75th Annual State Convention
“Our” Unfinished Business …
September 2-5, 2021
Everywhere – Virtual
The members of the host committee welcome you to the 75th Annual State Convention for the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona.
Donald Porterfield – President
7360 E. Vactor Ranch Trail
Tucson, AZ 85715
Jordan Moon – First Vice President NFBA and Chair, Convention Arrangements Committee
This Year’s Hosts
This year’s convention is being hosted by the State Affiliate.
All Meeting IDs are embedded so you can click on the link and it will bring you directly to the zoom meeting if you are on the computer or have the zoom app on your device.
Call the Arizona Hotline at 888-899-6322.
Helpful Zoom Commands:
- Phone commands to mute/unmute are: *6
- Phone commands to raise/lower hands are: *9
- Computer shortcuts to mute/unmute are: Alt+A
- Computer shortcuts to raise/lower hands are: Alt+Y
If you are calling in: Dial by your location:
- +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
- +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
- +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
- +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
- +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
- +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
- +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID can be found next to the meeting title.
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/azLCW6tiH
Zoom Meeting Etiquette
Keep in mind that upon joining convention one will be placed on mute. If you wish to speak and are not on the agenda, you may raise your hand. A host will get to you as soon as possible, do not unmute yourself until you are prompted to do so. If you are on the agenda the host will unmute you as we approach your presentation. Stay on mute if you are not speaking to the group. If on video, be mindful of your actions as we can see you. Stay focused and enjoy.
Zoom Instructions with JAWS
Instructions for disabling or controlling which alerts are spoken by Windows screen readers and Voiceover for iOS are below. If you can’t listen to another person joining the meeting after it has already started, this document is for you. We begin with some Zoom settings that will cut down the chatter and will tackle some Jaws features that are less reliable, but still useful.
Stop Zoom from announcing new meeting attendees on iPhones and iPads
- Open the Zoom app and double tap the settings tab found at the bottom of the screen.
- Double tap the Meetings button.
- Locate the, “Show Name when Participants Join” button and double tap to turn it off.
- Double tap the Back button or use the two finger scrub gesture .
Disabling specific alerts spoken during Zoom meetings using any screen reader
- Start the Zoom app.
- open your account settings. This is indicated by your name and is the first control your screen reader will announce after opening the app.
- Arrow down to Settings and press enter.
- The settings screen displays a list of categories beginning with General. Locate this list and find Accessibility by using the arrow keys. Make the Accessibility category active by pressing enter.
- Press tab until you find the screen reader Alerts listbox.
- Review the options in this listbox by arrowing through your choices and pressing the spacebar to uncheck alerts you wish to suppress.
Jaws specific keystrokes
The next three keystrokes are only available in Jaws 2020 and updated versions of Jaws 2019. The first two do not allow you to turn these features on and off quickly during a meeting. Best results are achieved by disabling or enabling alerts prior to starting a meeting from the Zoom app. Start Zoom and do one of the following.
- Enable or disable Zoom alerts: press Alt+Windows key+s
- Control announcement of chat messages: press Control+f5
- In a Zoom meeting, read the previous alert, even when automatic announcements are off: press Alt+Windows key+a
Registration: is virtual and can be done on-line at az.nfb.org/convention-registration.
If you have any problems registering, please contact your chapter president or 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! When you register on-line, you should receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive the confirmation, please contact your chapter president or the state president.
Spanish language interpreting services will be provided for this years NFBAZ State Convention. Should you or someone you know, benefit from this service, please contact Roxanne Torres and a link will be sent to you to join in the interpreting Zoom Room. You can reach Roxane via email at firstname.lastname@example.org You may also contact her directly by phone or text at (520) 336-4586. You may also simply use the following zoom link for the Philosophy, Friday Lunch, Resolutions, General Session, Banquet, and Business Meeting.
Servicios de interpretación en el idioma Español serán proveídos durante la convención estatal del NFBAZ.Si usted o algún conocido tomaría beneficio de estos servicios, comuníquese con Roxanne Torres. Ella le mandará el enlace para poder conectar a un “Zoom Room”. Le pueden enviar un correo electrónico a email@example.com También se pueden comunicar por medio de teléfono o texto (520) 336-4586.
Code of Conduct
We welcome all attendees to our convention and embrace diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect. Although we are meeting via Zoom these items are still relevant. To that end, please keep the following expectations in mind when you join us: The National Federation of the Blind provides support to members and advocates for our rights to live the lives we want through advocacy, public awareness, and mentoring. As a member or guest at our convention, you not only represent yourself but also our organization. We want you to enjoy your time with us, make new friends and renew old acquaintances. Although we encourage members to socialize and have fun, the convention also provides an important opportunity to come together to continue the work of our organization, to learn about the important initiatives that we are involved with on a local and national level, and to plan our work for the future. Please remember these guidelines:
1. Welcome new attendees: Although you will undoubtedly enjoy time with your friends, please reach out to those who have never joined us before and help them to be comfortable. We welcome people from all walks of life and with diverse needs and experiences.
2. Attend and participate in sessions.
3. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If your behavior could possibly make anyone uncomfortable, even if you would not be upset by it yourself, do not do or say anything that could be considered inappropriate by anyone.
