TO: Members and Friends

FROM: Ryan Strunk, President

SUBJECT: 2018 Semiannual Convention and Membership Renewal Notice

DATE: April 25, 2018

This letter contains information about the 2018 Semiannual convention and about annual renewal of membership in the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. Our membership year begins on June 1. Please renew your membership for the coming year even if you will be unable to attend the semi-annual convention. The payment is done through PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account.

You are most cordially invited to attend the 2018 semiannual convention, which will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at our National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota headquarters building, 100 East 22nd Street in Minneapolis. See below for advance registration, lunch information, and other details.

On-site registration begins at 8:15 a.m.; doughnuts and coffee will be available. The convention will come to order at 9:00 a.m., and a full session will continue until lunchtime. After lunch, we will hold two rounds of breakout sessions including

  • 1:30 PM: A discussion of technology from smart phones to smart speakers and beyond
  • 1:30 PM: A workshop covering the basics and tips on the IEP process
  • 1:30 PM: A session aimed at building our organization, from membership to advocacy
  • 1:30 PM: A gathering of the Minnesota Association to Promote the Use of Braille
  • 3:00 PM: Meetings of our seniors and students
  • 3:00 PM: An exploratory meeting of a special interest group for blind people in communities of faith—all faiths welcome
  • 3:00 PM: A gathering of parents of blind children to exchange resources and share information

Use the pre-registration form to choose your break-out session. All activities will be completed by 4:30 at the latest. More details and a complete schedule of events will be forthcoming.

In the morning, we will hold our annual election of delegates to our national convention, and we will call for pledges to the tenBroek Fund. Of course, we will hear about the exciting activities of our Federation Center, Blindness: Learning in New Dimensions (BLIND), Incorporated, about plans for the national convention in Orlando, and of our chapters and divisions, which make us the strongest force for positive change in the lives of blind Minnesotans, as well as a major state affiliate in a strong nationwide movement. There will be much more, of course, and you can, as always, count on a full day of interesting and useful information, interaction, and provocative discussion with something for everyone—all infused with our progressive and positive philosophy of blindness.

Registration costs $5.00 if you pre-register and $10.00 if you register at the convention. You may submit the preregistration form online or download the preregistration form to print and mail. please submit it no later than May 15 so that it will arrive in time and so that we can plan for lunch and space needs. To be eligible to be entered in the drawing for door prizes, you must register.

Childcare is available at a cost of $10 per child for the day. If the cost is a barrier to attendance, please reach out. See the reverse side of the pre-registration form for more information and to register for childcare.

This year, the Minnesota Association of Blind Students will offer a lunch of chicken parmesan, potato salad, corn, and dinner roll for $9.00; there will also be a vegetarian option. The lunch helps to raise funds for our student division here in Minnesota. Make reservations for your academic lunch on the pre-registration form. If you do not pre-register, please reserve a lunch before May 11 by calling 612-872-0100 or sending an e-mail to jwenzel@blindinc.org.

This is the time of year to pay membership dues—you won’t want to miss the chance to vote on our policies and in our elections. You can pay your dues online here if you cannot attend the convention. If you did not receive a dues slip along with the letter that was mailed to you, then your dues are already paid to June 1, 2019.

Please join us for the 2018 semiannual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. We need your energy and your ideas, and together we will continue to spread the truth that blindness is not what holds us back, and to forge a bright future for blind people of all ages, in our state and everywhere.

Information About Those We Work With:

NFB-NEWSLINE®

Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND, Inc.)

State Services for the Blind

Products That Help Blind People

More Resources