Welcome to the 83rd 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
Norma Crosby, President
National Federation of the Blind of Texas
The Hilton Americas-Houston
1600 Lamar Street
Houston, Texas 77010
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. This is our second attempt at returning to Houston after what has now been more than fifty years. Our plans were thwarted by the pandemic in 2020, but I can assure you that our eighty-third convention will be well worth the wait.
Once again, Federationists will come together 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 community expectations of one another; a description of the hotel layout; and hours for the presidential and host affiliate suites, the exhibit hall, and the Independence Market. Read thoroughly and plan your week. Take every opportunity to explore, make new friends, and live the life you want at #NFB23.
All first-time convention attendees are cordially invited to attend an event from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, in Lanier Grand Ballroom A and D. 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 encourage 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. 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 during the convention hours listed in this agenda. Thank you for your commitment to the safety and support of the blind community.
Registration activities take place on Level 4 of the Hilton in the pre-function area outside the Lanier Grand Ballroom beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. At 9:00 a.m. on Sunday and at other times as listed throughout the week, registration activities will be located at the Level 4 registration desk by the elevators nearest the convention center. All convention attendees (both local and from out of town) are asked to register. Those who registered for convention online may pick up their registration packets in the area designated “Preregistration.” Those who did not register online can do so at the area designated “Registration.” Please have your payment method ready as you approach the cashier. 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 Ballroom of the Americas on Level 2.
Exhibit Hall hours of operation are:
- Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Monday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday Noon to 1:45 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
- Wednesday Noon to 1:45 p.m. (final opportunity to visit the Exhibit Hall)
Independence Market hours of operation are:
- Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Monday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday Noon to 1:45 p.m.
- Wednesday Noon to 1:45 p.m. (final opportunity to visit the Market)
Presidential and Host Affiliate Suites
The Presidential Suite (#21002*) and the Host Affiliate’s Suite (#21029*) 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:
- Friday 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Monday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Noon to 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Noon to 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and Noon to 2:00 p.m.
Suite numbers will be shared via social media, posted in the convention mobile app, announced at the board meeting, and publicized in a number of other ways.
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 meeting room 331 on Level 3, will be available Saturday through Thursday from 5:00 to 6:00 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. and 10:00 p.m. during the week of convention.