National Convention

The National Federation of the Blind National Convention is the largest gathering of blind people in the world.

Mom, two daughters, and dad pose for a photo during the carnival celebration during the 2019 National Convention.It is the premier event for training, support, and information for the blind community. It also serves as a governing body, democratically electing our leadership and establishing each year's organizational priorities.

Although the convention is open to all, our constitution states that only members of the NFB have the right to participate in decision making when it comes to organizational policy. If you are not already a member, join the NFB today.

2020 Dates 

Tuesday, July 14 through Saturday, July 18, 2020

2020 Location 

Considering the ongoing impact and wide-ranging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 National Convention will be held virtually for the first time.

Join us as we celebrate NFB’s eightieth anniversary and expand our circle of participation, connecting blind Americans from coast to coast for what we expect to be the largest gathering of blind people in history.

*The 2020 National Convention was originally scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas at the Hilton Americas-Houston.

*If you booked a hotel room in Houston, Texas for the convention, a full refund will be issued, so please do not call the hotel to cancel at this time. Both the Hilton and Marriott reservations staff are working to cancel reservations and providing full refunds to the credit card used to secure the room. Because both hotels are working reduced hours with limited staff, it may take up to two weeks for your refund to be issued. If you have not seen a credit to your account by May 8, please send an email to Susan Skaarer at sskaarer@nfb.org with your confirmation number so we can confirm the cancellation of your reservation with the hotel. For those of you who may have made a separate reservation for additional rooms/nights before or after the convention, you will need to contact the central reservations line at 800-236-2905.

    How to Participate

    The agenda for the 2020 National Convention features most of the elements our members know and love, with some new twists. There are multiple ways to participate in and interact with all convention events, from video conferencing to phone access. Attend sessions, connect to the virtual event platform, and engage on social media. If local conditions permit, NFB affiliates will organize in-person gatherings in conjunction with sessions being held at the national level to enhance the convention experience. If you haven’t already done so, please connect with your affiliate president.

    All Sessions

    • All convention sessions, including the board meeting, general sessions, and the banquet, will be held via Zoom.
    • Meeting IDs and Zoom links are provided in the agenda as well as our virtual event platform.
    • For those who prefer phone access, please see our Zoom information page for local dial-in numbers. Find your local dial-in number and then enter the appropriate meeting ID.
    • Zoom shortcuts, tips, and tricks are provided on our Zoom information page.

    Additional Options for the Board Meeting, General Sessions, and the Banquet

    • Shoutcast
    • YouTube
    • NFB-NEWSLINE® Subscribers—Using the telephone, press 5 from the main menu. Then select option 5 for "National Meetings of Interest to the Print Disabled." From there, select the "NFB 2020 Convention Stream."
    • Amazon Alexa—Enable the skill “Nation’s Blind – National Federation of the Blind” and then say, “Alexa, open Nation’s Blind.”

    Agenda

    The agenda of the 2020 National Convention will be available in several formats.

    Schedule

    The schedule for the 2020 National Convention is as follows. 

    • Tuesday: Seminars
      • 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
    • Wednesday: Board Meeting and Resolutions Day
      • 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
      • 2:00 p.m. EDT – Board Meeting
      • 5:00 p.m. EDT – Resolutions Committee
      • 6:00-9:00 p.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
    • Thursday: Division Day and Opening Ceremonies
      • 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
      • 1:00-5:00 p.m. EDT – Division Meetings
      • 5:00-6:30 p.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
      • 7:00-9:30 p.m. EDT – Opening Ceremonies
    • Friday: Presidential Report, General Sessions, and Affiliate Caucus
      • 9:00-10:45 a.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
      • 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT – Affiliate Caucuses
      • 1:30-5:00 p.m. EDT – General Session: Presidential Report
      • 6:30-9:30 p.m. EDT – General Session
    • Saturday: Business Meeting, Resolutions, and Banquet
      • 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT – Presidential Suite
      • 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT – General Session: Financial Report, Elections, and Resolutions
      • 4:30-6:30 p.m. EDT – General Session
      • 7:30-9:30 p.m. EDT – Banquet

    Virtual Event Platform

    Available through CrowdCompass—either via the mobile app or the web—our virtual event platform lets you:

    • Customize your personal convention schedule.
    • Join Zoom meetings instantly.
    • Directly connect with sponsors and exhibitors.
    • Network with other attendees and send messages; please note that your profile should be marked visible in order to network with other attendees.
    • Receive important updates and notifications.

    Log in via the Mobile App

    • Download the mobile app called “CrowdCompass AttendeeHub” from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
    • Open the app and enter nfb2020.
    • Enter event password nfb2020 and download the event.

    Log in via the Web

    • Visit event.crowdcompass.com/nfb20.
    • Enter event password nfb2020.
    • You’ll receive a verification code via email each time you initiate a login on the web.

