National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania 2020 Annual STATE CONVENTION
Thursday, November 12 through Sunday, November 15, 2020
The 2020 State Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania will be held at
Sheraton Station Square
300 West Station Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year’s convention will be a hybrid convention. Parts of the convention will have a combined in-person and virtual experience while others will only be experienced in person. Please note that portions of the convention will be recorded for archival purposes on our website.
We are proud to announce that Jennifer Kennedy, executive director of BLIND, Inc., will be serving as our national rep this year.
Mark your calendars and make every effort to attend the 2020 state convention of the NFB of Pennsylvania. Get Involved. Make a Difference! Please share with others, everyone is welcome!
The Sheraton Station Square is now accepting room reservations for the state convention. To make your reservation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please dial 412-261-2000 and use the group name National Federation of the Blind 2020, or visit www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1582037683643&key=GRP&app=resvlink. The best time to call is during regular business hours, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The 2020 room rate is $115 a night. Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes, which at present is 14% and will be in effect at the time of check-out. (Note: we have received this lower rate, and this does not include the breakfast buffet).
For those considering arriving early, there is a limited number of available guest rooms as another group will be occupying most of the hotel on Wednesday, November 11. Don’t hesitate, please make your room reservations as soon as possible. Our block of rooms are available until Wednesday, October 21, and any remaining rooms will become available to the general public. You will need a credit card to secure your reservation, There will be no charge to your card until you arrive at the hotel. Refrigerators will be available in all sleeping rooms this year. In addition, there are a limited number of wheelchair accessible rooms and if needed, make it known when you are making your room reservation.
Note: if you can not attend and you have made hotel reservations, don’t call the hotel to cancel. Please call Lynn Heitz at 215-988-0888. Lynn usually has a waiting list to review as many learn about the state convention after Wednesday, October 21.
Online Registration is now open for the 2020 NFB of Pennsylvania convention. Registration with the convention is required in order to be eligible for our discounted room rates at the hotel. Sponsor our event, sign up to be an exhibitor, register for professional technology training, purchase your convention meals, and register people for door prizes all through the online convention registration form.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be offering the reduced convention registration rate of $25 per person both before before and after September 30. The registration cost for professionals attending only the Technology Seminar on Thursday, November 12, to obtain their continuing education credits will be at $35 per person both before and after September 30.
Sponsors & Exhibitors:
For those wishing to be a sponsor of this year’s convention, payments for the following must be received no later than October 1 either via check or via the online registration form:
- Gold Sponsorship Level (donation of $1000 or more): 4 Banquet seats, Exhibit Hall table for Thursday and/or Friday, 30 minutes in the Virtual Exhibit Hall
- Silver Sponsorship Level (donation of $750): 2 Banquet seats, Exhibit Hall table for Thursday and/or Friday, 30 minutes in the Virtual Exhibit Hall
- Bronze Sponsorship Level (donation of $500): 1 Banquet seat, Exhibit Hall table for Thursday and/or Friday, 30 minutes in the Virtual Exhibit Hall
The vendor room will be open during the following days and times:
- Thursday, November 12: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
- Friday, November 13: 9:00am – 4:00pm
For those registering as an exhibitor only for this year’s convention, and will attend in person, payment for the following prices must be received no later than October 1 either via check or via the online registration form:
- Only Thursday, November 12: $75
- Only Friday, November 13: $100
- Both days: $150
This year we will be offering a virtual exhibit hall. The virtual exhibit hall will take place during the same times listed above for the in-person exhibit hall. If the demand calls for it, the virtual exhibit hall will also include Thursday morning, times to be announced at a later date. Exhibitors for the virtual exhibit hall can buy either half an hour or one hour time slots, $100 per 30 minute session (along with prices for the registering as an exhibitor as listed above). Sponsors get half an hour for free with their sponsorship. We will send all sponsors and exhibitors participating in the virtual exhibit hall the Zoom contact information, but sponsors and exhibitors have to connect to Zoom themselves. Sponsors and exhibitors can request a time slot but we have the right to assign times based on first-come first-serve and availability.
in lieu of holding an auction during this year’s convention, we are holding a raffle for a chance to win a $500 gift card to either Amazon or Apple. To have your name entered to possibly win the raffle, we request a tax-deductible donation of $10 per raffle chance. The drawing will take place during our convention banquet and drawn by our national rep. The winner does not need to be present at the banquet to claim the prize. We will contact the winner after the drawing. To have your name entered, please visit our Convention Raffle page.
As an attendee at our convention, you not only represent yourself but also represent our greater organization. We want you to enjoy our time together and to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. Although we encourage members to socialize and have fun, the convention also provides a valuable opportunity to come together to continue the work of our organization, to learn about the important initiatives that we are involved with on local and national levels, and to plan our work for the future.
The National Federation of the Blind seeks to provide a convention environment in which diverse participants, including members, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers, may learn, network, and enjoy the company of friends and colleagues in an environment of mutual respect and professionalism. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are therefore specifically prohibited:
- harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, physical appearance, or other group identity
- sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact
- public drunkenness and associated behaviors (e.g., belligerence, yelling, hostility, destruction of property)
Participants are expected to abide by these rules and behaviors in all convention venues, including online arenas, social media, and social events. Participants who are asked to stop a behavior that the recipient considers hostile or harassing are expected to comply immediately. We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. Please visit https://nfb.org/code-conduct for more information.
Audio from Past Conventions
Please visit our Past Conventions page to access audio highlights from previous state conventions.
Additional information will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Check back often.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the following people:
Joseph Drenth, Convention Chair
Lynn Heitz, NFB of Pennsylvania President