Category Archives: State Convention

State Convention

State Convention Highlights for Working Age Adults

The 2017 NFB of Virginia Convention agenda is coming together. This convention highlight message focuses on topics for working age adults.

Working age adults will benefit from a remarkable set of programs, including:

Friday Afternoon

Living the Collaborative Life You Want – How Blind People Strategize to Work in a Visually Oriented Workplace

This year’s NFBV 2017 Friday technology
seminar will focus on how blind people effectively collaborate in the workplace, be it remote, virtual or face-to-face with their peers. We will have an
interactive and panel discussion about the technology and alternative techniques used by blind professionals to enhance their productivity on the job.
In addition, participants will get the opportunity to apply the skills discussed in an interactive collaboration exercise.

Eyes on You: Dress, Connect, Impress –
Increasing the Social and the Professional You by Maximizing your Wardrobe Potential, Cultivating Relationships, and Leaving an Everlasting Impression

This Friday afternoon seminar will focus on how you present yourself, both professionally and personally, to achieve
your goals, promote your brand, and make a strong impression on others.

Friday Evening

Winning Them Over with Professionalism and Poise – An Etiquette Dinner

You are cordially invited to attend the inaugural Etiquette Dinner presented by the NFB of Virginia on Friday evening. At this dinner, you will be educated
on the ins and outs of appropriate etiquette in both professional and social dining settings. From knowing which fork to use, to how much to tip, and even
appropriate dinner conversation. These are just a few of the things that will be discussed. There will also be an “Ask Ms. Manners”
portion at the end. For this portion of the evening, you will have the opportunity to anonymously ask those burning questions that you may be too afraid or embarrassed to ask out loud. Simply write down your question in either braille or large print, bring it with you to dinner, and get the answers you
seek! Registration is limited, so pre-register to secure your seat. A limited menu will be defined from the Westin’s Blue Fire Grill and participants will
be responsible for paying for their menu selections. The dress is business casual. Out of respect for all participants and our presenters, you are expected
to arrive promptly. This is going to be a wonderful event, and well worth your time. The techniques you learn at this dinner are sure to add a finishing
touch of class to your business persona and make you that much more desirable within the job arena. Remember you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. So, let’s learn and grow together!

Saturday Afternoon

Upward Mobility Lunch

One of our engaging Saturday lunch sessions will focus on individuals who are early in their career and trying to grow to move up the employment ladder. Whether you are a young professional, seeking to change careers, or trying to figure out how to find and partake of new opportunities,
join us to connect and discover ideas for your future.

Getting the Job Done – Advancing Your Job/Career Prospects

Our Saturday afternoon career workshop will focus on helping you get and grow on the job. Whether you are a job seeker, a new employee, or someone trying to advance in the evolving workplace, this dynamic workshop will provide you the skills to navigate with greater confidence. We will combine great presentations, interactive sessions and the opportunity to learn from our peers to help you
succeed. This year’s seminar will focus on self-reliance, private sector solutions, and charting your own path. Key areas of focus will include resume
and cover letter critique, mock interviews, overcoming obstacles in the workplace, and networking best practices.

The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia Convention combines excellent networking with positive blind role models, fellowship with old and new friends across the Commonwealth, and some of the best presentations on topics important to the blind of Virginia.

Details on convention registration and hotel reservations can be found at:

Apply for the Expanded NFB of Virginia College Scholarship & Attend the 2017 NFBV Convention On Us

From Brian Miller, NFB of Virginia Scholarship Committee Chair



The NFB of Virginia is pleased to announce the launch of its James F. Nelson merit scholarship program for the academic year 2017-2018. Up to three scholarships of $1500.00 will be awarded based on academic achievement, community engagement, and leadership potential.

The NFB of Virginia believes that all blind and visually impaired students who apply for a James F. Nelson scholarship can benefit from the experience of attending the state convention. As such, the NFBV will cover reasonable costs associated with attending the convention for all eligible applicants, including a room at the hotel, most meals, and the cost of registration and a banquet ticket. Scholarship applicants will be reimbursed for these expenses at the convention, so please notify the committee if you do not have access to a credit card or other means of covering pre-convention costs. Applicants are expected to pre-register in order to signal their intention to attend the state convention and to assist the scholarship committee to make hotel reservations.

