Washington Seminar Agenda


9:00 AM–5:00 PM, Parent Leadership Program

  • National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute (Baltimore, MD)
  • This seminar, sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), a division of the National Federation of the Blind, empowers parents with the critical leadership skills, advocacy tools, and Federation philosophy they need to build a strong state division of the NOPBC. If you wish to recommend a parent (or yourself) to participate, please contact Carol Castellano prior to the seminar at carol_castellano@verizon.net.
  • The Parent Leadership Program will also be meeting on Monday, February 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. prior to leaving for the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol for the Great Gathering-In.


7:45 AM–1:00 PM, National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute Tours

  • Lobby
  • The 2020 Jernigan Institute Tours will be celebrating and showcasing the new McGeorge Living Room in honor of Ray and Diane McGeorge. 
  • Buses will load at 7:45 a.m. and will depart at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
  • Tours of the Jernigan Institute will begin at 9:30 a.m. and buses will leave to return to the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol at 12:00 p.m.
  • There will be one bus and seating will be on a first come, first served basis.

9:00 AM–12:00 PM, State Presidents and Legislative Directors Briefing

  • Capitol II Ballroom
  • All state presidents and legislative directors attending the 2020 National Federation of the Blind Washington Seminar are asked to attend this legislative briefing. The briefing will cover our 2020 legislative priorities, tips for effective Hill meetings, follow up strategies, and Washington Seminar logistics that affiliate leaders should be aware of for the week.

9:15–10:00 AM, Registration: National Association of Blind Students Winter Student Seminar

  • Registration: $5
  • Capitol Ballroom Foyer

10:00 AM–12:00 PM, National Association of Blind Students Winter Seminar

  • Capitol I Ballroom
  • Students, teachers, young professionals, and curious minds: Join the National Association of Blind Students (NABS) for our annual Winter Seminar. You will have the opportunity to interact with blind students from across the country; learn from successful blind professionals; benefit from informative presentations on topics including internships, study abroad programs, recreational activities, and scholarships; and engage in discussions on issues ranging from self-advocacy in the classroom to securing employment. Registration is $5 at the door!
  • We accept credit cards, Venmo, PayPal, and cash/check.
  • Direct questions to Kathryn Webster, President, at nabs.president@gmail.com or 203-273-8463.

10:00 AM–2:00 PM, National Association of Blind Merchants: 2020, A New Decade and New Opportunities for Blind Entrepreneurs

  • Congressional I Ballroom
  • We will have a discussion about the challenges of 2020, new private sector opportunities, and BLAST 2020.

(Room #275 is open 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and for one hour following the Great Gathering-In)

11:30 AM–1:30 PM, The National Federation of the Blind Employment Committee Sixth Annual Career Fair at Washington Seminar

  • Congressional II Ballroom
  • Join us for the chance to meet employers, including federal agencies, who will be here to speak with you about job opportunities.
  • This fair is coordinated with the support of the National Federation of the Blind of the District of Columbia. For more information, please contact Janice Forbes at callaway.shawn@gmail.com.    

2:00–4:00 PM, Legislative Seminar

  • Capitol Ballroom
  • Whether you are a Washington Seminar veteran or an enthusiastic rookie, we urge you to attend this interactive seminar. The government affairs team will provide essential information about our legislative priorities for 2020. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and put your knowledge into practice.
  • The fact sheets can be found at https://www.nfb.org/washington-seminar. We encourage you to review these documents carefully beforehand and come prepared with questions so we are all well-equipped with the information we need to make our case to members of Congress and their staff.

5:00–7:00 PM, Great Gathering-In

  • Capitol Ballroom
  • Congressional II Ballroom is the overflow room

8:00–11:00 PM, Capital Karaoke

  • Congressional Ballroom
  • What are you doing after the Great Gathering-In? Come on out to have light appetizers and drinks, see old friends, and make a ton of new ones, while supporting your national student division! Enjoy great music from fellow Federationist singers while socializing. Come early to get a good seat. Tickets are $7 at the door. To preorder a wristband, please see any member of the NABS board prior to 7:30 p.m. on February 10.
  • Direct questions to Elizabeth Rouse, Capital Karaoke Coordinator, at elizabethrouse.nfb@gmail.com.


(Room #275 is open 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

5:30–7:00 PM, National Federation of the Blind Congressional Reception

  • The Kennedy Caucus Room (SR-325) of the Russell Senate Office Building
  • The members of the National Federation of the Blind invite members of Congress and Congressional staff to come learn more about our organization. Legislators can mingle with Federationists while enjoying light refreshments and discussing our 2020 legislative priorities for the Second Session of the 116th Congress.


(Room #275 is open 7:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and for one hour following the evening briefing.)

8:00 AM–12:00 PM, National Division Presidents Meeting

  • House Room
  • This is a by invitation only meeting for Presidents of national divisions of the National Federation of the Blind. This is an opportunity to share information and network to build the movement.  

6:00 PM, Reviewing Our Day on the Hill

  • Capitol I Ballroom
  • A meeting with John Paré, Kimie Eacobacci, Stephanie Flynt and Jeff Kaloc.


(Room #275 is open 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)