[nabs-l] New Jersey State Affiliate Convention Agenda

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Thu Nov 3 07:48:06 UTC 2011

The 35th Annual State Convention
National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey
Celebrating 20 Years of Parents of Blind Children

Whosit logo


Crowne Plaza Hotel
36 Valley Rd., Clark, NJ 07066
November 11, 12, 13, 2011
Joseph Ruffalo, President
nfbnj at yahoo.com


Convention activities will be broadcast live in audio and video

Friday, November 11
Live Reporting: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
WCTC Radio NJ Today
Listen on 1450 AM or www.wctcam.com

Saturday, November 12
Program:           9:00 am to 12:00 pm
                           2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Banquet:          8:30 pm. to conclusion
  Listen or watch live at <http://www.thruoureyes.org>www.thruoureyes.org
Smartphone or JAWS access at 
Also broadcasting on Twitter, Facebook, 
uStream.tv, Justin.tv, and blogtalkradio.com

The National Federation of the Blind is
changing what it means to be blind.

Mission Statement

The National Federation of the Blind is an 
organization where the blind and interested 
sighted persons can come together to plan and 
carry out programs to improve the quality of life 
of the blind; to provide a means of collective 
action for parents of blind children; to promote 
the vocational, cultural, and social advancement 
of the blind; to achieve the integration of the 
blind into society on a basis of equality with 
the sighted; and to take action which will 
improve the overall condition and standard of 
living of the blind.  The Federation works toward 
the removal of legal, economic, and social 
barriers to full participation by blind people in 
all aspects of community life.  The National 
Federation of the Blind is an organization of the 
blind speaking for themselves.

The National Federation of the Blind 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 programs and 
policies of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.

Spotlight on NFB of NJ

           Established in 1976, the National 
Federation of the Blind of New Jersey is an 
affiliate of the National Federation of the 
Blind, the oldest and largest organization of and 
for the blind/visually impaired in the United 
States.  Our eight chapters and eight divisions 
provide invaluable information and resources to 
blind/visually impaired people throughout the 
state.  Chapters meet monthly; divisions hold 
events at various times throughout the year.  Why 
not join a division­the Association to Promote 
the Use of Braille, Diabetes, Guide Dog Users, 
Merchants, Parents of Blind Children, Students, 
Seniors, and Technology.  We would welcome your participation.
           Tune into Thru Our Eyes, our internet 
audio and video program featuring issues and 
information pertaining to blindness at 
For state, chapter, division, and committee news, 
visit our website <http://www.nfbnj.org>www.nfbnj.org.

Subscribe to the Sounding Board

Get our state newsletter, the Sounding Board, 
conveniently delivered to your email inbox.  To 
subscribe, send a message with the words 
subscribe Sounding Board in the subject line to 
<mailto:beatrice.oliveti at gmail.com>beatrice.oliveti at gmail.com. 
You can access the audio version of the Sounding 
Board at www.nfbnj.org, www.thruoureyes.org, and on Newsline.

Funding Our Movement

Donations to the National Federation of the Blind 
of NJ are tax deductible.  Mark
a special date in honor of or in memory of a 
loved one with a gift to the NFB of NJ.

Platinum Sponsor of the 2011 State Convention
Contact information for speakers can be found on the last page of the agenda.

FRIDAY, NOV. 11, 2011


9:00 am–6:00 pm­Registration Open
                   MAKE A DIFFERENCE Seminar/Convention registration: $15
Box lunch can be purchased in Grand Ballroom: $13

9:00 am–6:00 pm   Exhibit Hall Open­Washington Room

10:00–11:30 am             Looking Good Without Looking Workshop­Adams Room
                    Fashion, beauty, and personal 
style for men, women, and teens.
                    Johanna Baccan, Makeup Diva

12:00 pm  Welcome to the MAKE A DIFFERENCE Seminar!­Grand Ballroom
Joseph Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ; National 
Board Member, NFB; Program Manager, Puerto Rican 
Assoc. for Human Development, Inc.

