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Agenda 2020 State Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan

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We encourage you to talk about the convention to your friends on social media. Our official hash tag is #NFBMI20

President’s Message

I would like to welcome all of you to our first ever virtual state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. We want to do all we can to make this an informative, enlightening, and enjoyable experience for everyone in attendance. If you are new to NFB we are glad to have you and are eager to share what we have come to know and believe about blindness and the capacity of every blind person to live the life we want. We see our power in action when we invest time, training, and energy to help each other and teach new people to understand this basic truth so they can join with us to make life and living better for all blind people.

During this time of covid 19, the media was only too happy to give us their impressions of what they felt we as blind people would be up against. They see us as a vulnerable population and they think because we have to rely on the use of our hands rather than sight, we are necessarily more likely to contract the virus unless we have others who can look out for our interests and take care of us. It does not occur to them that we can work just as well as anyone else in our communities to limit our exposure to the virus and be considerate of others in order to keep all of us safe. Even before covid we knew that if we had to use our hands more for whatever reason, we are just as capable of protecting them when we have to and washing them more when we need to.

Our white canes can help us maintain social distancing and we do not always have to be touching things or people in order to move about safely. In other words, we are not passive and dependent, but we are leaders and doers who can adapt to a new normal if we must and we will not allow ourselves to be held back or kept on the sidelines while others presume to know our limitations and have low expectations for us as blind people. All over this country we have taken the lead in utilizing the virtual environment to initiate projects that provide resources to blind people in need of help so they could get shopping done or any other services they might require. We have the ability to work to help all the people in our communities if we are just given the chance to show what we can do. We have used the Zoom platform to educate blind people in the techniques we use in a variety of disciplines ranging from cooking to crafts, and philosophy to technology.

Here in Michigan, we worked to finally make it possible for blind people to vote using an accessible absentee ballot that could be filled out independently using a computer without having the assistance of another. Voters not wishing to risk infection by going out in public can now vote in the security of their homes. Though the pandemic was given as the reason this could not be done at this time, we pressed on as we had been trying to get this for the blind of Michigan since 2014, and that was long before the virus became a factor. This summer we participated in the largest national convention of blind people ever held in the virtual environment and Michigan had around 126 in attendance as part of the seven thousand that were there. We will always be a driving force in matters that impact the lives of blind people and we want to use this opportunity to show you that if you are not already a part of us, we need you and what you can bring to our movement in the way of your experience and background. All of us who discovered this movement learned that not only could we grow from the experience of blind people from all walks of life, we could value our own talents and gifts once we realized we were not alone or inferior. We are now part of a network of people who appreciate us, believe in us, and together we have the power to transform dreams into reality.

So here’s to a great convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan . Our door is always open. All you have to do is knock, and come in.

Michael Powell, President, National Federation of the Blind of Michigan

THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND KNOWS THAT BLINDNESS IS NOT THE CHARACTERISTIC THAT DEFINES YOU OR YOUR FUTURE. EVERY DAY WE RAISE THE EXPECTATIONS OF BLIND PEOPLE, BECAUSE LOW EXPECTATIONS CREATE OBSTACLES BETWEEN BLIND PEOPLE AND OUR DREAMS. YOU CAN LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT; BLINDNESS IS NOT WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK.

NFB Pledge

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.

About Zoom

Our entire convention will be hosted remotely on the Zoom platform. All are welcome. You can either join Zoom using a computer or phone, or dial in using your phone. For most meetings, you will be automatically muted when you join the room.

Below are the links for the Zoom rooms we will be using for our state convention.  Room 1 is our usual Zoom room that we use for all our meetings throughout the year.  The 5:00 PM social hour, and  the general session meeting that launches our convention Thursday evening will be in that main room.  On Friday the resolutions committee meeting, the blind in science presentation by Michael Hingson, the science activity by Donna Posont will also be in that room.

