2020 ANNUAL CONVENTION
ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE
JULY 14 to JULY 18
WELCOME TO THE 80th 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
*Zoom links coming soon.
Welcome to the 80th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, being held virtually all across the country (and around the globe). The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the ways we ordinarily connect to advance our movement, but it has not changed the spirit of the Federation. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and love, hope, and determination will always transcend distance. Though the format of this year’s convention is new for all of us, there are still many of the same opportunities to learn new things, be inspired by our colleagues, renew Federation family friendships, and participate in the conversations that raise the expectations for blind people. Though apart, we will still build the Federation together.
A First for Us All: Attend Rookie Round Up
All convention attendees are cordially invited to attend a welcoming Zoom meeting on Tuesday, July 7, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. EDT. President Riccobono and Pam Allen will be on hand to kick off the convention and preview the week’s activities. More helpful tips to help you prepare will be included in emails sent to all registered attendees and posted on nfb.org/convention.
INCLUSIVITY, DIVERSITY, AND SOCIAL CONDUCT
We are committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone. Thank you for cultivating an atmosphere in which participants from diverse backgrounds can learn, network, and share with each other in an environment of mutual respect. 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/code-conduct.
We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all. Prohibited behaviors include harassment, unwelcome sexual attention, and inappropriate use of the NFB virtual convention platform. Prohibited behavior or misuse of the platform will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the convention and/or other consequences. For assistance or to report an incident at the convention, please call 410-659-9314, extension 2475, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for immediate attention. Formal reports can be submitted at https://www.nfb.org/about-us/history-and-governance/code-conduct/grievance-report-form. All formal reports will be fully investigated according to the steps in our code of conduct. Thank you for doing your part to contribute to our community and the high expectations we strive to maintain.
Convention registration was conducted online and is now closed. Those who registered will receive exclusive email announcements and be eligible to win door prizes during convention. Registered members who are current on their dues will also be entitled to enroll in the system to cast votes in national elections and the consideration of resolutions. However, if you did not register, you are still welcome and strongly encouraged to participate in all convention events as listed in the agenda that follows.
In a virtual environment, the Exhibit Hall experience will obviously be different than it is in person. However, all attendees are encouraged to visit https://event.crowdcompass.com/nfb20 where you will find many familiar and some new exhibitors in our virtual exhibit hall.
Exhibit Hall hours of operation are:
- Tuesday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Saturday; 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
As with the Exhibit Hall, you cannot visit the NFB Independence Market in person. However, the Market will continue to accept phone orders during convention and has extended hours to reflect our multiple-time-zone convention schedule this year.
Independence Market hours of operation are:
- Tuesday; 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday; 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
- Saturday; Closed
This year the Presidential Suite will be in a Zoom room, accessed by https://zoom.us/j/4926969418. You will be able to leave a message with the host for Mark Riccobono, the elected President of the National Federation of the Blind. We will also have some limited opportunities for individuals or groups to schedule appointments to speak with him. Let the host know you would like to schedule a meeting and leave your contact information so we can reach you with the appointment time.
Also, come mingle with other members in the Presidential Suite. A host will be available to greet visitors, virtual meeting rooms will be available for Federation members to talk to one other, and Federation leaders will be available to answer questions and to make connections within the resource network of the movement. The host will place you in a room when you arrive in the suite. (Sorry, no popcorn or M&Ms provided.)
Presidential Suite hours are:
- Tuesday; 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Wednesday; 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
- Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
- Friday; 9:00 to 10:45 a.m.
- Saturday; 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
SPECIAL ATTENTION ITEMS
- The National Convention agenda has been assembled using Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Please be mindful to convert published times to your appropriate time zone.
- Banquet tickets will neither be sold nor exchanged this year. You are encouraged to arrange for your favorite entrée and imagine yourself at a table of ten at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
- The NFB’s 2020 National Organization of Parents of Blind Children Division (NOPBC) Conference, held each year in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention, will also be convened virtually. Information for this year’s NOPBC Conference, titled “Virtual Reality: Accessible Learning, Activities, and Networking Opportunities for Blind Children and Their Families,” can be found at http://nopbc.org/2020-nopbc-conference-nfb-convention. Visit the site to register for the conference and to find a full agenda for adult and family events as well as Youth Track and Kid Track schedule information.