Braille Monitor                                                                                 April 2006


2006 Convention Attractions

by Mark Taylor

From the Editor: Every year’s national convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions Committee and the board of directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 2006 convention, July 1 through July 7. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The agenda will list the locations of all events taking place during convention week.

Access Technology Day at National Convention
by Steve Booth

This year our technology day conducted by the International Braille and Technology Center staff is Saturday, July 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are offering four sessions covering a wide variety of topics that have been of interest to our members this last year. We have both high-tech and low-tech offerings, so something is bound to please almost everyone. Our first morning session explores the world of PDAs. Find out what all the talk is about and how these personal data assistants may work best for you. The second morning session looks at DAISY-reading hardware and software. Find out what DAISY stands for and discover how accessible it is.

In the afternoon we take a look at today's cell phones and their accessibility in 2006. Talking software for cell phones is becoming more widely available on several product brands and models. We'll tell you about some of the models to consider purchasing and how they work.

Our final session looks at the current and future state of consumer electronics. If you have shopped for appliances recently, you most likely became frustrated by all the flat screens and small visual displays in use today. Attend our session to find out which products are usable and learn about what efforts the NFB is undertaking to improve the accessibility of consumer products.

Below is the schedule of events for the day:

* Session One, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Accessible PDAs (Personal Data Assistants)
* Session Two, 10:30 - 12:00 noon
DAISY hardware and software
* Session Three, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Accessible cell phones
* Session Four, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

The current and future state of consumer electronics

Advocacy Skills Training Seminar
by Dan Frye

An advocacy skills training seminar will be offered this year at the national convention on Wednesday evening, July 5, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The purpose of this concentrated, fast-paced, interactive session will be to equip affiliate leaders and Federation members with basic skills they can use in many advocacy situations: offering public presentations, developing negotiation and mediation techniques, sharpening interviewing and listening skills, documenting interactions, de-escalating emotional or potentially volatile encounters, and more. In addition to surveying and practicing essential advocacy skills, we will include brief vignettes on current issues regularly faced by advocates working in the blindness field, e.g., employment discrimination, Social Security issues, challenges in special education, dog guide access, etc.

Polishing the presentations and improving the effectiveness of affiliate volunteer advocates will benefit our members, allies, and social cause. Well-trained volunteer advocates imbued with our fundamental philosophy about blindness will serve both as ambassadors for our organizational mission and in support of individual members and friends who face systemic discrimination or misunderstanding arising from blindness-related questions.

In preparing this agenda, we will survey affiliate leaders about the issues and general advocacy skills they would like to have addressed during this seminar. Please plan to join us in this first general advocacy skills workshop. Together we can create a program that offers value to both currently active and aspiring organizational advocates.

President Marc Maurer tries out a duck call at Karaoke Night.

BLIND, Inc., Karaoke Night
by Shawn Mayo

Whether you are a contender to become the next American Idol, shatter the stereotype about blind people possessing great musical talent, or fall somewhere between, you'll have a great time at BLIND, Incorporated's, annual Karaoke Night on Saturday, July 1, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Bring all your friends or come make new ones and enjoy music, door prizes, and a cash bar.

Sing solo, with a group, or just sit back and enjoy the musical stylings of your fellow Federationists. Be sure to get there early to hear NFB President Marc Maurer sing. And, if that's not enough, come find out what song the BLIND, Incorporated, staff and students will sing this year. Meet current students and alumni as they share their experiences from training.

Admission is only $5, and song lists will be available in Braille that night.

Don't miss your chance to be a rock star.

Blind Professional Journalists Group
by Elizabeth Campbell

I am pleased to announce that the Blind Professional Journalists Group will meet from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 3. I am excited about meeting those of you who are interested in exploring the ever-changing journalism profession as a possible career. We welcome students as well as others who are interested in working in print or broadcast journalism.

Please consult the agenda for the meeting location. If you have questions prior to the convention, please contact me evenings at (817) 738-0350. You may also send email to <[email protected]>.

Anne Naber (MN) is pictured matching scents in cups to Braille words on a card at the Braille Carnival.