The Scholarship Committee will review all applications and select the scholarship recipients. All decisions of the Scholarship Committee are final.

Please read all instructions carefully and pay close attention to the deadlines.

To be eligible to receive a James F. Nelson scholarship, all applicants must:

  • Be legally blind or have a visual impairment that qualifies them to receive services under IDEA or from a state vocational rehabilitation program;
  • Be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or be attending full time an accredited institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
  • Plan to pursue a full-time, postsecondary course of study in the 2017-2018 academic year; and
  • Participate in the entire NFB of Virginia state convention and in all scheduled scholarship program activities to be held November 3 to 5, 2017, at the Westin Tysons Corner, Falls Church, Virginia.

Individuals who have already won two James F. Nelson scholarships should contact the scholarship committee chair before applying. The intention of the committee is to not award scholarships more than twice to the same individual except in extraordinary circumstances. Exceptions to this policy will only be made by decision of the committee chair and the NFBV affiliate president.

Completed scholarship applications and all supporting documentation should be sent to the NFB of Virginia scholarship committee chair,

  • Dr. Brian R. Miller,
  • E-mail:

with the words “scholarship application” in the subject line.

Deadline: Applications must be received no later than October 1, 2017.

Applicants must submit at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, professor, counselor, or academic advisor who is familiar with their scholarship. Applicants are encouraged to provide additional letters of recommendation or references, including from employers, individuals working in the applicant’s field of interest, or leaders from the blind movement or other groups engaged in social change advocacy. Letters of recommendation may be submitted in email form.

An electronic copy of the applicant’s transcripts must be provided in support of the application. Unofficial transcripts in PDF form from the accredited institution are acceptable.

Link here to download a copy of the 2017 scholarship application

Why Parents and Students Should Attend the 2016 NFB of Virginia Convention (11/11 – 11/13)

Highlights for students and their parents:

  • Braille Carnival

    An exciting hands on Friday evening carnival for students of all ages.

  • Friday Student Social

    An engaging and interactive student social for students from middle school through college.

  • Saturday Student Breakfast

    with President Kasey in the Presidential Suite

  • Student Division Luncheon /Travel Excursion

    Paired with role models and peers, this travel excursion outside of the hotel led by and for students to connect with peers and organize programming for themselves.

    Since this excursion is outside of the property, students should not order the lunch offered through convention registration. Please see details below on the student luncheon.

  • Saturday afternoon Students programming

    Learn about how your peers are participating in sports and fitness, clubs and other leadership opportunities, and getting the training they need to succeed in school and beyond.

  • Parents Division Luncheon and Parent Track

    Connect with parents from across Virginia committed to advocating for their children and ensuring high expectations for their kids. Meet positive role models and tap the network of parents who are making things happen for their children. Learn about how to best advocate in the IEP process, technology for your student, how your student can engage in student run programming across the country, engage in sports & fitness in the community, and options for training on the alternative skills of successful blind people. Box lunch is recommended for parents attending this program.

  • Sunday Scavenger Hunt and Philosophy Chat

Additionally, in the General Session, there are great programs for parents and students including:

  • A Panel of parents of Blind Children Sharing how parents are advocating for their children while teaching their children to advocate for themselves.
  • Learn from positive blind role models who are running their own businesses, pursuing their dreams, and leading the way for blind people across America.
  • Learn about the accomplishments we are making together to advance the rights of the blind in Virginia, across the country and internationally so we can all live the life we want.

If you are going to attend the convention and you are planning to take part in our student programming, please send an email to the Virginia Association of Blind Students (VABS) secretary, Jennifer Shields, who will be able to count you in the running for door prizes and add you to the list for the luncheon on Saturday, November 12. Her email address is:

We would like for all students to confirm if they are coming or not by Friday, October 21, 2016 in order to have an accurate count of how many students to expect. When you send the email, just include the following in the message body:

  1. Your name
  2. Your Chapter
  3. The days you are attending convention
  4. Your favorite pizza topping

Those participating in the youth track under the age of 18 must also complete, sign, and bring the below Youth Track Registration form to convention.