On Saturday our morning sessions, the presentation on NFB philosophy after lunch, our business meeting and banquet with auction will be there as well.   Rooms 2 and 3 will be our additional breakout rooms.  Below the links the meetings for the additional breakout rooms will be listed. We also have included meeting links next to the appropriate agenda items.

Main room

https://zoom.us/j/9612695221?pwd=dHlxZDNwcVVZbUVTYUM5cEU4cDlndz09
Meeting ID: 961 269 5221
 Passcode: 902855
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,9612695221#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)

Breakout 1

Tech/exhibitor check-in, Non24, Senior division meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97413687837?pwd=dzY1b2I3YWFGWEQ5MnNXczQ2aEVXQT09
Meeting ID: 974 1368 7837
Passcode: 902855
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,97413687837#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)

Breakout 2

Toastmasters, MABS Trivia Night, Student Division meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96142858272?pwd=RVNjNnFkRzc4WlhSTmZqU2w1SXNtdz09
Meeting ID: 961 4285 8272
Passcode: 902855
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,961 4285 8272#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)

Thursday, November 5

  1. 5:00 PM, Welcome HourOpen, Mingle, tech help and getting set up, meet others in Michigan.
  2. 7:00-9:00 PM. Opening session, Call to order and Welcome by Michael Powell, President.
  3. Why I am in the Federation, Convention kick off speech by Brianne Harrald
  4. Scholarship presentation – Robert Parsons, Scholarship Committee Chair
  5. Celebrating success and looking ahead with voting, Michael Powell and Fred Wurtzel
  6. Intro to Non-24: Jennifer Lyman, RN, BS, Nurse Educator-Midwest, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  7. Testing of affiliate voting platform, Sabrina Simmons

Friday, November 6

  1. 10:00 AM Resolutions committee meeting, Steve Handschu
    https://zoom.us/j/9612695221?pwd=dHlxZDNwcVVZbUVTYUM5cEU4cDlndz09
    Meeting ID: 961 269 5221
     Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,9612695221#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  2. 1:30-3:00 PM Technology seminar and exhibitor check-in: J.J. Meddaugh - Hear from technology companies and other exhibitors about their latest products in this fast-paced event. It’s like an exhibit hall tour without leaving your couch.
    https://zoom.us/j/97413687837?pwd=dzY1b2I3YWFGWEQ5MnNXczQ2aEVXQT09
    Meeting ID: 974 1368 7837
    Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,97413687837#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  3. 2:00 PM Science perspectives with Michael Hingson, physicist and computer scientist, Independence Science Spokesperson and President of The Michael Hingson Group.
    https://zoom.us/j/9612695221?pwd=dHlxZDNwcVVZbUVTYUM5cEU4cDlndz09
    Meeting ID: 961 269 5221
     Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,9612695221#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  4. 3:00 PM Toastmasters: We Make So Much More Than Delicious Toast. Come learn about how you can be self-assured and confident in social situations and even in employment, through involvement in the time-tested Toastmasters Program. Victor Marques
    https://zoom.us/j/96142858272?pwd=RVNjNnFkRzc4WlhSTmZqU2w1SXNtdz09
    Meeting ID: 961 4285 8272
    Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,961 4285 8272#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  5. 3:15 PM Do try this at home: Sense-sational Adventures in Virtual Science
    Ponder the possibilities and plan to participate in our Sense-sational Adventures in virtual science. Learn how delicious coffee is processed by the digestive system of a bird; Celebrate Citizen Science; Study soil significance ;and indulge in ice cream of your own making. Engage all senses,embrace the challenge and experiment with others who are blind. If you would like to perform any experiments in your own location please contact Donna Posont for a materials list at donnabutterfly50@gmail.com.
    https://zoom.us/j/9612695221?pwd=dHlxZDNwcVVZbUVTYUM5cEU4cDlndz09
    Meeting ID: 961 269 5221
     Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,9612695221#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  6. 3:15 - 4:15 “A discussion on Non-24 Sleep Wake Disorder (Non-24 for short) led by a registered nurse educator. The presentation will look at the biology behind this circadian rhythm disorder, the cause, and how it differs from sleep disorders.”Jennifer Lyman, RN, BS, Nurse Educator-Midwest, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    https://zoom.us/j/97413687837?pwd=dzY1b2I3YWFGWEQ5MnNXczQ2aEVXQT09
    Meeting ID: 974 1368 7837
    Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,97413687837#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  7. 8:00 PM MABS Trivia night: open to all.
    The Michigan Association of Blind Students is hosting a Trivia Night on November 6th as part of convention programming. MI-ABS members receive complimentary access to the trivia game. There will be many valuable door prizes available for anyone in attendance, and it will be a fun night of trivia and entertainment, not to mention competing for bragging rights amongst your friends!
    To participate in this event, all you have to do is become a MI-ABS member. Please visit the following link for registration, and more information:
    https://forms.gle/g8FgbzEEP8wX5xLKA
    https://zoom.us/j/96142858272?pwd=RVNjNnFkRzc4WlhSTmZqU2w1SXNtdz09
    Meeting ID: 961 4285 8272
    Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,961 4285 8272#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)