Braille Carnival Buddies Help Needed
by Melissa Riccobono

Once again buddies are needed for the Braille Carnival at the NFB national convention. The Braille Carnival is a fun-filled opportunity to help blind and sighted children between the ages of six and eleven participate in a variety of Braille and carnival activities. If you enjoy working with children, this would be a wonderful activity for you to get involved in. You do not need to be a Braille reader in order to be a carnival buddy.

This year the format for the Braille Carnival will be a bit different. We will conduct two one-hour carnival sessions during the afternoon of Saturday, July 1. The first session will take place from 1:30 to 2:30, and the second session will follow, from 2:45 to 3:45. We prefer that you work both sessions, but if you cannot, arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

If you are interested in being a carnival buddy or if you have questions about this event, please contact Melissa Riccobono by email at <[email protected]>, or by phone at (410) 235-3073.

An Evening at the Colorado Center for the Blind
by Julie Deden

Take charge. Challenge yourself. Drop by the CCB open house on Wednesday, July 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The staff and students at the Colorado Center for the Blind invite you to discover what good training can do for you.

· Practice using a long white cane with our travel instructors.
· Meet our employment staff and take a quick career assessment survey.
· Create a piece of art with our art instructor.
· Try out a Braille puzzle.
· Learn about exciting innovations in the area of adaptive technology.
· Pick up some recipes and practice your techniques in food preparation.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, July 5, at our open house.

Colorado Center for the Blind Alumni Gathering
by Julie Deden

Reunite with your CCB friends on Tuesday, July 4, at lunchtime. We look forward to seeing you then.

Deaf-Blind Division
by Robert Eschbach

The Deaf-Blind Division will conduct two meetings during the National Federation of the Blind convention. The first meeting will be on Monday evening, July 3, beginning at 7:00 when we share information about new technology and programs of interest. The second meeting will be Wednesday evening, July 5. Registration begins at 6:00 p.m., and the business meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. Agenda items include discussion of future programming for the Deaf-Blind Division and an election for officers and board members.

If you need financial assistance to attend the convention or require interpreter services, please contact Bob Eschbach, president, (520) 836-3689 or email <[email protected]>. All requests must be made by May 15.

Diabetes Action Network Seminar
by Lois Williams

The Diabetes Action Network seminar will be held Monday, July 3, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The theme is "Bee Heart Smart." To help reduce the risk of heart disease and other diabetes complications, those with diabetes should be as busy as bees (physically active) and wise as owls (informed about diabetes).

Employment Committee Seminar
by Buna Dahal

Meet dynamic professionals, shake hands, and make that first connection. The NFB Employment Committee will conduct an employment seminar filled with variety on Saturday, July 1.

If you are asking, “Why should I attend the employment seminar?” these are the benefits:

* Learn how to make the jobs come to you.
* Experience the impact of an informational interview.
* Learn the value of mentoring and role modeling.
* Realize that getting a job is more than writing a resume.
* Understand the value of networking.

For more information contact Fatos Floyd at (402) 471-8120, <[email protected]>, or Buna Dahal at (303) 778-1130, <[email protected]>.

¿Hablas Espanol?
by Rosy Carranza

On Sunday, July 2, the Department of Affiliate Action is hosting an informative and fun-filled seminar, completely in Spanish. This seminar will feature presentations from dynamic Hispanic Federationists, Latin sounds from a group of talented musicians, and much more! The seminar is geared to native Spanish speakers and will address many issues and concepts obscured by language barriers. This will be a time to learn more about the NFB and to network with others. If you are interested in helping, please contact Rosy Carranza at (410) 659-9314, ext. 2283, or by email at <[email protected]>.

Curtis Willoughby

Ham Radio Group Emergency Preparedness Seminar
by D. Curtis Willoughby

In accord with long-standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2006 convention will be the Emergency Preparedness Seminar conducted by the NFB Ham Radio Group. The seminar will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 1. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention, especially those to be used in the event of an emergency call-out. We will also discuss those architectural features of the convention hotels and other information that NFB hams need to know if an emergency response is necessary.

