Future Reflections Convention 1999, Vol. 18 No. 4

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The 1999 NFB Convention Photo Review

Photo of Dr. Maurer (23387 bytes)
Dr. Maurer chairs the 1999
Convention with enthusiasm and
decisiveness.

"How does an organization mark the change of an era? That was the question the National Federation of the Blind resolved June 30 to July 6 in Atlanta. At the time of the 1998 convention in Dallas, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan was still able to take an active part in planning and conducting the convention, despite nearly a year of serious illness, and to call forth from us the same courage and hope for the future that he himself was demonstrating. But since his death on October 12, 1998, we have been mourning, working to incorporate his teachings into our daily activities, consolidating our strength, and preparing to move into the new millennium.

More than three thousand Federationists gathered in Atlanta from every state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and sixteen other countries from around the world. Almost inevitably it was a convention of contrasts: celebration and solemnity, intense focus and remarkable diversity. The Marriott Marquis’s architecture probably contributed to the feeling that Convention delegates were comfortably spread out to engage with those of like interests in their own part of the facility. Yet we have never had a convention in which more delegates gathered together to take an active part in general convention sessions."

This is how Barbara Pierce, editor of the NFB’s monthly magazine, the Braille Monitor, began her 25 page report of the 1999 NFB convention. Among those who contributed to the "diversity" and "contrasts" of the convention were over 100 families of blind children. From cities, small towns, sprawling suburbs, and farms; from the mountains of Idaho, the beaches of California, the bayous of Louisiana, the cornfields of the mid-west, and the high-rises of the east—families descended upon Atlanta with one shared hope: that their blind children might be able to achieve their fullest potential, and lead normal, happy, productive lives.

The following photo review highlights the many exciting ways in which the 1999 convention gave parents (and children) the information, the support, the attitudes, the inspiration, and the courage necessary to shape that hope into a reality.

Photo of people finding their seats in the ballrom.(21241 bytes)
People find their seats in the crowded ballroom as the general session gets underway.

The August-September 1999 issue of the
Braille Monitor contains a complete report of the activities of the 1999 NFB Convention.  To order a free copy of that issue, just mail the following request to:

NFB Materials Center
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Please send me the August-September 1999Braille Monitor in [ ]LP [ ]Braille [ ]Tape Name_______________________________
Address_____________________________
City___________State___Zip____________

fr99cv02.jpg (21241 bytes)

The children in NFB Camp enjoy a tour of the nearby Coca-Cola Museum Friday afternoon while parents attend the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) annual meeting and other convention activities.

fr99cv04.jpg (24277 bytes)
Eve Bryant, President of the Utah Parents of Blind Children,wheels Shawn and Anthony through the registration line.

Parent Workshops

Photo of Dr. Lilli Nielsen.(22695 bytes)

Photo of the crowd listening.(21191 bytes)
Dr. Lilli Nielsen (left) an internationally- known expert on the education of blind, multiply impaired children, discusses and demonstrates educational tools and techniques she developed to enhance the active learning process to a standing-room only crowd (above). Matthew O'Connor of Minnesota (below left) does an impromptu demonistration for the "Computers for Tots" workshop.

Photo of Matthew O'Connor.(22241 bytes)

     To assist families with their many and varied needs for information about blindness, the NOPBC sponsored 10 different workshops for parents.  The week began Wednesday morning with a general session called "Preparing for the Year 2000." followed by a 6 break- out workshop sessions in the afternoon: Resource Materials: Computers for Tots" (left), Technology in the Classroom; Writing IEP Goals and Objectives; Placement: How to Find the Right Program for Your Child; and Blind Mentors, Models and Peers: Why and How. Later in the week, parents had the option of attending one of two "Cane Walk" sessions, a two-hour "A Conversation with Lilli Nielsen" workshop, a four-hour drop-in discussion on "Kids and Canes," or an intensive four-hour session on "Beginning Braille for Parents.

Dr. Lilli Nielsen (above left) an internationally-known expert on the education of blind, multiply impaired children, discusses and demonstrates educational tools and techniques she developed to enhance the active learning process to a standing-room-only crowd (above). Matthew O’Connor of Minnesota (below left) does an impromptu demonstration for the "Computers for Tots" workshop.

To assist families with their many and varied needs for information about blindness, the NOPBC sponsored 10 different workshops for parents. The week began Wednesday morning with a general session called "Preparing for the Year 2000," followed by 6 break-out workshop sessions in the afternoon: Resource Materials; Computers for Tots (left), Technology in the Classroom; Writing IEP Goals and Objectives; Placement: How to Find the Right Program for Your Child; and Blind Mentors, Models, and Peers: Why and How. Later in the week, parents had the option of attending one of two "Cane Walk" sessions, a two-hour "A Conversation with Lilli Nielsen" workshop, a four-hour drop-in discussion on "Kids and Canes," or an intensive four-hour session on "Beginning Braille For Parents."

Teen Activities 

 Picture of Barbara Pierce and Dr. Sharon Sacks(20361 bytes)
Barbara Pierce (OH) and Dr. Sharon Sacks (CA) lead a discussion group for young blind women sponsored by the Committee on the Status of BlindWomen, North America/Carribean Region of the World Blinc Union.

fr99cv09.jpg (19530 bytes)
Lydia Richardson (MD) keeps Caleb Dine (NJ) occupied while his parents attend a workshop. Many teens, blind and sighted, find their baby-sitting skills much in demand at the NFB convention.

sighted kids pictured trying a cane. (20551 bytes)
Sighted kids get a chance to try a cane under sleepshades during the annual scavenger hunt sponsored by the NOPBC.

Photo of blind kids at
Blind teens mingle during an "ice-breaker" game at the Teen Room sponsored by Blind Inductries and Services of Maryland (BISM) and the NOPBC.

Families

 Burt and Melanie Manwaring shown with 

their children.(19995 bytes)

fr99cv13.jpg Diann Foster

watches Peter John try out his escalator cane technique.(19497 bytes)

Burt and Melanie Manwaring (UT) relax and enjoy the Family Hospitality night with children Kirt, Kelsie and Kyle.

Diann Foster (KY) watches while son Peter John tries out the escalator cane technique he learned at the Cane Walk workshop for children, parents, and teachers.

Pjoto of Diana Reinhardt registering for NOPBC.(21359 bytes)
Diana Reinhardt (MI) registers for the NOPBC "Preparing for the Year 2000" parents Seminar.

A Snapshot of Joyce, Kim, Katie, and David Wintz (21475 bytes)
Joyce, Kim, Katie, and David Wintz  (LA) pause for a family snapshot on their way out to explore Atlanta.

Braille Carnival

NFB Camp

Photo of the Braille Carnival (20669 bytes)
The Kenneth Jernigan Braille Carnival was a big hit. Below, Michael Taboada (LA) and Mary Brunoli (CT) play checkers, and Diane McGregor (CO) helps Nichelle Bryson (UT) make a craft.

Madison and Macy McClain are pictured reading a book together. (20917 bytes)

Michael Taboada and Mary Brunoli are shown playing checkers.(20278 bytes)

Photo of Diane McGregor helping Nichelle 

    Bryson make a craft. (20429 bytes)

As usual, NFB Camp provided a variety of fun activities for kids up to age 12. Above, OH twins Madison and Macy McClain read a book together. Below, blind entertainer Daniel Lamonds of SC leads NFB Campers in a sing-along game.
fr99cv20.jpg (20344 bytes)

     Convention Speakers 
The line-up of speakers at the general sessions and the National Board meeting was impressive, indeed. The list included top business executives, influential political figures, blind leaders from other countries, high-ranking government officials, and blind people whose achievements in non-traditional endeavors were an inspiration to all.

Photo of Suzanne Mitchell(21676 bytes)

 Dr. Marc Maurer pictured 

    with Tom Johnson, President and CEO of CNN News.(22014 bytes)

Picture of John Lewis, Congressman

    from Georgis'a Fifth District.(22167 bytes)

Suzanne Mitchell, President of the National Coundil of State Agencies for the Blind.

Dr. Marc Maurer and Tom Johnson, President and CEO of CNN News.

Congressman John Lewis, Fifth Congressional District of Georgia.

Erik Weihenmayer, blind mountain climber.(21349 bytes) Ellen Bomer, blinded by in the'98 embassy explosion  (20558 bytes) Sabriye Tenberten, a blind German scholar.(20728 bytes)

Erik Weihenmayer's tales of his adventures as a blind mountain climber delight and inspire the audience.

Ellen Bomer talks about her rehabilitation following the '98 embassy explosion in Nairobi which left her blind.

Sabriye Tenberten, a blind German scholar, describes why and how she invented the Tibetan Braille code.

Dr. Kenneth Jernigan Remembered

John Cheadle's Picture.(18744 bytes)
John Cheadle

Diane McGreorge's photo (16998 bytes)
Diane McGeorge

 Photo of (21723 bytes)   

The 1999 convention was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Kenneth Jernigan who passed away October 12, 1998. Most fittingly, a special half-day memorial service for Dr. Jernigan was conducted on Sunday, July 4th--Independence Day.
     Pictured above is the bronze bust of Kenneth Jernigan unveiled during the convention, and photo boards of his life which were displayed in the Jernigan suite throughout the convention.
      Below and to the left are pictures of the ten Federation colleagues who spoke livingly and eloquently at the memorial service of "The man who carried our burdens, cherished our spirits, challenged our minds, demanded excellence, taught us, loved us, and set us free!"

Peggy Elliott's photofr99cv35.jpg (18270 bytes)
Peggy Elliott

Barbara Pierce's photo(19157 bytes)
Barbara Pierce

Joanne Wilson's picture (17305 bytes)
Joanne Wilson

Picture of Don Capps (17682 bytes)
Don Capps

Picture of Allen Harris (17378 bytes)
Allen Harris

Picture of Joyce Scanlan (18383 bytes)
Joyce Scanlan

Picture of Ramona Walhof (17810 bytes)
Ramona Walhof

Photo of James Gashel (17575 bytes)
James Gashel

John Cheadle  Diane McGeorge  Joanne Wilson  Don Capps  Allen Harris
Joyce Scanlon  Ramona Walhof  James Gashel  Peggy Elliott Barbara Pierce

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