2023 Alaska State Convention Agenda

The National Federation of the Blind of Alaska is committed to promoting equity and inclusion of a diverse global community. Honoring the lived experiences of those with congenital and acquired blindness; those with different geographic backgrounds, different languages, labor and socio-economic status in the exchange of ideas, opinions, and actions. Through advocacy, awareness, and educational activities, Strive to advance policies and practices that cultivate a climate of awareness and understanding; acceptance and opportunities for advancement; and respect for the dignity of all people.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to broaden the scope of awareness and understanding of the definition of full inclusion; to explore and expand on the cultural makeup of the organization, providing education and training, guidance and advocacy where needed. Our goal is to cultivate a federation that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

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. Live the life you want! Blindness is not what holds you back!

NFB 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 policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

Friday November 4:

1:00 PM:
Invocation by Brian Blair
Kevin Whitley, President
Treasurer’s Report, Pete McCall
Introduction of Hands on Therapy!! Emily Stevenson
Short speech of Independent Blind person and their business

1:15 PM:
David Newman – Alaska State ADA Coordinator: Increasing the Rights of the Blind In Alaska

1:35 PM:
Loretta Roberts with Invision Script Talk

2:00 PM:
Megan Sheile, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, DVR

2:20 PM:
Fit Bit and Door Prize by Kelsey T., NFB Board member

2:30 PM:
Jeff Dick—Challenge Alaska (Community recreation for Alaskans with disabilities)

3:00 PM:
Disability Support Services, UAA: Anne Lazenby

3:15 PM:
Story of Shelia Wright, National Representative

3:30 PM:
Door prize and Break

3:45 PM:
Carla Wright, ADRC Aging and Disability Independent Resource Center

4:00 PM:
CB Brady—Executive Director, (Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

4:15 PM:
Rob C. Alaska Human Rights Commission

4:30 PM:
Neighborhood works

4:45 PM:
Bobby Mave: Anchorage Senior Disability Services)

5:00 PM:
Dan Bigly, DFS and navigating barriers

5:15 PM:
Break for Social Mingle

5:30 PM:
Meet and greet to include: Appetizers/finger foods, Accessible games, and Braille Corner


Saturday November 5:

9:00 AM:
Invocation from Brian Blair

9:10 AM:
Shelia Wright, National Representative
President’s report Ground-breaking initiatives of the National Federation of the Blind and more.

9:50 AM:
President, Kevin Whitley (the affiliate president’s annual report and future projections)
Ski for Life and Athlete’s Foundation Grant, staying in shape, Recreational Activities, Engaging in community like Lyon’s Club and fundraising opportunities

10:15 AM:
Door prize and fun activities with recreational therapy tools like soccer balls, beep balls, and more

10:30 AM:
Mike Goring, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, GEB, AK Field Rep

10:40 AM:
1st experience at Convention- National Experience: Kevin W. and Teirra Kilgore
2nd Vice President William Craig and Secretary, Linda Newman for Legislature update and Washington Seminar

11:00 AM:
Michael Lauf – Accessible Windows Software and iPhone Apps

11:15 AM:
Fit Bit and Door Prize

11:30 AM:

11:45 AM:
Torri: ATLA

12:00 PM:

1:30 PM:
Music from Emillia N. Daughter, Jerem Daraman

1:35 PM:
Door Prize

1:40 PM:
Freya Anderson – Talking Books of Alaska (ever changing to serve the print and physically disabled

2:00 PM:
Nate Kile and Megan with experiences running with a guide dog

2:20 PM:
Chris Danielsen, NFB n Braille Monitor (flagship publication of the National Federation of the Blind

2:45 PM:
Legislature video (Senator Merkowski

3:00 PM:
Break Cookies and popcorn

3:15 PM:
Door prize

3:20 PM:
Scott White – NFB-NEWSLINE®

3:40 PM
Guide Dog Panel:
Guiding Eyes for the Blind, jGEB
Guide Dogs for the Blind, GDB
Guide Dog Foundations
Acknowledgment of recent loss of past guides

4:25 PM:
Megan Dodder, Guide Dog Foundation Representative

4:40 PM:
Julia Husman, Divisions of Elections

5:00 PM:
Break while hotel staff prepare room for Banquet

6:00 PM:
Open with Music from Ileina Milos accompanied by Nate Kile

Banquet Speech by National Representative

Shelia Wright was elected to the National Federation of the Blind Board of Directors in July of 2022. Her service in the National Federation of the Blind began in South Carolina, was evidenced in Nebraska, and for more than three decades the state of Missouri has been the beneficiary of her initiative, hard work, and follow-through. She has been President of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri since 2017. Shelia’s blindness was not diagnosed until she was 16. Her personal experience has made her an advocate for students to begin learning Braille at an early age.

Shelia helped in shaping the Technology Access Program for Internet, an innovative program in Missouri that provides screen-reading software and other assistive technology to allow blind people to gain access to the resources found on the internet.

She has worked as a consumer support provider for that program since its inception and continues to do so, providing direct teaching and product evaluation.

Shelia’s hobbies include tandem biking, swimming, playing the guitar, and reading.

Closing statement from President Whitley


Dream Maker Circle:

You can help build a future of opportunity for the blind by becoming a member of our Dream Makers Circle. It is easier than you think. You can visit your bank and convert an account to a P.O.D. (payable on death) bank account which is payable after your passing to the National Federation of the blind or one of our affiliates. Your legacy gift to the National Federation of the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind of {insert state} 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 retirement plan,

IRA, pension, or a life insurance policy. You can designate a specific amount, a percentage, or list NFB as one of several beneficiaries.

For additional information, please contact Patti Chang at:
(410) 659-9314, extension 2422
or at pchang@nfb.org


Pre-authorized Contributions (PAC)

Can you help the National Federation of the Blind on a regular basis? Please consider joining our preauthorized contribution plan. Starting at $5 monthly, you can help us turn dreams into reality and raise expectations.

Visit: https://nfb.org/pac