Skip to Content

State Convention

National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut 2021 STATE CONVENTION

October 29th through 31st, 2021

The National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut (NFB of CT) will host our 50th Annual State Convention on October 29th, 30th, and 31st 2021. The NFB is the largest membership organization of blind people in the United States. We hope to have an in-person convention to celebrate 50 years of the NFB of Connecticut educating and helping blind people of our state. We will be having our first ever Hybrid convention. Part of our convention will be held on Zoom for those not yet comfortable meeting in person.

The other portion will be held at the Sheraton Hartford South
100 Capitol Boulevard
Rocky Hill, CT 06067.

Note: The agenda will be finalized and distributed and posted on the state website in early to mid October. Yes, the agenda will be available on NEWSLINE® too!

Here is your chance to participate and learn more about the NFB’s programs and goals on the state and national level. Hear from the NFB national representative. We are proud to announce that John Pare, National Federation of the Blind’s Executive Director of Advocacy & Policy, will be serving as our national rep this year. Also, hear from speakers on topics of national and state importance, membership, seniors, technology, Braille, guide dog users, students, and parents’ concerns, meet the scholarship class of 2021 and much more!

Please visit this space often for further details including the registration form, the agenda and the Zoom information, which will be posted when it becomes available.

Mark your calendars and make every effort to attend the 2021 state convention of the NFBCT. Get Involved. Make a Difference! Please share with others, everyone is welcome!

Room Reservations

The Sheraton Hartford South is now accepting room reservations for the state convention. To make your reservation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please dial 860-257-6000 and mention that you are attending the National Federation of the Blind of CT State Convention. The best time to call is during regular business hours, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The 2021 room rate is $99 a night. Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes, which at present is 6.35% and will be in effect at the time of check-out. The Sheraton Hartford South has a mask mandate for all attendees whether vaccinated or not.

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 Thursday, October 28. Don’t hesitate, please make your room reservations as soon as possible. Our block of rooms are available until Wednesday, October 6, 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. 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 Maryanne Melley at 860-212-5549. Maryanne usually has a waiting list to review as many learn about the state convention after Wednesday, October 6.

Agenda

We would like to thank our generous sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor:

Oak Hill
www.oakhillct.org

Vanda Pharmaceuticals
vandapharma.com

Gold Sponsor:

Youthful Images

Silver Sponsor:

Retina Consultants, PC

Recommended change to State Constitution

Article IX: Affiliation

Remove this portion: (NOTE: An amendment to the Constitution of the National Federation of the Blind was passed in July 1971, restricting the use of the name only to organizations so affiliated. However, we did not pass this amendment with the Constitution of the Connecticut Federation, and your President feels it should not be part of this State Constitution. This note is for reminder to us that such a restriction exists in the National Constitution.)

Add this: The name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof is the property of the National Federation of the Blind; and any affiliate, or local chapter or division of an affiliate, if it ceases to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind, (for whatever reason) shall forthwith forfeit the right to use the name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.

Article XI: Dues

Remove this portion: A life-time membership may be secured for a fee of $100.00. A person must be a paid member at least fifteen (15) days in advance of a state convention to be able to vote at said convention.

National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut Proposed 2021 State Convention Principles of Engagement

These principles of engagement were adopted by the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut Board of Directors on July 31st, 2021, for recommendation to the State Convention. Nothing in these rules of engagement is intended to change the Federation’s constitution. The Board of Directors and members in good standing and in attendance may participate in all convention discussions as a matter of right. Any member of the NFB of CT may make or second motions [and] propose nominations.” These procedures simply implement the method for following the constitution in a hybrid convention.

The principles and procedures below are intended to provide clarity and advance notice on how the convention will be managed in 2021. They are consistent with practices used in previous hybrid conventions. This document will be read at the NFB of CT Opening Ceremonies on October 30th and then a second time on October 31st at the Business Meeting. Those eligible to vote on this proposal will be any enrolled voter present and voting at Business Meeting on October 31st as described below.

