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NFBC State Convention Agenda

Welcome to the 2024 National Federation of the Blind of California State Convention

March 14 – 17, 2024


Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova

11211 Point East Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

Impact: Touching Our World with Hope and Determination

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. Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.

Board of Directors
President, Tim Elder
First Vice President, Rachel Grider
Second Vice President, Robert Stigile
Secretary, Shannon Dillon
Treasurer, Tiffany Manosh

Board Members
Alison Depner
Brian Buhrow
Carmen Varella
Cheryl Thurston
Karen Steele
Michael Richardson
Shelbi Felter

Convention Planning Committee Members
Rachel Grider, Shannon Dillon, Robert Stigile, Tiffany Manosh, Bobbi Pompey, Brian Buhrow, Cheryl Thurston, Ed Davis, Shelbi Felter, Angela Fowler, Veronica Martinez, Jamie Principato-Crane, Michael Richardson, Marisa Vallejo

Chapter Presidents
Jacquisse Braxton – Antelope Valley Chapter, Cathy Gaten – At Large Chapter, Veronica Martinez – Bakersfield Chapter, Jeanette Jones – Central Valley Chapter, Yvette Lee – Escondido Chapter, Michael Richardson – Inglewood Chapter, Cheryl Thurston – Inland Empire Chapter, Arietta Woods – Pathfinder Chapter of Los Angeles, Dr. Carmen Varela – Poder y Movimiento Latina/o Sección, Tiffany Manosh – River City Chapter, Carmen Weatherly – Riverside Chapter, Julia Cardenas – San Diego Chapter, Robert Stigile – San Fernando Valley Chapter, Bobbi Pompey – San Francisco Chapter, Miguel Mendez – San Joaquin County Chapter, Jamie Principato Crane – San Jose Chapter, Debbie Worstman – Shasta Cascade Chapter, Shelbi Felter – California Association of Blind Students, Shannon Dillon – California Association of Guide Dog Users, Jeanette Jones – California Parents of Blind Children, Arietta Woods – Seniors Division, Joy Stigile – Diabetes Action Network, Angela Fowler – Deafblind, Joga Singh – Sports & Recreation, and David Chan – Orientation Center for the Blind Alumni Association, Inc.

A registration and information table will be stationed in the hotel lobby. You can pick up pre-registration packets, wrist bands, and register.

Thursday March 14th: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm& 7:30 PM – 8:30 pm
Friday March 15th: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm & 5:30 pm– 6:30 pm
Saturday March 16th: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Hospitality Suite
A hospitality suite will be open and available to all during the convention. This is a great place to mingle with other convention attendees and enjoy refreshments.

Thursday March 14th: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday March 15th: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Saturday March 16th: 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

First Time Attendees
If this is your first state convention, you should join us at the Rookie Roundup on Thursday March 7, at 6:30 pm over Zoom. You will be welcomed by the board members and matched with a mentor for the convention. They will make sure you have a wonderful experience and don’t miss anything. Be sure to indicate on your registration form that this is your first convention so we can make it special.
Spanish Translation
We are broadcasting live translations of all general session meetings and the banquet through a Zoom conference function and dedicated telephone audio line that can be accessed from any mobile phone. Please contact Carmen Varela at or Rachel Grider at for more details.

Captioning and Sound Amplification
We are broadcasting live translations of the board meeting, all general session meetings, division meetings, resolutions, and the banquet through a Zoom conference function that can be accessed from any mobile phone. Some FM transmitters will also be available on sight for sound amplification. Please contact Rachel Grider at for more details.

Exhibitor Showcase and Exhibit Hall
At 8:30 am on Friday, March 15, you will hear vendors describe the current products and services which they will have on display. The Exhibit Hall in the Tahoe Room & Trellis and will be open from 9:30 am –1:30 pm Exhibitors may begin setting up their exhibit tables at 8:00 am.
Tahoe Room & Trellis

Guide Dog Relief Area
The relief area is outside the back exit door from the Trellis to the relief area. The Trellis is an outdoor area that is connected to the back exit door of Carmel. The Carmel Room will also be open all day on Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday morning, for guide dog handlers to allow their dogs to relax and destress during the convention. Dogs can be off-harness while in the room but must remain on leash. Please be respectful of other guide dog teams while using the room. It is recommended to relieve your dog before entering the room.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Bell Champion Sponsor $10,000

Designing the Waymo Driver, an autonomous technology, to give people a new kind of freedom – to go where they want, when they want, while making the frustrations and concerns with driving a thing of the past.