Any Dallas hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact Curtis, KA0VBA, (303) 424-7373, <[email protected]>. The Ham Radio Group has a service project to serve the Federation by handling the distribution of the special FM receivers to allow hearing-impaired conventioneers to hear a signal directly from the public address system, which is much easier to understand than the sound that normal hearing aids pick up in a meeting. These same receivers are used to allow Spanish speakers who do not understand English fluently to hear a Spanish translation of the convention and the banquet.

We will take some time at the Emergency Preparedness Seminar to prepare for this project as well. It is important that all group members willing to help come to the seminar.

Ham Radio Group Annual Business Meeting

The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Thursday, July 6.

The Human Services Division
by Melissa Riccobono

Are you a student majoring in psychology, social work, music therapy, dance therapy, addiction counseling, or a related field? Are you a professional employed in or seeking employment in one of these fields? If so, please join the National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division for our annual seminar and business meeting at this year’s national convention in Dallas. The Human Services Division will meet on Monday, July 3. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the seminar/business meeting will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The Human Services Division was formed in order to allow blind psychologists, social workers, counselors, other human service workers, and those interested in human service fields to network, ask questions, and share techniques with one another. We will discuss techniques blind human service workers use in order to get the job done.

Please join us for this informative seminar. Dues are $5. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Riccobono, president, National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division, by phone at (410) 235-3073, or by email at <[email protected]>.

Jacob Webb and Abdul Abdullah are shown playing poker during the performance of the LCB play, Cajun Moon Rising.

The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players
by Jerry Whittle

The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players presents One Woman's Treasure, an original play by Jerry Whittle. This romantic comedy takes place in Pennsylvania over a Christmas vacation. Genie Edwards must sell her family home and possessions, and the entire family works together to get the job done although most of them disagree with her about which possessions to keep. Many colorful characters come and go during their whirlwind vacation in the frozen North. All proceeds from the sale of tickets go to the summer training programs for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. Admission is $5. Two performances will take place Monday evening, July 3.

Meet the Blind Month Activities and Other Special Events Seminar:
Plans and Action Equal Success

by Jerry Lazarus

Every October is Meet the Blind Month. Find out about entertaining and fun-filled events that can occur throughout October so that sighted people can meet their blind neighbors. Our seminar (3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 5) will include encouragement for chapters to try new types of fundraising and meet-and-greet events.

We will discuss what has worked well in the past, and have a time for questions. Conducted by Jerry Lazarus, NFB director of special projects

National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith
by Tom Anderson

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will hold its annual meeting on Monday, July 3. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the meeting will be called to order at 1:00 p.m. The theme of this year's meeting will be "Overcoming Challenges." A panel of Federationists will describe the challenges they face in achieving their goals in places of worship, and what they have done to overcome these challenges. We also plan to have an update on the publication of the book entitled Experiencing God, hear from publishers in the field of producing faith-based literature for the blind, and have a brief presidential report. A brief board meeting may be held following adjournment.

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will again coordinate the devotional services that will take place from Tuesday, July 4, through Friday, July 7. The theme of the devotional services will be "The Surrendered Life." Devotions will be held an hour before the morning session. Please contact me if you would like to preach or sing at these devotional services. My home address is 5628 South Fox Circle, Apartment A, Littleton, Colorado 80120. My home phone is (303) 794-5006. My work address is 2233 West Shepperd Avenue, Littleton, Colorado 80120, and my work phone is (303) 778-1130, ext. 220. My email address is <[email protected]>.

National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs
by James R. Bonerbo, CPA

The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs announces its annual seminar, which will be held on Saturday, July 1. The meeting will start at 2:00 p.m. with registration and introductions of the participants. Topics covered will include forms of business, types of organizations, accounting policies, tax problems, and other matters relevant to the successful operation of a business.

We welcome all first-timers and veteran entrepreneurs because sharing ideas and experiences will help us all. See you in Dallas.

National Association of Blind Lawyers
by Scott LaBarre

Each year the National Association of Blind Lawyers (NABL) conducts its annual meeting at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind, and this year is no different. We will meet on July 3 at the Hilton Anatole from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., exact room to be announced. The purpose of our annual meeting and seminar is multifaceted.

