Future Reflections                                                               Convention Report 2005

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NFB Conventions are Cool

by Anne Naber

Melissa Williamson and Anne at the Braille Carnival
“Can you find the matching Braille word for the scent in this cup?” Melissa Williamson of Alabama asks Anne at the Braille Carnival.

Editor’s Note: Thirteen-year-old Anne Naber attends Twin Cities Academy, a school in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is an avid reader and a former winner in the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest. Her favorite subject in school is Spanish and she enjoys singing, downhill skiing, running with her aunt, and attending conventions of the National Federation of the Blind. The 2005 convention was her second national convention, but from her enthusiastic report below, you might think it was her first. Here is what she says:

Anne gets to know a horse at the Doolittle event.
Anne checks out the animals at the Dr. Doolittle event.

My convention experience started in the airport when we landed in Louisville. My mom and I were surrounded by blind people traveling by themselves with canes. I thought it was really cool. They walked fast and knew where they were going. Then when we got to the hotel, there were even more people and they were amazing: they could go wherever they wanted with practically no help. There were a bunch of teenagers just walking through the exhibits by themselves. There were always canes tapping and people talking to each other. It was so cool.


Two girls mold their clay slabs as Ann Cunningham observes.
Ann Cunningham (center) watches as Anne (left) and Katie make a clay mold in the art activity workshop.

I went to a Girl Talk session and the Teen Hospitality room where teens could just hang out, which was really fun. I got to meet lots of other teens and talk about stuff that we wanted to talk about. At the convention, there was also a Braille book flea market. It was really fun to see so many Braille books. There was a big room with lots of different exhibits, too. I got to learn about lots of new technology and different things to help blind people. It was really cool. There were many different activities for everyone—little kids, teens, adults, and parents. It was great to see so many successful blind people and learn about what could happen in the future. It was really motivating. Everyone was so enthusiastic and friendly. I would encourage everyone to go at any age. It is a really fun and moving experience.

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