Silver Sponsor $750.00
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Our mission is to help blind and visually impaired people gain greater independence, confidence, and inclusion.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Board Meeting
President Tim Elder
Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to the public. Please join us as we discuss hybrid voting and nominations policies, greet our scholarship finalists and hear from National Federation of the Blind, National Representative Norma Crosby. All first timers should attend. We will recognize rookies at the end of the board meeting.
California Ballroom

7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Diabetes Action Network
President Joy Stigile
Our speaker this year is Andrea Milton, a Certified Diabetes Dietician Educator. She will give information about food amounts, ideas on how to keep in better control of your blood sugar levels, differences between type one and type two Diabetes, the 2 main Continuous Blood Glucose Monitors available and different snack ideas.
When you are a paid member of DAN of California it will allow you to vote, hold office, and make motions. Dues are $10. All our welcomed to attend and learn more about Diabetes!
California Ballroom

Friday March 15, 2024

7:00 am – 8:30 am DeafBlind Division
President, Angela Fowler
Are you experiencing the unique duel challenge of vision and hearing loss?
Then come join us. Learn tips and tricks from other Deafblind Californians,
hear from our National division, and find out about an exciting program
offered by the San Francisco lighthouse.
San Diego Room

7:30 am – 8:30 am Orientation Center for the Blind (OCB Alumni)
President, David Chan
OCB alumni reconnect with old friends, learn what is going on at the center, and discuss division business.
Santa Barbara Room

8:30 am – 9:30 am Vendor Showcase
Coordinator, Cheryl Thurston
Listen to a brief description of products and services from each exhibitor. This is a wonderful way to survey everything in the hall at one time and then follow up with each exhibitor at their virtual tables immediately after the presentations. The Zoom link will stay open until 10:30 am for virtual attendees to ask questions and experience a virtual walk-through of the Exhibit Hall.
Tahoe Room and Trellis

9:30 am – 1:30 pm Exhibit Hall
Check out the latest technology, services and information from organizations offering useful resources to blind people.
Tahoe Room and Trellis

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm General Session I, California Ballroom
President, Tim Elder

2:00 pm We’re Back! Call to Order
Opening ceremony with national anthem—Rachel Grider; Pledge of Allegiance and NFB Pledge — Connor Clark (age 11); Invocation—Arietta Woods.

2:15 pm Career Connections—Vocational Rehabilitation and Training
Joe Xavier, Director, and Susan Pelbath, Deputy Director, of the California Department of Rehabilitation, report on the Specialized Services Division and the future of vocational rehabilitation services in California.

2:40 pm National Report—Grasping the Movement
Norma Crosby, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind, reports on what the organization is accomplishing around the nation and the globe to advance the rights of blind people.

3:20 pm Crafting a Future—Improving Educational Guidelines for Blind Children
Gina Ouellette, Superintendent, Adrian Amandi, Director, and Chris Fendrick, Principal, California School for the Blind, share opportunities for members of the organized blind to inform the next version of regulatory guidance from the Department of Education. These standards will inform the expectations that parents, school administrators, teachers and students have when public schools educate a blind child. Learn how we can insert the lived experiences and wisdom of blind people into these standards for the upcoming generation.

3:45 pm Lending a Hand—Volunteers for the DeafBlind at National Convention
Maurice Mines, President, National DeafBlind Division, describes how Federationists can volunteer to be special service support providers for DeafBlind individuals who need such assistance to participate in our National Convention. Could such service providers be contracted by the Department of Rehabilitation or other sources in the future?

4:00 pm Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA—Video Game Accessibility
James Gump, Youth Services Coordinator at the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind, shares some of the latest advancements in accessibility for video games including Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and independent iOS apps. What do these developments mean for the future of non-visual user interfaces and virtual reality?