We will examine emerging trends in the law that affect blind people and others with disabilities. For example, we will address the ongoing struggle to gain equal access to legal texts and access to a level playing field for legal examinations like the LSAT and bar exams. Other discrimination and civil rights cases will be reviewed. We will discuss how to practice law most effectively as a blind or visually impaired legal professional, focusing this year on the most effective technology for blind lawyers. We will address the issue of how to use readers most efficiently in light of the increasing access to printed materials made possible by assistive technology.

The EEOC will tell us how to practice most effectively in front of the Commission. Undoubtedly we will hear from the American Bar Association as well as local law schools and bar associations about their outreach efforts to blind and visually impaired students and legal professionals. Because our agenda covers substantive areas of the law and addresses the practice of law itself, many of our members have applied for and received continuing legal education credits for our seminar.

At the conclusion of the seminar we will hold a reception for NABL members and seminar participants to promote networking and fellowship within our membership. If you are a lawyer, legal professional, or law student or are otherwise interested in law, the NABL meeting in Dallas on July 3 is the place to be.

Mock Trial
by Scott LaBarre

The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor its ninth annual mock trial at the 2006 NFB convention. This trial will reenact an old Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other arguing the merits of the two positions.

Although the matter has not been firmly decided, we will very likely revisit an employment discrimination case in which an employer refused to allow a blind person to work because of the employer’s concern that the job was just too dangerous for the blind. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff. Stay tuned to the Presidential Release and email lists to hear more details about the case as the convention draws closer.

You, the audience, will serve as the jury. This year's trial promises to be just as entertaining and thought-provoking as past trials. A charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. The trial will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 2, at 4:30 p.m., somewhere in the Hilton Anatole. Consult the convention agenda for the exact place.

National Association of Blind Merchants
by Kevan Worley

The National Association of Blind Merchants would like to thank our loyal snack pack customers over the past nine years. The snack pack has not only been a lot of fun and a great fundraiser for our division, but has also helped many conventioneers on tight budgets to snack pretty well. This year our plan is to sell our ever popular snack pack again. Only $5 will get you a grab bag of snacks, salty and sweet. So come to our table in the exhibit hall, enjoy a small cool drink, buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win $1,000, and prepare to be surprised and delighted by our latest entrepreneurial venture. I’m sure we will have something new to sell you. We are Federation merchants.

The annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Merchants will take place Monday afternoon, July 3, at 1:30 p.m. Check the convention agenda for location. This year registration for our division meeting will begin approximately thirty minutes after adjournment of the board of directors meeting. If you are involved in the Randolph-Sheppard program or operate a similar business, you won’t want to miss this merchants’ meeting. On Wednesday, July 5, from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m., we invite you to our sixth annual Randolph-Sheppard reception. Socialize, network, and learn more about Randolph-Sheppard opportunities. Check the convention agenda for location.

National Association of Blind Office Professionals
by Lisa Hall

The National Association of Blind Office Professionals will meet, with registration beginning on Saturday, July 1, at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. Please check your convention agenda for meeting room and location or check the Web site at <> before you arrive for the convention.

Who should attend? Those holding office positions such as Braille transcribers; Braille proofreaders; secretaries; telephone operators; computer instructors in a rehab, educational, or other facility; customer service representatives; medical transcribers; and many others.
As I write this notice, we have recently lost a true Federationist who was part of the NFB since 1964. Carol Clark was a former president of this division when it was called the National Association of Blind Secretaries and Transcribers. I don't know when she organized this division, however, we believe it may have been as early as the 1970's. A celebration of Carol Clark’s life and contributions will occur at our meeting.

As I write this notice, we are developing an agenda. I have been a leader of this division since 1996. I was vice president of the National Association of Blind Office Professionals from 1989 to 1996. I have always worked to keep this organization vital, provided educational opportunities at our general meetings by developing resources to use to enhance job skills in the office professions, changed the name of our organization to reflect the wide variety of office positions held by blind people, and provided opportunities for blind people to network with one another and others.

