[NFBMO] National Federation of the Blind of Missouri to Hold 56th Annual Convention in Jefferson City

Daniel Garcia dangarcia3 at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 29 10:49:41 UTC 2018

For Immediate Release

National Federation of the Blind of Missouri to Hold 56th Annual Convention in Jefferson City

Kansas City, Missouri (March 29, 2018): The 56th Convention of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Missouri will be held this year in Jefferson City, Missouri from April 5 through April 8 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. This is the major annual event in the NFB of Missouri's calendar. During this gathering, members pass resolutions, vote for officers, and show the public that blindness does not hold us back from living the lives we want. "The state convention is more than just a policy-making meeting," said Shelia Wright, President of the NFB of Missouri.  "It is an opportunity for us to recognize past achievements and to refocus our energy to meet future challenges. In 2017, we participated in the National Fitness Challenge which gave us an opportunity to show people that blindness does not prevent us from living physically fit and healthy lifestyles. Our annual summer BELL Academy is one of our most important programs; it provides young blind children with Braille instruction as well as introducing them to confident and competent blind adult role models. In short, the NFB is an organization of blind people speaking for ourselves and as such, we take responsibility for taking a leading role in shaping the policies and public attitudes that affect our lives."

Some convention highlights include two "One Touch Self Defense" classes, a Parents of Blind Children Seminar, and meetings of various NFB divisions such as the Diabetes Action Network, the Missouri Association of Guide Dog Users, the Missouri Association of Blind Merchants, and the Missouri Association of Blind Students. There will also be a showing of the award-winning movie "Do You Dream in Color?," a documentary about 4 blind high-school students striving to overcome barriers to achieve their dreams. In addition, our scholarship winners will be recognized and presented with their awards at the banquet on Saturday night.

The convention will also feature distinguished guests from across the state and nation. Mayor Carrie Tergin will welcome convention participants to the city. Moreover, we will hear presentations from leading professionals from two of the nation's premiere rehabilitation centers for the blind as well as representatives from Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, and the Wolfner Braille and Talking Book Library. Our national representative, who will give a report on our national priorities and issues as well as being our keynote banquet speaker, is generating much excitement and anticipation this year among NFB of Missouri members. It is none other than Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the blind. Mr. Riccobono is most famous for his role in the Blind Driver Challenge. On January 29, 2011, he made history by being the first blind person to safely drive a vehicle equipped with non-visual access technology at the Daytona International Speedway. Furthermore, on January 24, 2018 he was among 12 national leaders and automotive innovators honored with the Autos2050 Driving Innovation Award presented by the Auto Alliance and the Alliance for Transportation Innovation for his leadership in crafting policies that will lead to the development of fully autonomous vehicles that the blind and other people with disabilities can safely use.

About the National Federation of the Blind
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.

Daniel Garcia, Public Relations Chair
National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
(816) 621-0902
dangarcia3 at hotmail.com

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