The following agenda is still being added to. Please check back often for any updates.
NATIONAL Federation OF THE BLIND OF PENNSYLVANIA 2020 ANNUAL CONVENTION
November 12-15, 2020
Sheraton Station square
300 W. Station square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412 261 2000
Lynn Heitz, President
Joseph Drenth, Convention Chair
National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania, Inc.
61 Heartwood Road
Levittown, PA 19056
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF PENNSYLVANIA 2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Lynn Heitz: 215-208-7582
First Vice-President: Joseph Drenth: 215-827-7787
Second Vice-President: Emily Gindlesperger: 724-863-3706
Secretary: Harriet Go: 610-259-1706
Treasurer: Brian Mackey: 609 680 8488
Millad Bokhouri: 484-707-7768
Denice Brown: 215-808-5875
Kirk Hunger: 484-239-0741
Michelle McManus: 814-769-3191
Connie Scheu: 814-868-1122
Free Aira Site Access at National Federation of the Blind State Conventions
The National Federation of the Blind has partnered with Aira to provide free Aira Site Access to NFB members during our 2020 state convention. Aira subscribers who are National Federation of the Blind members can use the service at our convention for free without having minutes deducted from their plans. In addition, those interested in Aira have the unique opportunity to try out the service for free while at our convention. This convention-wide, free site access is available only at NFB state conventions, giving NFB members an exclusive opportunity to test-drive Aira in a convention setting.
Aira allows blind individuals to connect via live video to a trained agent through a mobile app or wearable glasses to get real-time visual information or assistance. Learn more about Aira and special pricing available for NFB members at [aira.io/NFB]
How it Works
Before you head to convention or as soon as you get there, download the free Aira app from the App Store, and create a guest account if you are not already an Aira subscriber. Also, make sure your phone’s GPS feature is enabled. When you enter the convention Site Access location, your phone will receive a notification letting you know that the space you are in is part of the Aira Network. When you connect with an agent, he or she will also confirm that you are now covered by the network, and no minutes will be deducted from your account.
When you leave or enter convention areas that are covered by the Site Access network, you will be informed by the Aira agent.
To learn more about Aira and the special plan available exclusively to NFB members, visit [aira.io/NFB].
We Welcome Our Sponsors:
We Welcome Our Exhibitors:
Accessible Pharmacy Orcam Technology Vis-Ability Inc
Registration will be held Thursday, Nov. 12th from 1:00P.M. to 5:00P.M. and on Friday, Nov. 13th from 10:00 A.M. to 3:30P.M. outside of the Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
A table featuring materials of the National Federation of the Blind will be available in the registration area.
There is a dog relief area available outside of the hotel. For further information, contact Joseph or Marsha Drenth.
There will be an Exhibit Hall on Thursday, Nov. 12th from 1:00P.M. to 5:00P.M. and on Friday, Nov. 13 from 9:00A.M. to 4:30P.M. located in the back of the Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level. There will also be virtual exhibitors.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Technology Seminar; Joseph Drenth, Moderator, Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
Time: 1PM – 1:55PM
Title: Screen Access Software for Windows
Description: This session will cover new and improved features in JAWS and NVDA for Windows-based computers with a focus on web browsing.
Trainer: Joseph Drenth, MBA (Senior Software Engineer at JBT Corporation)
Time: 2PM – 2:55PM
Title: Screen Access Software for iOS
Description: This session will demonstrate best practices for using VoiceOver for interacting with apps and using Safari.
Trainer: Marsha Drenth, Access technology Instructor
Time: 3PM – 3:55PM
Title: Productivity Software and document accessibility
Description: This session will introduce how to make accessible documents, how to convert inaccessible PDF files to accessible documents, and how to use Google Suite’s document accessibility features.
Trainer: Joseph Drenth, MBA (Senior Software Engineer at JBT Corporation)
Time: 4PM – 4:55PM
Title: Artificial Intelligence through Smart Home Assistants
Description: We will show how Amazon Echo devices can assist blind students in the areas of science, technology, math, language, history, geography, and more.
Trainer: Marsha Drenth, Access Technology Instructor
6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. NFB of Pennsylvania Get Together, Hors D’oeuvres will be available for attendees as well as a Cash Bar, Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
Friday, November 13, 2020
9:00 A.M. to 10:15A.M Pennsylvania Association of Guide Dog Users Division Meeting; Marsha Drenth, Vice President, Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
9:00 A.M. to 11:45 A.M. Pennsylvania Organization of Parents of Blind Children; Emily Gindlesperger, President, Hasselton Room, 2nd Floor.
Now what? Parents Adjusting to New – and old – Education Norms and Preparing for Transition
9:00 A.M. – 9:15 A.M. Meet the Parents A.M. Welcome – Emily Gindlesperger, President, PAPOBC, NFB of PA, Lynn Heitz, President, NFB of PA
9:15am – 9:45am Division Meeting
a. Revitalization b. Membership c. Project
9:45am – 10:00am Open Discussion/Break
10:00am Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Its Role in Transition; Shannon Austin, Director, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
10:30am Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
Rod Alcidonis, Director
11:00am From Here to There; Discussing the New World of Online Learning and the Old Laws that Still Apply into Transition; Carlton Anne Cook Walker, President, NOPBC, NFB, Jennifer Kennedy, Director BLIND inc. and National Representative
10:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. NFB of Pennsylvania DeafBlind Division Meeting; Marsha Drenth, President, Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Exhibit Hall; Back of Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Registration; outside of the Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
12:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. Pennsylvania Association of Blind students; Justin Salisbury moderator; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
12:00 PM to 12:15 PM – Settle into the Room and Eat
12:15 PM to 12:20 PM – Overview of the Seminar; Justin Salisbury, NABS Representative
12:20 PM to 12:35 PM Role of Students in the Pennsylvania Affiliate; Lynn Heitz, President, NFB of PA
12:35 PM to 12:50 PM Building Your Future in the National Federation of the Blind; Jennifer Kennedy, National Representative
12:50 PM to 1:05 PM Structured Discovery Training on the Path to Employment; Daniel Ashman , Employment specialist, Blind, Inc.