This is an election year, which means that we will elect officers. Please think about who you would like to lead our organization for the future. The current officers are Lisa Hall, president, San Antonio, Texas; Lois Montgomery, vice president, Moline, Illinois; Sherri Brun, secretary, Orlando, Florida; and Debbie Brown, treasurer, Rockville, Maryland. It is very important to consider where our organization should go in the future.

If you wish to learn more about our division, contact President Lisa Hall at 9110 Broadway, Apt. J-102, San Antonio, Texas 78217; phone (210) 829-4571; email <[email protected]>. Membership dues are $5 a year. Anyone wishing to join can send dues to Debbie Brown, treasurer, 11923 Parklawn Drive, Apartment 104, Rockville, Maryland 20852; home phone (301) 881-1892; email <[email protected]>.

The National Association of Blind Office Professionals page is located at <>.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Dallas, Texas, on July 1.

National Association of Blind Piano Technicians
by Don Mitchell

The National Association of Blind Piano Technicians invites you to attend a special seminar held at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind. This meeting will present information on financially fulfilling careers in piano tuning, servicing, repairing, and rebuilding pianos. We will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 3, at the NFB convention. Consult your convention agenda for room location. The annual business meeting will take place at that time. If you are unable to attend and wish to support our activities, please send your dues to our division treasurer, Connie Ryan, 56 N. Extension Road, Apartment 107, Mesa, Arizona 85201. Annual dues are $10. We look foreword to seeing you in Dallas.

National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
by Nadine Jacobson

Can you believe that it is already time to think about the 2006 meeting of the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB)? Once again we will have an interesting agenda, packed full of information about securing literacy for blind children and adults. Please join us in Dallas at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind on July 3 at 7:00 p.m. As usual, consult your convention agenda for the exact location.

Once again we will be moved by the efforts undertaken by our Braille Readers are Leaders contest winners. Those kids are an inspiration to all of us. The Louis Braille Memorial Coin to be minted in 2009 will also be a topic for discussion. We need to begin thinking of how we can use this coin and Braille’s 200th birthday to promote literacy. As of this writing, the bill creating this coin has already passed the House of Representatives, and I trust that we will be able to celebrate its becoming a certainty by the time we meet. There will be other developments to review during the past year that affect how we read, write, and learn Braille.

We will have our now traditional Braille children's book flea market conducted jointly by NAPUB and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. Please bring any gently used Braille children's books that can be used by other children. Consult the Miniatures section for directions about how to mail such books as well.

If you have agenda items or questions, contact me by email or by phone. My email address is <[email protected]>, or call me at (952) 927-7694. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Dallas.

National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals
by Carlos Serván

The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (NABRP) will meet July 3 for our annual seminar and business meeting. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the seminar and business meeting will be held from 2:00 to 5:00. The NABRP meeting is an opportunity for all rehabilitation professionals in the blindness field to get together, network, share mutual interests, find placement strategies, examine concerns about the rehabilitation profession, and generally shape quality services for the blind in the nation.

If you are involved in rehabilitation for the blind, you don't want to miss this meeting. We promise to have nationally recognized leaders in the rehabilitation field to help us examine and discuss current issues in rehab. If you have any questions about this meeting, feel free to contact Carlos Serván at (402) 327-0414, or send an email to <[email protected]>.

National Association of Blind Students
by Ryan Strunk

The National Association of Blind Students will conduct its annual meeting on Sunday, July 2, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the NFB convention. Registration with a fee of $5 will begin at 6:00 p.m. We will also be hosting Monte Carlo Night on Wednesday, July 5, from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. Monte Carlo Night is a fundraiser for the student division, and this year it will be bigger and better than ever. Come support the students and have fun at the same time. For more information contact Ryan Strunk, president, (402) 730-4092, or email <[email protected]>.

National Association of Guide Dog Users
by Priscilla Ferris

The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) will be holding its meetings at our national convention as follows: Saturday evening, July 1, from 7:00 to 10:00, business meeting. Please remember that this is an election year. Monday evening, July 3, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., we will address the topic; making an informed decision. We will have guests from many of the guide dog schools and other interesting speakers.

