rdThe 33 Annual State Convention
National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey
T E C H
* Training * Education * Commitment * History *
Crowne Plaza Hotel
36 Valley Rd., Clark, NJ 07066
November 6, 7, 8, 2009
Joseph Ruffalo, President
We will be broadcasting live on Sat., Nov. 7 from 9 am – noon,
2 pm – 5 pm and 7 pm – 11 pm.
To listen, go to www.thruoureyes.org.
Should you prefer to use the JAWS-friendly web page, go to
www.thruoureyes.org/jaws.html or go to
www.nfbnj.org and click on the listen to NFBNJ State Convention link.
The National Federation of the Blind is
changing what it means to be blind.
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.
Subscribe to the Sounding Board
Did you know that you can receive an email copy of the Sounding Board, NFBNJ’s
newsletter? All you have to do is send an email with the words subscribe Sounding
Board in the subject line to:
This will help us cut down on the expense of publishing and mailing the Sounding
Board. Also, it means you will receive your copy sooner and be able to share it easily with friends and relatives by simply forwarding them a copy.
For more information, contact Joe Ruffalo at email@example.com or 973-743-0075.
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 or friend with a gift to the NFB of NJ.
The National Federation of the Blind of NJ thanks
ADVANCED DIABETIC SOLUTIONS, Lawrenceville, GA
for their generous sponsorship of this year’s Convention
Contact information for speakers can be found on the last page of the agenda.
FRIDAY, NOV. 6, 2009
10:00 am—6:00 pm Registration Open
TECH Seminar/Convention registration: $15
Box lunch can be purchased in Grand Ballroom: $13
10:00 am–6:00 pm Exhibit Hall open—Washington Room
11:30 am–1:00 pm Merchants Division lunch meeting—location TBA
T E C H SEMINAR
1:00 pm Welcome to the TECH Seminar!
Joseph Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ; National Board Member, NFB;
Program Manager, First Occupational Center of NJ
1:05 pm Making a Difference
Gary Wunder, Secretary, National Federation of the Blind;
Pres., NFB of MO
1:20 pm Advanced Diabetic Solutions
Jordan Benis, Chief Operating Officer; Convention Sponsor
1:30 pm Announcements
WORKSHOPS There are two workshop sessions.
Session I is from 1:45 to 2:30. Session II is from 2:45 to 3:30.
Session I 1:45–2:30 pm Please choose from the following 3 workshops.
The New Digital Talking Book Player—Adams Room
Adam Szczepaniak, Director; Mary Crain, Media Technician
NJ Talking Book and Braille Center
Bridging the Gap: Blindness and Diabetes—Jefferson Room
Michele and Vincent Chaney, NJ Diabetes Action Network; Jordan Benis,
President, and Tina Rockwell, Director of Patient Services, Advanced
Accessible Science for Students—Madison Room
Moderators: Carol Castellano, Pres. POBC-NJ and Evelyn Valdez, Pres.,
NJABS; Presenters: Marilyn Winograd, TVI, MDW Educational Services;
Dr. Lillian Rankel, Science Teacher, Central HS, Pennington
Session II 2:45–3:30 pm Please choose from the following 3 workshops.
Technology: KNFB Mobile & Newsline for the Blind—Adams Room
Rick Fox, Dewitt & Assoc.; Bill Dougherty, NJ Talking Book & Braille
Put Your Best Foot Forward: Mobility Choices for Everyone—
Vincent Chaney, NJAGDU; Gary Wunder, Pres., NFB of MO
Braille: The ABCs—Madison Room
Mary Jo Partyka, Sue Tillett, NJ Assoc. to Promote the Use of Braille
PLEASE RETURN TO THE GRAND BALLROOM AFTER SESSION II.
3:40 pm Wrap-Up and Door Prizes
Joe Ruffalo, Pres., NFB of NJ
4:00–5:00 pm Division Meetings
NJ Assoc. to Promote the Use of Braille—Madison Room
Technology Division—Adams Room
Diabetes Division—Jefferson Room
NJ Assoc. of Blind Students—Grand Ballroom front
4:00–6:00 pm Visit the Vendors in the Exhibit Area—Washington Room
7:00 pm Resolutions Committee Meeting—Jefferson
Mary Jo Partyka, Chair
All are welcome
8:00–11:00 pm Talent Showcase—Grand Ballroom
Hosted by the Central Chapter, NFB of NJ
NOTE: Breakfast will be served from 6:45 – 8:45 am on Saturday morning in the Jefferson Room for those registered in the hotel. Bring your breakfast coupon.