4:35 pm Legislative Links—Common Community Priorities
Jeff Thom, Chair of Governmental Affairs, California Council of the Blind , and Tim Elder, President of the National Federation of the Blind of California, discuss our common effort to pass A.B. 1902, a law requiring accessible prescription drug labels in California, and A.B. 3193, a law that will speed up procurement by the Department of Rehabilitation for purchases of less than $25,000.

4:45 pm Report of the Nominating Committee
Ever Lee Hairston, Nominations Committee Chair, announces the slate of proposed candidate’s and comments on the election process that will follow on Sunday morning.

5:00 pm Adjourn
The convention will adjourn until General Session II on Saturday afternoon and members will be directed to the shuttles for our Sacramento History Museum event.

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Sacramento History Museum Tour
We have a special private event with group tours, food and survey opportunities at the Sacramento History Museum in classic Old Sacramento. A 15-passenger shuttle will be taking groups of people back and forth from the museum while small group tours are happening. The first shuttle will leave the hotel shortly after we adjourn at 5:00 pm and the last shuttle back to the hotel will leave the museum at 8:00 pm. Members who do not wish to wait in line for the shuttle and the appetizers are encouraged to share taxis or rideshare services to the museum in order to enjoy refreshments and earlier group tour departures. The museum is about 20 minutes’ drive from the hotel.
(Offsite) 101 I Street, Old Sacramento, CA 95814

9:00 pm – 11:00 pm California Association of Blind Students
President, Shelbi Felter
Students and supporters, come join our student division for networking and our state convention meeting.
California Ballroom

Saturday March 16, 2024

8:00 am – 10:00 am California Association of Guide Dog Users Division
President, Shannon Dillon
Join the California Association of Guide Dog Users to learn about guide dog programs and hear what we have been doing for the last year. Elections will be held.
Carmel Room

8:00 am – 10:00 am Senior Division
President, Arietta Woods
Join the Senior Division meeting for a super-charged experience, picking up the loose ends of our lives and coming together. Our guest speaker will be Glenn Crosby, National President of the NFB Senior Division.
California Ballroom

9:00 am – 11:00 am Parents of Blind Children Division
President, Janette Jones
Join us for an inspiring journey as we go “Back To Basics” at this year’s state convention! The Parents of Blind Children Division is thrilled to unite with blind parents in an endeavor to strengthen and support families across our state. We are embarking on a mission to build a division that caters to the unique needs of both blind parents and parents of blind children. We invite you to be a part of the conversation as we return to the drawing board, seeking your valuable input on shaping the future of our division. Whether you’re a blind parent, a parent of a blind child, an educator, or an ally, your presence is invaluable. Come join us!
San Diego Room

9:00 am – 11:00 am Sports and Recreation Division
President, Joga Singh
If you are a fan of sports, or lover of recreational activities, and want to increase or share your knowledge in these areas, please join the general meeting of our Sports and Recreation Division. We wil hear from guest speakers, discuss future plans, and hold elections. There will also be raffle prizes and other entertaining activities.
Santa Barbara Room

11:00 am – 12:30 pm Resolutions Committee
Chair, Ever Lee Hairston
All are encouraged to observe the Resolutions Committee meeting which comes together once a year to decide on the policies and direction of the affiliate for the upcoming year. Our 2024 committee members include Brian Bashin, Ever Lee Hairston, Shannon Dillon, Rachel Grider, Jamie Crane, and Cricket Bidleman.
California Ballroom

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm General Session II, California Ballroom
President, Tim Elder

2:00 pm Ring the BELL—Literacy for the Next Generation
Debbie Worstman, Director of Braille Enrichment, Literacy and Learning Program, National Federation of the Blind of California, reports on the upcoming BELL summer literacy program for 2024.

2:10 pm Reach Out and Double tap Someone—Expanding Remote Assistance Apps
Mike Buckley, CEO, Be My Eyes, and Troy Otillio, CEO, Aira, give respective presentations from two different companies regarding the range of remote assistance tools that can be had by blind consumers using a mobile device.

