[Nfbnet-members-list] Social Media and Streaming at NFBMD Convention

Chris Nusbaum dotkid.nusbaum at gmail.com
Thu Nov 7 03:36:07 UTC 2013

Here is information on the NFB of Maryland 
convention, coming up this weekend, including 
streaming information and the agenda.


Dear Friends:

I have been asked by the President of the NFB of 
Maryland to handle social media for the affiliate 
during our upcoming state convention in Ocean 
City. In this capacity I am writing to provide 
all the pertinent information regarding our 
online presence during the convention. If you 
will not be able to join us in person, please 
read the following carefully, as the information 
in this email will give you access to the 
excitement of the 2013 NFB of Maryland convention.

As we have done in the past, we will stream 
portions of the convention on the affiliate’s Web 
site. To access this stream, go to 
During the convention, you will see links which 
lead to the stream in a variety of formats. Click 
on the link corresponding with your media player 
of choice (Windows Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes, 
etc,) and the stream will load. The schedule of 
streamed events is as follows (all times are EasternJ

Friday, November 8
4:00-5:00 PM: NFBMD Board of Directors meeting

Saturday, November 9
9:00 AM-12:00 PM: General Session
2:00-5:00 PM: General Session
7:00-10:00 PM: 47th Annual Banquet

Sunday, November 10
9:00 AM-12:00 PM: General Session

In addition to our stream, we will interact with 
our listeners through email and Twitter. 
Throughout the convention sessions and the 
banquet, our Twitter team will tweet live updates 
from Ocean City so our members and friends who 
cannot attend in person can stay apprised of all 
the excitement. We would also love to hear from 
you. If you have a question or comment for a 
speaker, a problem with the stream, or if you 
just want to let us know you are listening, 
please mention @NFBMD in a tweet and we will 
receive it. We will periodically check Twitter 
throughout the general sessions and give 
“shout-outs” to the listeners of the stream. So, 
if you have Twitter, make sure to stay tuned to 
@NFBMD for convention news as it happens.

Don’t have Twitter? No problem. You can still 
keep in touch with us and ask any questions you 
might have. If you would like to get in contact 
during one of the sessions, just email 
<mailto:nfbmaryland at gmail.com>nfbmaryland at gmail.com. 
We will read questions and give shout-outs from 
the email as well. So, even if you will not be 
able to join us in person, catch the excitement 
on our Web site and via Twitter and email. If you 
have any questions about social media during 
convention, please write to me at 
<mailto:dotkid.nusbaum at gmail.com>dotkid.nusbaum at gmail.com 
or call me at (443) 547-2409. To those of you who 
are attending, see you in Ocean City! To those of 
you who will not be joining us, see you on the Internet!

Sincerely yours,

Chris Nusbaum


Forty-Seventh Annual Convention of the

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

Carousel Hotel and Resorts

Ocean City, Maryland

Friday, November 8–Sunday, November 10, 2013

National representative: Scott LaBarre



I pledge to participate actively
in the efforts of the
National Federation of the Blind
to achieve equality, opportunity,
and security for the blind;
to support the policies and programs of the Federation;
and to abide by its Constitution


Melissa Riccobono, President
1026 East 36th Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
(410) 645-0632
<mailto:president at nfbmd.org>president at nfbmd.org
NFB of Maryland Web site: <http://www.nfbmd.org>www.nfbmd.org


from the Officers and Board of Directors


Melissa Riccobono, President, Baltimore
Debbie Brown, First Vice President, Rockville
Barry Hond, Second Vice President, Baltimore
Judy Rasmussen, Secretary, Kensington
Shawn Jacobson, Treasurer, Olney

Members of the Board of Directors:

Darlene Barrett, Columbia
Michelle Clark, Springdale
Shahinaz Gadalla, Rockville
Melissa Lomax, Gwyn Oak
Sharon Maneki, Columbia
Maurice Peret, Baltimore

The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, 
an affiliate of the National Federation of the 
Blind, is a nonprofit organization of blind 
persons, their families, and their friends. We 
promote equal opportunities for the blind. We 
provide advocacy services for the blind, special 
training programs for parents of blind children, 
job referrals and placements for the blind, 
public education programs, and scholarships to 
blind students, and we help the newly blind to 
acquire special techniques for maintaining productive lives.

