Braille Monitor                  December 2021

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The 2022 National Convention: It�s Time to Start Our Planning

by John Berggren

John BerggrenFrom the Editor: John Berggren is the coordinator of Convention Organization and Activities. He is also a member of our national staff at the Jernigan Institute and handles more than any one person should be expected to do with competence and kindness second to none. Here is his annual convention update:

An idiom dating back to the 1800s tells us the “third time’s the charm.” After two years of pandemic, quarantine, and virtual conventions, we are counting on a healthy dose of charm. Our virtual conventions were successful beyond expectations, but it has been far too long since we have had the opportunity to gather in one place and experience the power and strength of the Federation in person. We intend to do just that when we convene in New Orleans next summer for the National Federation of the Blind’s 2022 National Convention.

Those of you who are longtime Federation convention goers may recall our 1997 convention when we were last in New Orleans. We set our current in-person attendance record that year. Wouldn’t you like to be part of the next attendance record? Mark your calendar for January 1 with a note to make your reservation for our triumphant return to normal-ish.

The Marriott New Orleans will serve as our headquarters hotel while right across the street is the Sheraton New Orleans providing the balance of our sleeping rooms and activity space. The hotels sit astride the storied Canal Street at 555 and 500 Canal Street respectively, only blocks from the mighty Mississippi River and even closer to the historic French Quarter. Both hotels offer a range of dining options as well as fitness centers. You’ll find a rooftop pool at the Marriott while the Sheraton features a Starbuck’s in its atrium lobby.

The nightly rate for both the Marriott and the Sheraton is $109 for singles and doubles. Triples and quads can be booked for $119 per night. In addition, the combined sales tax and tourism support rate is 16.2 percent, and there is a hotel occupancy fee of $3.00 per night. To book your room for the 2022 convention, call 1- 800-654-3990 after January 1. For each room, the hotel will take a deposit of the first night’s room rate, taxes, and fees and will require a credit card or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately. If a reservation is cancelled before Monday, June 1, 2022, half of the deposit will be returned. Refunds will not be issued for cancellations made beyond that date.

The 2022 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be a truly exciting and memorable event, with an unparalleled program and rededication to the goals and work of our movement. The action begins on Tuesday, July 5 and will conclude on Sunday, July 10 when the gavel falls at the conclusion of the banquet. The agenda will again be chockfull of seminars, committee and division meetings, and other breakout sessions. Open to all, the National Federation of the Blind’s Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting. General convention sessions will be filled with informative and inspirational presentations. And of course, attendees can look forward to exploring the exhibit hall and capping the week off with the banquet. 

Remember that as usual we need door prizes from state affiliates, local chapters, and individuals. Once again prizes should be small in size but large in value. Cash, of course, is always appropriate and welcome. As a rule, we ask that prizes of all kinds have a value of at least $25 and not include alcohol. Drawings will occur throughout the convention sessions, and you can anticipate a grand prize of truly impressive proportions to be drawn at the banquet. You may bring door prizes with you to convention or send them in advance to Tammy Green of Louisiana’s Greater New Orleans Chapter at 4401 Kennon Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122.

The best collection of exhibits featuring new technology; meetings of our special interest groups, committees, and divisions; the most stimulating and provocative program items of any meeting of the blind in the world; the chance to renew friendships in our Federation family; and the unparalleled opportunity to be where the real action is and where decisions are being made—all of these mean you will not want to miss being a part of the 2022 National Convention. To assure yourself a room in the headquarters hotel at convention rates, make your reservations early. We plan to see you in New Orleans in July.

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