2016 Convention Agenda

NFBI State Convention 2016

Annual Convention
October 28-30, 2016

Naperville Marriott
1801 Naper Blvd
Naperville, IL 60563
630 505-4900

Members of NFBI wish to thank the following donors for their generous gifts:

  • Advanced Group
  • The Aileen S. Andrew Foundation
  • The Baiardi Family Foundation Inc.
  • Friends and Family in memory of Dolores Gnech
  • Milton Harris/and Alice Chenault
  • Dr. and Mrs. Neal Hart of the Illinois Prairie Foundation
  • The Illinois Association Of Blind Merchants
  • Invesco
  • Mr. Harold W. Knapheide III, in honor of his mother, the late Mary MacDill Knapheide
  • Community Foundation Great River Bend – Mildred Crespin-Croegaert Fund
  • Richard Lansden, trustee, The Leona Stanford Vollintine Charitable Trust
  • The Community Foundation of the Quincy Area from the Arthur O. and Lela B. Lindsey Fund
  • Elick and Charlotte Lindon Foundation
  • Jefferson L. Miller, Jr. and Abby Lock Castle ·The Naperville Noon Lion’s Club
  • Oasis Home Health Care Inc.
  • Okawville Lion’s
  • Steve and Georgiann Pangere
  • Trinity Fellowship
  • Samuel Weinstein Family Foundation

Announcements, Registration, and Door Prize table:

Announcements that you wish to be made from the convention floor during sessions MUST be submitted to the information desk in the convention hall. Roberta Reif is coordinating our information desk this year. Patti Chang is handling registration table at convention. Marco Giannotti is running our door prize table.

If you wish to reach President Denise R. Avant during sessions, please convey your requests to the information desk.

Literature is available on thumb drives for $5 and may be picked up at our registration table.

Smoking is not permitted in convention sessions.

National Federation of the Blind of Illinois

Denise R. Avant, President
3410 N. Lake Shore Dr., Apt. 4L-M
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 991-8050
NFB of Illinois website: www.nfbofillinois.org

2016 Naperville Marriott Hotel/Convention Information

This quick article explains the layout of the Naperville Marriott which is our convention hotel. It also gives you basic information about the facilities and amenities.

Address and Phone:

The hotel is located at 1801 N. Naper Blvd Naperville, IL 60563. The phone is: (630) 505-4900.

Sleeping Room Types:

There are two types of rooms. A Suite and a Standard Room. The suites have a parlor with a sleeper sofa, two easy chairs, and a coffee table. The room rate for standard rooms is $104. The rate for suites is higher. All rooms have hair driers and coffee makers. Connecting rooms are available upon request.

Keycards and Electrical Power:

This hotel is modernized. You need to insert your keycard in a slot inside your room to the side of the door to turn your power on. Leave it in the slot until you exit your room. When you remove it, the power goes off again.


Check in time is 3:00 p.m. Checkout time is 12:00 p.m.

Wi Fi:

There is free Wi Fi in all lobby and common areas. This includes our meeting rooms.


There is an indoor pool, fitness room, and Jacuzzi. There is lots of parking especially by the side door.


The hotel runs free shuttles within a five mile radius. Since there are trains scheduled to leave at 12:30, 2:30, and another at 4:30 headed for downtown Chicago, we will make every effort to complete the convention by noon on Sunday.

The hotel also has a contract with a limo company which provides discounted service to and from each airport. The cost is under $40 which compares favorably to a cab which would be $65 or so.


If you enter through the main doors, the layout is as follows: The Starbucks is to the left. You should walk ahead to where the tiled flooring forms a cross. If you turn left at the “lobby cross” with the doors at your back, you can enter Starbucks by taking the first left. If you take a right, you can go to the elevator bank. If you pass the elevators, you head toward the meeting rooms.

From the front door, if you simply bypass the crossing of the tiled portions of the lobby and keep going straight, you will find our information desk on your left and the hotel desk on your right. If you pass both, there is a restaurant directly ahead. You can find the bar which also serves food from the restaurant by going left after passing the hotel desk. The bar will be on your right although people can also sit on the left side at this point in the lobby.

If you reorient to the lobby desk, at this point it is easier. If you are standing facing the hotel front desk, the elevator bank is down the tiled hall to the right of the front desk. There are three elevators on your left side down that hall a short way. They are fast.

Our meeting rooms are laid out past the elevator bank. Right after the elevators there is a cash machine on your left and restrooms on your right. Past those, first you come to a hallway where conference rooms A, B, and C are on your left headed away from the lobby. Conference rooms D, E, and F are on your right. Past that Hall the hall divides at a Y. There is another set of restrooms down by the other conference rooms near Bailey. If you go left, you come to Bailey-Hobson and if you go right you will get to the Naper room. We are in Naper 2 and 3 for general sessions. Outside of the Naper room we will have exhibits and we will have our registration.

