2019 Convention Agenda
National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma
2019 State Convention
March 28-31, 2019
“Building the Lives We Want”
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.
Renaissance Waterford Oklahoma City
6300 Waterford Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
National Federation of the Blind 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 programs and policies of the Federation and to abide by its constitution.
Should you have questions while you are attending the NFBOK 2019 convention, please contact Audrey Farnum, 405-590-6110 or Glenda Farnum at405-255-6482. Audrey and Glenda are serving as co-chairs for this year’s Convention Arrangements Committee.
Hotel Description and Restaurant Menus
A description of the Renaissance Waterford by Marriott is located at the very end of the agenda. The agenda is online and will be made available in both large print and Braille at the convention and is available on NFB Newsline.
The Ember Restaurant, located in the Renaissance Waterford will have braille and large print menus available throughout convention. We have also created an HTML version of the menus that is navigable by headings. The menus can also be found on NFB Newsline by visiting the NFB Oklahoma section of the Oklahoma Information Channel.
Registration on Thursday March 28 will be from 5:30 – 7:00 outside of the Rookie Round-Up outside the Reservoir Room located to the northeast of the elevators on the first floor. Registration on Friday, March 29, will be from 7:30 – 8:45 AM in the pre-function area in the hallway west of the ballroom. Registration on Saturday, March 30, will be from 7:30 – 8:45 AM in the pre-function area in the hallway west of the ballroom. If you have not registered by Sunday, March 31, please locate Glenda Farnum at the head table to register.
The Exhibit Hall will be located in The Well and will be open for our members on Friday, March 29 from 1:00 to 7:00 PM and on Saturday, March 30 from 8:30 to 12:30.
Door prizes& Action Auction items
Please bring door prizes and Action Auction items to the Registration desk located outside of the Reservoir Room on Thursday evening and outside of the Brand Ballroom on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.)
Action Auction items will be on display during the hours that the Exhibit Hall is open. Similar to a Silent Auction, bid sheets will be placed for each item with the last bid being taken when the Exhibit Hall doors close. The Action Auction will occur throughout General Session on Saturday afternoon. The live Action Auction bidding begins where the silent bids ended. All proceeds go to the Live the Life You Want fund established in 2016. The Live the Life YOU Want fund is the Member Development fund of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma. The fund provides assistance to members in the form of scholarships to attend state and national conventions, Washington Seminar and to further educational opportunities.
We are proud to welcome Everette Bacon to our affiliate to serve as national representative for our convention. When serving in this capacity Everette represents President Riccobono. Everette serves on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind and as President of the National Federation of the Blind of Utah. Please make Everette feel welcome and give him a great big Oklahoma “Hey!” I know you will love Everette because everyone loves Bacon! Here is Everett’s bio:
Everette Bacon was born in Huntington Beach, California. At the age of five he was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy, a condition which had run in his family on his mother’s side for thirteen generations, causing rapid-onset blindness primarily in female family members. Despite the diagnosis, Everette’s family took the advice of teachers and medical experts, believing (or, more accurately, hoping) that since Everette was male and his vision was not deteriorating rapidly like that of other family members, he was unlikely to go blind. As a result, Everette did not learn Braille or other alternative techniques during his school years. Looking back, Everette says, his mother and other family members wish that they had encouraged him to learn Braille and other blindness skills.
When Everette was around eighteen his entire family moved to Texas. Everette pursued a degree in church music at Dallas Baptist University. He jokes that he was pushed toward music because “you know, blind people sing.” His first job was teaching a seventh grade choir, but he found it not to his liking. Searching for other employment in order to earn money to help his wife through medical school, Everette ultimately accepted a management position with Blockbuster Video in 1997. He was very successful in this position, winning several awards and steady promotions. By 2004, he was managing ten stores in the Houston area.
