Join Us for Our 2023 Annual Convention!
Join Us for Our 2023 Annual Convention!
TO: National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota members and friends
FROM: Steve Jacobson, President
SUBJECT: 2023 Annual Convention
DATE: September 22, 2023
We of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota are pleased to announce plans for our upcoming annual state convention. We also encourage members to take this opportunity to renew annual membership in the NFB of Minnesota in plenty of time for the coming membership year, which begins on January 1, 2024.
When and Where:
The two-and-1/2 day convention will be held from November 3-5, 2023, at the Kahler Grand Hotel at 20 Southwest 2nd Avenue, Rochester, MN, 55902. This year we are pleased to have as our national representative Julie Deden, 1st Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and Executive Director of the Colorado Center for the Blind.
Room rates are $99.00 per night, plus tax, for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. Hotel reservations must be made by October 19. To reserve your hotel room, either;
- Make your room reservation through our special convention link; Or
- Call the hotel at (507) 280–6200 and choose option 1; give them our group code "23BLIND113" when making your reservation
Registration and Meals:
Everyone who registers for the convention will be eligible for door prizes. Please register online as soon as possible but no later than October 27.
Registration for the convention, which includes a breakfast on Sunday morning, is $25 in advance, and $30 on site. The Friday casual dinner is $22, the Saturday morning seniors' division breakfast is $20, the BLIND Inc. lunch costs $25, and the banquet is $45. If you have any dietary restrictions, please indicate them on the registration form.
Those intending to register on-site should still contact Judy Sanders in advance at (612) 872-9363 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your meals so that we can give the hotel an accurate count.
This is also the time to pay membership dues, so that you will be able to vote on our policies and in our elections during 2024. You can pay membership dues along with your convention registration. You can also renew membership here if you are unable to attend the convention. Don't miss your chance to be part of shaping our movement.
Transportation from Twin Cities:
For those traveling to the convention from the Twin Cities area, the Metro Chapter has organized a chartered bus to Rochester. To help cover the cost of the bus, a donation to the Metro chapter of $25 per rider is suggested but not required. The bus will leave from our headquarters at 100 East 22nd Street at 10:30 A.M. on Friday morning and will depart from Rochester at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday afternoon. You may use the convention preregistration form to reserve a seat. The donations will be collected on the bus by the chapter.
Jennifer Dunnam, chair of the Resolutions Committee, asks that you submit proposed resolutions in advance of the convention and then come participate in the discussion. You may email your draft resolutions to email@example.com before October 27. To see the resolutions we have passed during the past twenty years, visit www.nfbmn.org/about/resolutions.
Requests for Accommodations Based on Disability:
The convention is designed and implemented to be accessible especially to blind people in that materials are offered in accessible formats and other nonvisual aids are provided (therefore special requests for these items are not required). If you need specific accommodations based on your disability other than the blindness-related accommodations mentioned above in order to participate fully and equally in the convention, we urge you to let us know as soon as possible via the registration form. Due to the size and complexity of this convention, as well as the need to appropriately plan for additional human and other resources, please submit requests for specific accommodations no later than Sunday, October 22, 2023.
Childcare will be provided during scheduled meetings and during the banquet. A donation of $25 per child per day is requested to help cover childcare costs; if this will create a barrier to your attending the convention, please let us know and we will work with you. To sign up, please complete the childcare section on the registration form; and you may also reach childcare coordinator Briley O'Connor by phone at (703) 380-8876 if you have questions.
Cash Prizes for Essays:
The Metro Chapter invites all Minnesota Federationists to participate in its annual essay contest. Although there is not a specific essay question, the essay should be focused on experiences as a blind person and highlight a positive message or outcome. The length of the essay should be about 2-3 pages. The winning essay will be published in the Minnesota Bulletin, and the writer will receive $75. Another $50 will be awarded in a random drawing from the rest of the essays, which will also be considered for publication. Both winners will be announced at the banquet on Saturday evening. All entries must be received by October 20, 2023. Email them to Kayde Rieken at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items will be auctioned off at various times throughout the convention. Attendees are encouraged to donate theme baskets, crafts, baked goods securely sealed in disposable containers, or other services. Please email a description of your item in advance to auction committee chair Charlotte Czarnecki (email@example.com); also, let her know if you will be labeling your item in braille or if you need for her to make the necessary braille label. You can also let her know if you wish to be one of the auctioneers.
Door prizes will be given during the Saturday and Sunday general sessions and the Saturday evening banquet. You must register and be present in the room to win a door prize.
Some events will be added to this schedule, and more details about the schedule will be made available as they are finalized.
Friday, November 3:
2:00-5:00 p.m.: Registration will be open. Registration will also be open at other times during the convention. All who registered online should be sure to stop by registration to pick up your meal tickets and the convention agenda.
2:00-5:00 P.M.: Exhibits and Meetings
• Exhibits and demonstrations
• Resolutions committee meeting
5:00-7:00 P.M.: Casual dinner with friends—beat the dinner rush and enjoy an affordable meal in a relaxed environment
7:00-9:00 P.M.: Meetings of the Minnesota Association of Blind Students, the At Large Chapter of NFB of Minnesota, and our DeafBlind group.
7:00-11:00 P.M.: Hospitality
Saturday, November 4:
7:00 A.M.: Breakfast and Annual Meeting of the NFB of Minnesota Seniors Division.
8:15 a.m.: Registration opens, and coffee and pastries will be available.
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: Convention sessions packed with a variety of information and discussion on current issues related to blindness. Among other items, we will talk to Minnesota agencies for the blind and elected officials, learn from the stories of our members and friends of all ages, and discuss our current activities and plans for the future.
12:00 p.m.: BLIND, Inc. Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch with opportunity to hear from our new interim executive director and celebrate the progress and accomplishments of our consumer-directed training center!
6:00 p.m.: Social hour with cash bar prior to our banquet. Come and join us for more hospitality.
7:00 p.m.: Banquet. The banquet will feature an inspiring keynote address from our national representative, Julie Deden. Following the banquet, stick around for more after-banquet socializing.
Sunday, November 5:
9:00 a.m.-Noon: Breakfast will be available in conjunction with this session. We will discuss resolutions and other items of business, and there will be more food for thought and practical take-aways. The following positions will be up for election: President, Secretary, and three board members.
See You There!
Our convention each year is an opportunity for the blind of our state to come together for a common cause, to raise expectations for ourselves and others, and to strengthen our bonds of friendship. We will share public services and other resources for the blind, exchange ideas, and formulate plans and policies for the coming year. Please join us for the 2023 Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota!