about the variety of job opportunities and the knowledge to procure jobs by listening to and talking with working blind educators. Those who are already employed learn new and refined teaching techniques unique to blind educators. In these shaky economic times, we discuss how to use our talents to the best of our abilities, how to remain sane in an unstable environment, and generally how to enter and retire from the profession the way we had planned.
We commence our meeting with group discussions. These groups are chaired by successful blind educators. Some of the topics are preschool, elementary, secondary, and university teaching; student teaching; teacher's aides; special education; and school administration. We will then have speakers on learning the necessary skills of blindness at NFB training centers, finding and keeping jobs, and getting along with principals and others with whom we must work.
We will conclude the seminar with our annual business meeting. While this annual gathering is our chance to meet in person, we have a mentoring program through which blind educators are matched with other blind educators. We are the experts, so we know best what our needs and problems are. Our work is never- ending, and the National Association of Blind Educators has been very successful, judging by the number of happy, successful blind educators we have, so come and join us in New Orleans for the entire Convention.
For further information about the Division or details about the meeting or the field of education, please call Pat Munson at (510) 526-1668. If you would like to join the Division or continue membership, send a check for $20 for employed educators or $10 for others to the Treasurer, Patti Harmon, 1315 Desert Eye Drive, Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310. Make the check payable to the National Association of Blind Educators. Come join us in New Orleans. It's great to be a part of the Educators Division and the Federation and to be employed.
National Association of Blind Lawyers
Come and join the largest organization of blind lawyers in the country. The National Association of Blind Lawyers (NABL) will meet on Tuesday, July 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as part of the fifty-seventh annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.
We will be discussing many exciting topics on that afternoon. Speaking from their areas of expertise, lawyers will give us updates on the current status of laws affecting the blind. We will hear about various advocacy matters in which the Federation has been involved in the last year. Officials of the American Bar Association and the Louisiana Bar Association will address the group. Experienced practitioners will offer strategies on how best to conduct various types of cases. Hear about the publication of our law journal.
This and much more will all take place at the NABL meeting. Everyone in the legal profession, law students, and others interested in the law are welcome. Remember that you may be able to receive up to four continuing legal-education credits for this meeting. Come and help us continue to build the Federation through the Lawyers' Division.
National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers
The National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers is proud to announce its annual meeting to be held on Sunday, June 29, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Who will want to attend this meeting? Secretaries and transcribers at all levels, including medical and paralegal, office workers, customer-service personnel, and many other fields. Those providing training programs to prepare blind people for this kind of office work are also welcome.
Registration for the Division meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. Dues are $3 per year.
Plenty of topics will be discussed and maybe a few surprises. Anyone who wishes to become a member of this Division can send name, address, telephone number, e-mail address if any, and preferred newsletter format (print, Braille, audio tape, 3.5 or 5.25 computer diskette).
Those wishing to pay dues in advance should make checks payable to N.A.B.S.T. and send them to Lisa Hall, President, National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers, 9110 Broadway, Apartment J103, San Antonio, Texas 78217; e- mail: [email protected], phone, (210) 829-4571.
NABST officers are Lisa Hall, President, San Antonio, Texas; Janet Triplett, Vice President, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Mary Donahue, Secretary, San Antonio, Texas; and Carol Clark, Treasurer, Kansas City, Kansas. See you in New Orleans.
National Association of Blind Students
This year's student seminar promises to be the best ever. The Student Division will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. We will conduct our traditional student seminar on Monday, June 30, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Several national leaders will talk to us about blindness issues important to college students. On Thursday night we will again sponsor our Monte Carlo Night with games, refreshments, and fun.