    Accessibility

    The National Federation of the Blind holds itself to the highest standards of inclusion in all our work. We vetted several companies for our virtual event platform and chose the best available. However, there may still be barriers encountered or workarounds that need to be implemented, and we are working and will continue to work with CrowdCompass to resolve any such issues. If you experience accessibility barriers on the mobile app or web platform, please email NFB20app@nfb.org.

    Voting

    Members of the National Federation of the Blind who registered for the 2020 National Convention are eligible to vote during our general sessions. In order to ensure the integrity of our voting process, enrollment was required by July 12, 2020. The voting platform will allow you to vote via SMS (text message) or by phone. The phone number for voting is 667-206-6677.

    Proposed Voting Procedures

    1. Every member in good standing who registered for the convention by June 15, 2020, will be offered an opportunity to enroll in the NFB20 voting system. All voters must be enrolled by July 12, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
    2. All individuals who are members, are registered for the convention, and who opt into the voter enrollment system by the specified time, will constitute the pool of convention voters. 
    3. All voting will be done via SMS (text message) or by phone.
    4. Any matter must receive 51 percent support of the votes cast by the convention voters present and voting in order to be affirmed.
    5. Present and voting will mean the subset of convention voters who actually cast a vote on a given question. Thus, voters who are indifferent to a matter cannot block its consideration by the Convention by choosing not to cast a vote.
    6. All votes will be allocated two minutes for vote time.
    7. After two minutes, if the outcome to the question under consideration is unclear, the chair will poll the delegates by voice vote for a definitive outcome.
    8. If voting indicates 75 percent support for or against a question prior to the two-minute period elapsing, the chair may elect to move to the next order of business.
    9. An opportunity to practice voting will be offered in the convention on a question that has no impact on the policy of the organization.

    Motions and Nominations from the Floor

    1. Only delegates will be able to make motions, second motions, and nominate candidates from the floor during the convention.
    2. Should a member of a delegation wish to make a motion or nominate a member for election by the Convention, their delegate must bring it forward on their behalf.
    3. A member may petition another delegate to support their motion, especially if the delegate from their own state will not support the motion.

    Resolutions

    1. Resolutions to be presented to the Convention must proceed through the resolutions committee process as usual.
    2. Resolutions being recommended to the Convention by the committee will be posted to the web at nfb.org/resolutions by 8:00 p.m. EDT or three hours after the committee meeting (whichever is later) on July 15, 2020.
    3. Affiliate delegations will be encouraged to discuss resolutions during their state caucus on July 17.
    4. Those wishing to speak for or against a resolution on the floor of the Convention must submit their interest in doing so by sending an email to resolutions@nfb.org by 5:30 p.m. EDT on July 17. The email must contain the individual’s full name, state affiliate, the number of the resolution they wish to discuss, whether they are for or against the resolution, and a phone number where they can best be reached in case there is an issue with the Zoom platform.
    5. Reminders will be given at each of the general sessions prior to the deadline regarding the above process.
    6. In determining the amount of debate a resolution requires, the chair may use the Zoom polling option to get a sense of the crowd, ask the delegates for their feeling on cutting off the debate, or engage some other strategy outside of the voting system to gauge the sense of the Convention.

    Social Media and Networking

    Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage even more in convention events, network with fellow convention goers, and receive live updates. Use the hashtag #NFB20. And remember, our code of conduct applies to online activities as well. Here are some quick tips for staying engaged, safe, and respectful online.

    • Join the convention conversation; post thoughts, photos, comments, and questions.
    • Please add alt text to every post that includes an image.
    • Use a strong and unique password for every social media profile.
    • Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know.
    • Don’t engage with trolls.
    • Don’t click on uninvited or suspicious links.
    • Remember the NFB will never ask for you for your private social media passwords.
    • Review the NFB code of conduct; to report an incident during the convention, call 410-659-9314, extension 2475 or email coc@nfb.org.

    Registration 

    Registration is now closed. Those who registered will receive exclusive email announcements, and will be eligible to vote in our elections and win door prizes. If you did not register, you are still welcome and encouraged to participate in all convention events as listed in the agenda.

    *Operating the national convention virtually still costs money. While registration is free, we welcome and encourage donations to support our ongoing work to protect the rights of all blind Americans.

    Accommodations

    Requests for specific accommodations were due to us thirty days prior to the convention. If you have not submitted your request, please do so immediately by sending an email to jerniganinstitute@nfb.org. Late requests will be considered but we cannot guarantee that we can fulfill them due to time and resource constraints.

    We are committed to providing captioning for every general meeting and for those meetings attended by deafblind participants. If you plan to attend a seminar and would like to ensure that captioning is provided, please email jerniganinstitute@nfb.org with a list of convention sessions you will be attending. You may also connect with the NFB DeafBlind Division to learn more.

    More Information

    For more information, please contact us at 410-659-9314 or nfb@nfb.org