The Door prize and Auction committee is proud to tell you that just because we are virtual does not mean there is not going to be door prizes and auction items. Door Prizes will be drawn during general convention sessions and during the banquet. To win, you must be registered for the convention, and you must be present when your name is called. To register, please register for convention here. As long as you are registered by 8:00 a.m. each morning, your name will be entered into the door prize pool of names.
Brad Kuhn, Door Prize/Auction Committee Chair.
Despite the challenges we faced in 2020 and 2021, we have come together in true Federation fashion and not let things get in the way of “our” Unfinished Business! Like we have done so many times before, we need to act! A task can seem insurmountable but when we join together to take action, we can complete any unfinished business!
Our fundraising campaign this year is called #TakingAction21. join with your National Federation of the Blind of Arizona family to fund our movement, and to raise the expectations of blind people in Arizona.
To thank you for your contribution you will be entered into a drawing which will take place on Banquet night for a very special gift! Each $20 donation is a chance to win. Challenge your friends, family, Facebook friends to also Take Action and give. Your name will be placed in the drawing for each increment of $20 you give. Give $100 and you will be entered into the drawing five times.
- Donate online now.
- Donate via phone by calling Joanne Gabias our fundraising chair at 318-497-2782.
- Send a check to NFBAZ, 7041 N. 33rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051. Be sure to have #TakingAction21 in the memo.
Donations will be considered up until the end of general session on Saturday for the drawing. The winner of the drawing will be announced September 4, 2021 during the banquet.
Please come together once again and with love, hope, and determination help us continue to show that blindness is not what defines you or your future. Thank you for your generosity.
The #SteppingIntoAction21 campaign is another way to fundraise during convention while promoting health and wellness during the virtual convention. This is a fundraiser with a little fun competition to see who can get the most steps in during a virtual convention and raise some money for the affiliate. It is simple to sign up for #SteppingIntoAction21. You can enter as a step competitor or have a sponsor donate towards your steps. The goal is for someone to donate $1.00 for every 1000 steps you take during the days of the virtual convention. In order to participate as a step competitor, we ask that you predict how many steps you think you will take or challenge yourself to take during the convention. You can have sponsors donate $1.00 for every 1000 steps you plan on taking or you can donate towards your own steps.
The first-place winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $30, the second-place winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $20 and the third-place winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $10.
We look forward to your hashtags on Facebook! We’ve got this! #SteppingIntoAction21
You can access the hospitality suite by clicking on the following link.
It will be open for an opportunity to mix and mingle each morning from 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM. It will also be open Friday Afternoon 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM, and Saturday 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.
NFB National Representative: Tracy Soforenko
Tracy Soforenko grew up in Rhode Island as the youngest child of a high school teacher. He attended the University of Pennsylvania graduating in 1991 with degrees in Finance and Psychology. Each summer, he worked long hours to pay tuition and expenses. He noticed difficulty with driving and scheduled an eye exam only to find out he was experiencing rapid vision loss due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. After college graduation, Tracy moved from Philadelphia to Washington DC and started a career in technology and business consulting serving financial services, retail, and publishing industry customers across North America. Tracy’s career evolved from consulting to becoming a project manager for the federal government where he managed large customer service and financial technology projects for the Corporation for National & Community Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
He and his wife Sharon were married in 1995 and moved to Arlington Virginia in 1997. As his career progressed and family responsibilities expanded with two daughters, Tracy desperately needed to learn alternative nonvisual techniques to do his job, raise his 2 toddler daughters, and be involved in the community. He needed positive blind role models, a new mindset on blindness and a way to contribute to the community. He found his local NFB chapter and was immediately put to work.
In his local chapter, Tracy ran fundraising activities and was involved in mentoring students and attended his first NFB National Convention in 2005. The experience was transformative, and he started developing youth programming, running the Virginia program to help first time convention attendees, directing legislative advocacy in Richmond, and taking on leadership roles. He served as president of his local chapter, as a Virginia affiliate Vice President and was elected Virginia affiliate President in 2016. Tracy’s enthusiasm for our national convention led him to serve as chair of the Kenneth Jernigan Fund. Tracy expanded programs for youth in the Virginia affiliate leading to the creation of Project Resilience, Independence, Self-Advocacy, and Employment (Project RISE) in 2017. This thriving program now serves 35 students with a team of 13 staff and mentors. This Fall, the Virginia affiliate is launching a program to share alternative techniques and Federation Philosophy with 60 blind and low vision seniors through the Virginia Silver Bells program. Finally, Tracy has expanded engagement in legislative advocacy at a state and national level with nearly 100 members participating in legislative advocacy in Richmond and 40 participants in Washington Seminar.
In 2021, Tracy was elected to serve as a member of the National Board of Directors.
Tracy, his wife Sharon and their 2 daughters still live in Arlington Virginia. He loves to hike, participate in his local Toast Masters Club, and cook.
NABS Representative: Elizabeth Rouse
Elizabeth Rouse is both the current NABS treasurer and a recent graduate of Central College, a division 3 university in Pella, Iowa. During her four years at Central, Elizabeth studied English and Theatre, simultaneously participating in and out of the classroom in many activities, including Washington Seminar 2017, 2019, and 2020. Now that she has her degree, Elizabeth is focused on obtaining structured discovery training at one of the National Federation of the Blind’s training centers, hoping to start in September of 2020. Elizabeth is passionate about all things money-making and self-advocating as they pertain to NABS! She’s also always up for a conversation about Broadway or the Chicago Cubs.