Greetings from the NFB National Convention!

This week I’m attending the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando. This is my fifteenth NFB national convention. I first attended when I was 16 years old, and only missed two conventions since. The weeklong program follows a consistent pattern from year to year, but each convention is a unique experience for me. I attended first as a youth in high school, then as a winner of one of the 30 scholarships that NFB awards. As I progressed through college, some conventions were primarily parties, while others were filled with leadership responsibilities, new lessons learned, and new lessons taught. Over these years I have participated in the conventions as a presenter, an organizer, a sales volunteer, a leader in the NFB’s student division, and a mentor to many. I have also received mentorship and companionship from countless blind individuals from all walks of life. This year, in particular, I reflect on the balance I strike between learning and teaching. As a learner, I was fortunate to receive private lessons on the use of “R” statistical software from a blind man who is a world-renowned expert on the subject. As a teacher, I had the opportunity to discuss my disability simulation research with the NFB’s National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. I am also serving on the mentoring committee for the NFB’s scholarship program. In this role, I have the privilege of spending each day of the convention paired with a different NFB scholarship recipient. While I am teaching them about the organization, I am also learning more about the potential that we have as blind people to participate fully in all facets of life. Instead of being an organization that merely serves people who are blind, NFB is an organization that harnesses our collective talents and allows us to serve one another.
If you are curious to learn more about the convention, check out the 2017 2017 presidential report or the 2017 policy resolutions

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