Logo of the National Federation of the Blind with no tag line.

CONVENTION

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 live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Convention 2021

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

Date and Location

October 1 to October 3, 2021

Embassy Suites by Hilton USF
3705 Spectrum Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612

Welcoming Announcement

The hosting chapters welcome our members, family, and friends to our 2021 State Conventtion.

INCLUSIVITY, DIVERSITY, AND SOCIAL CONDUCT

As an attendee at our convention, you not only represent yourself but also represent our organization. We want you to enjoy our time together and to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. Although we encourage members to socialize and have fun, the convention also provides a valuable opportunity to come together to continue the work of our organization, to learn about the important initiatives that we are involved with on local and national levels, and to plan our work for the future.

The National Federation of the Blind of Florida seeks to provide a convention environment in which diverse participants, including members, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers, may learn, network, and enjoy the company of friends and colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are therefore specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, physical appearance, or other group identity.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Public drunkenness and associated behaviors (e.g., belligerence, yelling, hostility, destruction of property).

Participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviors in all convention venues, including online arenas, social media, and convention social events. Participants who are asked to stop a behavior that the recipient considers hostile or harassing are expected to comply immediately.

We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. These principles have been delineated in our recently adopted code of conduct found at https://nfb.org/code-conduct.

EXHIBIT HALL

Salon F & G

Russ Davis,Coordinator
Rafael Fernandez

Hours of operation

Friday, October 1st from 5:00PM - 10:00PM
Saturday, October 2nd from 12:00PM -6:00PM
Sunday, October 3rd from 12:00PM - 5:00PM

HOSPITALITY SUITE

Located in Presidential Suite

Hours of operation

Saturday, October 2nd from 12:00PM to 5:00PM
Sunday, October 3rd from 12:00PM to 5:00PM

SPECIAL ATTENTION ITEMS

Appointments to meet with President Valkema may be made by sending an email to info@nfbflorida.org or at president@nfbflorida.org.

Meet and Greet

To be announced.

Friday, October 1, 2021

4:00 PM - 7:30PM - Convention Registration

Pre-convention Area
Sylvia Young, Secretary/Treasurer National Federation of the blind of Florida

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM - Ambassadors Meeting

Salon A
Paul Martinez and Doug Ingram, coordinators
Calling all ambassadors to meet prior to the start of convention.

7:00 PM - 7:45 PM - Resolutions

Salon D
Camille Tate, Chair
Come to hear Resolutions that will be presented on the convention floor Sunday.

8:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Open Board Meeting

NFB of Florida Open Board Meeting
Salon D

Denise Valkema, President
National Federation of the blind of Florida

Come and learn what the state affiliate has been doing, meet the 2021 student scholarship finalists, hear the Roll Call of chapters, learn more about our fundraiser, get an update on our PAC status, and so much more.

9:00 PM - 10:00 PM Trivia with Sunrise and Shine with Newsline

Russ Davis, Newsline Coordinator
Salon A

Trivia time! You are invited to play trivia with Sunrise and Shine! Don’t want to play? That’s ok. sit back and enjoy the fun with some snacks!

10:00 PM to 11:00 PM - Students Networking Social

Jorge Hernandez, coordinator
Come and learn what the students are doing in Florida.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

7:30 am - 8:00 am Devotions

Magnolia Room, 2nd Floor
A quiet space for contemplation

8:15 am - 8:45 am Convention Registration

Pre-Convention Area
Sylvia Young, Secretary/Treasurer, NFB of Florida

General Session

9:00 AM - Call to Order

Denise Valkema, President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:05 AM - Invocation

Miranda Kilby, President, Tampa Chapter,
1st Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:10 AM - Veterans Program and the Pledge of Allegiance

Doug Ingram, Board Member
National Federation of the Blind of Florida, 2nd Vice President, National Association of Blinded Veterans

9:20 am National Anthem

Z’Leah Liburd, Tampa Chapter
2020 National Federation of the Blind Of Florida Student Scholarship Winner and Brianna Cruz, UNF student

9:25 AM - NFB Pledge

Paul Martinez, President, Statewide Chapter

9:30 am Welcoming Announcements

Miranda Kilby, President, Tampa Chapter
1st Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Jorge Hernandez, President, Miami-Dade Chapter
2nd Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:45 am Welcome from the City of Tampa

Raquel Pancho, ADA Coordinator, Office of the Chief of Staff, City of Tampa

10:05 am Report from our National Movement

National Representatibe, Norma Crosby, President of Texas, Secretary, National Federation of the blind of Directors

10:25 am Advocacy Through the Written Word

Debbie Malone, Treasurer, Statewide Chapter

10:30 am Why Am I a Federationist?

