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2016 NFBA Convention Agenda

National Federation of the Blind
Of Arizona

70th Annual Convention

Living the lives we want: Busting the myths of low expectations

Bob Kresmer, President
9014 East Bellevue Street
Tucson, Arizona 85715-5652
(520) 780-3923
Toll-free (888) 899-6322

September 8, through 11, 2016

Radisson Suites Hotel
6555 E. Speedway
Tucson AZ 85710
(520) 721-7100

The National Federation of the Blind is an organization in which the blind and interested sighted persons come together to plan and carry out programs to improve the quality of life of the blind; to provide a means of collective action for parents of blind children; to promote the vocational, cultural, and social advancement of the blind; to achieve the integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality with the sighted; and to take action which will improve the overall condition and standard of living of the blind. The Federation works toward the removal of legal, economic, and social barriers to full participation by blind people in all aspects of community life.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can have the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

What We Do
• Assist blind persons to acquire the skills of independence
• Help blind persons to develop confidence in themselves through our service activities
• Teach blind persons the skills of leadership through active participation in conventions, chapter meetings, and civic activities
• Encourage blind seniors to continue their active and meaningful lifestyles
• Prepare blind students for productive tax-paying careers through academic and training scholarships
• Support parents and teachers of blind children with information about the capabilities of the blind
• Protect and promote the civil rights of blind persons through public education and legislative action
• Advocate for policies that eliminate discrimination and guarantee equal access to educational programs and high quality rehabilitation
• Educate the public through seminars, community activities and our publications

Stay connected with your fellow Arizona Federationists by joining our state email listserv. This list allows you to receive affiliate and national announcements, and also to start and participate in discussions regarding blindness and blindness issues. Many of our local chapters now also have listservs. Talk to your chapter president to learn how to sign up so you don’t miss important information about news and events.

NFB National Representative: Pamela Allen, Chairwoman of the Board of the National Federation of the Blind; Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind; President of the NFB of Louisiana

Host Chapter is our Tucson chapter,
Amy Porterfield, President

The Arizona Parents of Blind Children, a division of the NFB of Arizona and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, agenda of seminars and activities is a separate document from our general convention agenda. Parents and teachers can pick up this Family and Youth Track agenda in print or Braille from the convention registration desks.

Roxanne Torres is coordinating Spanish translating services for general session and seminars and other events. If you need the translation services or wish to help translate, please contact her – Cell (520) 336-4586
We want everyone to gain the full experience of convention free of barriers…especially language ones!

Be sure to participate in the raffles and auction! Please donate working assistive technology, or a craft or baked goods of which you are particularly proud, to the convention auction! Please notify Debra Smith of your donation, so the auction committee can identify and tag the auction item.

Door Prize Committee: Lynn Kresmer
Please turn in all door prizes and auction items to the NFBA Information table near Registration in the foyer.

Registration: Sharonda Greenlaw,
Registration opens Friday, September 9, at 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration on Saturday, September 10 will open at 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Thereafter, Registration will be closed, unless a prior arrangement has been made with the State President.

We will have two areas for registration: If you have pre-registered and have already paid, you will go to the foyer outside Catalina Ballroom to pick up your registration packet. If you have not pre-registered, or need to pay for your pre-registration, you will go to Room 101 to register or pay for your pre-registration and pick up your packet.

There will be a few meal tickets available at the Registration Table for those who did not purchase one in advance. They will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

You must be registered for the convention and present to have your name drawn for doorprizes! Even if you have pre-registered, please come to the appropriate area to pick up your registration packet.

Thursday, September 8

8:00 p.m. Living the life we want: How NFB members apply positive philosophy across the generations. Redington Room
Amy Porterfield, chair of membership recruitment and engagement committee
Pamela Allen and Roland Allen, NFB of Louisiana
Martin Bacera, Colorado Center for the Blind

We expect this will be a rousing and fun kick-off to our convention!

Friday, September 9, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Exhibit Hall, Rooms 201 and 264 (right next to each other)

Stop and talk with this year’s selection of Convention Exhibitors and find out what is new in technology, products, and services.

