[Nfbnet-members-list] NFBMA upcoming state convention with agenda

Amy aruell at comcast.net
Tue Feb 12 13:14:09 UTC 2019

Hello all,

I am very sorry for causing such a furor. I was unaware that attachments
were not allowed on this list.

I have pasted the agenda below for your convenience. If you have any
questions, please feel free to contactme.

National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, Inc.





February 22-24, 2019

New Year, Happier You: 

Health and Wellness in 2019!


Embassy Suites Hotel

207 Porter St.

Boston, MA 02128

Telephone: 617-567-5000

Reservation Deadline: January 31, 2019..

Student Reservations will be handled by Amy Ruell.

Make your hotel reservations by going to:
90222/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG. Our group code is NMA. 

Hotel reservations must be made by January 31, 2019.


National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, Inc.

Email: aruell at comcast.net <mailto:%20aruell at comcast.net> 

Twitter: @NFBMA

Telephone: 617-752-1116

National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells Street

Baltimore, MD 21230


Telephone: 410-659-9314

Twitter: @NFB_Voice        



NFB of Massachusetts Constitutional Officers

President: Amy Ruell, Cambridge, MA

First Vice President: Shara Winton, Salem, MA

Second Vice President: Mika Pyyhkala, Boston, MA

Secretary: Georgie Sydner, Boston, MA

Treasurer: Nora Nagle, Boston, MA 


At Large Board Members


Basil Maurice, Springfield, MA

Karen Dupuis, Springfield MA 

Catherine Michele Mitchell, Waltham, MA

Mark Paquette, Springfield, MA        

Precious Perez, Chelsea, MA

David Ticchi, Cambridge, MA



Annual Auction: 

Auction to benefit scholarship fund. Numerous items including electronics,
gift certificates, food gifts, and more! Will be held Friday night and
Saturday during general sessions and the banquet. Auction items can be
viewed on Saturday at the auction table, located near registration, and bids
will be accepted. The opening bid for each item will be the highest bid
registered at the auction table when items are auctioned off.


Basket Raffle: 

In addition to auction items, we are featuring several theme baskets this
year. Purchase as many tickets as you like for $1 each and place them in the
bucket next to the basket you would like to win. Drawings for each basket
will be held at the banquet.


Updates During Convention: 

We will update http://twitter.com/nfbma throughout the weekend with
announcements and logistical details.  Please follow @NFBMA to receive the
most current information before, during, and after convention!  Twitter is
your most immediate source for updates. 


Convention Streaming:

There is nothing like attending our convention in person and enjoying the
festivities and opportunities to learn and collaborate with our Federation
family.  However, if you can't join us this year, NFBMA is proud to announce
that we will stream the Friday night Sagas and Solutions presentation, all
general sessions on Saturday, the banquet, and our Sunday morning business
meeting on 195TheGlobe.You can listen on your Apple or Android smartphone,
on your computer, or on your telephone.

For more information, go to 


and tune in during scheduled times.



All registration will be held near the conference rooms. The convention
registration package, including Friday night pizza dinner, Saturday lunch,
and banquet tickets is $90.00. Register by February 3rd to take advantage of
the Early-bird package for $80.00. Registration for Saturday only including
lunch and banquet is $65.00 until February 9, after which the fee will
increase to $75.00. Registration for Friday with pizza dinner or for
Saturday registration with lunch is $35.00. Registration for a day pass
without meals on Friday or Saturday is $20.00.

To register online, go to https://nfbma2019.eventbrite.com

Registration will be open Friday from 3:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.  On Saturday
registration will be open from 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.   Please ask for an
NFB of Massachusetts representative if you arrive after these posted times.
Everyone must register in order to be eligible for our convention room
rates, to ensure that you receive your membership benefits, and to vote
during affiliate elections. Also, registration will ensure that your name
will be in the running for our door prizes awarded at the convention. You
must be IN THE ROOM when your name is called to be eligible for door prizes.
You must wear your attendee badge to gain entrance to meals and events (no


Indoor Navigation:

Aira will be present to demonstrate and have participants try out Aira, an
emerging technology that allows a blind person who wears special glasses
fitted with a camera and microphone to connect with a human agent in real
time who can give directions and information, read items, and provide other
visual assistance. Current AIRA explorers and guests can enjoy the service
for free at the convention this year.


Code of Conduct:

We welcome all attendees to our convention and embrace diversity, inclusion,
and mutual respect. To that end, please keep the following expectations in
mind when you join us in Boston.


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 represent our organization. We want you to
enjoy your time with us and to 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


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: NFBMA subsidizes your attendance at
our convention. All of us work hard to raise the money that allows us to
come together each year. It is expected that when you commit yourself to
come to convention that you are also agreeing to attend 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.