Click here to download the 2016 Youth Track RegistrationForm

Our hotel room block and reduced pre-registration pricing closes October 18 so act right away to reserve your space.

Link Here to the post for details on Convention Registration and Hotel Reservations

We hope you can join us.

Highlights of the NFB of Virginia November 11-13, 2016 Convention for Working Age Adults

Working age adults will benefit from a remarkable set of programs Including:

  • Take Charge: Strategies for Success

    It’s More than just about a paycheck! – Whether you are pursuing your first job or you have been in your career for thirty years, this Saturday afternoon seminar is for you. In a competitive job market, learn about the tools that will empower you to take the next step toward achieving the career you want! Through interactive engagement, you will hear from presenters and other participants about their secrets for Success. By taking an active role in securing your first job or advancing in your career, learn how to become the indispensable employee! Explore strategies to position yourself to become the employer if that is your dream!

  • Social media Introduction or Advanced Seminar

    Sign up for one of two Social Media Seminars for beginners or advanced users. Danielle Trevino, Coordinator of Social Media and Member Engagement at our national headquarters will lead these interactive sessions to help participants take advantage of Facebook and Twitter. Pre-registration for these sessions is required and seating is limited.

  • Microsoft, Apple, and Google – O My!

    Christopher O’Meally, Chair

    The battle of the Technology giants is real, but which one will you pick? Join a host of presenters at this Friday afternoon seminar as they help you dive into all of the major operating systems across computers and mobile devices.

  • Back to Basics: Dating, Relationships, and Culture:

    Uricka Harrison and Deepa Goraya, Co-Chairs

    This Friday afternoon seminar will explore a variety of topics surrounding blindness and its intersection between dating, relationships, and culture. Through panel discussions and breakout sessions, we will cover dating as a blind person, challenges and experiences with dating a blind person versus a sighted person, marriage and parenting as a blind person, issues surrounding blindness and culture and how that affects how you view blindness and how it is perceived by others, how culture and blindness affect your dating life and relationships, experiences using online dating sites, dating as a blind senior, experiences with traveling as a blind individual with your sighted or blind partner.

  • Blind Parents: Raising Kids as a Blind Parent

    Jessica Reed and C .J. Fish, Moderators

    This Saturday luncheon will be a discussion to address the techniques blind parents are using to raise their children throughout all facets of life. Come with your questions and our panelists will be ready to answer them.

The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia convention combines excellent networking with positive blind role models, fellowship with old and new friends across the Commonwealth, and some of the best presentations on topics important to the blind of Virginia.

The cutoff date for hotel rooms and pre-registration is October 18 .

Please join us in Virginia Beach.

Link Here to the post for details on Convention Registration and Hotel Reservations

2016 NFBV State Convention Agenda Preview

We are convinced that the 2016 NFB of Virginia Convention will be our best ever.

We are working hard on convention plans and we want to provide a preview of the plans so you can arrange to be there.

Based on the positive feedback from last year, we will continue with the new structure of convention, making both Friday & Saturday programming even stronger. While you are welcome to show up for just a portion of convention, you should seriously consider asking for Veteran’s Day, November 11 as a day off to attend the great Friday programming.

These plans are still in progress and may change.