Please pick up a “ration card” to be punched by our exhibitors. People who have a punch from all our exhibitors on their card will be eligible for a prize drawing at our Saturday Banquet!

KNFB Reader
Fast, Accurate, Efficient
Version 2 for iOS and Android now available!

NFB Braille, print, and recorded literature is available at tables in the convention hall. Please take all you can make use of and distribute our positive message of blindness far and wide!

Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library: Christine Tuttle, Outreach and Special Projects Supervisor

Arizona Parents of Blind Children: Melanie Yubeta, president

Colorado Center for the Blind: Martin Bacera, Co-Coordinator Youth Services

Community Outreach Program for the Deaf (COPD): Susanne Hogan
Program Coordinator- iCanConnect

Desert Low Vision - Vision services and products in Southern Arizona: Janet Dylla and Tom Northrop

Digital Apex - The Pinnacle of Information Access: Mark Nelson, President

Envision America: Dave Bode

JW.COM: Bible educators: William Salzgeber

NFB Mini – Independence Market:

NFBA Phoenix chapter

Pilot Dogs guide dog school: Steve Hoyt

Rehabilitation Services Administration: Business Enterprise Program; Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Independent Living Services

SAAVI: Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired: Amy Porterfield,
Chief Operating Officer

Sun Sounds of Arizona, Radio Reading Service and
Information Access: Murry Everson
Volunteers read aloud from some 200 current local and national newspapers, magazines, and even the grocery ads to those who cannot read print due to a disability. People can listen 24 hours a day, seven days and week on the radio, telephone and online.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals: Mark Hynes, Account Manager

Friday Morning Seminars -

9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Blindness Professionals Seminar: Reddington Room
Amy Porterfield, SAAVI; Martin Bacera, Colorado Center for the Blind; Pam and Roland Allen, Louisiana Center for the Blind
Rehab Professionals meeting.

1. Introductions/ice breakers: Tell us a time when a student or client busted a low expectation for you.
2. Finding our strengths: How to use a strengths based approach to career exploration. Kryslen Holt
3. Choosing to use the learning shade: How to turn blind into a positive word for all ages. Joanne Gabias, Jeremy Estrada, Jordan Moon, and Alyssa Bracamonte
4. Philosophy class as a core skill: How is it different than support group. Pam Allan, leading a panel of Shannon Kemlo, Seth Leblond, Kevin Lowe, Martin Bacera
5. Louisiana Tech: A great career is waiting for you. Pam Allan
6. What’s new at the Colorado Center for the Blind, Martin Bacera

9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Technology: Catalina Ballroom
Sharonda Greenlaw, chair

Come to our seminar where we consider all things tech! We'll answer questions about Windows 10, Google CromeBooks, and take a trip to the world of Mac. We'll even have fun with music apps such as Spotify and Google Play Music and play a few games using the RS Games app for IOS.

9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We teach each other – Room 301
A series of demonstrations by a panel of NFBA members-

Demonstration of apps particularly useful on I phone and Ipad; Tips for traveling on planes and trains; Tips on organizing and marking clothes; Exercise through recreational activities such as hiking, sports, dancing; How to shop online; Orientation and Mobility tips; Tips for Learning and Using Braille;

9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Kids Track Room 401

12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Plated Lunch for those who pre-purchased: Catalina Ballroom

Luncheon Guest Speakers:

Pamela Allen, National Representative

Pam Allen became blind when she was approximately two years old as a result of retinal blastoma, a type of cancer. Although her parents were shocked by her loss of sight, they fortunately realized that she was still the same child except that she could no longer see. Through love and high expectations, they instilled in Pam a sense of pride and confidence in her ability to succeed. They constantly taught her that her blindness was not a limitation to achieving her goals and dreams.

Pam was a 1991 National Federation of the Blind scholarship winner when she was a senior at Denison University, where she majored in psychology and minored in women's studies. She served as vice president of the Ohio Association of Blind Students and as secretary of the National Association of Blind Students, and throughout college she worked summers for the Louisiana Center for the Blind with the Children's Program.
After graduation from college Pam decided to become a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. She recognized that she still needed to gain some confidence in her skills and in her ability to be a successful blind person.
Since 2001 Pam Allen has served as the director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind. Prior to becoming the director, she served as the director of youth services, working with blind infants and toddlers and their parents, supervising the training of classroom aides to teach Braille throughout Louisiana, coordinating summer camps, and developing innovative programs for blind children and teenagers.
In July of 2002 she was elected to the National Federation of the Blind board of directors. Four years later, in 2006, she was elected to serve as treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind. In 2015, Pam was elected as first vice president of the National Federation of the Blind.

