National Federation of the blind of Virginia State Convention

2016 National Federation of the Blind of Virginia State Convention

Link here to download the Agenda for our 2016 NFB of Virginia State Convention.

Dates and Hotel Reservations

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.

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.
  • Click here to make hotel reservations online

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. After the deadline, there is no guarantee that you will get a room at the convention hotel.

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.

Registering For Convention

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:

Convention Agenda Preview

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.

Child Care

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.

Saturday Boxed Lunch

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.

Student Youth Track

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. See the notes above on hotel and Convention Registration.

Highlights of 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.

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

Link here to download the Agenda for our 2016 NFB of Virginia State Convention.