Future Reflections Convention 1990, Vol. 9 No. 4

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1990 was the BIG one for the National Federation of the Blind--the Golden Anniversary year. It was a year for celebrating fifty years of progress toward our goal of equality, opportunity, and security for the blind. As to be expected, the fiftieth year celebration at our National Convention in Dallas, Texas, was absolutely outstanding. However, we in the Federation are never ones to rest on our laurels. The New Orleans convention in '91 will be everything Dallas was, but better. The convention will be filled with informative program items, exhibits of the latest technology for the blind, exciting tours, plentiful door prizes, and opportunities for parents to make and renew friendships with other parents, blind role models, and top educators from around the country.

The first large gathering of the convention will be the Parents of Blind Children National Conference on Sunday, June 30. The theme for the 1991 seminar will be: We Are Changing What It Means To Be Blind. After a morning of speakers and panels, the parents conference will break up into small group workshops for the afternoon. Participants will be able to choose three one-hour workshops from among these topics: Braille; Cane Travel; AlternativeTechniques in Math/Science; The Blind and Multiply Disabled Child; Alternative Techniques in Physical Education; Keyboarding/Computer Skills; and the Blind Infant/Toddler/Preschooler. Parents and older blind youth will also have the option of attending the Job Opportunities for the Blind Seminar (JOB) which will begin at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon (Sunday, June 30).

While mom and dad are busy with these workshops, the kids will be busy with their own special activities. Watch your next issue of Future Reflections for an announcement about these children's field trips and activities and/or fill out and mail in the special form at the end of this article, and more detailed information about children's activities, the parents seminar agenda, and general convention information will be mailed to you as soon as all plans are completed.

On Monday, July 1, registration for the convention begins and the exhibit hall opens (registration fees are $5.00 per person). On Tuesday, July 2, the NFB Board of Directors meets in the morning, and the Parents of Blind Children Division Annual Meeting is held that afternoon. The first convention session begins Wednesday morning followed that evening, at 7:00 p.m., by a special Individualized Education Program (IEP) workshop. After the Thursday (July 4) morning session, conventioneers may enjoy an afternoon of tours or whatever leisure time activities they choose from the delightful city of New Orleans. Friday evening, after a stimulating day of convention program speakers, we have the highlight of the convention--the banquet. The convention then adjourns at 5:00 p.m., Saturday, July 6. Convention rates will be honored by the hotel for a reasonable time before and after the convention.

The elegant Hyatt Regency, located just eight blocks from the French Quarter, will be our 1991 convention site. A shuttle service to and from the French Quarter will be provided to hotel guests during the National Convention. The attractions of the French Quarter are famous--marvelous food, raucous night life, haunting Jazz, beautiful architecture, street artists, and shops of all kinds--from tatoo parlors to voodoo shops. And that is just in the French Quarter. New Orleans has so much more to offer--book stalls, antique stores, streetcars, the River Walk, the Hard Rock Cafe, the Audubon Zoo, and hundreds of quaint shops and cafes.

But one will not need to leave the hotel to enjoy good food and shopping. The Hyatt features several restaurants, cocktail lounges, and a large shopping mall. The mall includes a Waldenbook store, jewelry store, souvenir shop, a Cafe du Monde, Frank and Stein--hot dogs and beer--and many other fast food stalls. In addition, Macy's Department store is adjacent to the Hyatt and easily accessible to any hotel guest. There is also a swimming pool on the seventh floor of the Hyatt. The convention sessions and exhibit hall will all be conveniently located on the third floor of the Hyatt Poydras Tower (the Hyatt has two towers; the Poydras, with twenty-seven floors; and the Lenai, with eleven floors). You will want to get your reservations in soon. We have over 1,100 rooms set aside for accommodations, but with our unbelievable room rates (singles, $28; doubles and twins, $35; triples, $38; quads, $40) rooms may be hard to get as convention time nears. An additional occupancy tax of 2% per night will be added to the room rates, plus sales tax of eleven percent. There will be no charge for children under twelve in a room with their parents. Room reservations should be made by writing to:

Hyatt Regency New Orleans
500 Poydras Plaza
New Orleans, Louisiana 70140