Everette’s eye condition began to worsen, and instead of giving up, he adapted by using alternative techniques. “I started carrying a cane, mainly for identity, but I was using it when I felt I needed it.” “I was never embarrassed or ashamed about becoming blind, because I grew up around blind people, adapting was something you just became accustomed to doing.” However, when he asked for reasonable accommodations from his employer, instead of granting these accommodations, Blockbuster terminated his employment despite his outstanding record. The company even went so far as to describe Everette’s conduct as “fraudulent,” implying that he had deceived the company about his capabilities, even though he had previously been praised and awarded for his work.
This experience traumatized Everette and his family. His wife, mother, and other family members sent angry emails to everyone they could; urging readers to avoid shopping at Blockbuster based on discrimination against the blind. One of these emails found its way to Scott LaBarre, the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and a successful disability rights attorney. Scott took Everette’s case, and ultimately Everette received a settlement from Blockbuster. More importantly, though, he learned about the National Federation of the Blind and the many battles the organization has fought in the effort to advance and protect the civil rights of blind people. “I had heard of the Federation and been told that they were militant,” Everette says, “but my experience taught me the importance of our advocacy.” There are so many reasons to be proud of whom we are as blind people, and the Federation has paved the way for our climb to the top of the mountain of civil rights!
Thursday March 28
7:00 – 10:00 Rookie Round-Up
Reservoir Room (located on the first level NE of the elevator s.)
If this is your first time to the NFB of Oklahoma convention this session is for you! Learn about what your convention experience can be and meet many leaders and long term Federationists who will show you the ropes and lead you in navigating convention. All are welcome.
Light hors d’oeuvres will be available along with a cash bar.
Friday, March 29
Pre-event area (Outside Grand Ballroom)
9:00 – 12:15 General Session
9:00 – 9:05 Welcome- Jeannie Massay, President, NFBOK
9:05 – 9:10 Convention Arrangements & Announcements – Glenda Farnum
9:10 – 9:40 NFB Membership Affirmation, Pledge, One-Minute Message and Membership coin presentation
9:40 – 10:30 National Report – Everette Bacon, Board member, National Federation of the Blind, President, National Federation of the Blind of Utah
10:30 – 11:00 Acquiring the Skills of Blindness; The Louisiana Center for the Blind , Jack Mendez, Technology Trainer, Louisiana Center for the Blind, Ruston, Louisiana
11:00- 11:10 Get on the PAC Plan: Sign up today! – Glenda Farnum & Jeannie Massay
11:10 – 11:50 “I went to the Center” Panel Discussion – members who have completed the Adult program at a structured discovery training center.
Jack Mendez, Moderator
11:50 – 12:10 Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services- Melinda Freundt, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
12:15 – 1:45- NFB Newsline Luncheon
Luncheon hosted by NFB Newsline
Newsline presentation, Mike Floyd, Board Member, NFBOK, President, T-Town Chapter
2:00 – 3:30 Round 1 Break – out sessions
2:00 – 3:30 Striving to Mentor Blind Youth in Utah- Generator Room
The NFB of Utah Project STRIVE is a shining example of what transition for blind students should be. Let’s learn how the program got its start.
2:00 – 3:30 Newsline at work and school –Current Room
Learn how Newsline can be useful to you at school, work and play! If you are not already signed up you may do so at this break-out session.
2:00 – 3:30 Making life more convenient with technology- Grand Ballroom B
Learn all about apps and tech that can make your life a little to a lot more convenient.
Audrey Farnum, 1st Vice President, NFBOK, President, Central Oklahoma Chapter & Jack Mendez
3:45 – 5:15 Round 2 Break – out sessions
3:45 – 5:15 Helping our clients find their path to living the lives they want – Generator Room
Effective, ethical and successful work with blind clients in Rehabilitation. The model for the best outcomes.
3:45 – 5:15 Self-Advocacy: Your Rights and Responsibilities – Current Room
Are you confused by the Rehabilitation process? Learn about what your responsibilities are as a client and what your rights are according to the Rehabilitation Act.