Committees of the
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

Anna Freysz Cable Award Committee
Debbie Brown, Chairman

Convention Child Care
Teresa Graham, Chairman

Convention Hospitality Committee
Wilma Smith, Chairman

Convention Registration Committee
Sonia Little, Chairman

Deaf-Blind Concerns Committee
Janice Toothman, Chairman

Distinguished Educator of Blind Children Award Committee
Sharon Maneki, Chairman

Door Prize Committee
Darlene Barrett, Chairman

Guide Dog Committee
Janice Toothman, Chairman

Jennifer Baker Award Committee
Susan Baker, Chairman

Kenneth Jernigan Award Committee
Dr. Marc Maurer, Chairman

Nominations Committee
Chris Danielsen, Chairman

PAC Plan Committee
Mark Riccobono, Chairman

Resolutions Committee
Anil Lewis, Chairman

Scholarship Committee
Judy Rasmussen, Chairman

SUN, Jernigan Fund, and tenBroek Memorial Fund Auction
Michael Gosse, Chairman

Youth Activity Committee
Melissa Lomax, Trudy Pickrel, and Dan Wenzel, Co-Chairmen

Chapters and Divisions of the
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

At Large Chapter
Mike Bullis, Coordinator ¨ (410) 645-0632
Monthly meetings second Thursday via conference call

Baltimore County Chapter
Ruth Sager, President ¨ (410) 602-9030
Monthly meetings fourth Thursday

Central Maryland Chapter
Darlene Barrett, President ¨ (410) 997-9664
Monthly meetings first Tuesday

Delmarva Chapter
Danielle Earl, President ¨ (443) 359-5882
Monthly meetings second Saturday

Greater Baltimore Chapter
Chris Danielsen, President ¨ (410) 659-9314, ext. 2330
Monthly meetings third Saturday

Greater Cumberland Chapter
Jason Adkins, President ¨ (301) 759-3232
Monthly meetings fourth Thursday

Maryland Association of Blind Students
Melissa Lomax, President ¨ (410) 608-6118

Maryland Parents of Blind Children
Trudy Pickrel, President ¨ (301) 387-4182

National Harbor Chapter
Michelle Clark, President ¨ (301) 583-8585
Monthly meetings fourth Saturday

Senior Issues Division
Ruth Sager, President ¨ (410) 602-9030

Sligo Creek Chapter
Debbie Brown, President ¨ (301) 881-1892
Monthly meetings second Saturday

TriCounty Chapter
Nikki Tippett, President ¨ (443) 262-5020
Monthly meetings third Saturday

The John T. McCraw Scholarship Program, named in 
honor of the late long-time president of the 
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and 
the undisputed leader of Maryland’s blind 
community, has been established to promote 
post-secondary educational opportunities and 
superior rehabilitation training for Maryland’s blind students.

High School Graduates­The recipients may use 
these scholarships to defray the cost of 
educational expenses incurred at any post-secondary institution.

Youth and Seniors­Middle school and high school 
students, as well as seniors experiencing vision 
loss, may use these scholarships to defray the 
cost of rehabilitation training provided by any 
qualified rehabilitation agency for the blind.

The Braille Spectator is published for members of 
the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland 
and others who share an interest in the work of 
this organization.  Free subscriptions (in print) 
can be obtained upon request. The Braille 
Spectator can also be read on the Web at 
http://www.nfbmd.org or can be listened to on the 
local channel of NFB-NEWSLINE®.

Please follow the National Federation of the 
Blind of Maryland on Twitter! Visit 
to receive affiliate news and updates.

Friend the National Federation of the Blind of 
Maryland on Facebook! Search for NFB Maryland.

Stay connected with your fellow Maryland 
Federationists by joining our state e-mail 
listserv. This list allows you to receive 
affiliate and national announcements, and also to 
start and participate in discussions regarding 
blindness and blindness issues. To sign up, visit 
click on “Join or drop NFB mailing lists,” then 
on “NFBMD,” and follow the instructions.

Visit us online at http://www.nfbmd.org.


The Carousel Beachfront Hotel is located at 11700 
Coastal Highway, Ocean City. Coastal Highway, the 
main route through Ocean City, runs from north to 
south. Cross streets are numbered; numbers increase as you travel north.

Entering the lobby of the Carousel from the main 
entrance, Coastal Highway is behind you and the 
famed Ocean City beach is directly ahead of you. 
Off the lobby, the front desk is on your right and elevators are on your left.

Walking through the lobby towards the beach, you 
will enter the Carousel’s Atrium after passing 
through a set of double doors. Turning left, as 
soon as you enter the Atrium, the Ice Rink is on 
your right. The Delaware, Washington, Maryland, 
and Virginia rooms (in that order) are on your 
left, and the Game Room is straight ahead of you. 
Turning right at the end of the Ice Rink, and 
proceeding toward the beach, you will come to the 
Seasons Oceanfront Restaurant and the Bamboo 
Lounge located at the far left corner of the Atrium.

