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2019 Convention Agenda

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73rd Annual State Convention

The members of the host committee welcome you to the 73rd Annual State Convention for the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona.

Registration: Danielle Fowler

Registration will take place on the Second floor Atrium, and will be open Friday, August 31st, and will be open from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM. It will be closed during lunch. Registration will open again on Saturday, September 1st and will be open from 8:00 AM until 9:00 AM. If you are unable to register, or pick up your registration packet during these hours, please contact the state president in advance to make special arrangements.

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

Exhibit Hall and Mini Independence Market:

The Exhibit Hall and Mini Independence Market will be in the Phoenix Ballroom. The Exhibit Hall will be open Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. It will be closed during lunch. Don’t miss your chance to interact with more than 20 companies and organizations. Plus, grab those different beads! PLEASE NOTE: Although this is the majority of the vendors, more will be added. Please check the information table at convention for a braille list of vendors and their table numbers.

  • Ability 360
  • ACBVI Desktop Support Program
  • All Things Blind Tech
  • Arizona Braille and Talkingbook Library
  • Arizona Center for disability Law
  • Arizona Industries for the Blind
  • Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration
  • Blind Inc.
  • Candoable
  • Colorado Center for the Blind
  • Governor’s Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Haptic Vision
  • Humanware
  • Mandy’s Minis
  • NFBAZ Education Committee
  • NFB Information Table
  • NFBAZ Sweatshirts
  • NFB Mini Independence Market
  • Peckham
  • Radiant Beauty by Sharon
  • SAAVI Services for the Blind
  • Vanda Pharmaceuticals

Hospitality Suite

The Hospitality Suite is located in Room 747. It will be open for a lite bite and beverages from 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM on Friday, and 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM on Saturday. It will also be open from 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM on Friday for tacos and beverages. A $5.00 donation is suggested for the tacos.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Do you choose?

7:00 PM: Philosophy Session – Hanson Ballroom

Amy Porterfield, Membership Recruitment and Engagement Committee Chair
This evening we will take some time to explore the freedom making a true choice brings to us as individuals, as Federationists, and blind people everywhere.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Road Less Traveled
Make sure you collect a different bead for each seminar and exhibit table you visit. You will be able to make a cane charm that shows your individual road through our convention this year.

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Registration – Second Floor Atrium

Breakout Sessions:

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Exhibit Hall – Phoenix Ballroom

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Access Technology Seminar –Hanson Ballroom.

Bryan Duarte, Board Member, NFBA
We all love our technology. From our mobile devices that provide us with critical information about where are friends are every second of the day, what they are eating, and most importantly their relationship status... To our computers, where we basically do the same thing... This year we are excited to have you participate in another hands on experience with different devices, applications, operating systems, and assistive technologies available to you with "out-of-the-box" accessibility. Join us this year for the 2019 Technology Seminar where we will invite you to forget about the impossible and learn what is possible with today’s off the shelf technology!

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Employment Seminar - Remington and Russel.

Jordan Moon – NFBA Board Member, Chair

The Nature of Networking

What does it mean to network? Why is it so important? At this seminar, you will hear from real companies who are actively hiring! Come dressed professionally and do not miss your chance to put those networking skills to the test, as you will have a chance to interact with those companies.  The blind employer’s panel will be returning. Plus,  we’ll be sprinkling in some very useful information. You’ll also have an opportunity to take part in a mock interview and resume review from valley professionals who volunteered for this seminar. Please sign up in advance by sending an email to

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM: Seniors division Seminar - Curtis.

Come join us as we learn more about services for independent living, Medicare, learn more about the area agencies on aging, and engage in round table discussion topics about relevant issues.

Noon – 1:30 PM: Lunch – Regency Ballroom

1:30 PM-3:15 PM: Students Seminar –Hanson Ballroom

Amar Tarin, President Arizona Association of Blind Students

Are you a blind student who has questions about training, how to get involved with the federation and scholarships? If so, please join us to learn a little bit about these topics and more!

1:30 PM-3:15 PM: Blindness Professionals Seminar – Curtis Ballroom

Amy Porterfield, President, National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals

All professionals working in the field of blindness are welcome to share ideas, and reenergize.
Round table introductions
The Art of negotiation: In advocacy, we learn to negotiate every day.
Legislation and policy, Let’s break it down to a practical level.
The pengelum swing from structured to discovery. Finding the right balance for each consumer.
Community and industry updates. 

