By: Michael Kasey and Tracy Soforenko
The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia is a powerful force advocating for blind Virginians. Please join us for the Richmond Seminar on January 19-20, 2015 to ensure our voice is heard in the offices of the General Assembly.
If you have never attended a Richmond Seminar, we strongly encourage you to attend and participate in representative democracy in action.
The issues we will bring to Richmond will most likely include:
- . Requiring a research based reading media assessment as part of
every blind and low vision student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) so Virginia’s students who need Braille will get Braille;
- . Ensuring that Ride Sharing Services (such as Uber and Lift) use
accessible technology and allow passengers to take guide dogs; and
- . Support for Virginia Department of the Blind and Vision Impaired
(DVBI) as a separate agency.
The final list of issues will be presented at the board meeting.
We have bills being drafted that will need co-sponsors. Chapter Presidents should make contact with their General Assembly members in their local offices before the end of the year. If you need assistance in identifying them, contact Michael or Tracy. A meeting with them will go a long way in establishing the recognition that is needed for our visit to Richmond. All Chapter members are encouraged to participate.
Our extended board meeting and workshop is scheduled for Monday, January 19which is Martin Luther King Day. The Board Meeting will be held from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the Assembly Room of the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for
the Blind and Vision Impaired, 401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227. .
- A) Agenda for Board Meeting – We will cover the following topics:
- . Facilitated Workshop on affiliate Goals and plans for the coming
- . Affiliate Social Media Strategy
- . State Convention Lessons Learned & Ideas for the 2015 State
- . Richmond Seminar briefing for participants
- A detailed agenda for the board meeting will be provided in January.
- B) Boxed Lunches – A member of the Richmond chapter, Leon Anderson,
will be providing boxed lunches on Monday afternoon at a cost of $10 per lunch. You will have a choice of either a Turkey & cheese sub or a ham & cheese sub. All boxed lunches come with chips, fruit and a snack. Beverages will be available for $1. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to the Richmond chapter.
- C) General Assembly Visits – Our General Assembly visits will be
Tuesday, January 20. Everyone is assigned to a team with an experienced leader. The General Assembly members and their staff are very receptive and welcoming. They know we are organized, articulate, and well versed in the subject matter. We will put everyone on the team to work, sharing our issues and answering the questions of legislators and their staff.
- D) Affiliate Funding – Transportation and hotel paid by affiliate!<
The affiliate will reimburse transportation expenses and hotel expenses.
Chapter presidents should arrange cost effective transportation for their chapter members. Individuals are expected to share hotel rooms and must obtain hotel reservations themselves at the NFB of Virginia rate. If you need assistance identifying a room share, please contact Michael or Tracy.
Hotel rooms are available at the Crowned Plaza Hotel Downtown, 555 East Canal Street, Richmond, VA 22319. Hotel rooms can be reserved by telephone at 804-788-0900 or 1-855-472-7802. The NFB rate is $94plus tax per night.
The deadline for booking hotel rooms is January 8, 2015. Do not delay, book your room today.
It should not be required but just in case; the 3-digit booking code is NFB.
Some notes from Brian McCann who organized the agreement with Crowne Plaza:
- The link above is set for one guest but you can revise the search by
using the revise search link. Don’t go back to the reservations page and start the search over, this will take off the discount rate.
- Your credit card is NOT charged a deposit for a room hold.
- Total EST price for the room after taxes is $106 per night.
- Cancellation Policy: Canceling your reservation before 6:00 PM (local
hotel time) on Monday, 19 January, 2015 will result in no charge. Canceling your reservation after 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on 19 January, 2015, or failing to show, will result in a charge of 1 night per room to your credit card. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation.”
Overnight self parking is regularly $12 but we have arranged the discounted rate of $7 for hotel guests. See front desk for details.
Chapter presidents must provide the names of the individuals planning to attend from their chapter to Michael and Tracy by Wednesday, January 14,
2015 so we can establish teams in advance. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Kasey at (540)760-3885 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tracy Soforenko at (703)635-2085 or email@example.com