Again entering the Atrium, straight ahead of you 
is the Brass Ring Bistro, featuring hand-dipped 
as well as soft serve ice cream, ice cream bars, 
popcorn, cotton candy, as well as a variety of 
candy including Swedish Fish, Gummy Bears, Jelly 
Bellies, and Trail Mix. This is also where you 
can get a variety of breakfast options including 
Seattle’s Best Coffee, Krispy Kremes, bagels, 
cereal, etc.  Walking to the back of the Brass 
Ring Bistro, then turning left with the Ice Rink 
on your left, is another way to get to the 
Seasons Restaurant and the Bamboo Lounge.

Starting again at the main entrance to the 
Atrium, and walking straight ahead, the Ice Rink 
will be on your left and the Indoor Swimming 
Pool, Whirlpool, Exercise Room and Sauna, 
Restrooms, the Pennsylvania Room, and the Gift Shop will all be to your right.

Combine pleasure with business at the Carousel 
Hotel and Resort. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or 
dinner in the Seasons Restaurant, a casual 
oceanfront dining room, open from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Snacks and sandwiches are also available in the 
lounge. To accommodate the convention, the lounge 
will open at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday if you wish to 
purchase a sandwich for the ride home. The buses 
will leave shortly after adjournment, so don’t delay.

The Carousel’s extensive recreational facilities 
include an Indoor Swimming Pool, Exercise Room, 
and Ice Rink. Sink into the Whirlpool and relax 
in the Sauna after a workout or spend the afternoon strolling along the beach.

Additional Notes from the Carousel
Wi-Fi Password for Hotel Rooms: Carousel

Wi-Fi Password for Condominiums: Carouselcondo

No smoking in the rooms or on the balcony. 
Designated smoking locations are in the front of 
the hotel, or outside the Beach Access doors.

The Carousel Hotel asks any guide dog user to use 
the dog relief area, located across 118th Street 
near the hotel’s parking garage. To get to this 
area, exit the hotel through the front door and 
turn right. Go to the corner and cross 118th 
Street. Approximately five feet from the corner 
on the left side there are rocks and dirt for dog 
relief, and also bags and a garbage can for 
disposing of waste. If you need assistance 
finding this area, please ask at the front desk, 
and one of the hotel staff members will be happy to show you where to go.

If there is anything we can do to make your stay 
more pleasurable, please feel free to reach out 
to a member of our friendly staff by dialing “0” 
on your room phone. It is our pleasure to have 
you as our guest. Enjoy your stay at the Carousel 
Oceanfront Hotel and Condominiums.

Facing towards Coastal Highway outside the main 
entrance, on the same side and to the right of 
the hotel on Coastal Highway, is The Crabcake 
Factory, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Facing towards Coastal Highway outside the main 
entrance, across the street and to the right will 
be Burger King, Food Lion, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin 
Robbins, Rippons Seafood, CVS drug store, a 
WaWa’s, Dolle’s fine candies, Julie’s Fine 
Dining, Whiskers Pub, No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, 
Hubba’s Pit Beef Seafood, Billy’s Subs, and 7-11.

Across the street and to the left will be The 
Greene Turtle, Superemo Cheesesteaks, and Pizza 
Togos. Past the Green Turtle, to the left in the 
Gold Coast Mall, are a Super Fresh, Rite Aid, 
Candy Kitchen, Three Brothers, and a movie theatre.

All of these things are within two blocks from the right, and from the left.

Ocean City is loaded with many fine restaurants 
and interesting attractions. You will be having 
such a grand time at our convention, however, 
that you will most likely not have time to enjoy 
any of them. If you do wish to leave the hotel, 
and use paratransit transportation, call (410) 723-1606 or (410) 723-1607.

Registration and packet pickup for the convention 
will be held outside the Maryland, Virginia, and 
Delaware Rooms in the Atrium on Friday from 1:00 
to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.; on Saturday 
from 8:00 to 8:40 a.m. and 12:00 noon to 12:15 
p.m.; and on Sunday from 8:30 to 8:50 a.m.

Registration fee: $20.00
Banquet: $40.00
Senior Issues Division and Parents Division Luncheons: $18.00

Banquet Ticket Exchange will be held Saturday, 
1:20 to 2:00 p.m., outside Maryland and Virginia 
Rooms.  Turn in banquet tickets to reserve 
seating at a specific table.  Banquet Ticket 
Exchange is necessitated by the large number of persons attending the banquet.

All persons taking advantage of the reduced room 
rates offered by the Carousel Hotel and Resort 
for this convention are required to register with 
the convention and to pay the registration fee of $20.00.

Darlene Barrett is the chairman of the Door Prize 
Committee.  Many of you have been hard at work 
gathering fabulous door prizes for this 
convention.  Please turn in your door prizes to 
Darlene as soon as possible.  You must be 
registered for the convention and present when 
your name is called in order to win a door 
prize.  Door prizes will be awarded during the 
general sessions on Saturday and Sunday and during the convention banquet.

