2024 Alabama Convention

Join us for the 2024 National Federation of the Blind of Alabama Affiliate Convention!
"People, Purpose, Passion; A Pathway to Success”
March 8 - 10, 2024
Tuscaloosa, AL

Book Hotel

Hotel Capstone room reservation is $129 per night plus taxes which includes breakfast.

Hotel Capstone
320 Paul W. Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Phone: 1.800.477.2262

Registration

Registration is now open. 

  • Convention Registration: $25.00, After February 23rd, Registration is $30.00
  • Convention Banquet: $40.00, After February 23rd, Banquet is $45.00
  • Saturday Box Lunch: $20.00, After February 23rd, Box Lunch is $25.00
  • Alabama Stadium/Lunch Tour – March 8th at 10:00am: $20.00, After February 23rd, Tour is $25.00
  • Red Carpet & Comedian Affair, March 8th at 8:00pm: $15.00, After February 23rd, Red Carpet & Comedian is $20.00

Please register now online or download registration form to submit via mail.

Sponsors and Exhibitors

The National Federation of the Blind of Alabama invites you to partner with us during our “People, Purpose, Passion; A Pathway to Success” Annual Convention,  being held on March 8-10, 2024 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. This event will be held at the Hotel Capstone, on the University of Alabama Campus. Your participation will foster greater opportunities for the blind community of Alabama to embrace a better quality of life. It is also an opportunity for you to access a unique customer base while promoting your establishment, indicating your dedication to service.  

As a sponsor and exhibitor, it is an unparalleled opportunity to reach out to blind individuals, highlight your products and services, and support the programs of the NFB of Alabama as we  explore pathways toward realization of dreams and aspirations.  
The NFB of Alabama convention attracts approximately two hundred blind individuals, families, friends, and blind professionals. Our convention is the place to be in March; you will not want to miss this tremendous chance to expand your market.  

Become a Sponsor

Register now to become a Sponsor! Download form (Word) If you get an error when downloading the form the first attempt, please try again.

Become an Exhibitor!

Register online now to be a 2024 exhibitor or download the exhibitor registration form (Word). If you get an error when downloading the form the first attempt, please try again.

Blind Vendor Exhibitors

Are you blind? Are you a business owner, Independent Contractor, Independent Sales rep, etc.? 

Great! This invite is for you! Come join NFB of Alabama as we open our blind vendor’s market again in-person, where we are allowing any blind business owner the opportunity to showcase their product or services to a new market of customers. 
NFB of Alabama is committed to supporting and enhancing the blind community! Come make connections and tap into a vast market who would like to support you too!

Please register to be a Blind Vendor Exhibitor.

Thank you for your support of the organized blind movement. We are excited to be with you in March. 

Agenda

Below is the full agenda. You can also download the Word version of the agenda. If you get an error when downloading the Word agenda the first attempt, please try again.

National Federation of The Blind of Alabama Affiliate 2024 Annual Convention  

“People, Purpose, Passion; A Pathway to Success”

March 8-10, 2024

Welcome

Hotel: Capstone
320 Paul W. Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Phone: 1.800.477.2262

Registration: $25.00 | 30.00 after February 23
Banquet: $40.00 | 45.00 after February 23
Alabama Stadium/Locker Room/lunch Tour, 20.00 25.00 after February 23
Red Carpet Gala 15.00, 20.00 after February 23
Box Lunch 20.00, 25.00 after February 23
 

National Representative
John G. Paré Jr.
Executive Director of Advocacy and Policy
National Federation of the Blind
Baltimore Maryland

NFB Pledge

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.

INCLUSIVITY, DIVERSITY, AND SOCIAL CONDUCT

We are committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone. Thank you for cultivating an atmosphere in which participants from diverse backgrounds can learn, network, and share with each other in an environment of mutual respect. 
We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all. 

The following link will take you to the NFB website:
Code of Conduct 

NFB of Alabama Officers and Board of Directors 2023-2024

•    President: Barbara Manuel, Alabama Affiliate
•    1st Vice President: Tamika Williams, 
•    Second Vice President: Jill Rossiter, 
•    Secretary: Grace Anderson, 
•    Treasurer: Larry Povinelli, 
•    Board Seat 1: Ashley Malson
•    Board Seat 2: Jeffery Wilson
•    Board Seat 3: Zippora Jones
•    Board Seat 4: Brenda Houston
•    Board Seat 5: Tiffany Moore
•    Board Seat 6: Pazater Turner 

•    Registration Chairperson: Zippora Jones
•    Door Prize Chairperson: Brenda Houston 
•    Scholarship Chairperson: Grace Anderson
•    Vendor Fair Chair’s: Jeff Wilson, Grace Anderson 

Friday, March 8, 2024

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

University of Alabama Stadium, Locker Room Tour & Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM & 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Registration
Pre-Function Area

1:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Vendor Fair
Pre-Function Area

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM & 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Hospitality Room

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Are You Aware of the Many Initiatives the National Federation of the Blind offer? Join Us As we enlighten you on some of our projects.