NFB in Computer Science
by Curtis Chong

The 2006 meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will take place on Monday, July 3, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. With the imminent release of a new version of Windows (now known as Vista), we plan to have a representative from Microsoft's Accessible Technologies Team on hand to speak to our members about the work that Microsoft has done to ensure continued accessibility to this operating system and the applications that run under it. We will be discussing the efforts by the State of Massachusetts to convert its data to the OASIS Open Document format—a format that is currently not accessible to the blind. If things go as planned, we will also be talking about Google and the things that it is doing that have the potential effect of shutting out the blind from some of its services.

This being an even-numbered year, we will hold an election of officers and board members. We will also find opportunities for computer professionals and others to network with each other to address problems of nonvisual access to technology and technology-based services.

Dues for membership in the NFB in Computer Science are $5. For more information contact Curtis Chong, president, NFB in Computer Science, 3000 Grand Avenue, Apartment 810, Des Moines, Iowa 50312; phone (evenings) (515) 277-1288; email <[email protected]>.

The National Federation of the Blind in Judaism
by David Stayer

The NFB in Judaism group will gather Sunday evening, July 2, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Consult the convention agenda for the location.

by Rosy Carranza

Thanks to all who have signed up to serve as NFB LINK mentors. Throughout our national convention you will have the opportunity to attend one of several training sessions to help you be better prepared to serve as a mentor. The sessions will be informative, fast-paced, and fun. Stay tuned to the Monitor for additional information.

National Organization of Blind Educators
by Sheila Koenig

On Monday, July 3, the National Organization of Blind Educators (NOBE) will conduct its annual meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. NOBE is a network of blind teachers and those interested in careers in education. Our meeting will offer an opportunity to meet blind people teaching at various grade levels and in different content areas.

Many questions arise as people contemplate and realize their dreams of teaching: how will potential employers react to a blind applicant? How does a blind person manage students in a classroom? How does one accomplish the daily duties as well as the "other duties as assigned" for which teachers are contracted? During our seminar at the 2006 convention in Dallas, successful blind teachers will discuss such questions. Seminar participants will also meet in small groups specific to grade level and content areas of interest. In this way we can create a network of mentors extending beyond our meeting. If you teach or are considering a career in teaching at any level, plan to join us.

National Organization of the Senior Blind
by Judy Sanders

It is hard to believe that we are already planning for another convention. But we are, and the National Organization of the Senior Blind (NOSB) is ready for action. This year we will have our usual variety of speakers who will demonstrate how active seniors can be between conventions. Our theme is "Life continues after blindness." So we want to hear from seniors who are newly blind and how they are dealing with it and the role the Federation plays in their lives. Pat Healy from New Jersey is just such a person. And I know there are many others. Anyone wishing to suggest someone for this part of our agenda should let me know.

We will, of course, have our not-so-silent auction to raise those much needed funds for NOSB. We will be pleased to accept donated items, and we encourage you to come bid as high as you can. To facilitate the bidding, we want to produce a list of items to be circulated before the auction. Anyone wishing to donate an item and have it appear on our list should notify me by June 15. Use the email or phone number that appears at the end of this announcement. You will never attend another auction like this one.

We are electing a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. All those who pay their five dollars dues are eligible to vote. The business part of our meeting will begin at 7:00 and end no later than 10:00 p.m. However, be sure and come early to view the auction items and make your initial bids. For more information about NOSB, our meeting, or the convention, please contact Judy Sanders at <[email protected]>, or call me at (612) 375-1625.

Performing Arts Division
by Adrienne Snow

The Performing Arts Division is dedicated to the support of performers: singers, actors, instrumentalists, magicians, etc. We will be meeting at the convention in Dallas on July 3 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please check your agenda for the room assignment. At this meeting we will conduct general elections; all seats are open this year. We will also have speeches and presentations from two actors and a singer who are donating their time to help our division. All who are interested are welcome to attend.

The performing Arts Division will be conducting the Showcase of Talent this year, which will take place Tuesday evening, July 4. Those interested in performing must contact Adrienne Snow no later than the close of the opening general session of the convention. There is no charge for performing, but the usual rules about providing your own accompanist and not singing along with the voice track of recordings still apply. If you have questions, feel free to contact Adrienne Snow at the convention or at <[email protected]>.