All child care (for children ages 6 weeks to 9 
years) will take place in the Washington Room. 
Hours are: Friday, 9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 
1:00-6:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 
p.m. (lunch and dinner will be 
provided).  Parents should contact Trudy Pickrel for details.


You may charge meals, phone calls, and 
incidentals to your room by presenting a credit 
card to the front desk when checking in. The 
hotel levies additional charges on all phone 
calls made from your room. These charges are your 
responsibility. Please take care of these charges 
when you check out of your room on Sunday.

On Sunday, you must check out of your room before 12:30 p.m.

If you are leaving the Carousel by NFB of 
Maryland bus, please bring your luggage to the 
Delaware Room between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. Sunday, 
where it will be tagged and held for storage 
until 12:00 noon, when buses will be 
loaded.  Since buses will be making more than one 
stop, we need your luggage early so that it can 
be identified for the correct drop-off 
location.  Please be sure that your luggage is 
clearly labeled with your name, address, and telephone number.

If you came to the Carousel Hotel and Resort on 
transportation provided by the NFB of Maryland, 
you should expect to return on the same vehicle 
that brought you here.  However, some changes may 
be necessary to accommodate one-way 
passengers.  Please pay careful attention to 
transportation updates made during the Sunday morning general session.

Stop by the Hospitality Suite, Room 612, for 
refreshments and fellowship Saturday morning from 
7:00 to 8:35 a.m. and Sunday morning from 7:00 to 8:50 a.m.

Join us at 8:00 p.m. on the overlook above the 
Ice Rink for hospitality, game play, and our 
first ever “Blockey” Extravaganza! Bring your 
favorite card or board game, and teach and 
challenge others to play with you. (Some card and 
board games will be provided for those who wish 
to play but were unable to bring their own games.)

At 8:30 p.m., the Ice Rink will be completely 
turned over to the NFB of Maryland for blind 
hockey (“blockey.”) From 8:30-9:30 p.m., children 
from 3 to 13 will hone their skills on ice skates 
and try to score goals the “blockey” way. Then, 
from 9:30-10:30 p.m., convention attendees ages 
14 and up will have their turn on the ice. No 
“blockey” or ice-skating experience is necessary! 
There will be plenty of experienced skaters to 
help you learn, and “blockey” experts will be on 
hand to explain the rules of the game. Skate 
rental is required, and costs $4 per person.

Not sure “blockey” is your speed? No problem! You 
can play games with your friends all night long, 
and there will be “blockey” commentary, including 
color commentary provided by our National 
Representative, Scott LaBarre, so you will not 
miss any of the athletic, inspired, and possibly 
hilarious action on the ice!  Complimentary 
snacks and beverages will be provided.

Donations and pledges to the NFB of Maryland will 
be taken during the banquet.  The affiliate is in 
desperate need of funds at this time.

PAC Plan
A PAC Plan pledge form is included in this 
booklet for your convenience.  Please use it to 
join the PAC Plan or increase your monthly PAC 
pledge.  Please see Mark Riccobono at the PAC 
table during general sessions Saturday and Sunday 
in order to join the PAC Plan or increase your pledge.

The Braille agenda includes a print copy of the PAC Plan pledge form.

SUN, Jernigan Fund, and
Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund Auction
Our auction for SUN, the Jernigan Fund, and the 
Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund will take place 
spontaneously throughout the convention.  Bring 
your auction items to Michael Gosse as soon as 
possible.  Be ready to bid at any time on that must-have item!

Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society
Help build a future full of opportunity for the 
blind by becoming a member of the Jacobus 
tenBroek Legacy Society. Your legacy gift to the 
National Federation of the Blind can be made in 
the form of a will or living trust, an 
income-generating gift, or by naming the NFB as a 
beneficiary of a retirement plan or life 
insurance policy. You can also become a member of 
the Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society by making a 
legacy gift to the National Federation of the 
Blind of Maryland (or other state affiliate).  By 
committing to support an NFB affiliate, your gift 
will benefit both local and national programs, as 
all bequests made to affiliates are split evenly 
with the NFB national treasury. In addition to 
having the satisfaction of contributing to the 
future success of the NFB’s mission, tenBroek 
Legacy Society members will also receive a 
specially-designed thank you gift and other 
benefits. For additional information about the 
Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society, please contact 
Lou Ann Blake at the NFB Jernigan Institute by 
e-mail at <mailto:lblake at nfb.org>lblake at nfb.org 
or by telephone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2221.

