2021 National Convention Agenda

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2021 ANNUAL CONVENTION
#NFB21
ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE

JULY 6 to JULY 10

WELCOME TO THE 81st ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

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

WELCOME!

Welcome to the world’s largest gathering of the organized blind, the National Federation of the Blind’s annual convention, where expectations are raised and lives literally transformed. Our eighty-first convention is once again being held virtually, just as it was last summer. If there was one thing we learned during our first online convention, it is that a global pandemic can do little to dampen the spirit of the Federation. As you read through the agenda, it is clear there is no shortage of activity and excitement throughout our organization. Whether you are learning about the National Federation of the Blind for the first time or are a longtime member curious about the latest accessible technology, you will find something to meet your needs at this year’s convention. Take every opportunity to explore, make new friends, and live the life you want at #NFB21.

ROOKIE ROUNDUP

Rookie Roundup logo featuring two Rs surrounded by a lasso.A First for Us All: Attend Rookie Roundup

All convention attendees are cordially invited to attend a welcoming Zoom meeting the week before convention starts. President Riccobono and Board of Directors Chairperson Pam Allen will be on hand to preview convention activities and provide a historical perspective of the organization and how it grew into the leading voice in the blindness field. If you are new to the NFB, come learn a little more about our dynamic organization and the extended family that could become your own.  Join us Tuesday, June 29, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. EDT (Zoom meeting ID 996 0507 0015). We cannot wait to welcome you! In anticipation, check out our First Timer’s Guide at https://nfb.org/get-involved/national-convention/first-timers-guide.

INCLUSIVITY, DIVERSITY, AND CODE OF CONDUCT

We are committed to providing a welcoming, safe, and healthy environment for everyone. Thank you for cultivating an atmosphere of mutual respect in which participants from diverse backgrounds can learn, network, and share with each other. We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. These principles have been outlined in our Code of Conduct found at https://nfb.org/codeofconduct.  

We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all. Prohibited behaviors include harassment, sexual misconduct, and inappropriate use of the NFB virtual convention platform. Prohibited behavior or misuse of the platform will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the convention and/or other consequences. For assistance or to report an incident at the convention, please call 410-659-9314, extension 2475, or email [email protected]. Formal reports can be submitted at https://www.nfb.org/about-us/history-and-governance/code-conduct/code-conduct-complaint-report-form. All formal reports will be fully investigated according to the steps in our Code of Conduct. For support or guidance, connect with our survivor-led task force at [email protected] or extension 2238 or during the convention hours listed in this agenda. Thank you for your commitment to the safety and support of the blind community.

REGISTRATION

Convention registration remains open at https://nfb.org/registration. All attendees are strongly encouraged to register. Though the deadline for registrants to be eligible for convention voting has passed, there are still several benefits to registering. You will receive the latest updates regarding convention activities and get helpful tips for connecting to and navigating sessions. You will also be eligible for door prizes throughout the board meeting, general sessions, and banquet. Those without internet access should reach out to their local chapter or affiliate for assistance.

EXHIBIT HALL

The Exhibit Hall at the national convention is always an exciting space to check out the latest technology and many other products and services of interest to the blind community. In a virtual environment, the exhibit hall experience will be different than it is in person, but there are many ways to connect, ask questions, and learn something new.

All attendees are encouraged to visit https://crowd.cc/nfb21 (after June 25) where you will find many familiar and some new exhibitors. View their profiles at any time. Interact during the exhibit hall hours of operation. A list of exhibitors is available on our convention webpage, https://nfb.org/convention.

Exhibit Hall hours of operation are:
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Friday:9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

INDEPENDENCE MARKET

As with the Exhibit Hall, you cannot visit the NFB Independence Market in person. However, the Market will continue to accept phone orders during convention and has extended hours to reflect our multiple-time-zone convention schedule this year.

Independence Market hours of operation are:
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Saturday: Closed

PRESIDENTIAL SUITE

For a second year, the Presidential Suite will be in a Zoom room, accessed by connecting to https://zoom.us/j/2235173348. You will be able to leave a message with the host for Mark Riccobono, the elected President of the National Federation of the Blind. We will also have some limited opportunities for individuals or groups to schedule appointments to speak with him. Let the host know you would like to schedule a meeting and leave your contact information so we can reach you with the appointment time. 

Also, come mingle with other members in the Presidential Suite. A host will be available to greet visitors, virtual meeting rooms will be available for Federation members to talk to one other, and Federation leaders will be available to answer questions and to make connections within the resource network of the movement. The host will place you in a room when you arrive in the suite. (Sorry, no popcorn or M&Ms provided.)

Presidential Suite hours are:
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. | 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. | 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 to 10:45 a.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to12:00 p.m.

SURVIVOR SAFE SPACE

As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide safety, support, and inclusion within the National Federation of the Blind, the Survivor Task Force is providing a safe space for survivors and individuals who have been impacted or harmed by sexual misconduct and other forms of abuse within the NFB and affiliated programs/events. We welcome you to drop in for confidential peer support, to discuss questions/concerns about ongoing safety and support measures within the NFB, and to access resources for additional support. Breakout rooms will be available for one-on-one confidential support. Visit the safe space via Zoom meeting ID 202 313 2945 Monday through Friday from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

If you are not able to participate in the survivors’ safe space and need additional support or have further questions during the convention, you may email [email protected] or call 410-659-9314, extension 2238. A member of the Survivor Task Force will respond to calls within four hours of the time of your message between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the week of convention.

SPECIAL ATTENTION ITEMS

  • The national convention agenda has been assembled using eastern daylight time (EDT). Please be mindful to convert published times to your appropriate time zone.
  • The convention host affiliate, the NFB of Maryland, will host a Convention Breakfast Club from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. each morning during convention. The Breakfast Club hosts will review the day’s agenda and provide access phone numbers and codes for those who need them. Participants be prepared with a writing tool to take down times and access information for the events they plan to attend. The Breakfast Club can be accessed via phone each day by dialing 339-209-4083.
  • The NFB’s 2021 National Organization of Parents of Blind Children Division (NOPBC) Conference, held each year in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention, will also be convened virtually. For more information about this year’s NOPBC conference, titled “Empowering Our Children: Maximizing Skills, Opportunities, and Dreams,” email Carlton Walker at [email protected].  

PRE-CONVENTION EVENTS

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2021

6:00 - 7:30 PM—FEASTING TOGETHER: COOKING AND COCKTAILS
Zoom meeting ID: 921 0693 8384
Prepare for the banquet. Federationists Regina Mitchell and Hoby Wedler will share a couple of recipes and give tips to having a successful banquet dinner.

MONDAY, JULY 5, 2021

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM—CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION FOR THE BLIND—TWENTIETH ANNUAL REHABILITATION AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY CONFERENCE
Registration (online before July 3rd at https://nbpcb.org/members/er.php?eid=434): Professionals: $50 and Students free. Sponsors: National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) and the Professional Development & Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB) at the Louisiana Tech University.
Colin Wong and Joni Martinez, Co-Chairs

7:30 - 9:30 PM—NFB LOL COMEDY NIGHT
Zoom meeting ID: 985 9871 5785
The host affiliate is hosting the first-ever LOL Comedy Night, which brings blind comedians right to the virtual stage to make us laugh out loud. Attendees who are NFB members and who registered for the 2021 convention by May 31, 2021, will be eligible to vote on their favorite comedian. Participation is free.
Ronza Othman, Coordinator