12:10 pm  How YOU Can Make a Difference
Ever Lee Hairston, National Board Member; VP, NFB of California

12:20 pm  Advanced Diabetic Solutions, Convention Platinum Sponsor
                    Edward “EJ” McKenna, Account Manager, ADS

12:45–2:45 pm   Technology: How?  What?  Why?
                              Michele Chaney, President, Technology Division
Find out about the BookSense, Victor Reader, 
iPhone, and apps that blind people are using 
every day, such as EyeNote, LookTell Money Reader, AroundMe, vizwiz, & more.

1:00–4:00 pm             POSSIBILITIES Seminar­Jefferson Room
                              Carol Castellano, 
Pres, Parents of Blind Children-NJ
Topics include Braille, mobility, brand-new 
technology, education, the role of the 
Commission, advocacy, social skill, music

3:00–4:00 pm   Diabetes Division Workshop & Meeting­Grand Ballroom
Chaney, President, Diabetes Division

4:00–4:45 pm   Division Meetings

                              Merchants Division­Jefferson Room
                              Anna DeSantis, President

                              NJ Association to 
Promote the Use of Braille­Madison Room
                              Mary Jo Partyka, President

                              Student Division­Adams Room
                              Evelyn Valdez, President

                              Seniors Division­Grand Ballroom
                              Jane Degenshein, Chairperson


4:50 pm    Wrap-Up and Door Prizes
                    Joe Ruffalo, Pres., NFB of NJ

5:00–6:00 pm    Visit the Vendors in the Exhibit Area­Washington Room
Registration Open

7:00 pm              Resolutions Committee Meeting­Jefferson
Mary Jo Partyka, Chair
                              All are welcome.

8:00–11:00 pm  Talent  Showcase, Music and 
Dancing, Special 
Activities,                              Horse 
Racing, and much more­Grand Ballroom
                              Hosted by Parents 
of Blind Children-NJ and NFB of NJ
                              Jane Degenshein & 
Holly Miller, Hosts
                              Cash Bar

Vendors will be available in the Exhibit Hall­Washington Room
           at the following times:

Friday         9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday    7:45 am – 8:45 am
        12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

NOTE:  Breakfast will be served from 6:45 – 8:30 
am on Saturday morning in the Jefferson Room for 
those registered in the hotel.  Bring your breakfast coupon.

SATURDAY, NOV. 12, 2011
Note: We will be audio and video recording and broadcasting the Convention.

6:45–8:30 am   Breakfast for those registered in 
the hotel­ Jefferson Room                      Bring your coupon!

7:00–8:30 am    NJ Assoc. of Guide Dog Users 
Division Breakfast 
Meeting­                                Adams 
Room; Vincent Chaney, President; Special 
Guest­                                  Assemblyman Robert Schroeder

7:45 am     Registration and Exhibit Hall Open

8:45 am     Child Care Opens

9:00 am     Welcome, Call to Order
                    Joseph Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ
                    Annmarie Cooke, Member, At-Large Chapter

9:10 am     Invocation
Carl & Mindy Jacobson

9:15 am     Opening Ceremonies
                   Host Division, Parents of 
Blind Children-NJ; Carol Castellano, President

9:25 am     Introduction of Scholarship Class of 2011
                    Jerilyn Higgins, Chair

9:30 am     Presidential Report
                    Joseph Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ

10:00 am National Update: Working Together to Make a Difference
                    Ever Lee Hairston, National 
Board Member; VP, NFB of California

10:40 am   Library Update: Is Outspoken Speaking?
                     Adam Szczepaniak, Director, 
NJ Talking Book & Braille Center

11:00 am   Possibilities
                    Carol Castellano, President, 
Parents of Blind Children-NJ

11:20 am Imagination Fund
                   Evelyn Valdez, Chair; Evelyn 
Valdez, Jerilyn Higgins, Joe Ruffalo

11:40 am  The PAC Plan
                    Ryan Stevens, Chair

11:50 am   Platinum Sponsor: Advanced Diabetic Solutions
                    Edward “EJ” McKenna, Regional Representative, ADS

12:00 pm  Adjourn

12:00–2:00 pm Lunch­Reminder: You must have a lunch ticket.
Network with Vendors

1:00-1:45 pm     Technology Division Meeting­Adams Room
                              Michele Chaney, President

1:00–1:45 pm    POBC-NJ Meeting­Grand Ballroom
Carol Castellano, President, POBC-NJ
Ever Lee Hairston, NFB National Representative

1:45 pm              Child Care Reopens

Note: We will be audio and video recording and broadcasting the Convention.