The NFB Text2Give program is a fundraising effort 
focused on improving education and technology for 
blind Americans and supporting other NFB 
initiatives.  The Text2Give program enables 
anyone with a cellular telephone to give a $10 
contribution by text message, on the spot. The 
contributions will go to the NFB Imagination 
Fund, which supports the education, technology, 
and research projects of the NFB Jernigan 
Institute, as well as programs conducted by the 
fifty-two affiliates and over seven hundred local 
chapters of the Federation.  The Imagination Fund 
helps provide innovative programs that encourage 
blind youth to participate in scientific careers 
and help seniors to adjust to vision loss. By 
encouraging friends, family, and others to text 
the word BLIND to 85944, you can help raise 
critical funds for NFB programs at the local, state, and national levels.

Text to Pledge
Want to give more or less than $10 to support the 
National Federation of the Blind? Please text 
your name and the amount you would like to pledge to 41444.

Help Drive Change!
The National Federation of the Blind is now 
accepting vehicle donations! To donate a vehicle 
of any kind, please call 1-855-659-9314, or visit 

Arrangements will be made to tow your vehicle at 
no cost to you. You will receive a receipt for 
your tax-deductable donation. Each vehicle donated is worth approximately $500.

Don’t have a vehicle to donate yourself? No 
problem. Please pass the word to family and 
friends about this new initiative and help drive 
change with the National Federation of the Blind!

Convention Sponsor
Vanda Pharmaceuticals has been working on 
education and awareness for Non-24-Hour Disorder, 
a serious circadian rhythm disorder highly 
prevalent in people who are totally blind. To 
learn more and sign up for information you can 
visit <http://www.Non-24.com>www.Non-24.com or 
call toll-free 24/7 1-855-856-2424. Stay tuned 
mid-November for the launch of the Non-24 Share 
More Campaign in which we will donate $24 to the 
NFB for each person that signs up via our toll 
free number and mentions the NFB. Additionally, 
this campaign will allow you to share with 
friends and family to spread the word about Non-24.

Forty-Seventh Annual Convention

FRIDAY, November 8

9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. “Your Child’s Road to 
Independence Begins with You”: A Conference for Parents and Teachers (Part 1)

9:30-10:00 a.m. Registration

10:00 a.m. Conference Begins
Sponsored by the Maryland Parents of Blind 
Children (MDPOBC). Part one of this conference 
addresses the role of the MDPOBC, opportunities 
for summer learning and fun for blind youth, 
advocating for your child when creating an IEP, and access technology.
Trudy Pickrel, President, Maryland Parents of Blind Children; McHenry, Maryland
Delaware Room

  9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Children’s Fun Fair (Convention Child Care)
Teresa Graham, Coordinator; Ellicott City, Maryland
Washington Room

1:00-6:00 p.m. “Your Child’s Road to Independence 
Begins with You”: A Conference for Parents and Teachers (Part 2)
  Sponsored by the Maryland Parents of Blind 
Children, part two of this conference will cover 
promoting independence through age appropriate 
expectations, a demonstration of new technology 
to create tactile graphics, and more.
Trudy Pickrel, President, Maryland Parents of Blind Children; McHenry, Maryland
Delaware Room

1:00-6:00 p.m. Children’s Fun Fair (Convention Child Care)
Teresa Graham, Coordinator; Ellicott City, Maryland
Washington Room

1:00-6:00 p.m. NFB-NEWSLINE® Demonstration, Survey, and Contest
Find out what’s new with NFB-NEWSLINE®! It’s not 
just for your telephone anymore!  Peruse job 
listings, store ads, and international publications!
Enroll in the drawing for $50 cash by 
participating in the NFB-NEWSLINE® 
survey.  Contest ends before Saturday morning session.
Maryland Room

1:00-6:00 p.m. Technology Exhibits
Try your skill at identifying features of star 
clusters; touch three-dimensional photographs; 
give your feedback on an accessible voting 
machine; check out the latest offerings from a 
variety of companies and organizations who 
provide technology and services for the blind.
Maryland Room

1:00-4:00 p.m. Convention Registration and Packet Pick-up
Outside Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware Rooms

1:00-3:30 p.m. Reading for Pleasure and 
Education: Hands-on Demonstrations of BARD 
Mobile, the NFB-NEWSLINE® App, Read2Go, iBooks, and more!
Bring your own iDevice, Android phone, Victor 
Stream II, or other reading device for hands-on 
practice with various apps used for reading 
different types of materials. Or, come and learn 
about what types of reading are possible on different devices.
Virginia Room

1:00-3:00 p.m. Student Pool Party!
Sponsored by the Maryland Association of Blind 
Students, this party will give students ages 10 
and up a chance to interact, network, and have tons of fun!
Melissa Lomax, President, Maryland Association of 
Blind Students; Gwyn Oak, Maryland
Swimming Pool

1:00-2:15 p.m. Primerica 75 Minute Challenge: Financial Wellness Seminar
Learn useful and easy tips for saving money every 
day. Don’t bring your checkbook or credit card; 
this seminar is absolutely free! Quizzes and door 
prizes will be only part of the fun.
Tony and Marie Cobb; Catonsville, Maryland
Pennsylvania Room

