2021 National Federation of the Blind of Illinois State Convention


On October 22, 23, and 24, 2021, enthusiastic Federationists will assemble in Lisle, Illinois to renew our dedication in the pursuit of security, equality, and opportunity for all blind people.

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois voted to host a hybrid state convention at the Sheraton Lisle Naperville Hotel, 3000 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Il, 60532 phone 630-505-1000. Room rates are $99 per night plus applicable taxes. Please indicate that you are with the NFBI to get this special rate. Make reservations by calling 630-505-1000. Reservations must be guaranteed with a credit card or a one-night deposit. Our cutoff date for reservations is September 30.

This year’s convention will kick off on Friday with a fun art activity. It will be followed by our resolutions committee meeting. Come learn and participate in our governing process.

IABS IDOL will occur Friday evening. Those wanting to perform during the IABS Idol should contact IABS by e-mailing Glenn Moore at or calling or texting him at 847-899-9801. Please put IABS IDOL in your subject line.

Our general session will convene on Saturday, October 23, at 9 a.m. During Saturday’s general sessions we will hear a National Report regarding NFB happenings delivered by our National Representative, Anil Lewis, Executive Director of Blindness Initiatives at the National Federation of the Blind and we will have a report from the National Association of Blind Students.

We will have a business owner panel Featuring Steve Pangere, owner of Pangere Construction; Ken Coleman, owner of Onnie Music; and Sabrina Simmons, owner of Eye Learn, a 2021 Bolotin award winning organization. Doula Jarboe will present her lived experience as a person with multiple disabilities. Ingrid Halvorsen, Assistant Bureau Chief, Illinois Bureau of Blind Services will join us to talk about services for the blind in our state. We will hear from the Interim Director of the Illinois Talking Book and Braille Service, Joe Natali, highlight how our programs change lives, and much more.

We will have a Saturday parent breakfast and a Sunday student breakfast. We will have both student and parent luncheons on Saturday. In addition, there will be a breakout session for parents of blind children.

Saturday evening will culminate with our annual banquet, featuring an inspiring address from our National Representative, Anil Lewis. We will also see the much-anticipated scholarship awards.

Sunday morning’s general session will begin with Braille is Beautiful and we will hear from other blind people sharing their experiences. Resolutions will be voted on during the Sunday morning session. Adjournment is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on October 24.

Advance registration for the convention made before October 8 is $5. Registration and meal preferences after that date or at convention will increase. This year you can register and pay online at If you need assistance with registering online, please call Patti Chang at 773-307-6440 or David Meyer at 708-606-7091.

We will host a meeting for parents of blind children at 7 a.m. on Saturday. The student business meeting will be held on Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. These are both breakfast meetings.

Two breakfasts are planned. Their preregistration cost is $10. We will have two luncheons for all those interested in student and/or parent issues on Saturday. The cost for either luncheon will be $20 if you preregister. The banquet on Saturday night will start at 7 p.m. and tickets will cost $30 with preregistration.

Those with special dietary needs for any of the meals should contact Patti Chang, (773) 307-6440 or The deadline for such requests is October 8.

In response to health concerns surrounding the Covid-19 virus, kids’ Kamp (childcare) has been cancelled and protocols for overnight events have been approved by the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. Visit our website at for more information about our response to Covid-19.

Federation conventions change the lives of blind and sighted people alike! Don’t miss out on this opportunity for change! Join us for our best convention yet! Come and live the life you want!!!

Convention Literature

Code of Conduct

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
  • 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 for more information.

Materials from Past Conventions

Please visit our Past Conventions page to access audio highlights and literature from previous state conventions.

Additional Information

If you have questions and need additional information, please contact:
Marilyn Green, President
5128 N. Oak Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60656
Phone: 312-343-8396