1:30 PM 3:00 PM: Blind Merchants Division seminar: Remington ballroom.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Legislative Seminar –Regency Ballroom

Sami Hamed and Jordan Moon, NFBA Co- Legislative Chairs
Come make your way to the regency ballroom for our 2019 Legislative Seminar. “We will be hearing from Arizona Secretary Of State Katie Hobbs who has partnered with us in our quest to make sure that the voting experience for us is the same as it is for everyone else. We will then hear from legislative chair Sami Hamed, as he is running to be on the Tucson City Council about the ends and outs of a campaign and how he handles issues about his blindness. Do you want to know more about our legislative priorities? What is the Gain Act? The ATA? Come learn all about these and get ready to call your member of congress!

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Hospitality Suite – Room 747

The host divisions are offering Tacos and cold beverages for a donation of $5.00

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM: Resolutions Committee –Hanson Ballroom

Sami Hamed and Jordan Moon, Co-Chairs

8:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Hospitality Night with Karaoke – Regency Ballroom

Light snacks will be provided

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Nominating Committee – Board Room

Bob Kresmer, Chair
This is the only meeting during the convention that is not open to the public

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Ring the bell of Freedom,
Pick up your bells as you enter the general session ballroom. During the session, take a minute and write down a choice of your own at the table in the back.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration –2nd floor, Atrium.

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Children and Youth Track – Remington/Russel ballrooms.

9:00-9:40: Introductions and opening ceremony
9:40-10:40: Imagination corner with sketchpads and Braille,
10:40-11:00: Break with snacks,
11:00-noon: Sports
Noon: Lunch and free play
1:00-2:00 Tactile Art (Nap time available)
2:00-3:00 STEM activities
3:00-3:40: Scavenger hunt in the hotel,
3:40-5:00: General session,
5:00 Parent pick up.

General Session – Regency Ballroom

9:00 AM: Opening with President Donald Porterfield

9:05 AM: Invocation

9:10 AM: Color Guard with Roy Stinson

9:20 AM: Host Committee Welcome

Phoenix Chapter– Brad Kuhn

9:30 AM: Membership Committee Celebration

Amy Porterfield

9:40 AM: Rehabilitation Services Administration

Rehabilitation Services Administration, Services for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Deaf

10:00 AM: The Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind: Partnering with the NFBA Annette Reichman,


10:20 AM: Arizona Industries for the Blind: Chris Lafollette,

10:30 AM: Resolutions

Sami Hamed and Jordan Moon, Co-Chairs

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Why I am a Federationists – Collin Wong

Noon – 1:45 PM: Box Lunch Pick Up – Atrium

Noon – 1:45 PM: Lunch and Breakouts

Arizona Parents of Blind Children –Russel Ballroom
Arizona Association of Blind Students –Hanson Ballroom
Senior Division –Curtis Meeting Room
Diabetes Action Network, – Regency Ball room
At Large Chapter: Regency ballrooms,
Arizona Association of Blind Merchants: Regency Ballroom.

Afternoon General Session: Regency Ballroom

2:00 PM: President’s Report

Donald Porterfield, President, NFBA

2:30 PM: National Rep Report

Sharron Maneki, NFB of MD

2:55 PM: Blind Inc. --

Rachael Koonce, Residential Instructor

3:10 PM: Colorado Center for the Blind

Julie Deden, Executive Director

3:25 PM: SAAVI - Services for the Blind

Amy Porterfield, Chief Operations Officer

3:40 PM: NFB BELL Academy Amy Porterfield, Arizona BELL Academy Coordinator and Board Member, NFBA

3:55 PM: Nominating Committee Report and Elections

Bob Kresmer, Chair

5:00 PM: Adjourn

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Reception No-host cash bar – Atrium (Cash Bar)

7:00 PM: NFBA Banquet – Regency Ballroom

Keynote Speaker
Scholarship Awards
Raffle and Auction

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Choices mean Power
Make sure you bring your personal choice card to our business meeting. You will get a chance to share with our Federation Family if you so choose.