2:00 pm    Call to Order

2:05 pm    A Teacher Takes a Hand, Opens a Mind, Touches a Heart
                    Agnes Allen, Emily Fusco, Granddaughter, Holly Westefeld

2:30 pm    POBC-NJ: Helping Families & Kids for 20 Years!
                 Carol Castellano, President, 
POBC-NJ; Barbara 
President Emerita, National Organization of 
Parents of Blind 
Children;                   Holly Miller, Board Member, POBC-NJ, NOPBC

3:00 pm    The Governor Speaks Up on Behalf of the Blind
                    David Paterson, former Governor, NY; host, WOR Radio

3:30 pm    Adventures on the Quad
                 Shafeka Hashash, Mark Colasurdo, 
Students, NFB Scholarship                              Recipients

3:50 pm    Colorado Center for the Blind: Opportunities for Youth & Adults
                    Wayne Marshall, Counselor, 
CCB; Steve Patton, Cane Travel 
Instructor,               CCB; Melissa Lomax, Jeremy Capati, Students

4:10 pm    We Rode into History
                 Joe Ruffalo, President, NFB of 
NJ; Hank Miller, Brian Woolbert,                             Students

4:25 pm    Senior Possibilities
                    Joe Ruffalo, Pres., NFB of 
NJ; Jane Degenshein, Senior 
Division;                         Tyrone Mance, Member

4:40 pm    NFB of NJ Past, Present, Future
                    Sharon Maneki, NFB of MD; 
Rick Fox, NFB of NJ; Evelyn Valdez,                          Student Division

4:55 pm    Announcements

5:00 pm    Adjourn

6:45–11:00 pm  Banquet­Grand Ballroom
Note: We will be audio and video recording and 
broadcasting parts of the Banquet.

Master of Ceremonies­Nicky Gacos

          Invocation­Jerry Moreno

          Banquet Address– Ever Lee Hairston, NFB National Representative

Presentation of Scholarships­Jerilyn Higgins, Scholarship Chair
                    NFBNJ Scholarships
                    Rose and Joseph Ruffalo, Sr. Scholarship Announcement


SUNDAY, NOV. 13, 2011
Morning Devotions will be held from 7–7:30 am on Sunday in the Adams Room.

7:45 am     Breakfast­Grand Ballroom­Bring your breakfast coupon.

9:00 am–12:00 pm     Program and Business Meeting­Grand Ballroom

                    Invocation, Rebecca Irvin
                    Roll Call of Chapters and Divisions
MembershipSeminar­Kathy Rawa, Lydia Keller,                    Jane Degenshein
                    Funding Our Movement­Joe Ruffalo, Lynn Reynolds
                    Resolutions­Mary Jo Partyka, Chair
                    Legislative Action­Lynn 
Reynolds, Legislative. Coord., NFB of NJ
                    The Importance of Public 
Relations­Ever Lee Hairston, Tara Carty,                         Rick Fox
                    Committee Reports
National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey


President – Joseph Ruffalo
1st Vice President – Jerilyn Higgins
2nd Vice President – Mary Jo Partyka
Secretary – Beatrice Oliveti
Treasurer – Tom Ferry

Board Members
Dan Facchini
Lynn Reynolds
Ryan Stevens
Evelyn Valdez
Linda DeBerardinis
Michele Chaney