Glenda Farnum, Treasurer, NFBOK, Treasurer, Central Oklahoma Chapter
3:45 – 5:15 Accessibility at work and in the classroom – Grand Ballroom B
Discussion about accessibility at school and work. What you need to know to be an effective, efficient and productive student or employee.
Audrey Farnum & Jack Mendez
5:15 – 7:30 Dinner on your own
There are a number of restaurants in the general vicinity of the hotel Most are a short Uber, Lyft or Cab ride away.
7:45 – 9:30 Resolutions Committee
Grand Ballroom A, Steve Shelton, Chair
Any member may submit, at least 1 week in advance of the convention, a resolution which may be considered by the Committee. All members are encouraged to attend as this is where you will learn about the resolutions for this year. Resolutions which pass the committee will then be voted on by the membership at our annual business meeting on Sunday, April 15th. Resolutions are the birth place of what becomes the policy and action of our affiliate.
Resolutions for consideration may be emailed to Steve Shelton.
Saturday, March 30
8:15 – 9:00 Walk this Way!
Pre function area outside Grand Ballroom A
Come join in an interactive cane walk. Learn tips and techniques to use the long white cane and dispel the misperceptions of why we use long white canes. Oh yes, we’ll also have fun!
9:15 – 10:45 Round 1 Break – out sessions
9:15 – 10:45 Living the Good Life: Independent home skills – Generator Room
Tips and tricks for non-visual techniques at home. Questions will be answered!
Glenda Farnum & Fatos Floyd
9:15 – 10:45 Acquiring the skills of blindness; what does that mean and do I need them?
Grand Ballroom B
A discussion of training centers, what you can expect and what they can give you if you put the effort in.
Jack Mendez, Moderator
9:15 – 10:45 What is the National Federation of the Blind? – Current Room
Join long-time Federationists and those who are new to the Federation to learn about who we are, what we do and how you can become a part of living the life you want and helping others to do the same
Everette Bacon, Moderator
11:00 – 12:30 Round 2 Break – out sessions
11:00 – 12:30 Structured Discovery: What is it really – Generator Room
Do you know what structured discovery is? Never heard of it or think you know? Learn exactly what it is and what we mean when we talk about it.
Yadiel Sotomayor, NOMC, Utah Services for the Blind
11:00 – 12:30 Legislative Seminar: Our current legislative priorities in Oklahoma and the nation – Grand Ballroom B
Jeannie Massay and Mike Floyd
11:00 – 12:30 The rowing Report: Rowing and Other accessible sports and recreation pursued by the blind – Current Room
Discussion of rowing and other sports and recreation items of interest for the sports minded blind person. Anyone interested in noodling?
Audrey Farnum, Moderator
12:30 – 2:15 Lunch!
Grab your Boxed Lunch (outside of the Grand Ballroom) and find a Division of the NFBOK you may be interested in: OABM (Oklahoma Association of Blind Merchants), OARP (Oklahoma Association of Rehabilitation Professionals), OKABS (Oklahoma Association of Blind Students, Parents of Blind Children. If you are not specifically a member of any of the above but have interest in helping out please join in wherever you feel that you fit best!
Oklahoma Association of Blind Students – Current Room
Oklahoma Association of Blind Merchants- Generator Room
Oklahoma Association of Rehabilitation Professionals – Grand Ballroom A
Parents of Blind children – Pre-function area outside Ballroom A
2:15 – 5:15 General Session
2:15 – 2:25 Action Auction
2:25 – 2:45 Navigating towards the NOMC: My choice towards teaching non-visual techniques, Yadiel Sotomayor
2:45 – 2:55 Action Auction
2:55 – 3:25 The Working Blind: A Panel discussion of blind people working in a wide variety of jobs.
Everette Bacon, Moderator
3:25 – 3:35 Action Auction, thanks to Kenny Blair, blind auctioneer extraordinaire!