“A subcommittee of the board of directors comprising those who are not standing for election this year shall deal with questions and issues of credentials for voting. The subcommittee will include Nathanael Wales, Mary Silverberg, and Veronica Alston. Nathanael Wales shall chair the subcommittee.” Voting

  1. To be eligible to vote at the 2021 Convention, individuals must be registered to vote no later than October 22, 2021.
  2. Be active members in good standing of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut either through the affiliate, State division, State Chapter or as a Member at-Large at the state level having paid dues for 2021.
  3. Provide a phone number to be used for voting purposes.
  4. The subcommittee or Lucia Lee will validate the list of eligible voters based upon the above criteria by October 22, 2021. The vetting process will include verification that the individual was a member in good standing prior to October 22, 2021, according to the state membership database. Any individuals who register to vote through the state convention registration but are not listed as active members will be contacted via email and offered an opportunity to provide proof of membership. If no email is given at the time of registration, the phone number provided for voting purposes will be used to communicate. The final list of eligible voters for the 2021 convention will be considered final on October 22, 2021. No exceptions will be made for members who fail to register to vote at the convention by October 22, 2021.
  5. All individuals who are members in good standing in 2021, registered for the convention, and provided a valid phone number for voting purposes will constitute the pool of convention voters. “This includes members who will be voting virtually and in person.”
  6. All voting will be done via phone.
  7. Any matter must receive 51 percent support of the votes cast by the convention voters present and voting in order to be affirmed.
  8. Present and voting will mean the subset of convention voters who actually cast a vote on a given question. Thus, voters who are indifferent to a matter cannot block its consideration by the convention by choosing not to cast a vote.
  9. All votes will be allocated two minutes for vote time.
  10. After two minutes, if the outcome to the question under consideration is unclear, the chair will poll the Board of Directors not up for reelection by voice vote for a definitive outcome.
  11. If voting indicates 75 percent support for or against a question prior to the two-minute period elapsing, the chair may elect to move to the next order of business.
  12. An opportunity to practice voting will be offered in the convention on a question that has no impact on the policy of the organization

Zoom Links for Saturday and Sunday.

Please be polite and mute yourselves when our guests are speaking.

NFB Connecticut is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: 50th State Convention General Session
Time: Oct 30, 2021, 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95845616778?pwd=UXlob1ZOam5ZNUt5dUkvQmZPWmpxdz09
Meeting ID: 958 4561 6778
Passcode: 683516

One tap mobile

  • +13017158592,,95845616778#,,,,*683516# US (Washington DC)
  • +13126266799,,95845616778#,,,,*683516# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

  • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
  • +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 958 4561 6778
Passcode: 683516

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abi4fEIU3A

Join by Skype for Business
https://zoom.us/skype/95845616778

NFB Zoom host is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Connecticut Association of Guide Dog Users
Time: Oct 30, 2021, 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95452508460
Meeting ID: 954 5250 8460

One tap mobile

  • +13017158592,,95452508460# US (Washington DC)
  • +13126266799,,95452508460# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

  • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
  • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
    • Meeting ID: 954 5250 8460

      Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abDjj6QOQ

      Join by Skype for Business
      https://zoom.us/skype/95452508460

      NFB Zoom host is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
      Topic: Connecticut Association of Blind Students
      Time: Oct 30, 2021, 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

      Join Zoom Meeting
      https://zoom.us/j/91255139598
      Meeting ID: 912 5513 9598

      One tap mobile

      • +13017158592,,91255139598# US (Washington DC)
      • +13126266799,,91255139598# US (Chicago)

      Dial by your location

      • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
      • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
      • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
      • +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
      • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
      • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
      • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

      Meeting ID: 912 5513 9598

      Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adVdzlRXSW

      Join by Skype for Business
      https://zoom.us/skype/91255139598

      NFB Connecticut is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
      Topic: NFB of CT Business Meeting
      Time: Oct 31, 2021, 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

      Join Zoom Meeting
      https://zoom.us/j/98001999387?pwd=WmlHU3huenFZaVlHSS9XbFdaRFVvZz09
      Meeting ID: 980 0199 9387
      Passcode: 201002

      One tap mobile

      • +13017158592,,98001999387#,,,,*201002# US (Washington DC)
      • +13126266799,,98001999387#,,,,*201002# US (Chicago)

      Dial by your location

      • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
      • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
      • +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
      • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
      • +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose)
      • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
      • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

      Meeting ID: 980 0199 9387
      Passcode: 201002

      Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abKdsGnUCC

      Join by Skype for Business
      https://zoom.us/skype/98001999387

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 https://nfb.org/code-conduct for more information.

Additional Information

Additional information will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Check back often.

For more information about this event, please contact the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut outreach coordinator Lucia Lee at 860-289-1971 or info@nfbct.org, or contact our affiliate president, Maryanne Melley at 860-212-5549 or maryanne.melley@gmail.com.

Back to top