National Association of Guide Dog Users
The annual meeting of the National Association of Guide Dog Users will be held on Sunday, June 29, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the meeting will start at 1:45 p.m. The seminar, "A Guide Dog in Your Life," will be held on Monday, June 30, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
The Division meeting will open with a panel presentation entitled, "Why I am a Federationist Who Uses a Guide Dog." Given factors such as maintenance costs in time and money associated with feeding, relieving, veterinary care, grooming, and flea and tick control; eventual retirement, the need for retraining, access and travel restrictions abroad, and the necessity of relief accommodations when large numbers of guide dog users gather in large downtown hotels, this is a topic which needs discussion. The panel presenters will be the board members of the National Association of Guide Dog Users. These are Paul Gabias, President; Rick Fox, Vice President; Mark Noble, Secretary; and Priscilla Ferris, Treasurer. There will be plenty of time for comments from the audience.
The Division will also feature another panel presentation entitled, "What the Federation Has to Offer the Guide Dog Schools." The panel presenters will be Rick Fox, Priscilla Ferris, and Paul Gabias. There will also be time for comments from the audience. Following this presentation we will discuss the formation of a committee of volunteers to speak to graduating classes at the guide dog schools about the benefits of joining the National Federation of the Blind and the National Association of Guide Dog Users. Fund raising for the Division will also be discussed, as well as state division concerns.
At the seminar, "A Guide Dog in Your Life," the guide dog schools will be invited to tell us how they believe they can profit from a working relationship with the National Federation of the Blind and the National Association of Guide Dog Users. Mark Noble will discuss flea and tick prevention and control. Rick Fox will discuss the role of the white cane in a guide dog user's life. There will be an update on efforts to abolish the Hawaii quarantine. Paul Gabias will discuss the importance of global commands such as "inside," "outside," "upstairs," "downstairs," and "elevator," in the context of Peggy Elliott's comments about the importance of orientation and mobility at the 1996 Division meeting of the National Association of Guide Dog Users.
The National Office and the NFB of Louisiana are working hard to provide the best possible relief accommodations for guide dogs at the convention. Of course, the relief facilities will have to be kept clean. Instead of relying on hotel personnel to maintain the facilities, we will hire outside workers to do the job. This should result in more pleasant surroundings for owners and dogs alike.
In 1993 the Division voted to ask each guide dog handler to pay $25 for use of the relief facilities throughout the week. We encourage all guide dog handlers to help cover the maintenance costs of relief areas, if at all possible. Contributions should be made at Division activities early in the week. Owners who miss these opportunities for any reason and who wish to help can pay Priscilla Ferris, Division Treasurer and President of the NFB of Massachusetts, later in the week. She can be found at convention sessions in the Massachusetts delegation.
Questions about the relief arrangements or other guide dog matters can be directed to Paul Gabias at 475 Fleming Road, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, VIX 3Z4, (800) 714- 4774.
National Association to Promote the Use of Braille Time to Sing "Ode to the Code"
Celebrating victories and planning for the future are elements which add excitement to any meeting of the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille. New Orleans will certainly be no exception to the rule. But something new is being added to the New Orleans get-together, and you do not want to miss any of it. Attendees at this year's NAPUB meeting will benefit from some serious moments and will be delighted with some fun and surprises. Take a look at this:
It's off to the Pub we go--"NA-PUB," that is. Have the time of your life, and at the same time give your support to the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB). Take a look at the extraordinary drink list at the "NA-PUB" in New Orleans. Lift your spirits with such drinks as a "tenBroek Tonic" or a "Maurer's Marc." We trust that's just enough information to pique your interest. More details will be forthcoming. Meet me, Betty Niceley, at this special pub and share a "Rusty Stylus."
National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science
Come and talk about computers and computer-related technology at the 1997 annual meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 1, at the National Federation of the Blind convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Registration for the meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. Membership in the NFB in Computer Science costs $5 a year. For specific meeting room information, refer to your convention agenda. At this early stage of planning for our annual meeting, we can say these things:
We will hear from Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden of the Trace Research Center. Dr. Vanderheiden has done much pioneering work to make public electronic information kiosks accessible to the blind. A direct result of Dr. Vanderheiden's work can be seen in the accessible information kiosk at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
As in the past we will devote a number of program items to the graphical user interface. We will hear from Microsoft about the work it is doing to increase our ability to use its graphical applications and operating systems. We hope to hear from IBM about its most recent efforts to increase the ability of the blind to use its graphical applications.Finally, we will try to put together a panel of experienced blind computer professionals and users who can talk knowledgeably and understandably about the tricks and techniques they have used to survive in the GUI world. If we get lucky, we may be able to discuss the Windows/NT access problem. Many people are asking me if there is any screen reader for Windows/NT. All I can say in response is that there is one program we know about and that program costs approximately $2,500, a price tag that is about three times higher than that of a conventional screen reading package.
Come to the 1997 meeting of the NFB in Computer Science and discuss computer access issues with other blind people. Learn how others are adjusting to the rapid pace of technology, and maybe share a few of your own experiences. For further information about the meeting and other computer-related matters, contact Curtis Chong, President, National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, 20 Northeast 2nd Street, Apartment 908, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413-2265, evening phone: (612) 379-3493, Internet: [email protected]
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
On Sunday, June 29, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) will sponsor its annual seminar for parents and educators of blind children titled, "An Education for a Full Life." Registration will take place from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Registration is $5.
The morning session begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at noon and includes the following agenda items:
* Blindness, Childhood Experiences, and My Life Today presented by a panel of blind adults
* Around the Block, to the Mall, and Beyond presented by a panel of blind children & youth
* Music Education--Beyond the Stereotypes
* Life Is like a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, presented by representatives from NFB programs for blind children and youth
* Instructional Assistants (Classroom Aides): Are They a Help or a Hindrance?
* Creative Solutions to Impossible Educational Situations, presented by a panel of parents
* Access to Technology: When Computer Games Become Serious Business
After lunch concurrent workshops begin at 2:00 p.m. and end at 5:00.
2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Beginning Braille for Parents
2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Resources and Strategies for Blind/Multiply Handicapped Children, featuring displays and demonstrations of equipment and materials developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen (inventor of the "Little Room") and marketed by Lilliput L.L.C. Special door prize: a "Little Room" donated by Lilliput L.L.C. (worth over $700!)
2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Social Skills and Blindisms
2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Access to Technology
3:00 to 4:00 p.m., Music Education for Blind Children
3:00 to 4:00 p.m., Social Skills and Blindisms
4:00 to 5:00 p.m., How to Organize a Braille Storybook Hour
4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Resources and Strategies for Deaf-Blind Children
4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Education of the Partially Sighted
From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., NOPBC will sponsor Family Hospitality Night, an informal time to relax and get to know one another. Everyone welcome, kids too.
Also from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Youth Only are invited to "Get to Know Your NFB Hotel Home," convention orientation for youth. This activity for blind and sighted teens gives them a chance to become familiar with the hotel, meet other teens, and learn more about the NFB and the NFB Convention experience.
On Monday, June 30, two one-hour Cane Walks for Blind Children and youth will take place from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., location to be announced at the Parents Seminar on Sunday. This activity is an introduction to the use of the cane for blind children and youth (toddlers to teens) who have never used a cane or are just beginning to use one. Instructors Joe Cutter and Arlene Hill (and other volunteer Federation instructors under their supervision) will give hands-on demonstration of basic cane techniques and then take the group on a Cane Walk through the hotel. Canes and sleepshades will be provided. There is no fee, but participants are urged to preregister for the Cane Walk. You may do so on Sunday, June 29, at Parents Seminar registration, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., or at the noon recess. Please remember that this is not for experienced cane travelers, and it is only for blind children, youth, and their parents.
From 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., youth can drop in and get to know who's here. adults will be on hand throughout the afternoon to orient newly arrived youth to the hotel, the NFB, and the NFB Convention. Supervision will also be provided for youth who want to meet other youth and hang-out together.
From 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children will conduct its annual meeting.
On Wednesday, July 2 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Ruby Ryles and Ron Gardner will conduct an IEP Workshop.
Thursday,July 3, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. will be "Kids and Canes," a drop-in-anytime discussion group and slide/video presentation, conducted by Joe Cutter.