3:35 – 4:05 The Working Blind, continued
4:05 – 4:15 Action Auction
4:15 – 4:30 The Business Enterprise Program Training- Kenny Blair
4:30 – 4:40 Action Auction
4:40 – 4:50 PAC & other funds update, Glenda Farnum
4:50 – 5:00 Action Auction
5:15 Nominating Committee – TBD
Meeting closed to all but those serving on the Nominating Committee
6:00 Pre-banquet reception (Cash bar available
7:00 – 10:00 Banquet
Keynote address: “How will you wear your albatross?” – Everette Bacon, President, National Federation of the Blind of Utah, Board member. National Federation of the Blind, and, most importantly, member, National Federation of the Blind
Sunday, March 31, 2019
7:30 – 9:00 Chapter President’s Breakfast
By invitation only to those who are Chapter Presidents. Location TBA.
9:30 – 12:00 Business Meeting
9:30 – 9:50 Presidential Report – Jeannie Massay, President NFBOK
9:50 – 10:05 Treasurer’s Report – Glenda Farnum, Treasurer, NFBOK
10:05 – 10:20 Secretary’s Report – Audrey Farnum, 2nd Vice President & Interim Secretary
Chapter & Division Reports
10:20 – 10:30 Central Oklahoma Chapter, Audrey Farnum, President
10:30 – 10:40 Southwestern Oklahoma Chapter, Sheila Levick, President
10:40 – 10:50 T-Town Chapter, Mike Floyd, President
10:50 – 11:00 Oklahoma Association of Blind Students
11:00 – 11:10 Oklahoma Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, Brooke Anderson, President
11:10 – 11:40 Resolutions Committee Report to the Membership followed by a vote of the dues paying members present.
11:40 – 11:55 Nominating Committee Report
11:45 – 11:55 Elections
11:55 – 12:00 Closing remarks – the President
** Remember to sign up for committees that you may be interested in helping out with! See Jeannie at any time during convention.
Sponsors & Exhibitors
We would like to take a special opportunity to thank our Sponsors and Exhibitors. Our convention would not be the same without you! We appreciate your sponsorship and donations along with those of you who chose to exhibit with us this year.
Bronze Level Sponsors:
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
National Federation of the blind of Oklahoma
Gifts for you!
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, Services for the Blind & visually Impaired & Oklahoma Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped
The main entrance to the hotel is located on the west side of the building. Upon entering the hotel lobby you must turn to your right or to your left. Turn to your right to navigate towards the Front Desk.
The hotel elevators are located adjacent to the Front desk to the east along the south wall.
Ember, the hotel restaurant, is located, from the hotel entrance to your left and is the second open section on the right. From the Front desk it is north and on the east wall, second open section. The first open section is a seating area with comfortable couches and chairs to gather in for a chat. Please keep noise to a minimum if choosing to sit in this area. Be respectful to other hotel guests.
The Bar is immediately past the restaurant on the east wall.
The meeting rooms are in several locations. Please read the directions but be aware that we are all here to help one another. We will also have a very limited number of volunteers to help point you in the right direction.
General sessions will be held in the Grand Ballroom located past the restaurant and bar further down the hall on the east wall. If you’ve made it to the restrooms, you have gone too far! This set of restrooms are the closest to some of the break-out sessions. Make note of where they are.
The Reservoir room is where we will meet for the Rookie Round-up and reception on Thursday evening. It is located to the northeast of the elevators as you exit.
Break-out sessions will take place in the Grand Ballroom and in the Current and Generator rooms. Exhibits will be in the Well.
The Generator Room is located near the elevators. Turn to your right as you exit. Navigate to the end of the hallway and the door will be on the south wall. There is an entryway before you enter the actual room.
The Current Room is located in the same hallway as the restaurant, bar and Grand ballroom. The Current Room is between the bar and the Grand Ballroom on the east wall. The entrance to the Current Room is immediately before you enter the Grand Ballroom.
The Well is located immediately to the east of the Ember restaurant. The entrance may be accessed through the west side of the Reservoir Room or from the north entrance located in the Ember restaurant.
Have a great time during convention!