Welcome to the 82nd 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
Pam Allen, President
National Federation of the Blind of Louisiana
Marriott New Orleans
555 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
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. The excitement surrounding our eighty-second convention is due in no small part to the fact that it has been three years since Federationists have come together in person to showcase the power and strength of our movement, to celebrate, to inspire, and to be inspired. More than just a list of the myriad of sessions you can attend, the agenda contains a wealth of information about the week including our safety protocols, our community expectations of one another, and descriptions of the hotel layouts. Read thoroughly and plan your week. Take every opportunity to explore, make new friends, and live the life you want at #NFB22.
All first-time convention attendees are cordially invited to attend a reception from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5, in the Acadia Ballroom. 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. 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, retaliation, and sexual misconduct. Prohibited behavior 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://nfb.org/about-us/history-and-governance/code-conduct/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 Survivors Group 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.
Convention Safety Protocols and COVID-19 Testing
We ask that everyone do their part to keep our Federation family healthy and safe in this era of COVID-19. We are implementing new systems to minimize risk and ensure our community can comfortably enjoy an empowering convention experience. Please thoroughly review our 2022 National Convention Safety Protocols (https://nfb.org/get-involved/national-convention/2022-national-convention-safety-protocols) and our National Convention COVID-19 Testing Protocols (https://nfb.org/get-involved/national-convention/2022-national-convention-safety-protocols/covid-testing-protocols). These documents, along with the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) answers on the testing protocols page, will provide a wealth of information.
Most importantly, please help us by fully masking in all meetings, the exhibit hall, and other public hotel spaces when not actively eating or drinking. Attendees should also practice social distancing throughout convention whenever possible. It is also important that all attendees self-monitor and seek a COVID-19 test if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
To participate in any convention activity, an attendee must produce a negative COVID-19 test result from a test performed not more than seventy-two (72) hours prior to checking in at the hotel. Any FDA-approved test is suitable, whether a molecular test such as a PCR test or an antigen test such as an at-home rapid test. A time-stamped photo of your negative test result, a smartphone screen shot, an electronic document, or paper documentation are acceptable. Documentation may be emailed to [email protected] or presented in person.
Those attendees unable or choosing not to test in advance can be tested at the Marriott. The NFB has engaged a third-party testing organization to administer COVID-19 rapid tests on site beginning at noon on July 4. In order to avoid waiting lines, attendees are STRONGLY encouraged to test and send results prior to arrival.
Upon confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test result, whether submitted in advance or produced on site, each attendee will receive a “Together in NOLA 2022” wristband. Attendees MUST have a wristband before proceeding to convention registration. When participating in any convention activity, attendees are expected to wear either their wristband or convention name badge and are invited to wear both.
As indicated in the safety protocols, you must show your “Together in NOLA 2022” wristband to register or pick up online registration materials. To ensure attendees are ready to participate in convention activities as they begin, registration will be available earlier than usual, opening at 8:00 a.m. in Salon E on both Tuesday and Wednesday and closing at 5:00 p.m. Beginning on Thursday, registration will move to Salon A for the remainder of the week as listed throughout the agenda. Onsite registration and packet pickup for those who registered online will both be available in the above locations. All convention attendees (both local and from out of town) are asked to register. 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.
Exhibit Hall and Independence Market
The Exhibit Hall and the NFB Independence Market are located in the Sheraton Napoleon Ballroom, across the street from the Marriott at 500 Canal Street.
Exhibit Hall hours of operation are:
- Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Friday: Noon to 1:45 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
- Saturday: Noon to 1:45 p.m. (final opportunity to visit the Exhibit Hall)
Independence Market hours of operation are:
- Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Friday: Noon to 1:45 p.m.
- Saturday: Noon to 1:45 p.m. (final opportunity to visit the Market)
Presidential and Host Affiliate Suites
The Presidential Suite (room 4022) and the Host Affiliate’s Suite (room 633) are 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. The Presidential and Host Affiliate Suites will be open during the following times:
- Monday: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday: 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday: 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
- Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
- Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to Noon
Survivor Safe Space
As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide safety, support, and inclusion within the National Federation of the Blind, the Blind Survivors Group 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. The safe space, in the Regent meeting room on the fourth floor, will be available Monday through Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1:45 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 Blind Survivors Group 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.
Monday, July 4, 2022
Noon - 6:00 p.m. COVID Testing