  1:30-3:30 p.m.  iPhone Drop-In Session: A Seminar for Seniors
With the help of blind instructors, seniors will 
explore the basics of the iPhone or other 
iDevices. Hands-on help and demonstrations will 
be available; seniors should bring their own iPhones or other iDevices.
Ruth Sager, President, Senior Issues Division, 
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Pikesville, Maryland
Room 611

1:30-3:30 p.m. Journaling 101
Discuss journaling, nonfiction, and creative 
writing with an enthusiastic journaler and writer.
Amy McGarrah; Baltimore, Maryland
Room 610

2:30-3:30 p.m.  A New Day in Health Care: What Resources Do I Need?
Join presenters from the Maryland Healthcare 
Exchange to learn what types of plans are now available to you.
Pennsylvania Room

2:30-3:30 p.m. Deaf-Blind Concerns
Join Janice Toothman to discuss concerns, 
resources, and new opportunities for the deaf-blind of Maryland.
Janice Toothman, Chairman, Deaf-Blind Concerns 
Committee, National Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland
Room 612

4:00-5:00 p.m.  Board of Directors Meeting
Everyone is encouraged to attend!
Pennsylvania Room

5:00-6:00 p.m. Convention Registration and Packet Pick-Up
Outside Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware Rooms

5:00-6:30 p.m. Maryland Association of Blind Students Business Meeting
Melissa Lomax, President, Maryland Association of 
Blind Students; Gwyn Oak, Maryland
Pennsylvania Room

5:00-6:00 p.m. What Are the Federation and State Convention All About?
A gathering for first-time convention attendees.
Chris Danielsen, President, Greater Baltimore 
Chapter, National Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland
Virginia Room

5:30-8:30 p.m. Ice Follies: Ice Skating for the Adventuresome
This is a great opportunity to practice for “Blockey!”
$4.00 per person, includes skate rental.
Ice Rink (Atrium)

7:00-8:30 p.m. Parents and Children Unite
Sponsored by the Maryland Parents of Blind 
Children, this gathering is for families with 
blind children, and also for blind parents and 
their children. A great time for networking, 
exchanging information, and general fellowship.
Trudy Pickrel, President, Maryland Parents of Blind Children; McHenry, Maryland
Delaware Room

7:30 p.m. National Federation of the Blind of 
Maryland Resolutions Committee Meeting
Anil Lewis, Chairman; Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Room

8:00 p.m.-Midnight   Hospitality, Great Games, and “Blockey”
Play card and board games with your fellow 
convention attendees. Join us on the ice and play 
a game of “blockey.” Or, just listen to the 
“blockey” commentary and cheer for your favorite athlete.
Master of Ceremonies: John Berggren; Baltimore, Maryland
Complimentary snacks and beverages will be provided.
Atrium Overlook

SATURDAY, November 9

7:00-8:35 a.m.  Hospitality
Room 612

7:15-8:00 a.m. 2013 BELL Reunion for Students and Parents
Room 611

7:30-8:30 a.m. Let’s Make Our Voices Heard: A 
Meeting for Guide Dog Users and Those Interested in Guide Dogs
Join in valuable discussions about issues faced 
by guide dog users in Maryland!
Janice Toothman, Chairman, Guide Dog Committee, 
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland
Room 610

8:00-8:55 a.m. Convention Registration and Packet Pick-up
Outside Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware Rooms

8:00-8:45 a.m. Cane Walk for Parents and Children
Room 611

8:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.  Children’s Fun Fair (Convention Child Care)
Teresa Graham, Coordinator; Ellicott City, Maryland
Washington Room

General sessions will be held in the Maryland and Virginia Rooms.


9:00 a.m.  Call to Order, Invocation, and Convention Announcements

9:15 a.m. Report from the National Office
Scott LaBarre, President, National Federation of 
the Blind of Colorado; Denver, Colorado

9:45 a.m.  Let’s Be Pack Rats: Get on the PAC Plan Today!
Mark Riccobono, Chairman, NFBMD PAC Plan Committee; Baltimore, Maryland

9:55 a.m.  All of the News from DORS
Sue Schaffer, Director, Office of Blindness and 
Vision Services, Division of Rehabilitation 
Services, Maryland State Department of Education; Columbia, Maryland

10:10 a.m. Questions and Discussion

10:15 a.m. A Long-Time Federationist Tells His Story
Tom Bickford; Silver Spring, Maryland

10:30 a.m. Wake Up and Pay Attention: An Update from Vanda Pharmaceuticals
Annie Gallagher, Advocacy and Outreach Associate 
Manager, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Washington, D.C.