There is a dog relief area outside of the Naper room. Exit and walk a short way, then take a 45 degree left turn. There is a cement patio area on the left about 30 ft up. At the end of the patio, you will find a grassy area with trees which will work well for dog relief. There is even a hydrant.

Braille is Beautiful – Sunday:

Braille is Beautiful will take place on Sunday. Please feel free to reach out to Debbie Stein if you wish to participate.

Meeting Room Assignments:

Both breakfasts are planned for Naper 2 and 3 during convention Our Parents meeting will be in A. Our lunch will be in Naper 2 and 3. Hospitality before and after the banquet is in the banquet rooms, Naper 2 and 3. Kids Camp is planned for F. Scholarship dinner is in E. Idol, General Sessions, and banquet will be in Naper 2 and 3. Registration is outside of Naper 2 and 3.

Set-up for Naper 2 and 3:

When you enter the Naper Room it is wider left to right and shorter going ahead from the doors. You enter at the back of the room. We will have info, sales, and IABS in the back of the room and head table/stage will be furthest from the doors by the windows. If you face the head table, audio will be on your left and door prizes on the right.
Have a great convention, everyone!


The information desk will be in the hotel main lobby on Friday Oct. 28 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m., and in our general session room during general sessions. Registration will be in the hallway outside of the Naper room on Friday from 5:00 through 7:00 as well as on Saturday from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. The sales table for IABS will be in the back during general sessions. The PAC plan table will also be in the back during general sessions. Exhibitors will be outside of our general sessions room.


You can help build a future of opportunity for the blind by becoming a member of the Jacobus tenBroek Legacy Society. Your legacy gift to the National Federation of the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois can be made in the form of a will, or living trust, an income generating gift, or by naming us as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. For additional information, please contact Patti Chang at our national office. Please consider helping us to continue to change what it means to be blind.

The PAC Plan allows members, affiliates, chapters, and others to give a regular and automatic donation to the Federation every month. All you need provide is your checking or savings account identification information Because of the costs associated with operating the program, the minimum
donation is $5 a month and there is no restriction on how much you donate. Please sign up at the PAC table during convention to begin a new PAC contribution or to make changes to your current contribution. Your donation will help the blind live the lives they want.

IABS Raffle

The Illinois Association Of Blind Students will hold a raffle with the winner to be drawn at the banquet on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Tickets are $2 or three for $5. All monies will go to help IABS. So please be generous. The coordinator of this event is Katie Leinum, IABS President.

The KNFB Reader

Now you can have the convenience of an OCR scanner in the palm of your hand. The KNFB Reader app is a revolutionary tool that you can use, with the touch of a single button, to read virtually any type of printed text, including mail, receipts, class handouts, memos, and many other documents. Accuracy is facilitated by a field-of-view report, automatic page detection, and tilt control.
Proprietary document analysis technology determines the words and reads them aloud to the user with high quality text-to-speech. Read the words you want to read; live the life you want.
KNFB Reader is now available for android and is on sale. Or, visit the Apple App Store to purchase the KNFB Reader app and start enjoying it today!
For the latest news and information about the KNFB Reader, follow us on Twitter @KNFBReader or like us on Facebook.

Friday, October 28, 2016,

2:00-4:30 Information Table
Roberta Reif, coordinator; Hotel Lobby

4:00-5:00 Resolutions
Chair Patti Chang, NFBI Resolutions Committee
Naper 2 and 3

October 28, 2016, Evening

5:00-7:00 Registration
Patti Chang, Registration Coordinator
Hallway outside of Naper

4:00-7:00 Exhibits
Hallway Outside of Naper
E.M. Vitu, Inc.
3d Photoworks
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Horizons For The Blind
Talking Book Outreach Center
Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

5:00-6:00 Join Our At-Large Chapter for A Get-To-Know You Dinner Chapter President, Linda Hendle
Cost $10 Room TBA

5:00-7:00 Scholarship Dinner (Winners and Committee)
Conference Room E

7:00-11:00 IABS IDOL
Admission $5 includes your first performance
Katie Leinum, IABS President
Join us for the Illinois Association of Blind Students (“IABS”) Idol. Based on the popular TV show American Idol, IABS Idol invites everyone to participate as a soloist or a group in performing a song of their choice. Wear a costume, and celebrate Halloween. Bring an instrument, and perform your favorite song.
Each performance is $5 per person. In addition, this year we will be charging a $5 admission fee which includes 1 free performance so get up and sing your favorites. Also, don’t forget our “Battle of the Chapters.” This year’s theme is “Sports Theme Songs”
It is helpful if performers tell us what music they would like ahead of time. Please email Adrienne Falconer at afalc2@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 29, 2016: Breakfast, Registration, and Exhibits

