Get ready for Convention 2019 —Orlando here we come!

Celebrating our rich history — Learning and Planning for Tomorrow

Dear Friends and Members of FCB,

The Florida Council of the Blind, Inc. (FCB) warmly welcomes you to attend our 66th annual convention scheduled from May 16th -- May 19th, 2019 in Orlando. The convention hotel is the Avanti Palms Resort & Conference Center 6515 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819.

Room rates are $84.99 per night plus tax. Reserve your room by calling 866-994-3157. Remember to mention that you are with FCB to insure you receive the convention rate. **THE DEADLINE FOR MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR THIS YEAR'S CONVENTION IS, April 10th. ** Please reserve your room now to guarantee our special rate. The rate includes a voucher for breakfast. The FCB Convention will be exciting and educational, full of varied and informative programs and of course, have time for visiting and fun! There's something for everyone here, don't miss it!

1. On Thursday evening, May 16th, watch a descriptive movie entitled Bohemian Rhapsody. This is the story of Queen’s previous lead singer Freddy Mercury. While you are watching the movie, enjoy a snack of Chips & Salsa, popcorn and Pretzels, Cookies or Brownies, Water, Coffee, Iced tea & Lemonade.

Friday May 17, 2019

2. Guide Dog Users of Florida 8:30-10:30 AM
Join Guide Dog Users of Florida (GDUF) as they share the transforming miracle of a tiny puppy’s growing into the role of a guide dog. After a brief business meeting, you will have the opportunity to view the movie, “Pick of the Litter” that follows the lives of a litter of puppies from Guide Dogs for the Blind as they live and grow and become worthy of being called “Pick of the Litter”.

3. Technology Committee 8:30-10:30 AM
Have you ever heard of broadcasting streaming services that you can have conveniently right on your tv, laptop, tablet or the palm of your hand on your smart phone?

Do you know how the Amazon fire tv and the fire tv stick, as well as the Google Chrome cast along with the Apple Tv work along with other over-the-top devices and services?? What is that all about?

Join the members of the Technology Committee for a truly outstanding and beneficial workshop where you will be surprised to learn how you can absolutely benefit from these unlimited streaming devices and other similar ones, enriching how we watch tv and have the best experience possible.

4. Braille Revival League of Florida 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - BRLF Workshop
Come join BRLF as we explore using the Braille keyboard which is part of iOS for writing documents. We will also be demonstrating the pairing process that will enable you to use a braille display with your iOS device. COME JOIN THE FUN!!! The BRLF business meeting will be held during the Sunday breakfast. It's time to elect officers, so bring your suggestions and ideas with you. Remember, together we are strong, and braille makes us better!!!

As always, one of the highlights of convention is our Exhibit Hall that will be open both Friday and Saturday all day. Come browse, purchase goods or learn about new technology to assist you in living a more productive and independent life.

5. FCB Annual Legislative Seminar 1:30-3:00 P.M.
The annual FCB Legislative Seminar promises to be another interesting and informative journey into the world of working with those who represent us in the state Legislature and in the US Congress. Our guest,

Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, Beginning her first year of representing the citizens of Orlando in the Florida Legislature, will share her thoughts and early experiences, advise us on effective ways of engaging members of the Florida Legislature and will answer our questions bringing with her enthusiasm, fresh, innovative plans and ideas for a better future for all of Florida’s citizens, including those of us with disabilities.

Once again, members of the team representing FCB on Capitol Hill in February will share their observations. This year, you will hear from four team members who made the trip with us to the Hill for the first time.

6. First-timers Workshop
Is this your first time attending an FCB Convention? WELCOME! We have a special workshop just for you, co-hosted by long-time members and FCB experts Sally Benjamin and Cassandra Jessie. This workshop will tell you who we are, what we do and what we have to offer. Come check it out and let us get to know each other.

