October Minute Message: Convention Special

Fellow Federationists,

State Convention is less than a month away.  If you have not reserved a room at the Carousel Hotel, do it immediately by calling 410-524-1000.  Pre-registration closes on Monday, October 19.  Don’t miss the discounts!  Go to www.nfbmd.org  to pre-register.

 During the convention, you will have the opportunity to influence the development of Office Online and also make some money by participating in a usability test. Here are the requirements:

-18 years and older

-Screen reader user unable to use screen magnification

-A minimum of 5 years of experience with any screen reader

-A minimum 2 years of college

-Previous experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

You must have a laptop that you can bring to convention, which has the Windows operating system (Version 7 or later) and Internet Explorer (version 9 or later) or Chrome web browser installed on the laptop. Any screen reader can be used.

We ask that you be able to provide feedback on Office Online for up to 2 hours, and you will be paid $150 for your feedback.

If you meet the requirements and are interested, send me an email off list.  You will be contacted by the study administrators to work out a convenient time and place for the study during the convention.

Would you like to learn how to use the KNFB Reader Mobile?  Would you like to have the KNFB Reader Mobile for free?  For details about the KNFB Reader activities at the convention, go to www.nfbmd.org and find the Current Newsletter link.

Would you like to be one of the first people to examine the prototype of the new Transforming Braille Display?  If you do not know what this is, read the Fall Spectator by going to www.nfbmd.org and find the link for the Current Newsletter.

Friday, November 13 is jam packed with activities.  Here are some examples that require action before you get to the convention:

BISM is conducting two workshops on how to use the iPhone and useful apps.  For the first workshop, from 2:30pm to 4:00pm you must bring your own iPhone.  For the second workshop, which is from 4pm to 5pm, you will be introduced to the iPhone and useful apps, but you do not have to have your own phone.  Please register for these workshops by emailingsriffle@bism.org , or call Page Trammell at BISM, 410-737-2674. Read the latest issue of the Braille Spectator to find out which apps will be demonstrated at these workshops. Go to www.nfbmd.org and select the current newsletter link.

Bring your best beach-bum attire for our Friday night Island Beach Party.  Be comfortable, wear flip-flops, Hawaiian shirts, etc.  We will have a best-looking beach bum contest and live music from the MP Steel Band.  Start practicing so that you can win the limbo dance contest.  Get ready for fun with your Federation family.

Having trouble sitting through meetings?  Pack your bathing suit for water aerobics on Friday at 5pm.  After the 2013 Convention, our blockey (blind hockey) players went on strike. Don’t panic since they are not available this year, we have a new, fun activity.  Take part in our first NFBMD String Baseball game.  The first pitch takes place at 5pm.  Anyone can play.  You don’t have to be Cal Ripkin.

Throughout the convention we will be conducting our annual bake auction.  We use the money from this auction to pay our pledges to various National Federation funds.  Please make sure that our auctioneer, Mike Bullis, has all of your items by Saturday morning.  Be sure to put a label with your name and a description on the item.

Would you like to win a door prize?  If you don’t bring any door prizes, there will be nothing to win!  Your chapter door-prize coordinator should make sure that Darlene Barrett has all door prizes on or before Saturday morning.

Don’t miss the exhibit hall from 12:30 to 6:00 on Friday afternoon.  Get an advance look at the new voting system that we will use for the 2016 Presidential Elections by visiting the Maryland State Board of Elections booth at the exhibit hall. What isHetlioz?  Find the right booth in the exhibit hall and you will get the answer.

There will be many special-interest activities throughout the convention.  Don’t miss the “Dominating Diabetes” seminar; parent lunch and activities; the student information meeting on Friday and their Saturday lunch; and the Deaf/Blind, Hard of Hearing Committee meeting.  Be sure to read the Braille Spectator for more information about Friday activities.  Be looking for the agenda on the web at the end of October.

Recipes Needed.  Gary Wunder, editor of the Braille Monitor, would like to receive your favorite holiday recipes. Please email the recipes, with a little description of any tradition surrounding the recipe, and a short note about yourself and your Federation activity.  Send email to gwunder@nfb.org.

Would you like to win $300, $100 or $50? The drawing for these prizes will take place at the banquet.  Be sure to bring money and stubs to the convention.  Give them to Barry Hond.

Meet our National Representative, Jeannie Massay, the Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind, Chairman of the Membership Committee and President of the NFB of Oklahoma.

Although we will be streaming the convention, we would love to see you in person.  Join us in Ocean City for a weekend of excitement, exploration and enlightenment.

Sharon Maneki, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland