2018 National Convention Agenda

NFB Logo with tagline "Live the Life You Want"

JULY 3 to JULY 8


Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

John Berggren, Chairman
Convention Organization and Activities

Tracy Soforenko, President
National Federation of the Blind of Virginia

Denise Valkema, President
National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Jerad Nylin, President
National Federation of the Blind of Iowa

Rosen Shingle Creek
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819


Welcome to the 78th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind being held in Orlando at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel. A detailed description of the layout of the hotel can be found immediately after the “Convention Notes,” which are at the end of the program listings. Check the “Convention Notes” for further information about a variety of convention topics. When you check in to the hotel, you will be asked to confirm your departure date. If you decide to leave earlier than the departure date you confirm when you check in, there may be a change fee.


Rookie Roundup logo depicting two "Rs" in a lasso.All first-time convention attendees are cordially invited to attend a reception from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Panzacola Ballroom G-1, Level 1. President Riccobono and other Federation leaders will be on hand to welcome you to the convention and preview the week’s activities. Veteran conventioneers should urge all first-timers to attend this special event.


As an attendee at our convention, you not only represent yourself but also represent our organization. We want you to enjoy our time together and to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. Although we encourage members to socialize and have fun, the convention also provides a valuable opportunity to come together to continue the work of our organization, to learn about the important initiatives that we are involved with on local and national levels, and to plan our work for the future.

The National Federation of the Blind seeks to provide a convention environment in which diverse participants, including members, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers, may learn, network, and enjoy the company of friends and colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are therefore specifically prohibited:

  • harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, physical appearance, or other group identity
  • sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact
  • public drunkenness and associated behaviors (e.g., belligerence, yelling, hostility, destruction of property)

Participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviors in all convention venues, including online arenas, social media, and convention social events. Participants who are asked to stop a behavior that the recipient considers hostile or harassing are expected to comply immediately.

For assistance or to report an incident, please call 443-457-3401. All reports will be fully investigated according to the steps outlined in our code of conduct. Based on the information found in the investigation, appropriate action will be taken and may involve staff, organization leaders, and legal counsel. Based on the circumstances, hotel security and/or law enforcement may become involved, when appropriate.

We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. These principles have been delineated in our recently adopted code of conduct found at https://nfb.org/code-conduct.


Registration activities take place in the Sebastian Ballroom Pre-function area, Level 1 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and at other times as listed throughout the week. All convention attendees (both local and out‑of‑town) are asked to register. Those who preregistered for convention may pick up their registration packets in the area designated “Preregistration.” Those who did not preregister may go to the area designated “Registration.” Please have your check or cash ready to pay the registration fee of $30 per person; we cannot accept credit cards at registration. Convention registration is a requirement for door prize eligibility and a number of other convention activities. We condition rates for hotel rooms on proof of registration, including the showing of an NFB registration badge, if requested.


The Exhibit Hall and the NFB Independence Market are located in Sebastian Ballrooms K and L, Level 1. There is a special sponsor-only exhibitor preview for convention attendees on Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Exhibit Hall hours of operation are:

  • Wednesday: 9:00 to 11:00 AM (sponsors only)
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday: Noon to 1:45 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: Noon to 1:45 PM (final opportunity to visit the Exhibit Hall)

Independence Market hours of operation are:

  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday: Noon to 1:45 PM
  • Saturday: Noon to 1:45 PM (final opportunity to visit the Market)


KNFB Reader uses the power of digital photography to read print on the go, using your iOS, Android, or Windows 10 phone or tablet or your Windows 10 computer. Come see this award-winning, life-changing technology in our demonstration room on Wednesday or Thursday from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Wekiwa 7, Level 2. See the new features for iOS version 3.0. Access that inaccessible print or PDF by purchasing your copy of KNFB Reader Enterprise in the Independence Market—just point, shoot, and read!


The Presidential Suite (13217); Dr. Maurer’s Suite (13216); and the Host Affiliate’s Suite (11230) are all open during much of the convention. All are welcome to come to these suites to visit. Appointments to meet with President Riccobono may be made at the Presidential Suite.

Banquet tickets may be purchased for $70 by cash or check at the on-site registration area. No tickets will be available after 2:00 p.m. on Friday. At the banquet ticket exchange table you may make arrangements to reserve a specific seat for yourself or for a group of up to ten people. On the evening of the banquet, tickets will be required to enter the ballroom and will be collected at the tables. Tickets may be exchanged for vegetarian or kosher meals at the banquet ticket exchange table if done so by 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

Banquet ticket exchange will be available across from the Sebastian registration counter at the following times:

  • Thursday: Noon to 2:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:45 to 9:15 AM and Noon to 2:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:15 to 8:45 AM and Noon to 2:00 PM
  • Sunday: 8:15 to 8:45 AM and Noon to 2:00 PM

General Sessions will be held in Sebastian Ballrooms I and J, Level 1. 

Individuals needing to conduct business with the NFB treasurer may do so by going to the Wekiwa Registration Desk, Level 2 on Friday between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., or on Saturday between noon and 2:00 p.m.