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: NFBA Worship Service –Hanson Room

8:00 AM – Noon: Children and Youth Track – Remington ballroom

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Chapter/Division Breakfast – Regency Ballroom

Chapter and Division Reports

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Business Meeting and Strategic Planning – Regency Ballroom

12:00 Noon: Adjourn

Additional Information:

National Federation of the Blind of Arizona
2018 Convention Hotel Description
Hyatt Regency Phoenix

122 North Second Street
 Phoenix, Arizona, 85004

Tel: +1 602 252-1234

The following is a brief summary of the hotel’s layout. Please note that the best way to learn the hotel is by actually traveling and exploring it. It is our hope that this description provides you with a general understanding of the hotel’s layout and features. Cardinal directions are the easiest way to describe locations throughout the Hotel. West will always be west, but left for you may be left for someone else, depending on which elevator you came out of for example. Parts of the hotel are under construction and Networks and the pool are currently closed. There is a hotel across the street with a pool if needed. The Compass Grill will be the restaurant serving casual fare in place of Networks which is located on the 24th floor.

 There are two entrances to the hotel. One on 2nd Street and Monroe. We will use the 2nd street as the point of reference. When you enter 2nd Street you will be facing West and when you enter Monroe you will be facing South. 

As you enter the 2nd Street Entrance and continue walking West you will encounter the check in counter after approximately 50 feet. As this point you will be in the middle of the North South hallway. Along this hallway are seating areas that can be used. Past the check in counter on the West wall is the elevators. There are 2 entrances for the elevator corridor on the West wall with the elevators on the East and West wall of this indented corridor.
 Once you are back at the check in Desk, you can head North or South. If you head North you can shoreline the East wall. Along the East wall is the Market for food and snacks, the restrooms, and the gift shop. If you shoreline the West wall heading North, you will find the Bar which opens at 3 and the Sundance Ballroom.
 Back at the check in desk, if you walk South, on the West wall is the Regency Ballroom where Friday lunch, General session, and the Banquet will be taking place. The Regency Ballroom is in a long carpeted hallway and within this carpeted hallway, on the North wall is the restroom. Directly East of the Regency Ballroom is the Escalators on the East Wall. This leads to the second floor.
 On the second floor, there is a large opening known as the Atrium. The escalators are on the East side of the Atrium. If you get off the Escalators on the second floor, you will be facing West. The elevators are on the West side of the Atrium in a little escalator corridor with entrances on its North and South. If you get off the escalators or the elevator heading North, you will encounter the Ellis and Cassidy ballroom after approximately 150 feet. If you leave the Elevator heading South or the Escalators headed South East, you will find the registration desk. At this point on the East wall, you will find a large carpeted hallway. If you enter this hallway and shoreline on the South wall, you will find the Curtis Room, if you continue further down on the South wall is the restrooms, and if you continue further down, you will find the Phoenix Ballroom. The Phoenix Ballroom is on the West wall and the Remington ballroom is immediately north of it where Youth Track will be taking place. 

Please let the State Board know if we did a great job and we will see you all in Tucson next year. 

Your courtesy tour guides,
 Colin Wong and Jordan Moon

National Federation of the Blind of Arizona

Donald Porterfield, President
5147 E. Circulo Las Cabanas
Tucson, AZ 85711

Jordan Moon, Chair, Convention Arrangements Committee

This Year’s Hosts: Phoenix Chapter, Brad Kuhn, President

August 29 through September 1, 2019

Hyatt Regency, Phoenix

122 N. Second Street
Phoenix, AZ

NFB National Representative: Sharron Maneki

Sharron is a native of Jersey City, New Jersey. She has a B.A. in American History from St. John’s University in New York and an M.A. in American History from Jersey City State University. Sharron taught social studies in a public high school, where she was the only blind person, for fifteen years. In 1983, Sharron married Al Maneki and moved to Maryland. She worked for the National Security Agency as a Research Analyst for 27 years. Sharron is the author of several books. One of them can be found on BARD. The title is “The Quiet Heroes of the Southwest Pacific Theater: An Oral History of the Men and Women of CBB and FRUMEL.” This book is about signals intelligence under General MacArthur in Australia in World War II.

Sharron joined the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in 1976 when folks came from the national office to reorganize the New Jersey affiliate. She started out as secretary of a local chapter and served as first vice president of the state affiliate for about six years. The NFB helped her get her teaching credentials because there was a law that prohibited discrimination based on blindness in New York where she attended college.

Sharron became very active in the NFB when she moved to Maryland in 1983. Sharron served as president of the NFB of Maryland for 24 years. Sharron’s favorite activities are getting legislation passed on the state level to make sure that blind people can live the lives they want. On the national level, Sharron has been the chair of the resolutions committee for many years. Finally, Sharron was the editor of an important NFB publication entitled, “Integrating Print and Braille: A Recipe for Literacy”. This publication deals with teaching Braille to students with limited vision.

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