Chapters and Divisions
At Large 
Chapter                                      Joe 
Ruffalo                            973-743-0075
Chapter                               Mary Jo Partyka            609-888-5459
Chapter                               Jerilyn Higgins              973-239-8874
Cumberland/Salem Chapter           Ann 
Jordan                             856-696-3905
Garden State Chapter                     Ed 
Godfrey                            856-848-6372
Northeast Chapter                           Dan 
Facchini                 201-906-8655
Chapter                             Rebecca Irvin               973-732-6559
Ocean County 
Chapter                             Michael Halm                732-370-1797
Division                            Vincent Chaney            732-251-8650
Merchants Division                          Anna 
DeSantis             732-462-4604
Parents of Blind Children-NJ          Carol Castellano           973-377-0976
NJ Assoc. of Blind Students          Evelyn Valdez               908-803-4891
NJ Assoc. to Promote 
Braille                   Mary Jo Partyka            609-888-5459
NJ Assoc. of Guide Dog Users     Vincent Chaney            732-251-8650
Division                                Jane Degenshein         973-736-5785
Division                        Michele Chaney            732-251-8650

NFB National Divisions
For a list of national divisions and committees, please visit www.nfb.org.

Blindness can be reduced to a physical nuisance once the blind person
learns and uses the proper techniques and skills of blindness.

Our thanks to the NFB of NJ Northeast Chapter’s Thru Our Eyes, the
WTOE radio network, and WCTC for broadcasting the Convention.
Thru Our Eyes is sponsored by a grant from the NFB Imagination Fund.

We thank Carol Castellano, Michele Chaney, and Jerilyn Higgins
for their help on this agenda.



Advanced Diabetic Solutions
Edward “EJ” McKenna
1576 Atkinson Rd.
Laurenceville, GA 30043
emckenna at advanceddiabeticsolutions.net


ABI See Inc.
Ilana Voleman
20 Main Street
Suite G2
Acton, MA
978-635-0202 x15
ilana at abisee.com

Chuck Cohen
2 N Williams St.
Pearl River, NY 10965

DeWitt & Associates
Rick Fox
700 Godwin Ave
Midland Park, NJ 07432
rick at 4dewitt.com

The Seeing Eye Inc.
Pat McKenna, Esq.
Outreach Specialist
973-539-4425 x 1777
pmckenna at seeingeye.org


Susan Vanino
131 Main Street
Suit 120
Hackensack, NJ 07601

NJ Commission for the Blind & VI
Pamela Gaston
153 Halsey Street 6th Floor
PO Box 47017
Newark, NJ 07101
pamela.gaston at dhs.state.nj.us

NJ Talking Book & Braille Center
Adam Szczepaniak
2300 Stuyvesant Ave
Trenton, NJ 08618
aszczepaniak at njstatelib.org

Safeguard Marketing
Charles Solomon
P.O. Box 541
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
sageco at earthlink.net

SW Unlimited, LLC
Sherlock Washington
81 Ortley Ct.
Matawan, NJ 07747
sherlock at swunlimited.com

Contact Information

Johanna Baccan       201-934-6937            24kjo at optonline.net
Tara Carty                   973-650-4438            sugarfreet at gmail.com
Carol Castellano        973-377-0976            blindchildren at verizon.net
Michele Chaney         732-251-8650            msc732 at optonline.net
Vincent Chaney         732-251-8650            vgc732 at optonline.net
Barbara Cheadle       410-747-3472            BACheadle at msn.com
Jane Degenshein      973-736-5785            jdegen16 at comcast.net
Fox                      201-447-6500            rick at 4dewittassociates.net
Ever Lee Hairston     323-654-2975            ever.hairston at gmail.com
Jerilyn Higgins           973-239-8874            jdhiggins3 at verizon.net
Rebecca Irvin             973-732-6559            rirvin14 at optonline.net
Lydia Keller                856-696-3518            ljkfly1950 at verizon.net
Sharon Maneki          410-715-9596            nfbmd at earthlink.net
Wayne Marshall         303-778-1130 X233 wmarshall at cocenter.org
Edward “EJ” McKenna  888-377-6382  emckenna at advanceddiabeticsolutions.net
Steve Patton               303-778-1130            spatton at cocenter.org
Kathy Rawa                 973-216-8757            karmedtrans at aol.com
Lynn Reynolds           732-599-7420            lhr1827 at optonline.net
Joseph Ruffalo           973-743-0075            nfbnj at yahoo.com
Adam Szczepaniak   800-792-8322            aszczepaniak at njstatelib.org
Ryan Stevens             856-858-3518            rysteve at comcast.net
Evelyn Valdez            908-803-4891            tweetybaby19 at comcast.net

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