7:00-8:30 Parents Breakfast
Naper 2 and 3

7:15-7:20 Welcome
Denise Avant, President of the National Federation Of The Blind Of Illinois (“NFBI”)

7:20-7:30 Introductions

7:30-8:00 Celebrating the 2016 Illinois BELL Academies,
Amy Lund, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Springfield,
Students of the Chicago and Springfield BELL programs

8:00-8:30 ”Confidence and Competence:
Planning Today for Your Child’s Tomorrow,” Joe Ruffalo, President, NFB of New Jersey

8:00-9:00 Registration
Patti Chang, Registration Coordinator
Outside of Naper Room
Later registration see Patti Chang in General Sessions

8:00-9:00 Exhibits

Saturday, October 29, 2016:Kids Camp

8:30-5:00 Kids Camp – Dinos and Bugs
Kids Camp Coordinators: Francisco Chang and Carol Sherman

8:30-9:00 Registration, with introductions and free play

9:00-10:15 Show and Tell – Dinosaurs/Bugs

10:15-11:00 Scavenger Hunt

11:00-12:00 “Paper, Glue, and Imagination,” arts and crafts for everyone

12:00-12:45 Lunch

12:45-2:00 “Hooray for Hollywood!”; “Dinosaurs” time for a kids’ movie with audio description.

2:00-3:00 Craft – Halloween Decorations

3:00-3:15 “Listen to a Story,”; “Magic Treehouse #1 Dinosaurs Before Dark”

3:15 – 3:30 Snack Time

3:30 – 4:15 Free Play

4:15 – 5:00 Sing A Long with Cathy and Dave

Saturday, October 29, 2016:General Sessions and Lunch

9:00-11:30 General Session, Morning
Naper 2 and 3

9:00-9:15 Welcome and Opening Remarks Denise Avant, President NFBI
Pledge of Allegiance
Moment Of Silence
LeAnne Mayne, Chicago Chapter
December 4, 1953-June 28, 2016
Laura Mannon, At Large chapter
Welcome Students and Staff of BLIND Inc.

9:15-9:45 National Report
Joe Ruffalo, Jr., Member, NFB Board Of Directors
President, NFB Of New Jersey

9:45-10:00 Report From The National association Of Blind Students (“NABS”)
Luke Schwinck, NABS Treasurer

10:00-10:20 Business Opportunities In Financial Services
Robert Hansen and Rebecca Schmidt,
World Financial Group Trans America

10:20-10:40 Learning Opportunities At the Hadley Institute
Karen Woodfork, Director Of Student Services
Hadley Institute For The Blind And Visually Impaired

10:40-11:00 What’s Happening at Horizons for the Blind
Camille Cafferelli, Executive Director

11:00-11:20 The State Of Rehabilitation Services
John Gordon, Chief, Illinois Bureau Of Blind Services

11:30-1:00 Exhibitors

12:00-1:30 Student Lunch
Naper 2 and 3

12:00-12:45 Parents will join our students for lunch

12:05-12:10 Welcoming Remarks, Katie Leinum, IABS President, Southern Illinois University

12:10-12:20 “Introducing the 2016 NFBI Scholarship Finalists,” Debbie Kent Stein, Chair, NFBI Scholarship/Internship Committee

12:20-12:30 The 2016 Excellence in Teaching Awards, Katie Leinum, IABS President

12:30-12:50 “Meeting the Challenges and Enjoying the Ride,”
Luke Schwinck, Treasurer, NABS

12:50-1:10 “A Commitment to Accessibility,”
Rick Ferrie, Pearson Learning Systems

1:10-1:30 “How to Get the Help You Need:
Working with the Illinois Bureau of Blind Services,”
John Gordon, Director

1:30 Adjournment

12:45-1:30 Parent Break-Out
Anyone interested in parent issues may join us.
Conference Room A.