4. We understand that, for some, enjoying an adult beverage is part of the
fun at the convention. However, public drunkenness and the associated
behaviors that often accompany it not only reflect badly on you but also do
not enhance our standing as an organization.

5. Please do not wear heavy colognes or perfumes, as some of our guests have
chemical sensitivities.


Convention Sessions: 

The Friday night exhibit hall will be held in the Central Square and Day
Square rooms. Pizza gathering and health care brainstorming activity will be
held in the Mystic B room. The Friday evening exercise activity will be held
in the Maverick Square room.  Most of the Saturday convention program
sessions and the banquet will be held in the Mystic B room.

Guide Dog Users: 

Please inquire at the registration table for information on the location of
outdoor parking areas.


Embassy Suites Hotel Information:

The Embassy Suites Logan Airport consists of 10 floors. The first floor
contains the front desk, Porter Bar and Grill, gift shop, meeting rooms, and
an accessible ATM. Sleeping rooms are located on floors 2 through 10.

When entering the hotel, the front desk, gift shop, and ATM are to your
right. The elevators are to your left. A large part of the first level
contains the Jetliner Bar and Grill which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner,
and late night bar service.

Mystic Ballrooms are located on this level, as is a smaller hallway leading
to the Central Square, Day Square, and Maverick Square meeting rooms.

Restrooms are located adjacent to the meeting room hallway.

Two elevators on one single side of a hallway serve sleeping room floors 2
through 10. When exiting on these floors, turn left to access sleeping
rooms. Rooms 00-18 are to your right and rooms above 18 are to your left.
Each side of the hallway has even and odd numbered rooms respectively.

When exiting the elevator on the first level, turn left to access the pool
and fitness area and turn right to go to the front desk, restaurant, and
meeting rooms.

Each room is a suite. The thermostat is located in the bedroom. It has 3
buttons from left to right which are power, fan, and display. There are also
3 arrow keys. From bottom to top, they are lower temperature, a small button
that toggles the display between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and raise

Coffeemakers in the rooms have 2 switches, one cup or two cups. One cup is
located on the left and two cups is on the right.  Add water in back for
number of cups required and coffee pods in pull-out tray in the front.
Regular coffee, decaf coffee, and tea will be at the top (highest) position
in a nearby box containing coffee and tea.  Cream and sugar are located in
the middle level of the box, and lids for coffee cups in the bottom level.  


The Embassy Suites provides shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. Bottles will
generally be in this order from left to right in each bathroom.


A telephone on the desk in the living room has 2 rows of 5 buttons each
which connect guests to various hotel departments and services. Details on
phone operation will be posted in the electronic agenda and via @NFBMA
twitter feed. The telephone in the bedroom has fewer options and controls.

Each bedroom also contains an alarm clock. There are 4 smaller buttons on
top which left to right are alarm on/off, alarm set, -, and +.  To set the
alarm press alarm set, use the +/- buttons to set the time, and hit alarm
set again.  Under these four buttons is a larger button which is the
snooze/dimmer button.   


Ground Transportation: 

The Embassy Suites offers complimentary shuttle service to and from Logan
Airport, the Logan Express bus, and the Airport MBTA station. 


Hotel Restaurant Schedule: 

Complimentary Breakfast: 6:30 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.

Lunch: 11:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Dinner: 5:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.



There is an accessible ATM across from the hotel front desk.

Gift Shop: 

There is a gift shop operated by the hotel which is open 24 hours a day.





FRIDAY, February 22, 2019

3:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. - Convention Registration 


4:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. - Exhibit Hall, Central Square and Day Square Rooms.
Please pay attention to our Website, email, and social media for a current
list of exhibitors


6:30 P.M. - Nominating Committee Meeting:. Only appointed delegates may


7:00 P.M. - Pizza Gathering: Join with friends old and new to enjoy pizza,
salad, and fellowship! Tables will be assigned to make sure that we have the
chance to welcome new people and get to know or NFBMA family better!

Mystic B Room


7:30 P.M. - NFB, First Auction items: 

Mystic B Room


7:35 P.M. - Health Care Sagas and Solutions: Convention Committee:
Collaborate with your table companions to identify health care challenges
and creative solutions:

Mystic B Room


8:30 P.M. - Student Meet and Greet:

Central Square Room


8:30 P.M. -Let's Get Moving with Zumba: Jessica Beechum, NFB Sports and
Recreation Division President

Maverick Square Room



SATURDAY, February 23, 2019


7:30 A.M. - Scholarship Candidate and Committee Breakfast: (by invitation
only) Meet at the registration desk

8:00 A.M. - 9:00 A.M. - Registration.

8:00 A.M. -Yoga: Jessica Beecham, NFB Sports and Recreation Division

Maverick Square Room




9:00 A.M. - Opening Ceremonies: 

Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and NFB pledge


9:05 A.M. - Announcements.

Amy Ruell, NFBMA President

9:10 A.M. - AIRA presents new technology to revolutionize access for the

Aira Visual Interpreter: 

Learn about the new initiatives at AIRA to promote employment and technical

as well as the new plans and benefits open only to NFB members.


9:20 A.M. - National Report:

NFB National Representative, 

Gary Wunder, Editor of the Braille Monitor, National Board Member, National
Federation of the Blind 


10:15 A.M. - Nominating Committee Report: 


10:25 A.M. - Movement break: 

Shara Winton


10:30 A.M. - Perkins Library Update: 

James Gleason, Deputy Director, Perkins Library


11:00 A.M. - Leadership Roundtable: Serving The Blind in The 21st Century

Representatives from Ma. Commission For The Blind, Mass. Association For The
Blind and Visually Impaired, Carroll Center, National Braille Press, and
Perkins School For The Blind


11:55 A.M. - Announcements 


12:00 P.M. - Adjournment for lunch

12:00 P.M. - Student Lunch and Business Meeting:

Mystic B Room




1:30 P.M. - Announcements


1:40 P.M. - The Food Factor: 

Kathleen Maillet: Nutritionist and co-founder, Together Supported

The mind-body connection: Learn how to make thoughtful food choices to
nourish your body and achieve your goals.


2:30 P.M. - NFBMA Presidential Report: 

Amy Ruell, NFBMA President


2:45 P.M. - Washington Seminar and Legislative Report: 

Mika Pyyhkala, Second Vice President, NFBMA


3:00 P.M. - Movement break: 

Jessica Beecham



3:15 P.M. - Legal Update: 

Albert Elia, Attorney, TRE Legal Services

3:40 P.M. - Parenting Bill Initiative: 

Mika Pyyhkala, NFBMA blind parents:

NFBMA members will discuss the need for an initiative to protect the rights
of blind parents to independently raise their children without fear of

4:00 P.M. - Meet with representatives from BLIND Inc., Colorado Center for
The Blind, and Louisiana Center for The Blind: 

Day Square Room


4:00 P.M. - Meet with Al Elia from TRE Legal:

Central Square Room

4:00 P.M. - Technology Tools for Health: 

Jeanette Kutash and John Smith:

Maverick Square Room

Use your iPhone to get healthy and track your progress!

Jeanette and John will demonstrate Aaptive, My Fitness Pal, yoga, Calorie
King, and Alexa's Seven Minute Work-out. 


5:30 P.M. - Reception, Free Hors D'oeuvres and Cash Bar. 





7:00 P.M. - Sixty-Sixth Annual Banquet of the NFB of Massachusetts. 

Mystic B Room.


Master of Ceremonies: Amy Ruell, President, NFBMA. 


7:05 P.M. - 50-50-Raffle: 

Final sales to benefit NFBMA Scholarship Fund

7:10 P.M. - Annual auction


Banquet Address:  

Gary Wunder, National Representative


Scholarship Presentations and Special Awards: Scholarship Committee



SUNDAY, February 24, 2019

Please check with Hotel Front Desk for local religious services.



9:30 A.M. -Meditation: 

Jessica Beecham, (please be prompt, doors will close at 9:30 A.M.) 

Mystic B room


10:30 A.M. - NFBMA Business Meeting, Board Meeting, Elections: 

Mystic B Room


10:30 A.M. - Invocation: 


10:35 A.M. - Treasurer's Report:

Nora Nagle, NFBMA Treasurer




10:40 A.M. - Chapter Reports:

Shara Winton, Cambridge Chapter 

Robert Baran, Greater Springfield Chapter


10:50 A.M. - Vote on any proposed resolutions


11:00 A.M. - Board Meeting, Board Officer and Board of Directors Elections:

Mystic B Room.

12:00 P.M. - Convention Adjournment.



Thanks to our board, chapters and members for generously donating auction
items, theme baskets, and door prizes, making our auction a success.

Thanks to all who appeared on the agenda, who served on committees and
worked in registration. 


Thanks to Sue Tisdell and Maureen Williams for their great job with the door


A very special thank you to Frank Pasquarello and Jim Anliot, whose help
this weekend has been invaluable. 


We wish to thank Gary Wunder for his contributions as National
Representative. The national perspective you brought to us is so important
to our achievement of equality, security and opportunity. 


Thanks to the management and staff of the hotel for all the help and
assistance in planning this weekend and making our stay enjoyable. 


Last, but certainly not least, we wish to thank all of the individuals who
have sponsored and/or contributed their time to our convention. It is
vitally important that we continue to receive your support. Your interest
helps us to progress and achieve first class citizenship for all blind





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




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