Michael Wisehart: Assistant Director of Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services
Michael began his career with the Department of Economic Security in 2000 working as a Financial Analyst in the Financial Services Administration. As he advanced through the Administration over the next several years, his roles changed, allowing him the opportunity to support all of the various DES programs. He ultimately became the Department’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2009, and as CFO, was instrumental in mitigating reductions to the Department’s core funding sources, offsetting resultant service reductions by finding innovative ways to apply new and existing resources. In 2013, Michael became the Deputy Assistant Director for what was then the Division of Children, Youth and Families (now the Department of Child Safety, or DCS). He was named the Assistant Director for the Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility in 2014, transitioning to the DERS Assistant Director role in 2016. His successes include increased employee wages, streamlined processes, stronger community partnerships, and an improved overall experience for our DES clients and stakeholders.

Kristen Mackey: Acting Program Administrator of Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration
Kristen began her career with RSA in 2008 as a vocational rehabilitation counselor working with the youth transition population. Ms. Mackey has served in the capacity of VR office supervisor and worked in various positions in the policy unit as a policy specialist, assistant manager of policy and manager of the RSA policy unit. Kristen graduated from Arizona State University and obtained her Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

Friday Afternoon Seminars

1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Kids Track continued Room 401

1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Blind Kids, Parents, and Teachers:
Room 364 (right next to room 301)
Melanie Yubeta: president, Arizona Parents of Blind Children
Shannon Kemlo: Manager of SAAVI Children and Youth Services
Pam Allen, NFB of Louisiana
Martin Bacera, Colorado Center for the Blind

Parents, family members and blindness professionals working with children and youth are invited to attend this seminar to discuss the following:

• Braille: Is it important for blind children and youth to learn Braille? Why is it important for parents to also learn Braille? How to gain Braille materials. How to advocate for more Braille in the classroom.
• Accommodations and Adaptations: How to ensure that blind children and youth are taking part in their classes fully. Are children being left out of classes such as PE or Science – if so, why and how can teachers make their lessons accessible for all children/youths.
• IEP – Individualized Education Plans: Does your child have an IEP? Do you understand the process of the IEP meetings? Come and learn about how to break down an IEP and get what is best for your child. Also learn how children/youths can advocate for themselves in IEP meetings.

1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Arizona Association of Blind Students Seminar:
Reddington Room
Isaac Zwinger, President
Come learn how to make the most of college years with information about scholarships, sports and recreation, extracurricular activities and clubs, socializing tips, and how to be an activist and advocate. Find out about mentoring opportunities and career exploration. But most of all, have fun at our annual reunion and good time.

1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Exhibitors’ Demonstrations: Room 301
Our exhibitors will each have a 15 minute time slot to demonstrate or explain hardware, software, or their programs.

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Legislation and Advocacy Catalina Ballroom
Donald Porterfield: NFBA Legislative Director

How the Legislative Process Works and When is the Best Time for the NFBA to Get Involved

This year’s seminar will focus on the legislative process in Arizona. Everything from getting legislation introduced to the famed “Strike All Amendment,” which allows the entire content of a bill to be changed while giving us a bare minimum of time to react to legislation we oppose. The Seminar will also provide strategies and information about what our best opportunities are to influence legislation so that it positively impacts the lives of blind Arizonans.

5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dinner Break (On Your Own).

5:30 p.m. Since there is so little time between end of seminars and beginning of resolutions committee meeting, the Tucson host chapter will offer pizza and cold drinks for a donation of $5.00 in the Hospitality Room 101.

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Resolutions Committee: Reddington Room
Donald Porterfield, chairman,

9:00 p.m. Nominating Committee: Room 301 (Closed Meeting)
Marcus Schmidt, chair

This is the only meeting of the weekend not open to the general membership, but rather only to those appointed to the committee.