Friday Highlights:

  • I. General Session officially starts Friday Morning – After a brief
    Board meeting, open to all members, we will start the convention officially at 10:00 a.m. There will be exciting presenters on Friday morning and a ceremony honoring our Veterans.
  • II. II. Friday Seminars – 2 Seminars are planned on Friday afternoon
    • a. Technology Seminar –Chris O’Meally is planning a great seminar. The Best Apple IOS Applications of 2016, Best Practices for blind ride sharing users, advancements in Google product accessibility including Android, Chrome OS, and Google apps.
    • b. Relationships Intersection – Uricka Harrison and Deepa Goraya will lead a seminar on relationships, dating, parenting and living the life you want.
  • III. Exhibitors – We will have a great set of exhibitors sharing products and services you will find interesting and valuable. Robert Parsons will be organizing exhibits.
  • IV. Rookie Reception – First time convention attendees will be welcomed in an environment to receive answers to questions and get connected.
  • V. Veterans at the Beach Party – On Friday evening, all are welcome at an indoor Veterans at the Beach themed hospitality.
  • VI. Student Programming – The student division is planning a set of programming on Friday night to get convention rolling for students.

Saturday Highlights:

  • I. General Session – There will be phenomenal presentations during General Session on Saturday morning including a National Report from our National Representative, Pam Allen and a Virginia report from President Kasey. More details to follow.
  • II. Saturday break Out session – On Saturday afternoon, in place of General Session we are planning smaller breakout groups for our core constituencies:
    • a. Career / Employment Track for Working age adults – Melody Roane is developing an exciting and interactive session to help you in your career. More details to follow.
    • b. Student Track – We are planning an exciting student track including a Friday welcome reception, a travel activity for Saturday lunch outside of the hotel, and interactive programming on Saturday and Sunday morning that will enable students to learn from each other and from our great Federation resources. The Virginia Association of Blind Students will be organizing student track.
    • c. Senior Track- Nancy Yeager and a committee of seniors are planning an exciting program for seniors based on ideas from across the country. More details to follow…
    • d. Parent Track – the Virginia Association of Parents of Blind Children is planning a number of programs including discussions on advocacy /self-advocacy and some hands on activities.
    • e. Social Media Training – Concurrent to these breakout sessions, Danielle Trevino will lead 2 sessions to help understand how to use Social Media for both achieving personal and Federation goals. Danielle will lead an introductory and advance class and seating will be limited. More details on registering for these sessions will be provided soon.
  • III. . On Saturday night, Pam Allen, our National representative and First Vice president of the National Federation of the Blind, president of the NFB of Louisiana, and Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind will provide an exciting banquet address you will not want to miss.

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning, we are planning a number of high energy presentations including, That’s Me: Exploring Our Common Bonds, led by Joanne Wilson. There will be blind people talking about their unique jobs and a report out from our students.

As you will observe, we are planning a great event. However, to make it truly outstanding, we need you to plan to attend.

Please act now to join us in Virginia Beach.

Link Here to the post for details on Convention Registration and Hotel Reservations

2016 Youth Track Registration

We are again holding a special Youth Track designed to meet the needs of blind Students. In order to participate in this fun and exciting program, participants under the age of 18 must also complete, sign, and bring the below Youth Track Registration form to convention.

Click here to download the 2016 Youth Track RegistrationForm

Those participating in the youth track will also need to register for the convention :

Link Here to the post for details on Convention Registration and Hotel Reservations

2016 State Convention Registration Now Available

The 2016 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia will be held Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13, 2016 at the

Use the above phone number or link to make your hotel reservations. Special room rates have been negotiated for registered convention attendees. When you call the hotel, make sure to tell them that you are attending the convention so that you will receive the special convention rate. The deadline to make hotel reservations is Tuesday, October 18, 2016. After the deadline, there is no guarantee that you will get a room at the convention hotel.

Child care is available to the children of registered convention attendees (ages infant through 5th grade) during 6 sessions of convention. These sessions are:

  • Session 1 Friday morning 8:45 am to 12:15 pm
  • Session 2 Friday afternoon 12:15 pm to 5:15 pm
  • Session 3 Friday evening 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • Session 4 Saturday morning 8:45 am to 12:15 pm
  • Session 5 Saturday afternoon 12:15 pm to 5:15 pm
  • Session 6 Saturday evening 6:45 pm to ½ hour after banquet adjournment

Snacks will be provided during Sessions 1, 2, 4 and 5. Even though child care will be open and fully staffed during lunch on Friday and Saturday, lunch will not be provided. Parents should either pick their child up for lunch at the end of Sessions 1 and 4 or provide a lunch for their child to eat in the child care room. Also, dinner will not be provided on Friday or Saturday evening. Parents should feed their child dinner prior to bringing them to Sessions 3 or 6. The cost of child care is $5 per family per session. If you need more information, please contact Mary Durbin at (757) 472-2495 or Please indicate the number of children per session on the Convention Pre Registration Form.