Saturday November 7

  1. 9:00 AM. Call to order and opening remarks: Michael Powell
  2. 9:10 AM Report from national office Shawn Callaway. 9:40 questions and answers.
  3. 9:45 AM NFB Training centers: Rachel Kuntz, Resource Development Coordinator BLIND INC. 10:05 questions and answers.
  4. "Staying safe while blind" Hosted by Stephen Handschu, Level 2 1 Touch project Instructor and Daryl Rice, Former Law enforcement officer. 10:30 questions and answers.
  5. 10:35AM Bill Robinson, Director Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) 10:55 Questions and answers.
  6. 11:00AM What’s new at the Library for the Blind and Print Disabled, Bridgid Murphy Turner, Reader Adviser/Adaptive Technology Librarian. 11:20 AM questions and answers.
  7. 11:25 AM: Race, diversity, and inclusion, Panel discussion hosted by Shawn Callaway.
  8. 12:00 PM Adjourn for lunch.
  9. 1:00 NFB Philosophy: Chelsey Duranleau Communications Instructor BLIND INC.
  10. 1:30 PM Michigan Association of Blind students meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/96142858272?pwd=RVNjNnFkRzc4WlhSTmZqU2w1SXNtdz09
    Meeting ID: 961 4285 8272
    Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,961 4285 8272#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  11. 1:30Blind seniors Division meeting: Pat Pyle, President, Blind Michigan Seniors Advocating for Seniors
    https://zoom.us/j/97413687837?pwd=dzY1b2I3YWFGWEQ5MnNXczQ2aEVXQT09
    Meeting ID: 974 1368 7837
    Passcode: 902855
    One tap mobile: +16468769923,,97413687837#,,,,,,0#,,902855# US (New York)
  12. 3:30-5:00 PM NFB of Michigan Business meeting
  13. President’s Report Michael Powell
  14. Secretary’s report: Diana Mohnke
  15. Treasurer’s Report: Mark Eagle
  16. Election of officers
  17. Nominating Committee and Alternate Delegate
  18. Resolutions
  19. Chapter and Division Reports
  20. Old and new business followed by break before banquet.
  21. 7:00 PM National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Banquet. Presentation of scholarships, awards and other presentations
    Keynote Banquet Address by Shawn Callaway National Representative.
  22. Scholarship Winners Presentation – Robert Parsons, Scholarship Committee Chair
  23. Auction and door prizes after banquet.
  24. Adjournment of the 2020 Virtual State Convention of the NFB of Michigan.

Thank you for participating in the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan 2020 state convention. We hope to see you again in Grand rapids, November 5-7, 2021, or sooner at your next local chapter or division meeting.

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