The National Organization of the Senior Blind
The National Organization of the Senior Blind, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, was formed at the National Convention in Anaheim, California, last summer.
The elected officers are Christine Hall, President; Ray McGeorge, First Vice President; Kathy Randall, Second Vice President; Paul Dressell, Secretary; and Don Pruitt, Treasurer. If you have ideas, suggestions, or comments regarding the division meeting to be held in New Orleans this summer or on networking throughout the nation, please send them to Christine Hall, 3404 C. Indian School Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106, or call (505) 268-3895.
NFB NET Training Seminar
No matter where you turn today, you are likely to hear references to the information superhighway. With all this interest many blind people feel the need to get and use a modem so that they aren't left out.
In the National Federation of the Blind we have had our own information superhighway since June 1, 1991, in the form of NFB NET, our computer bulletin board service (BBS). That was the date when NFB NET officially went online. In addition, we connected our information superhighway to the other one this year when we made the resources of NFB NET available through the Internet.
Once again this year we will conduct a training session for NFB NET users. The session, which will be held on Sunday, June 29, from 9:00 a.m. until noon, is designed for new modem users, for people who haven't accessed NFB NET before, for people who want to learn how to connect to NFB NET through the Internet, and for people who want to learn more about the capabilities of our BBS.
Topics will include telecommunications basics, using your modem and communications software, connecting using Telnet and the Internet, registering for NFB NET, navigating around, reading and entering messages, downloading the Braille Monitor and other files, finding files, setting up off-line reading facilities, and more. David Andrews, Systems Operator (SysOp) of NFB NET, will also answer your questions.
If you don't know what that paragraph means and you would like to, perhaps you had better attend the annual NFB NET training session on Sunday, June 29, starting at 9:00 a.m. Check the pre-convention agenda once you are in New Orleans for the location. See you online.
Public Employees Division
The Public Employees Division of the National Federation of the Blind will meet during this year's National Convention. We plan to meet at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 1. The division will have a briefing from the Office of Personnel Management on changes in federal hiring and retention practices as well as the new electronic means of finding federal job opportunities. We will also discuss the increasing use of alternative dispute resolution techniques to solve disputes. Finally, several blind public employees will discuss their jobs.
Times of change are times in which those who are prepared can take advantage of changes and improve themselves. What skills will be in demand in the next few years in federal, state, or local government? As down-sizing takes place, inevitably scarce job categories begin to appear. How can we learn of these and take advantage of the knowledge? As usual, we will have three people discuss their public sector jobs.
If you have questions or suggestions for additional speakers, please contact John Halverson, President, National Federation of the Blind, Public Employees Division, 403 West 62nd Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri 64113, telephone (816) 426-7278 work, (816) 361-7813 home, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected]
Social Security Seminar
An outreach seminar (Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know) will take place on Thursday afternoon, July 3. The purpose of this seminar, which will be conducted jointly by the National Federation of the Blind and the Social Security Administration, is to provide information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind. Seminar presenters will be Jim Gashel, Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and Tom Gloss, Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner for Disability, Office of Disability, Social Security Administration.
The Writers' Division of the NFB will hold its division meeting and program on Tuesday afternoon at the National Convention in New Orleans. We plan a highly interesting and productive program and have several copies of our exciting new book, Summit, available for purchase in large print, tape, or Braille. We have a great record of outstanding presentations, and the 1997 meeting should be no exception; we will cover poetry, short story fiction, and other areas of interest. Expect some time to be set aside for poetry reading--contact Tom Stevens to get your bid in for time on the agenda. Winners of the 1997 Poetry and Short Story Fiction Contests will also be announced.
The Division will also conduct a workshop on the Sunday morning following the convention. Topics scheduled for presentation include short story fiction, poetry, and blindness-related issues in the media. Attendance at this workshop will cost $5, while Division dues are $5 for new members and $10 for renewals. Benefits include the quarterly magazine, Slate and Style, plus notification of poetry and fiction contests. Contact Tom Stevens, (573) 445-6091.