NFB Programs and Initiatives 
Anil Lewis
NFB Executive Director of Blindness Initiatives
Atlanta, GA
Murphy Room

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Be A Change Agent!
Connecting the Dots to Create an Inclusive Ecosystem
Dewanda Davis, M Ed
Founder and CEO of Elevated Career Services
Mobile, AL
President Room

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Promoting Literacy for the Blind
Casey Robertson Ed.S; NCUEB 
Teacher of Blind and Visually Impaired
Faculty Professional Development and Research Institute
Louisiana Tech University
Hamilton, Mississippi
Fitzpatrick Room

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

National Federation of the Blind of Alabama Affiliate Board Meeting
Murphy Room

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Legislative Pathways for Empowerment
Resolution Committee
Percy Garrett, Affiliate Legislative committee Chair
Murphy Room

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

NFB of Alabama Seniors Division
Carol Braithwaite, President
President Room

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

National Association of Blind Merchants
Tracy Watts, President
Murphy Room

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Student Division
Jonesti Steele, Chair
Fitzpatrick Room

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

At Large Chapter Meeting
Jill Rossiter, President
Gayle Room

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Dinner Break 

8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

People Purpose & Passion Red Carpet Reception, Sponsored by Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind
Ballroom C & D 


Join us for a Glamorous Night of Entertainment! 
You are cordially invited to our Red Carpet Award Show, join us to shine on the red carpet, celebrate outstanding achievements, and embrace a night of glamour and excitement! Enjoy door prizes, performances, a hysterical comedian, and an exclusive cash bar! Dress code is semi-formal attire (suits, cocktail dress, button down and dress pants, etc.) Early Bird registration: $15 and At the Door: $20. See you on the red carpet!
Ballroom C & D

Saturday March 9, 2024

7:45 AM – 8:15 AM

Registration
Pre-function Area

" People, Purpose, and Passion: A Pathway to Success "

General Session 
Hotel Capstone Ball Room

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Alabama School for the Blind Marching Band
International Lions Club Parade of Nations
District One Winners
Talladega, Alabama

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Call to Order: 
Barbara Manuel, President NFB of Alabama

Opening Ceremonies
Welcome: Brenda Houston, President, Tuscaloosa Chapter 

Invocation: Margaret Brown, Board Member, Tuscaloosa Chapter

NFB Pledge: Jill Rossiter

Presentation of Colors:

National Anthem: Jackie Hall, Secretary, Tuscaloosa Chapter

Proclamation: Jill Rossiter 

Greetings: 
Mr. Kip Tuner, President
Tuscaloosa City Council
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

9:30 AM – 10:10 AM

2024 National Report
John G. Paré Jr.
Executive Director of Advocacy and Policy
National Federation of the Blind
Baltimore Maryland

10:10 AM – 10: 35 AM

Creating Pathways, Fueling Purpose and Serving People
Dennis A. Gilliam, Ed, D
President
Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind
Talladega, AL

10:35 AM – 11:00 AM 

Rebuilding Lives: The power of Rehabilitation 
W. Ashley Townsend, MA, CRC 
Assistant Commissioner
Blind and Deaf Services 
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
Montgomery, AL

11:00 AM – 11:25 AM

Inclusive Learning: Illuminating paths for blind students
Casey Robertson Ed.S; NCUEB 
Teacher of Blind and Visually Impaired
Faculty Professional Development and Research Institute
Louisiana Tech University
Hamilton, Mississippi

11:25 AM – 11:35 AM

Aira: The Visual Interpreting Service
Everett Bacon
Vice President of Blindness Initiatives
Aira Tech Corporation
NFB Board of Director’s Secretary
NFB of Utah Affiliate President
Salt Lake City, Utah

11:35 AM – 12:00 PM

Celebrating progress: Highlights of the people’s movement
National Federation of the Blind of Alabama Affiliate Report
Barbara Manuel, NFBAL President

Convention Announcements

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM 

Lunch Break

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

NFB of Alabama Vendor Fair
Pre-function Area

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Hospitality Room

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Promoting success with accessibility

Breakout I: 
Useful iPhone Apps for Blind Individuals Using Voiceover 
Denice F. Brown
Greater Philadelphia NFB Chapter President
Philadelphia, PA
Murphy Room

Breakout II: 
Assistive Game-Changing technology 
Doug Nixon and Staff
E. H. Gentry
Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind
Talladega, AL
Gayle Room

Breakout III 
“Boldly Inclusive: Insuring Voting Rights for the Blind Community”
Anil Lewis
NFB Executive Director of Blindness Initiatives
Atlanta, GA
President’s Room

