[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind of Missouri to Hold 57th Annual Convention in Columbia

Daniel Garcia dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 18 09:43:49 UTC 2019

For Immediate Release

Blind Missourians Embrace Innovative Ideas That Help Them Live the Lives They Want

National Federation of the Blind of Missouri to Hold 57th Annual Convention in Columbia

Columbia, Missouri (March 18, 2019): The 57th Convention of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Missouri will be held this year in Columbia, Missouri from March 21 through March 24 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center  Hotel. This is the major annual event in the NFB of Missouri's calendar. During this gathering, members pass resolutions, vote for officers, award scholarships to blind students, and show the public that blindness does not hold them back from living the lives they want.  A quick glance at this year's convention agenda reveals that blind people, like anyone else, are continually trying to improve the way they enjoy sports, find and keep employment, use and finance technology, and travel independently.

Consistent with the theme of innovation, First on the agenda on Friday is a Try It Event - Functional Fitness Class which will introduce convention goers to the concept of exercise for better daily living. This event was organized by the NFB of Missouri's Sports & Recreation committee which helps blind people break down barriers to full participation in sports. This Try IT Event is in keeping with the NFB of Missouri's participation in the Sixth Iteration of the National Fitness Challenge sponsored by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) and the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. In agreeing to participate in the challenge, NFB members pledge to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. The NFB of Missouri also commits itself to various goals including encouraging members to try out different sports and physical activities.

The Saturday general session will feature several presentations from the authentic experience of blind people that will challenge the audience to raise their own expectations about what can be accomplished with the tools and talents they possess. In fact, one of the highlights of the Saturday morning agenda is a speech by USABA Representative and blind Paralympian Charles "Chaz" Davis who ran in the Boston Marathon, the California International Marathon, and competed in the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  Also taking the podium on Saturday is Dan Wenzel, Executive Director of Blindness: Learning in New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc., one of the nation's premiere training centers for the blind. This year's national representative will be Norma Crosby, a member of the National Board of Directors of the NFB and President of the NFB of Texas who will give a report on our national priorities and issues as well as being our keynote speaker at the Saturday evening banquet.

"The world is structured for the sighted," said Shelia Wright, President of the NFB of Missouri, when asked to comment on the upcoming convention. "Blind people have to have great problem-solving skills if we are to be successful in life. One of the keys to this success is to not be afraid to try out new ideas and take advantage of new opportunities. That is what we want people to take away from this convention, along with a renewed commitment to accomplishing the goals of the NFB."


About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest, largest, and most effective nationwide civil rights and self-advocacy organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The National Federation of the Blind seeks to achieve the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. To accomplish this objective, our programs aim to remove legal, economic, and social barriers and to educate the public to new concepts concerning blindness. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. We can live the lives we want; blindness is not what holds us back.

About the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Since its founding in 1976, U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's mission: to empower Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience live-changing opportunities in sports, recreation and physical activities, thereby educating and inspiring the nation.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates' pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. (r)ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Daniel Garcia, Public Relations Chair
National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
(816) 621-0902
dangarcia3 at hotmail.com<mailto:dangarcia3 at hotmail.com>

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