On Saturday, box lunches will be available for a cost of $13.50 if purchased in advance on the convention pre registration form. Box lunches can only be guaranteed for those purchased on the convention pre registration form. A limited number may be available for purchase at the convention.

Note: Individuals participating in the Student Track / Virginia Association of Blind Students programming should plan to attend the Orientation & Mobility lunch outside the hotel and should not purchase the Saturday boxed lunch.

There are three ways to register for the convention:

  1. Click here to go to the Brown Paper Tickets web site to register online;
  2. Call Brown Paper Tickets toll free (800) 838-3006 to register by phone; or
  3. You may complete the attached Convention Pre Registration Form and mail it with payment included to:

2016 National Federation of the Blind of Virginia State Convention

We are convinced that the 2016 NFB of Virginia State Convention will be another great event. Following are the dates and hotel registration information. We look forward to seeing everyone there. Convention Registration will soon be available at

You can make your hotel reservations now at our NFB of Virginia rate.


  • November 11, 2016 – November 13, 2016
  • Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront
  • 5700 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
  • Call 1-800-365-3032 to make reservations and ask for the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia (NFBV) group rate.

Special room rate of $72 + tax per night from Thursday, November 10 – Saturday, November 12, 2016.

The cut-off date to take advantage of this special room rate is Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Cancellations must be received 72 hours in advance to avoid penalties. All guestroom rates are subject to the current area tax rates.

The Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel features 244 guestrooms, with 166 oceanfront options available, boasting the most direct ocean views in Virginia Beach. Guests can delight in cool sea breezes from their private balcony or patio opening to our semi-private beach. All of the guestrooms at the hotel feature free Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, coffeemaker and flat-screen TVs. For guests that want a little more space, the one and two bedroom suites as well as the Jacuzzi king rooms offer sweeping views of the shoreline, along with some extra room for the whole family to relax after a great day at the beach.

National Federation of the Blind of Virginia 2016 Scholarship Application Now Available

The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia (NFBV) will award up to three James F. Nelson, Jr. scholarships in the amount of $1,500 at the organization’s annual state convention to be held at the Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 5700 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23451. The convention begins on Friday, November 11 and concludes at noon on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Scholarship recipients must attend the convention in Virginia Beach to receive their scholarship awards. The NFBV will cover reasonable costs associated with travel to the convention, half the cost of a room at the hotel, most meals, and the cost of registration and a banquet ticket. Winners will be reimbursed for these expenses at convention, so please notify the committee if you do not have access to a credit card or other means of covering pre-convention costs.

The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia is an organization dedicated to creating equality, opportunity, and security for all blind people. Winners of an NFBV James F. Nelson, Jr. scholarship need not be members of the National Federation of the Blind. The Committee will consider applicants for all eligible scholarships with one application. Individuals who have applied in previous years are encouraged to apply again.

The Scholarship Committee will review all applications and select the scholarship recipients. The Committee will notify finalists by telephone on or before October 15, 2016. All decisions of the Scholarship Committee are final.

To be eligible for these awards, each applicant must:

  • Be legally blind;
  • Be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia or be attending school in the commonwealth;
  • Be pursuing—or planning to pursue—a full-time, postsecondary course of study in the 2016 – 2017 academic year; and
  • Participate in the entire NFBV state convention and in all scheduled scholarship program activities to be held November 11-November 13, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Application Process: Complete the 2016 Scholarship Application Form electronically and email it with the supporting documents to the scholarship committee chair:

NFBV 2016 Scholarship Form

  • Dr. Brian R. Miller
  • Email:
  • Phone: (703) 785-9929

Deadline: All applications and supporting documentation must be received on or before September 15, 2016.