8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Hospitality Evening: Catalina Ballroom
Hosted by NFBA Tucson Chapter

“Contention at the convention”: a murder mystery theater production.
Audience participation is integral to solving this convention murder. Followed by karaoke.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Registration,

8:00 a.m. to noon Exhibitors Hall Rooms 201 and 264

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. General Session: Catalina Ballroom

You need to be in the ballroom during general session to collect your doorprize when your name is called!

Auction items will be offered during general session and at the banquet. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to bid on auction items you cannot live without!

Lyrics copied from October 2015 Presidential Release by Lloyd Rasmussen
Chorus: Live the life you want. Nobody can stop you.
Shoot for the sun and break on through.
So you're blind. You'll be fine. We've got good news
You can live the life you want. Yes, we know the truth.
Grab a cane, get trained, gotta get movin'.
Make a change in the wage, that's what we're doin'.
Come with me, yeah
You and me, NFB, let's dream together.
NFB, you and me, lives on forever.
You will see yeah
You can live the life you want. You’ll know the truth.

9:00 a.m. Call to Order & Welcome,
Bob Kresmer, President, NFB of Arizona

9:15 a.m. Invocation

9:20 a.m. Greeting, Pledge to the American Flag & NFB Pledge
Amy Porterfield, President, Tucson Chapter, NFBA
Roy Stimson, National Association of Blind Veterans
NFB Bell Academy participants
National Anthem sung by Jordan Murillo

NFB Pledge

I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind;
to support the policies and programs of the Federation;
and to abide by its Constitution.

Live the life you want video

Myth Busting at its finest
Sharonda Greenlaw, Membership committee

9:45 a.m. Panel of first-timers at NFB national convention

Live the life you want video

10:00 a.m. Arizona State School for the Blind:
Lisa Yencarelli, Director of Blindness
Kelley Creasy, Principal

Live the life you want video

10:20 a.m. Deaf Blind Services in Arizona
Mary Hartle, chair Governor’s Council on Blindness Deaf Blind committee
Chris Desborough, Chair, SSP Statewide Services Task Force
Challenges faced by persons with combined vision and hearing loss and how SSPs can help

Live the life you want video

10:40 a.m. Roundtable Hands – on experience –
All round tables will be identified with a large braille sign in the center of each table.

Table 1 -- I device training: Joe Goode, Jeremy Schmidt, and West Lee

Table 2 -- Intro to Braille with Lupita Hernandez

Table 3 -- What is UEB with Connie Leblond

Table 4 -- Samurai Sword training with Mike Armstrong

Table 5 -- Newsline new features: Sharonda Greenlaw, Jordan Moon

Table 6 -- Cane Walks: Roland Alan, Joanne Gabias, and Vicky McDaniel and others

Table 7 -- Juno Walks: Steve Hoyt, Pilot Dogs

Table 8 -- Kindle accessibility training with Oscar Korella

Table 9 -- KNFB Reader features: Seth Leblond, West Lee

Table 10 -- What’s happening at Louisiana Tech University with Pam Alan

Live the life you want video

11:30 a.m. Pilot Dogs: Why a certified O & M instructor at a dog guide school?
Steve Hoit

11:45 a.m. Stem2U in Phoenix: Students, parents, and teachers
Ashleigh Gonzales

12:00 p.m. Adjourn for lunch

Noon to 1:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions, business meetings, and organizational meetings

Pick up box lunches in Pre Convene Area and attend the meeting of your choice (Box Lunches are reserved for those who pre-paid through registration)

Noon to 1:45 p.m. Arizona Association of Blind Students, Reddington Room
Isaac Zwinger, President

Noon to 1:45 p.m. Organizing Meeting for NFBA Yuma chapter Room 101
Spanish speakers will be accommodated
Roxanne Torres, NFBA Board of Directors

Noon to 1:45 p.m. Arizona Parents of Blind Children Room 364
Melanie Ubeta, president Arizona Parents of Blind Children; Shannon Kemlo, Children and Youth Services Coordinator, SAAVI