12:45-1:00 “Getting to Know You: Who We Are and Why We Are Here”

1:00-1:10 “Hands-on Science: My Adventures at STEM EQ,” Andrea Cataquiz, Student, Glendale Heights, IL

1:10-1:45 “Ages and Stages: All Kids Need Roots and Wings,” Julieta Meyer, Parent, Morris, IL

2:00-5:00 General Session, Afternoon

2:00-2:15 Art At My Fingertips
John Olson, 3d Photoworks

2:15-2:45 Let’s Dance
Francisco Chang and Patti Chang,

2:45-3:00 Growing Up Blind
Peter Tusic, Blindness Product Specialist, Humanware,

3:00-3:30 The Braillenote Touch: A New Innovative Braille Tablet Peter Tusic, Blindness Product Specialist, Humanware

3:30-4:00 Learning Blindness Skills And Gaining Independence
Cody Beardsley, Intern, BLIND Inc.
President, Minnesota Association Of Blind Students,
Quinn Haberl, Travel Instructor, BLIND Inc.
Kyle Hanneman, student, BLIND Inc.

4:00-4:20 Our Experiences In Freedom Link
Debbie Kent Stein, 1st VP, NFBI
Emma Meyer, Board Member, IABS
Amy Bosko, 2dVP, IABS
Alicia Gray and Sebastian Rodionov, Freedom Link Students

4:20-4:30 NFB Washington Legislative Initiatives
Robert Gardner, Co-chair Federal Legislative Committee

4:30-4:45 We Love Braille
Great Lakes Braille Readers Are Leaders: Robert Gardner
LIFE: Linda Hendle
BELL: Patti Chang

4:45-5:00 Get On The PAC Plan
Denise R. Avant, President, NFBI

5:00 Adjourn

Saturday, October 29, 2016, Evening

5:30-6:30 Scholarship Committee Meeting
Room TBA

6:00-7:00 Hospitality
Outside Naper 2 and 3

7:00-10:00 Annual Banquet
M.C. Debra Kent Stein, NFBI 1st Vice President
Naper 2 and 3

Welcome and Invocation
Robert Gardner, Chair, Braille Literacy Committee

IABS Raffle, Katie Leinum,IABS President

NFBI Awards Debbie Kent Stein and Patti Chang

2016 Land Of Lincoln Land Of Lakes
Debbie Stein, NFBI Parent Coordinator,
Seth Howard, Participant

My Experience at National Convention
Jhaliyah Anderson and Javon Baker

Using Our Braille Printer
Cindy Miller, Low Vision Coordinator,
Illinois School For The Visually Impaired

15 for Funds
Cathy Randall, Chair, NFBI Development Committee

Banquet Keynote- Joe Ruffalo, Jr., NFB Board Member President, NFB Of New Jersey

Scholarship Awards
Debbie Stein, Scholarship Committee Chair

10:00-12:00 Hospitality

Sunday, October 30, 2016, Morning

7:00-8:30 Student Breakfast and IABS Business Meeting
Katie Leinum, IABS President
Conference Room A

Note: All are welcome who are interested in student issues but please note that only those who have paid IABS dues may vote in elections. Please see Glenn Moore or any IABS Board Member to pay dues. We will be collecting money at the registration table and at the IABS table during convention.

President’s, Treasurer’s, and Secretary’s Reports
Committee Reports
Old Business
New Business

9:00-12:00 General Session
Naper 2 and 3

9:00-9:05 Call To Order

9:05-9:45 Braille Is Beautiful, A Dramatic Reading,
Debra Stein, Author and 1st Vice President, NFBI

9:45-9:50 Closing Remarks from BLIND Inc. Students

9:50-10:00 Closing From NABS Representative, Luke Schwinck, NABS, Treasurer

10:00-10:30- Treasurer and President’s Reports
Treasurer’s Report, Patti Chang, NFBI Treasurer
President’s Report, Denise R. Avant – President

10:30-11:00 Chapter Reports
At-Large:Linda Hendle, President
Blackhawk: Victoria Clark, President
Chicago: Debra Kent Stein, President
Ferris Wheel: Bill Reif, President
IABS: Katie Leinum, President
IABM: Ed Birmingham, President

11:00-11:30 Resolutions
Chair, Patti Chang

11:30-12:00 Elections (Names reflect those currently elected to that position.)
Executive Board Seats

President, Denise Avant, 2 year term
1st Vice President, Debbie Stein – 2 year Term
2nd Vice President, Leslie Hamric, 2 year term
Secretary, Glenn Moore, 2 year term
Treasurer, Patti Chang, 2 year term

General Board Seats

Board Seat 1, Debbie Pittman,2 year term
Board Seat 2 , Brian Sumner, 2 year Term

Election of Delegate and Alternates to 2016
National Convention

Final Remarks, National Representative Joe Ruffalo, Jr.

12:00 Adjournment

Thanks to the Special Events Committee, the Sound committee, and all others who have served on committees, worked registration and information tables, secured door prizes, and appeared on the agenda. You have helped make this convention a tremendous success.

NFB of Illinois
President: Denise R. Avant, Esq.


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.

One-Minute Message

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.

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