Planned Giving Seminar
by Israel Menchero

Wednesday, July 5, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., join us to learn more about charitable estate planning and gift strategies. This seminar will provide information on various planned-giving opportunities, legal implications, and impact on personal taxes. Participants will receive information on the different types of income-generating gifts available with the NFB, the legal language to be used in bequests, planning the timing of gifts, and points to consider before making a gift. Information will also be presented on the difference between a charitable gift annuity and a charitable remainder trust, will preparation, and gifts of life insurance.

Public Employees Division
by Ivan Weich

The Public Employees Division will meet Monday afternoon, July 3. No special agenda items to report yet. Ivan Weich’s new address for mail is 4301 Clogston Avenue NE, Bremerton, Washington 98310.

Jodi Jones and Mike Neese work with a child during the Cane Walk at convention.

Rehabilitation Conference
by Christine Brown

The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals, the National Blindness Professional Certification Board, and the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness are proud to announce that the fifth annual rehabilitation conference will be held in Dallas, Texas, at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind. The conference will be held on Saturday, July 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will include a rich agenda of key leaders and professionals working in the fields of rehabilitation and orientation and mobility. Please consult your agenda for room location.

Registration for the conference will begin at 8:00 a.m. The registration fee will be $50 for professionals working in the field and $25 for students or job seekers. The conference will be of particular interest to those currently working in the field of rehabilitation for the blind, students in professional preparation programs, those interested in travel training as a career, and those with general interest in rehabilitation for the blind. For more information about the conference contact Christine Brown at (318) 257-2029; email <[email protected]>.

Roman Catholic Mass
by Mary Ellen Jernigan

Father Gregory Paul, C.P., will be with us at this year’s convention and will celebrate Mass on Sunday morning, July 2, at 6:30. The room assignment will be listed in the agenda.

Social Security Seminar
by James McCarthy and Teresa Uttermohlen

An outreach seminar, "Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know," will take place Wednesday afternoon, July 6. The purpose of this seminar, conducted by the National Federation of the Blind with the assistance of the Social Security Administration, is to share information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind. This includes the income subsidy program for those receiving the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Seminar presenters will be Jim McCarthy, director of governmental affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and his wife Terri Uttermohlen, first vice president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the NFB and a training and technical assistance liaison employed by Virginia Commonwealth University to provide training and technical assistance to work incentives specialists throughout the nation. Social Security representatives will be available to offer helpful publications about their programs and share valuable tips about communicating with the Social Security Administration.

Sports and Recreation Division
by Lisamaria Martinez

Have you ever wondered if a blind person could play football or basketball? Have you ever heard of goalball? Have you ever had questions concerning blind people and rock climbing, dancing, rafting, or even something as simple as going to the gym? Well, come one, come all! The Sports and Recreation Division of the National Federation of the Blind invites any person interested in sports or recreation to attend our first-ever meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday, July 3, between 1:30 and 5:00 p.m. Registration will be $5 and will begin at 1:00 p.m. This meeting will be not only informative but interactive. For more information contact Lisamaria Martinez, president, at <[email protected]>; or at (510) 289-2577.

United States military veterans stand together on stage. President Maurer is at the podium.

Attention Veterans
by Dwight Sayer

Please join us in celebrating the Fourth of July in Dallas, Texas. The National Federation of the Blind will be honoring veterans at the beginning of the national convention on the Fourth of July. We encourage all veterans to let us know if you are going to attend this year’s convention. It will be much easier to prepare for the celebration if we know approximately how many veterans will be attending. For more information contact Dwight D. Sayer, U.S. Air Force, first vice president, NFB of Florida; (407) 877-1970; <[email protected]>.

Writers Division
by Tom Stevens

During preconvention activities on Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 the Writers Division will conduct an open-mike poetry and short fiction reading session. We encourage interested Federationists to bring original writing to recite or read to an attentive audience. There is no charge.

On Monday afternoon the Writers Division will conduct its annual information and business meeting from 1:30 until 4:00. Everyone is welcome to a session where we will discuss writing of various types and conduct a small amount of business. Our primary purpose is to encourage you to write and run editors ragged with your submissions. Come one, come all.