2:50 pm Sensational Images—Making Tactile pictures for Blind Artists & Designers
Marco Salsiccia, Artist and Accessibility Design Consultant and creator of, shares his story and shows the innovative ways that blind professionals are using tactile modes to express art and information. Touchable samples will be on display in the room at the PAC table.

3:25 pm Remote the Vote 2.0—Building Our Own Virtual Polling system
Brian Buhrow, Board Member for the National Federation of the Blind of California, demonstrates a prototype system that he has designed to enable virtual and in-person convention attendees to simultaneously vote during a convention.

3:50 pm Training & Travel—NFB Residential Centers
Julie Deden, Executive Director of the Colorado Center for the Blind, discusses the benefits and considerations involved with NFB residential training programs.

4:15 pm Autonomous Vehicles—Waymo & NFB of California Partnerships
We observe A special presentation from our National Office and an update from Waymo on recent victories and developments to expand autonomous vehicle service to Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Peninsula.

4:35 pm Eating It Up—Medi-Cal Funding for Healthy Meals
Dr. A. Ray Chaudhuri, President of Roots Food Group, explains how doctors in California can now prescribe healthy pre-made meals for blind individuals that are funded by Medi-Cal. Learn how you might be able to ask your doctor about free healthy meals as a form of preventative care for underlying medical conditions.

5:00 pm Adjourn
Members should quickly exit the room to make way for the banquet setup. Please take your conversations to the hotel lobby to enable the support staff to quickly change over the facility space.

7:00 pm Formal Banquet (doors open at 6:45 pm)
Mistress of Ceremony – First Vice President, Rachel Grider
Hear an inspiring address from our national representative, meet our scholarship winners, conduct fun auctions with games, and generally be delighted as we celebrate our success as an organization.
California Ballroom

Sunday March 17, 2024

9:00 am – 12:00 pm General Session III, California Ballroom

9:00 am Our Money—Financial Report
Affiliate Treasurer Tiffany Manosh reports on our financial state.

9:15 am Hand IN Hand—A Report from Your President
The President of the National Federation of the Blind of California provides an update on the activities of the affiliate over the past year, the financial state of the organization and reflections for the future.

9:40 am Resolutions
The convention votes on the proposed resolutions.

10:30 am Election of Officers & Board Members
An election will be run for the open positions including any nominations from the floor and short statements from the candidates.

12:00 pm Adjourn and shuttle van boarding.

Thank You to Our Convention Committees and Coordinators
Every year, too many individuals to name donate their time and talents to make our convention amazing. We operate this convention with a primarily volunteer team. We would love to have more people join our stellar group for convention planning and logistics efforts. Please share your desire to join us next year with and Rachel Grider (, or call (916) 382-0372.

Thank you to the below leaders who graciously donated their time and abilities.

Scholarships: Lisamaria Martinez, Skyler Covich and Gene Kim
Resolutions: Co-Chairs Ever Lee Hairston, Bryan Bashin, members Cricket Bidleman, Shannon Dillon, Tim Elder, Rachel Grider, and Jamie Principato Crane
Nominations: Chairperson Ever Hairston, and unconflicted chapter representatives Jacquisse Braxton, Cathy Gaten, Veronica Martinez, Jeanette Jones, Yvette Lee, Michael Richardson, Cheryl Thurston, Arietta Woods, Marisa Vallejo, Brooklyn Kelly, Carmen Weatherly, Julia Cardenas, Joy Stigile, Bobbi Pompey, Miguel Mendez, Kyle Garcia, and Debbie Worstman
Transportation: Cheryl Thurston
Registration: Tiffany Manosh, Robert Stigile and Shannon Dillon
Exhibits: Cheryl Thurston
Banquet: Rachel Grider
Parents: Jeanette Jones
Spanish Translation and Closed-Captioning: Carmen Varela and Rachel Grider
Agenda Embossing and Printing: Brian Buhrow, Tiffany Manosh
Audio Video: Brian Buhrow
Ambassador: Michael Richardson
Rookies: Cheryl Thurston, Veronica Martinez, and Jamie Principato Crane
Door Prizes: Tiffany Manosh & Angela Fowler
Auction Baskets: Karen Steele and Michael Richardson
Guide Dog Relief: Shannon Dillon
PAC: Robert Stigile

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