Conventions: National Federation for the Blind Nationl Convention in Orlando, FL

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Well, it’s time for something different and it’s in a Convention Spotlight! I know MegaCon is in a week but this is an entirely different convention and that is the NFB National Convention!

I know, “Say what now!” Well, if you remembered how in the Omni Expo 2015 Convention Impossible I mentioned that it took place at the Rosen Center last year and it was the same location as the NFB convention and this is the one I’m talking about today.

What is it? For those of you who are new to this blog, the acronym stands for National Federation of the Blind, which is a national group to talk about accessibility, help inform the public about the blind, and even help with getting new services for the blind in local areas, etc. Why am I talking about this group? Well, I’m visually impaired myself! The story is that when I was fifteen years old, I was diagnosed with a rare strand known as Retinitis Pigmentosa which is a condition where dead cells attack the retinas until the person goes completely blind. Kind of scary in a way since I didn’t know I had it due to doctors saying I was born with it except it was dormant most of my life until my pre-teen years. If you seen my videos where I interviewed people like Lauren Landa, Dameon Clarke, and so on, you have noticed that I use braille to have my interview questions written in. If you seen the Omni Expo ones from last year, it was an entire binder filled with sheets of questions I asked and this past year, I finally got a new Braille Sense which is a braille device that acts like a laptop but with a braille display which I can read by touch and have been studying braille for many years and hoping to be certified in. If you seen the old videos from Omni, I used to have a Braille Sense Qwerty that I used for college but now I have the standard brailler keyboard. And now back to the main topic, I knew about NFB before and started going to meetings here in Orlando and every year they hold this huge national convention late June to early July or just the first week of July. I have gone to the Seminar Day last year and it was interesting but due to having schedule conflicts, I can’t make it this year so why not mention it so you guys know what I have been going through, heck even used to host a panel about watching anime as a blind person at anime conventions. Let’s get a move on.

Dates and Location: This year’s convention is going to be held from June 30th through July 5th and it’s being held at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort instead of the Center this year and it is also on Universal Blvd.

How can you register? You can register through the NFB Website by going here: https://nfb.org/convention And it is open for pre-reg and if you pre-register before May 31st it will cost $25 and it will be $30 on-site while pre-reg for banquet is $60 while it’s $65 on site if you want to go to the banquet later on in the week.

What if I want to stay at the hotel? Room rates are $83 for singles and doubles and $89 for triples and quads. When you go on site to check in, you will be taxed 12.5% and any kid under the age of 17 will be free unless you’re a parent and they’re staying with. Of course, most importantly, no smoking please.

What to expect: This is a six day convention which starts with a Seminar Day on June 30th where different companies talk about the many devices that will be available in the Exhibitors Hall. I went to this and man it was interesting! I think the most interesting out of all was the one on KNFB Reader which is a portable version of Open Book where you use the camera on the mobile device you download the app to and take pictures of documents, menus, and so many other things and it reads it out to you. It’s a bit pricey but during the convention they do offer a discount, they did last year maybe this year too. I would say go to this in case if you’re interested in knowing what devices are offered to the blind. There are division meet ups for the many to talk about things, not sure what since I haven’t been to an actual convention like this so on the convention page you will see what days have these meetups and discussions. And of course the Exhibitors Hall has stuff to purchase and talking about the devices,etc. One company I know that is always there is HIMS who makes the Braille Sense I use, if you’re curious about it and the manufacturer, you can see them or visit their website.

What if I need more information? Here is the link again just in case: https://nfb.org/convention

It will give you the days of what is going on, even gives you the beginner’s guide for the convention which is pretty handy. Also more info on hotel rates, what the hotel has to offer, even details on flight discounts which there are people flying in for this event.

Well that is about it for this convention! If you’re interested in learning more about the National Federation of the Blind, you can also visit NFB.org and if you have a chapter near you that meets, I suggest go to a meeting because you will get to meet awesome people that get around their daily lives in many different ways without the sense of sight. I have done it and still doing it especially with cooking. It’s not easy being blind to tell you the truth and meeting someone who has a visual impairment is a new world to get into and an interesting one at that.

What is next on Nerdy Shique Universe? Not sure as of yet, but stay tuned!

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