Vendors will be available in the Exhibit Hall—Washington Room
at the following times:
Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday 7:45 am – 8:45 am
12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
SATURDAY, NOV. 7, 2009
6:45–8:45 am Breakfast for those registered in the hotel—Bring your coupon!
7:00–8:30 am NJ Assoc. of Guide Dog Users breakfast meeting
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
9:10 am Invocation
9:15 am Greetings
Jerilyn Higgins, President, Central Chapter
9:20 am Convention Announcements
Joseph Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ
9:30 am Roll Call of Chapters and Divisions
NFB of NJ Scholarship Class of 2009
Recognition of Past Scholarship Recipients
Jerilyn Higgins, Chair, Scholarship Committee
10:00 am Presidential Report
Joseph Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ
10:30 am National Update: The NFB Making a Difference
Gary Wunder, President, NFB of MO
11:00 am Why Do You Want to Make that Child Blind?
Carol Castellano, Pres., POBC-NJ; Pres, National Organization of
Parents of Blind Children
11:30 am DHS and Commission Updates
Jennifer Velez, Commissioner, NJ Dept. of Human Services
Vito DeSantis, Executive Director, NJ Comm. for the Blind and VI
11:55 am Announcements
12:00 pm Adjourn
12:00–2:00 pm Lunch—Reminder: You must have a lunch ticket.
Network with Vendors
1:15–1:45 pm POBC-NJ Meeting—Grand Ballroom
Carol Castellano, President, POBC-NJ
Gary Wunder, NFB National Representative
1:45 pm Child Care Reopens
2:00 pm Call to Order
2:05 pm Imagine a Future Full of Possibilities
Evelyn Valdez, March for Independence Coordinator, NFB of NJ
2:15 pm Youth Slam!
Paul Grenier, Mentor
2:30 pm Braille: Making Change with a Dollar
Mary Jo Partyka, Pres., NJAPUB; Holly Miller, Parent; Shafeka Hashash,
3:00 pm First Timers: Experiences That Have Changed Our Lives
Marie Griffin, Parent; Priscilla Garces, Tara Carty, Melissa Hurff, Students
3:30 pm Top Notch Training: The Why and the How
Michael Halm, Student
3:40 pm Seniors Going Strong
Jane Degenshein, Facilitator, ECHO; Bette Davis & Sandra Scheffer,
Seniors, Essex SCILS Program
4:00 pm Turning a Hobby into Cash
Eileen Scrivani, Arts & Crafts; Louis Scrivani, Woodworking; Rebecca
Irvin, Arts & Crafts; Jon Gabry, Artist
4:30 pm Straight Talk on Blindness
Louis & Eileen Scrivani; Vincent & Michelle Chaney; Debbie Bloomer &
Rick Fox; Gary Wunder
4:55 pm Announcements
5:00 pm Adjournment
6:45–11:00 pm Banquet—Grand Ballroom
Mistress of Ceremonies—Quintina Singleton
Invocation—Hannah and Shafeka Hashash
Banquet Address–Gary Wunder
Presentation of Scholarships—Jerilyn Higgins, Scholarship Chair
Nathan and Selma Rogoff Scholarships
Rose and Joseph Ruffalo, Sr. Scholarship
Morning Devotions will be held from 7–7:30 am on Sunday in the Adams Room.
SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 2009
7:45 am Breakfast—Grand Ballroom
Bring your breakfast coupon.