Noon to 1:45 p.m. Arizona Association of Blind Merchants Room 301
Deborah Smith, president

Afternoon General Session

2:00 p.m. NFB of Arizona Report: Introduction by first vice-president, Donald Porterfield
Bob Kresmer, NFBA President

2:30 p.m. National Report
Pamela Allen, National Representative

3:15 p.m. Why I am a Federationist
Donald Porterfield, NFBA first vice-president and legislative director of the NFBA and the Governor’s Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment

Live the life you want video

3:30 p.m. Challenge recreational activities as integral to rehabilitation
Mike Armstrong, NFB division of Recreation and Sports

3:45 p.m. Roundtable
Same tables as in morning, so use the opportunity to try a second experience

4:20 p.m. Colorado Center for the Blind Update: Martin Bacera, Co-Coordinator of Youth Services and Travel Instructor

4:35 p.m. Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired (SAAVI) Update: Amy Porterfield, Chief Operating Officer

4:50 p.m. NFB Bell ringers report
Amy Porterfield and bell kids and mentors

5:00 p.m. Adjourn

5:15 p.m. Blind Parents Discussion Room 301
Is there enough support to form an interest group?

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reception, No Host Cash Bar, Pre-Convene Area

7:00 p.m. NFBA Banquet, Catalina Ballroom
Master of Ceremonies: Donald Porterfield, First Vice President, NFBA
Keynote Speaker is Pamela Allen, NFB National First Vice-President

NFB Scholarship Award: Marcus Schmidt, Chair of Scholarship committee

Raffle Drawings & Auctions

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The check-out time for the hotel on Sunday is 1:00 p.m. Those who can check-out prior to the morning sessions will help us avoid congestion at the front desk upon adjournment.

7:30 to 8:15 a.m. Worship Service Reddington Room

8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Chapter/Division Breakfast, Catalina Ballroom
(Breakfast is included in your hotel room rate, so please bring your tickets issued to you at the hotel front desk when you checked in)
Arizona chapter and division reports

9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Affiliate combined board meeting and Business Session

9:30 a.m. Invocation
Remembrance of members who have passed away:Connie Ryan

9:45 a.m. Approval of proposed resolutions: Donald Porterfield, NFBA

10:00 a.m. Treasurer’s Report: Donna Silba, Treasurer, NFBA

10:15 a.m. Nominating Committee Report: Marcus Schmidt

10:30 a.m. :PAC Plan: Nikki Jefford, Chair

10:45 a.m. Election of board members

11:30 a.m. Closing Remarks from our National Representative

11:45 a.m. Wrap up and adjourn

Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society

Help build a future full of opportunity for the blind by becoming a member of the Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society. Your legacy gift to the National Federation of the Blind can be made in the form of a will or living trust, an income-generating gift, or by naming the NFB as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy. You can also become a member of the Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society by making a legacy gift to your state affiliate. By committing to support an NFB affiliate, your gift will benefit both local and national programs as all bequests made to affiliates are split evenly with the NFB national treasury. In addition to having the satisfaction of contributing to the future success of the NFB's mission, tenBroek Legacy Society members will also receive a specially designed thank you gift and other benefits. For additional information about the Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society, please contact Lou Ann Blake at the NFB Jernigan Institute by e-mail at, or by telephone at 410-659-9314, extension 2221.

A sincere “Thank You” to all who contributed time and effort to make this convention a success, especially -
* Our National Representative and Guest Speakers

* SAAVI for embossing the agendas

* NFBA Convention Arrangements Committee

* Door Prize and Auction committee

*And all the members who work together to make our mission possible.

And a special thank you to Vanda Pharmaceuticals, for Gold level sponsorship.


President, Bob Kresmer
1st Vice-President, Donald Porterfield
2nd Vice-President, Marcus Schmidt
Secretary, Garret Mooney
Treasurer, Donna Silba

NFB of Arizona chapter contact information
Phoenix Chapter President, Sharonda Greenlaw
(602) 281-5955

East Valley Chapter President,
Megan Homrighausen
(480) 510-6196

West Valley Chapter President, Marcus Schmidt
(602) 942-0181

Tucson Chapter President
Amy Porterfield
(520) 396-8707

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