The 33rd Annual State Convention

By Lynn Fisher,2014-03-20 15:33
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The 33rd Annual State Convention

    rdThe 33 Annual State Convention

    of the

    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

    Should you prefer to use the JAWS-friendly web page, go to or go to and click on the listen to NFBNJ State Convention link.

    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.

    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 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


    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 am6:00 pm Registration Open

    TECH Seminar/Convention registration: $15

    Box lunch can be purchased in Grand Ballroom: $13

10:00 am6:00 pm Exhibit Hall openWashington Room

    11:30 am1:00 pm Merchants Division lunch meetinglocation TBA


    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 1:452:30 pm Please choose from the following 3 workshops.

    The New Digital Talking Book PlayerAdams Room

    Adam Szczepaniak, Director; Mary Crain, Media Technician

    NJ Talking Book and Braille Center

    Bridging the Gap: Blindness and DiabetesJefferson Room

    Michele and Vincent Chaney, NJ Diabetes Action Network; Jordan Benis,

    President, and Tina Rockwell, Director of Patient Services, Advanced

    Diabetic Solutions

    Accessible Science for StudentsMadison 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 2:453:30 pm Please choose from the following 3 workshops.

    Technology: KNFB Mobile & Newsline for the BlindAdams Room

    Rick Fox, Dewitt & Assoc.; Bill Dougherty, NJ Talking Book & Braille


    Put Your Best Foot Forward: Mobility Choices for Everyone

    Jefferson Room

    Vincent Chaney, NJAGDU; Gary Wunder, Pres., NFB of MO

    Braille: The ABCsMadison Room

    Mary Jo Partyka, Sue Tillett, NJ Assoc. to Promote the Use of Braille


3:40 pm Wrap-Up and Door Prizes

     Joe Ruffalo, Pres., NFB of NJ

4:005:00 pm Division Meetings

     NJ Assoc. to Promote the Use of BrailleMadison Room

     Technology DivisionAdams Room

     Diabetes DivisionJefferson Room

     NJ Assoc. of Blind StudentsGrand Ballroom front

4:006:00 pm Visit the Vendors in the Exhibit AreaWashington Room

    Registration Open

    7:00 pm Resolutions Committee MeetingJefferson

     Mary Jo Partyka, Chair

     All are welcome

    8:0011:00 pm Talent ShowcaseGrand Ballroom

     Hosted by the Central Chapter, NFB of NJ

     Cash Bar

    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 HallWashington 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

    6:458:45 am Breakfast for those registered in the hotelBring your coupon!

    7:008:30 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

    Jane Degenshein

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


    12:002:00 pm LunchReminder: You must have a lunch ticket.

    Network with Vendors

1:151:45 pm POBC-NJ MeetingGrand 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


6:4511:00 pm BanquetGrand Ballroom

    Mistress of CeremoniesQuintina Singleton

    InvocationHannah and Shafeka Hashash

     Banquet AddressGary Wunder

    Presentation of ScholarshipsJerilyn Higgins, Scholarship Chair

    Nathan and Selma Rogoff Scholarships

    Rose and Joseph Ruffalo, Sr. Scholarship


    Morning Devotions will be held from 77:30 am on Sunday in the Adams Room.

SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 2009

7:45 am BreakfastGrand Ballroom

     Bring your breakfast coupon.

    9:00 am12:00 pm Program and Business MeetingGrand 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

     Committee Reports



    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

    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

    888-377-6382 973-733-5412

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 877-685-8878 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, RFB&D Learning Through Listening, 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 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

    Contact Information

    Jordan Benis 888-377-6382 Carol Castellano 973-377-0976

    Michele Chaney 732-251-8650 Vincent Chaney 732-251-8650 Mary Crain 800-792-8322 Jane Degenshein 973-736-5785 Vito DeSantis 973-648-2324 Bill Dougherty 800-792-8322 Rick Fox 201-447-6500 Paul Grenier 609-330-6752 Michael Halm 732-370-1797 Jerilyn Higgins 973-239-8874 Rebecca Irvin 973-732-6559 MaryJo Partyka 609-888-5459 Lillian Rankel 609-737-8345

    Lynn Reynolds 732-599-7420 Tina Rockwell 888-377-6382

    Joseph Ruffalo 973-743-0075

    Eileen Scrivani 201-261-2281 Louis Scrivani 201-261-2281 Quintina Singleton 732-428-4932 Adam Szczepaniak 800-792-8322

    Sue Tillett 609-924-7489

    Evelyn Valdez 908-803-4891 Jennifer Velez Marilyn Winograd 908-565-1802 Gary Wunder 573-874-1774

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