9:00 am–12:00 pm Program and Business Meeting—Grand Ballroom
Invocation, Rebecca Irvin
Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Determination:
What I Have Learned, LEAD Students
Issues in the Blindness Community
Building the Affiliate, Gary Wunder
Legislative Action, Lynn Reynolds, Leg. Coord. NFB of NJ;
Joe Ruffalo, President, NFB of NJ
National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey
Officers Board Members
President – Joseph Ruffalo Dan Facchini st1 Vice President – Jerilyn Higgins Lynn Reynolds nd2 Vice President – Mary Jo Partyka Ryan Stevens
Secretary – Quintina Singleton Evelyn Valdez
Treasurer – Tom Ferry
Chapters and Divisions
At Large Chapter Joe Ruffalo 973-743-0075 Capitol Chapter Mary Jo Partyka 609-888-5459 Central Chapter Jerilyn Higgins 973-239-8874 Cumberland/Salem Chapter Ann Jordan 856-696-3905 Garden State Chapter Ed Godfrey 856-906-4516 Northeast Chapter Dan Facchini 201-906-8655 Northern Chapter Rick Fox 973-743-6107
Ocean County Chapter Mary Dockery 732-349-2456 Diabetes Division Vincent Chaney 732-251-8650 Merchants Division Lynn Reynolds 908-251-5510 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 Technology 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.
We thank Jerilyn Higgins and Carol Castellano for their help on this agenda.
Advanced Diabetic Solutions Newark Public Library Jordan Benis Margaret George Tina Rockwell Lolata Greggs 1576 Atkinson Rd. 5 Washington Ave. Lawrenceville, GA 30043 Newark, NJ
Akina Solutions LLCD/B/A NJ Commission for the Blind &
Metro Medical ID Visually Impaired Mark Eulie Pamela Gaston PO Box 53 153 Halsey St. Verona, NJ 07044 PO Box 47017 973-615-6469 Newark, NJ 07101 firstname.lastname@example.org 877-685-8878
www.metromedicalid.com NJ Talking Book & Braille Center
Braille Tees, Adam Szczepaniak Kara Euvino 2300 Stuyvesant Ave. PO Box 1044 Trenton, NJ 08618 Union City, CT 06770 800-792-8322 877-410-9866 email@example.com
avid.reader@BrailleTees.com, RFB&D Learning Through Listening www.BrailleTees.com, Christine Ranagan
C-Tech 69 Mapleton Rd Karen Ablandi Princeton NJ 08540 2 N William St. 609-750-1830
Pearl River, NY Safeguard Marketing 800-228-7798 Charles Solomon firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 541
DeWitt & Associates Cliffside Park, NJ 07101 Maria Agnus 201-840-5443
700 Godwin Ave. SW Unlimited, LLC Midland Park, NJ 07432 Sherlock Washington 877-447-6500 Bernhard Schneider
NFB of NJ 81 Ortley Port 254 Spruce St. Matawan, NJ 07747 Bloomfield NJ 07003 732-290-1677 973-743-0075 email@example.com
Jordan Benis 888-377-6382 firstname.lastname@example.org Carol Castellano 973-377-0976 email@example.com
Michele Chaney 732-251-8650 firstname.lastname@example.org Vincent Chaney 732-251-8650 email@example.com Mary Crain 800-792-8322 firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Degenshein 973-736-5785 email@example.com Vito DeSantis 973-648-2324 firstname.lastname@example.org Bill Dougherty 800-792-8322 email@example.com Rick Fox 201-447-6500 firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Grenier 609-330-6752 email@example.com Michael Halm 732-370-1797 firstname.lastname@example.org Jerilyn Higgins 973-239-8874 email@example.com Rebecca Irvin 973-732-6559 firstname.lastname@example.org MaryJo Partyka 609-888-5459 email@example.com Lillian Rankel 609-737-8345 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Reynolds 732-599-7420 email@example.com Tina Rockwell 888-377-6382 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Ruffalo 973-743-0075 email@example.com
Eileen Scrivani 201-261-2281 firstname.lastname@example.org Louis Scrivani 201-261-2281 email@example.com Quintina Singleton 732-428-4932 firstname.lastname@example.org Adam Szczepaniak 800-792-8322 email@example.com
Sue Tillett 609-924-7489 firstname.lastname@example.org
Evelyn Valdez 908-803-4891 email@example.com Jennifer Velez DHS_Commissioner@dhs.state.nj.us Marilyn Winograd 908-565-1802 Marilyn.Winograd@gmail.com Gary Wunder 573-874-1774 firstname.lastname@example.org