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Breakout I: 
Social Security: Working While Disabled
Todd Birdsong
Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security Administration
Tuscaloosa, AL
Murphy Room

Breakout II:
Post Washington Seminar: Next Steps Toward Equality 
John G. Paré Jr.
Executive Director of Advocacy and Policy
National Federation of the Blind
Baltimore Maryland
Gayle Room

Breakout III: 
National Library Services for the Blind 
Rhonda Napier
Regional Librarian
Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled
Montgomery, AL
President’s Room

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Breakout I: 
Accessing Aira Tech
Everett Bacon
Vice President of Blindness Initiatives
Aira Tech Corporation
NFB Board of Director’s Secretary
NFB of Utah Affiliate President
Salt Lake City, Utah
Murphy Room

Breakout II: 
Building a Supportive Community: Fueled by Passion
Casey Robertson Ed.S; NCUEB 
Teacher of Blind and Visually Impaired
Faculty Professional Development and Research Institute
Louisiana Tech University
Hamilton, Mississippi
Gayle Room

Breakout III: 
Talking blind live presents: socializing more in 24
Zippora Jones, Moderator
Panel:
Jill Rossiter, NFBA At Large Chapter President
Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
Florance, Alabama
Latresia Berry, Montgomery Chapter Member
Director of Human Resources/Accounting
Family Guidance Center of Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Tarmen Siaway
Clinical Director
Family Guidance Clinic
Family Guidance Center of Alabama
Montgomery, AL
President’s Room

Announcements & Adjourn

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Mix & Mingle 

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

2024 Annual Affiliate Banquet
Hotel Capstone Ballroom

Entertainment: Tony Nixon
Presider: Jill Rossiter, NFBAL Second Vice President
Invocation: Jerry McKee 
Memorial In Memory
Dinner Served
Introduction of National Representative: Jill Rossiter, NFBAL Second Vice President
 
Banquet Address: National Federation of the Blind Representative
John G. Paré Jr.
Executive Director of Advocacy and Policy
National Federation of the Blind
Baltimore Maryland
 
Scholarship Awards: Grace Anderson, Scholarship Committee Chairperson

Awards Ceremony: Tamika Williams, First Vice President
Barbara Manuel, Affiliate President

Pre-Authorization Contribution (PAC): Anil Lewis, Executive Director of Blindness Initiatives

Adjourn

9:15 PM – 11:00 PM

Family Feud
Host: Kevin Floyd, Mobile, Alabama

Does your team have what it takes to claim the 2024 NFB "Head of Household" Family Feud Championship? Will you take down the 2023 champ E.H. Gentry? Join the fun! You may walk away with bragging rights. Entry to participate is free and winners will walk away with a reward! Contact Jennifer Reeves for more information.
Let’s get to feuding!

National Federation of the Blind of Alabama 2024 National Representative

“John G. Paré Jr.”

Mr. Paré is the executive director for Advocacy and Policy at the National Federation of the Blind. In this position he oversees the NFB-NEWSLINE® program, the largest electronic newspaper service in the world, the Independence Market, and the Federation’s Governmental Affairs office. He has testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee regarding library services for blind Americans. 
 
He was instrumental in the negotiations and passage of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act and the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act.
 
He has appeared on CNN, Fox, BBC, and various radio programs to discuss issues affecting blind Americans.
He has a bachelors and masters from the University of Florida in Gainesville and has lived in Florida, Texas, Virginia, and Maryland


Sunday, March 10, 2024

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Devotion
President’s Room

10:00 AM

Alabama Affiliate Annual Business Meeting

Call to Order: Barbara Manuel, NFBAL President

Invocation

Reading of Minutes: Grace Anderson, NFBAL Secretary

Treasurer Report: Larry Povinelli, NFBAL Treasurer

Resolutions
Legislative Committee: Percy Garrett, Committee Chair

Nominating Committee Report: Brenda Houston, Chairperson
Positions: Board Seats, 1 – 3 – 5

Elections

Appointment of 2024 Delegate and Alternate

Affiliate Grants to National 

Chapter Highlights

Old Business

New Business

Adjourn

The NFB provides a loving, supportive, and encouraging family that shares in the challenges and triumphs of our blind brothers and sisters. This deeply held faith in one another sustains members during times of challenge and cheers on individual and collective successes. Love is the feeling that permeates our organization and pushes us to expect the best from each other.

The National Federation of the Blind of Alabama Appreciates your Presence during our 2024 " People, purpose, and passion: A pathway to success " Convention”

Your presence has enabled us to have a successful convention! To our sponsors, presenters, vendors and attendees, we salute you and convey sincere gratitude to you for joining us as we evolve toward equality, opportunity and security for all. 

NFB 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.