Jannik Pesch, Board Member, Statewide Chapter
2020 National Federation of the Blind of Florida Student Scholarship recipient.

10:35 am NFBF Students: Past and Present

Miranda Kilby, Moderator

Panelists: Paul Martinez, Jannik Pesch and Z’Leah Liburd

10:55 am Talking Book Library

James Woolyhand, Bureau Chief, Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library

11:10 am Robert Doyle

Director, Division of Blind Services

11:25 am Vanda Pharmaceuticals

Title Sponsor

Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has enjoyed a long and enduring partnership with the National Federation of the Blind, and we deeply appreciate our relationship with you.

11:35 am Humanware

Joel Zimba, Humanware Blindness Products Specialist

11:45 am Exhibitor Parade

11:55 am Remembering Our Lost Family Members

Brittany Fraer, vice President, Statewide Chapter

12:00 Pm Announcements and Adjournment

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM - Lunch Break – On your own

12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall

Salon F & G

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Hospitality Suite

Presidential Suite

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Saturday General Interest Seminars

1:00 PM - 2:45 PM - Deaf Blind Division

Brian Norton, President, FL Deaf Blind Division
Salon D

The Florida Deaf Blind Division proudly presents two speakers from the Division of Blind Services that work with the deaf blind community. Sila Miller, Conflict Resolution and Outreach Consultant and, Stevie Fenton, MA, RID, Senior Program Consultant/Staff Interpreter, Bureau of Field Services/Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

1:00 PM to 2:45 PM - Book Club

Camille Tate, Chair
Salon A

Let’s follow up on last year’s speaker, Debbie Kent-Stein, by discussing her major work for the National Federation of the Blind, Building the Lives We Want. Written for the 75th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind. This is a history of the organized blind movement that now spans for 81 years!

1:00 PM to 2:45PM - FLAGDU

Brittany Fraer, President
Salon B

1:00 pm - 2:45 pm NFB of Florida Seniors Meeting

Salon C
Gloria Hicks, Chair, Senior Concerns Committee

Interested in wills, trusts and estates? Join the Senior Concerns Committee and talk to Lesly Longa, from the firm of Longa Law, P.A. All are encouraged to attend. This is not just for seniors only!

2:00 PM to 3:45 PM - Students Business Meeting


Magnolia Room, 2nd Floor
Jorge Hernandez, Coordinator, 2nd Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida


Calling all students! Let’s go form the Florida Association of Blind Students!

3:00 pm - 4:45 pm Independence Fair

Salon B
Jerilyn Higgins, Secretary, Statewide Chapter

Join us to explore hands on activities demonstrated by blind and visually impaired NFB members! Learn about assistive technology, covering book readers, Newsline and the Talking Book Library; the iPhone and its features; and Amazon digital assistant, Echo and Alexa. Demonstrations of independent living skills such as devices to identify color and currency; demonstrations of writing guides and magnifiers; and Braille devices, playing cards and all things Braille are included.

3:00 pm - 4:45 pm NFB of Florida Communities of Faith

Salon C
Marilyn Baldwin, Coordinator, President, Central Florida Chapter

We invite members to hear Dr. Joyce Taylor, Vice President, Melbourne Space Coast Chapter, NFB of Florida speak. Peggy and Sarah Fleischer will also perform, singing to lighten our hearts!