10:45 a.m. Questions and Discussion

10:50 a.m. Attention All Students!: A New College 
Prep Program Has Come To Maryland!
Instructors and Students from the College Prep 
Program offered by Blind Industries and Services of Maryland

11:05 a.m. Simplify Your Life: How Getting Rid of Your Clutter Can Help the NFB
Joanne Wilson, Director of Affiliate Development, 
Office of the President, National Federation of the Blind; Baltimore, Maryland

11:15 a.m.  The Maryland State Library for the 
Blind and Physically Handicapped: The View from a New Director
Nancy Pack, Director, Maryland State Library for 
the Blind and Physically Handicapped; Baltimore, Maryland

11:30 a.m. Questions and Discussion

11:35 a.m. The Maryland Healthcare Exchange: All You Need to Know
Katherine C. Gunby, Program Coordinator, Lower 
Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program, 
Worcester County Health Department; Salisbury, Maryland

11:50 a.m. Questions and Discussion

11:55 a.m.  Reports and Resolutions

12:00 p.m. Adjourn

12:00-12:15 p.m.  Convention Registration and Packet Pick-up
Outside Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware Rooms

12:00-1:45 p.m.  Luncheon­The Education of Blind or Visually Impaired Students
For parents, students, and teachers of blind students.
Trudy Pickrel, President, Maryland Parents of 
Blind Children, National Federation of the Blind 
of Maryland; McHenry, Maryland
Pennsylvania Room

12:00-1:45 p.m.  Luncheon­Reclaiming Independence after Vision Loss
For seniors and others facing vision loss.
Ruth Sager, President, Senior Issues Division, 
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Pikesville, Maryland
Delaware Room

12:00-1:45 p.m. Financial Literacy for Students
Presented by Anthony and Marie Cobb; Catonsville, Maryland
Room 612

1:20-2:00 p.m.  Banquet Exchange
Outside Maryland and Virginia Rooms


2:00 p.m. Call to Order

2:05 p.m.  Earning Our Keep: The Blind at Work
Conrad Austen, Former Government Affairs and 
Insurance Intern, Financial Services Round Table; St. Mary’s City, Maryland
Mary Fernandez, Paralegal, Brown, Goldstein, and Levy; Baltimore, Maryland
Robyn Hughs, Docent, Jewish Museum of Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland
Tina Gross-Jones, Licensed Realtor, Celebrity 
Associates Real Estate Services (CARES); Baltimore, Maryland

2:45 p.m. Questions and Discussion

2:50 p.m. Hello: Information on an Accessible 
Phone, and Eligibility for a Free Cell Phone
Robert Felgar, General Manager, Odin Mobile; Rockville, Maryland

3:05 p.m. Questions and Discussion

3:10 p.m. What Does the PARCC Assessment Mean for Our Blind Children?
Lauren McLarney, Governmental Affairs Specialist, 
National Federation of the Blind; Baltimore, Maryland
Sharon Maneki, Advocacy Chair, National 
Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Columbia, Maryland

  3:30 p.m.  Questions and Discussion

3:35 p.m. Building the Future for Blind Children 
in a Variety of Ways: The Maryland School for the Blind
Karen Frank, Assistant Principal, Maryland School 
for the Blind; Baltimore, Maryland

3:50 p.m.  Questions and Discussion

3:55 p.m.  NFBMD Presidential Report: Reflections on the Past Year
Melissa Riccobono, President, National Federation 
of the Blind of Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland

4:20 p.m. Changing Lives and Creating Smiles 
Every Day: An Update from Blind Industries and Services of Maryland
Fred Puente, President, Blind Industries and 
Services of Maryland; Salisbury, Maryland

4:35 p.m.  Questions and Discussion

4:40 p.m.  If Maryland is Truly to Be Excellent, the NFBMD Will Need to Help!
Mark Riccobono, Director, Jernigan Institute, 
National Federation of the Blind; Baltimore, Maryland

4:50 p.m.  Reports and Resolutions

5:00 p.m.  Adjourn

6:00 p.m.  Reception and Cash Bar

7:00 p.m.  Forty-Seventh Annual Convention Banquet
Master of Ceremonies: Mark Riccobono, Executive 
Director, Jernigan Institute, National Federation 
of the Blind; Baltimore, Maryland
Keynote Banquet Address: Scott LaBarre, 
President, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado; Denver, Colorado
Scholarships and Awards
Pennsylvania Room

After Banquet  Student Division “Games and Social”
Everyone is a student!
Delaware Room

SUNDAY, November 10

7:00-8:50 a.m.  Hospitality
Room 612

7:00-8:45 a.m.  Board Meeting, Maryland Parents of Blind Children
Trudy Pickrel, President, Maryland Parents of Blind Children; McHenry, Maryland
Washington Room