1:05 PM to 1:20 PM Transition Age Youth Programming; David DeNotaris, Owner, Sky’s Unlimited Communications
1:20 PM to 1:35 PM What VR Can Do for You; Rod Alcidonis , Director, Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
1:35 PM to 1:50 PM – Coffee Break
1:50 PM to 2:05 PM What Training Did for Me; Jason Polansky, President, Capital Chapter, NFB of PA
2:05 PM to 2:20 PM Life Story; Ren Wang
2:20 PM to 2:35 PM Working with the National Association of Blind Students; Justin Salisbury, NABS Representative
2:35 PM to 2:50 PM Meet the Scholarship Winners; Jim Antonacci, Chairperson, NFB of PA Scholarship Committee
2:50 PM to 3:30 PM Business Meeting
I. Call to Order
II. Secretary’s Report
III. Collection of Dues
IV. Goal Setting for the Next 12 Months
a. President b. Vice President c. Secretary d. Treasurer
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business
12:15 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. Legislative committee Meeting; Emily Gindlesperger, Chairperson, Hasselton Room, 2nd Floor.
2:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. Pennsylvania Association of Blind Merchants; Pamela Baquero, President, Hasselton Room, 2nd Floor.
4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. NFB of Pennsylvania Board Meeting; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
5:00 P.M. Nominating Committee; Hasselton Room, 2nd Floor.
5:15 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Resolutions Committee; Michelle McManus, Chair, Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
SATURDAY, November 14, 2020
I pledge to participate actively in the effort 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.
General Session, Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
8:30 A.M. Invocation; Joseph Drenth, 1st Vice President NFB of Pennsylvania
8:35 A.M. Tribute to our Nation and the National Federation of the Blind
8:40 A.M. Welcoming; Emily Gindlesperger, President, PAPOBC
Housekeeping – Joseph Drenth, Convention Chair
8:45 A.M. Presidential Report; Lynn Heitz, President, National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania
9:15 A.M. NFB National Report; Jennifer Kennedy, National representative, Executive Director, Blindness In New Dimensions, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnasota
10:00 A.M. Voting: A Right Or A Privilege?; Joseph Drenth, 1st Vice President, NFB of Pennsylvania
10:15 A.M. The Road to the Omni Ballot; Laura E. Caravello, Staff Attorney, DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA
10:30 A.M. Report from the National Association of Blind students; Justin Salisbury, NABS Representative
10:50 A.M. How Does Blindness and Visual Services Help the Blind in Pennsylvania?; Rod Alcidonis, Esq., Director, Blindness and Visual Services, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
11:20 A.M. Questions and Answers
11:35 A.M. How Can We Assist PATTAN?; Gregory A. Lazur, Educational Consultant, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
12:00 Noon Lunch; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level
1:30 P.M. And Now I’m Losing My Hearing Too!; Marsha Drenth, President, DeafBlind Division, NFB of Pennsylvania
1:45 P.M. Report of the Nominating Committee and Elections
2:00 P.M. Promise land; Ren Wang, Lead Database Administrator, JM Smucker Company
2:45 P.M. My Journey from AER to NOMC; Dan Ashman, Employment specialist, Blindness in New Dimensions, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
3:00 P.M. Pros and Cons of Remote Learning as told by a Parent and her High School Freshman; Emily Gindlesperger and Angelina Angelcykthe
3:20 P.M. New Technologies at Independence Science; Mike Hingson, Spokesman, Independence Science
3:45 P.M. Library Services; Don Ciccone, LBPH Outreach Coordinator, Carnegie Library Pittsburgh
4:00 P.M. My employment Journey; Jason Polanski, President, Capital Chapter, NFB of Pennsylvania
4:20 P.M. What is the Accessible Pharmacy; Robert S. Jackson, Director of Business Development
for Western Pennsylvania, Accessible Pharmacy Services
4:35 P.M. Is This What The College Experience Is supposed To Be?; Rebecca Weber, Member Keystone Chapter and 2020 PA State Scholarship Finalist
5:00 P.M. Adjournment of General Session
6:00 P.M. Cash Bar; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
7:00 P.M. Banquet; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Le vel
SUNDAY, November 15, 2020
8:00 A.M. Breakfast; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level.
Business Meeting; Grand Station Ballroom, Lobby Level
9:00 A.M. State Financial Report; Brian Mackey, Treasurer, NFB of Pennsylvania
9:30 A.M. Funding at the National level; Jennifer Kennedy, National Representative
9:50 A.M. Funding at the State level; Lynn Heitz, President, NFB of PA
10:10 A.M. Legislative Report; Emily Gindlesperger, Legislative Chairperson
10:30 A.M. Reports and Resolutions
11:30 P.M. Adjournment
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind to It is the Blind speaking for themselves.