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm NFB of Florida Statewide Chapter

The Palms Room, 2nd Floor
Paul Martinez, President

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner - On your own

Saturday Evening

7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Auction

Salon D
Paul Martinez and Rafael Fernandez, Auctioneers

Come one! Come all! Spend some long-awaited time reuniting with your federation family and participating in our famous annual auction. This year, it’s a pajama party! You may wear your pajamas, costumes or whatever is appropriately comfortable. You can bid on the amazing baskets that are put together by our great chapters and divisions. This year you will enjoy the orations of Paul Martinez and Rafael Fernandez as our auctioneers.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

7:30 am - 8:00 am Devotions

Magnolia Room, 2nd Floor
A quiet space for contemplation

8:15 am - 8:45 Nominating Committee

Salon A
Miranda Kilby, Nominating Committee Chair
1st Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Delegates only

8:15 am - 8:45 am Convention Registration

Pre-Convention Area

Final Opportunity!!

Sylvia Young, Secretary/Treasurer, NationalFederation of the Blind of Florida

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM General Business Session

9:00 am Call to Order

Denise Valkema, President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:03 am Invocation

John Johnson, Vice President, Miami-Dade Chapter

9:08 am NFB Pledge

Jorge Hernandez, President, Miami-Dade Chapter
2nd Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:10 am President’s Report

Denise Valkema, President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:25 am Treasurer’s Report

Sylvia Young, Secretary/Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:30 am Resolutions

Camille Tate, Chair, Board of Directors
National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:40 am Legislative Speaker

Senator Dennis Baxley, Florida District 12

10:05 am Nominating Committee Report

Miranda Kilby, Nominating Committee Chair
1st Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

10:10 am Elections

12:00 pm Announcements & Adjournment

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch Break On your own

Lunch On your own

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Exhibit Hall

Salon F & G

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Hospitality Suite

Presidential Suite

12:00 pm - 1:45 pm Secretaries and Treasurers Lunch

Magnolia Room, 2nd Floor
Sylvia Young, Secretary/Treasurer
National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Sunday General Interest Seminars

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm NFB Florida Blind Parents Connect

Salon B
Miranda Kilby, Coordinator
1st Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Come and learn and share tips and tricks on raising your child no matter what their ages.

1:00 pm - 2:45 pm Technology

Salon C
Ryan Mann, Daytona Beach Chapter

Want to know the difference between IOS (Apple) and Android for accessibility? Come to Smart Phone Tips and Tricks! We will compare voiceover and talkback gestures, Google lookout and Seeing AI and various other points of comparison. Bring your questions about smart phones and they will be answered!

2:00 pm - 3:45 pm Legislative Meeting

Salon A
Camille Tate and Russ Davis, Co-Chairs, National Federation of the Blind of Florida Board of Directors

Join the Legislative Committee to hear the updates about state and national legislation concerns. We will have a guest speaker, State Senator Dennis Baxley, a long-time champion in the blindness community and former leader of the Florida Vision Caucus.

3:00 pm - 4:45 pm NFB of Florida Diversity and Inclusion

Salon B
Marilyn Baldwin, Group Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

3:00 pm - 4:45 pm What’s New with Humanware

Salon C
Joel Zimba, Humanware

Hear the latest news and updates on Victor Stream, Braille Displays and what Humanware has in store for the future.

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm Exploring Sports and Recreation

Denise Valkema, President, NFB of Florida Salon A
Denise Valkema, President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Interested in a Sports and Recreation Division in Florida? Want to hear about some interesting ways to work out and have fun? Join us to discuss innovative ways to get moving!

Sunday, October 3, 2020 Banquet

7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Salon D & E

7:00 pm Call to Order

Denise Valkema, President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

7:03 pm Welcome and Introductions

Russ Davis and Camille Tate, Masters of Ceremonies
Board of Directors National Federation of the Blind of Florida

7:10 pm Invocation

James E. Young, Board Member, Tallahassee Chapter

7:45 pm Memorial Presentation

Russ Davis, Treasurer of Greater Jacksonville Chapter
Board of Directors National Federation of the Blind of Florida

7:45 pm Keynote Address

Norma Crosby, Presiden of Texas
Secretary, National Federation of the Blind National Representative

8:45 pm Presentation of 2021 Scholarship Winners

Jorge Hernandez, Chair, Scholarship Committee
2nd Vice President, National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:25 pm NFB of Florida Awards

Doug Ingram, Chair, Board of Directors
National Federation of the Blind of Florida

9:45 pm Raffles and Drawings

Doug Ingram, Chair, Board of Directors
National Federation of the Blind of Florida

10:00 pm Announcements & Adjournment 

The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind - It is the blind speaking for ourselves.