7:30 a.m.  Luggage Collection (for bus passengers only)
Delaware Room

8:00-8:30 a.m.  Nonsectarian Devotions
Lloyd and Judy Rasmussen, Sligo Creek Chapter, 
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland; Kensington, Maryland
Maryland and Virginia Rooms

8:30-8:50 a.m.  Registration
Outside Maryland and Virginia Rooms


9:00 a.m.  Call to Order and Invocation

9:05 a.m. A Tribute to Veterans

9:15 a.m. I Hear Morning BELL Ringers: The 2013 BELL Programs
Carlton Walker, Lead Instructor, Baltimore BELL 
Program, and President, National Organization of 
Parents of Blind Children; Bowling Springs, Pennsylvania
2013 Baltimore and Glendale BELL Students

9:30 a.m. Affiliate Elections

9:45 a.m.  The Future Is Bright: Youth Share 
Their Experiences in Awesome Summer Programs
Steve Lin, Blind Industries and Services of Maryland Independence 101
Chris Nusbaum, Louisiana Center for the Blind STEP Program
Nia Phipps, Blind Industries and Services of Maryland Independence 101

10:15 a.m.  Resolutions

10:45 a.m. NFB-NEWSLINE®: The Possibilities Are Endless!
Jason Polansky, Senior, Catoctin High School; Thurmont, Maryland
Jesse Hartle, Fantasy Sports Guru; Lutherville, Maryland
Nijat Worley, Manager of Marketing and Outreach 
for Sponsored Technologies, National Federation 
of the Blind; Baltimore, Maryland

11:15 a.m.  Questions and Discussion

11:20 a.m. Nature and the Great Outdoors: It’s Not Just for the Birds!
Donna Posont, Student Naturalist; Dearborn, Michigan

11:35 a.m.  Questions and Discussion

11:40 a.m.  Business Meeting

12:00 p.m.  Adjourn

Message of Thanks

         Thank you to all of those who answered 
the call and made this convention such a big 
success.  This includes those who spoke on panels 
and individually; worked in the child care room; 
helped with the sound system, convention 
recording, and convention streaming; planned and 
ran Friday seminars; worked hospitality; helped 
with the new member gathering; worked with blind 
tweens and teens; and helped in any other ways I 
am forgetting.  This convention would not have 
run so smoothly without all of your assistance.

I would very much like to thank our National 
Representative, Scott LaBarre, for providing a 
national perspective at this convention, and 
sharing his wit, “blockey” color commentary, and other talents with us.

In addition, I would like to thank the National 
Federation of the Blind of Maryland Board of 
Directors for all of their support, guidance, and 
willingness to help over the past year.  Our 
affiliate is growing in so many ways, and without 
our teamwork this growth would not be 
possible.  As always, a special thank you to 
Sharon Maneki for all of her work, especially on 
convention details.  Sharon works tirelessly for 
the NFB of Maryland every day, and I am truly 
grateful for all of the wisdom, organization, 
insight, experience, and humor she brings.

         I would also like to thank all of the 
members of the affiliate who volunteered for 
projects, gave input and suggestions, and helped 
in so many other ways, large and small, to make 
our affiliate strong and vibrant.  I look forward 
to many opportunities to work with all of you in 
new and exciting ways in the upcoming 
years.  Remember, there are always jobs to be 
done; please do not hesitate to volunteer your time and talents!

         The NFB of Maryland is truly blessed to 
have Mary Ellen Thompson working with us.  Thank 
you, Mary Ellen, for all of the wonderful 
services you have given so willingly over the 
past year.  You have done everything from driving 
to destinations near and far, reading documents 
simple and complex, changing diapers, game 
playing, helping with BELL and toy inventory . . 
. and the list goes on.  You have even cut up 
about a million peppers for snacks for Austin, 
Oriana, and Elizabeth. Knowing how you feel about 
peppers, this is truly a testament to how willing 
you are to put personal feelings aside for the 
good of the Federation. I could not do all that I 
do without your expert help. My family and I 
thank God for you every day, and we, and the NFB 
of Maryland, are so blessed to have you working with and for us.

         Last, but certainly not least, thank you 
at least five hundred times (one hundred times 
for each of my years as president) to my husband, 
Mark, and our children, Austin, Oriana, and 
Elizabeth. Mark, each year only gets busier! 
Thank you for supporting my work in every way, 
giving such sound advice, being so eager to help, 
and making me always look beyond this moment to 
the possibilities of the future.  Austin, Oriana, 
and Elizabeth, thank you for always being ready 
to make me laugh and smile, and for being willing 
to play games and give me hugs and cuddles when I need a break.

         It is an honor to be the president of 
the National Federation of the Blind of 
Maryland.  I look forward to another year of service with excitement.

Melissa Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
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