FCB is pleased to offer an affordable 3-evening package deal for your evening activities pleasure. Purchase tickets for Thursday night movie, Friday night Awards Dinner and the Saturday evening FCB Banquet for $80.00 and save $15.00. If you would like to attend only one or two of these meal events, the cost is $35.00 per event and the cost for the movie is $20.00.

7. Awards and Scholarship Dinner
Join us on Friday evening to celebrate and recognize FCB leaders and deserving students at a special Dinner hosted in their honor by Shelley Sawyer and Gabriel Lopez-Kafati. Select advocates and leaders will be recognized with prestigious awards and deserving students will be presented with valuable scholarships. The cost of this year's Awards Dinner is $35.00 or you may purchase the 3-evening package for $80.00. Please note the meal choices and mark your registration form accordingly.

Saturday: May 18th, 2019
Opening Ceremonies,
66th Annual State Convention
8:15-8:30 AM
Words from FCB Convention Sponsors

8:30-9:50 AM
The American Council of the Blind Audio Description Project: 'come celebrate ten years with us. Dan Spoone, First Vice President, American Council of the Blind, and Chair of the ACB Audio Description Committee will moderate a panel of acclaimed experts, Kim Charlson, President, American Council of the Blind; Eric Bridges, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind; and Joel Snyder, Director, American Council of the Blind Audio Description Project. Learn about the history of this ACB program and its future of meaningful innovation that will bring us even more access to the visual arts and the world environment in which we live. These experts will be with us in real time to speak to and with us about the audio description project and the role we can play in our communities to broaden the programming that is described and to make audio description available to more people.

Charter, the parent company of Spectrum, from whom many FCB members purchase their cable TV services, will update us on the next steps to bringing access to its set top boxes and other programs and services to their customers who are blind and visually impaired.

10:00-10:50 AM
Two Concurrent Workshops

8. Our library, a collage of information: an update from the director of the Florida Bureau of Braille. and Talking Book Library Services, James Woolyhand; Library Users of America, Library patrons making a difference, Library without Walls, President Paul Edwards; giving back making a difference in our state, Sheila Young, FCB President, Immediate Past President and Vice President of Friends of Library Access.

9. The Right To Cast a Secret, Independent, Verifiable Ballot, a Foundational Civil Right. Jim Kracht, Immediate Past President, Florida Council of the Blind, will update us about the status of our right to vote in this state, where Florida is in terms of its compliance with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), what that reality means for us as citizens of this state and nation and any next steps that we may need to take. Es&S, who created the mechanical ballot marking system that many of Florida’s counties now use and others are considering purchasing, will present helpful information about this voting option and where they are in terms of developing new technology in the near future.

11:00-11:50 AM
Two concurrent workshops

10. Building a foundation, creating and establishing your brand making your reality known to those with whom you can work to assist in the realization of your organization’s goals and mission. Join Jill Fox, talking book Narrator, American Printing House for the Blind, and host of her own show on WFPL, NPR in Louisville, KY, as she shares with us tips and strategies to building relationships with and making our causes real to those in the worlds of media and Government and elsewhere.

11. Sitting is the New Smoking: Join Patti Cordell, registered nurse and health champion and sister of FCB President, Sheila Young, as she introduces us to low impact chair exercises that are simple to learn and execute and yet bring invigorating, health enhancing movement into our lives.

12. At 1:30, in the continuing spirit of open communication and dialogue FCB will once again hold its annual Town Hall Meeting with Division of Blind Services Director, Robert Doyle and members of his staff, moderated by FCB Immediate Past President, Jim Kracht. Join us for an update and question and answer period during which they will share with us and answer our questions about the current reality of Services for all people who are blind and visually impaired in the State of Florida.

Special Interest Affiliate Meetings: Saturday, May 18, 2019
3:15 – 5:00

13. Join CCTB if answers to the following questions are meaningful to you. Does the thought of crossing a busy street or intersection make you shutter? How would you like to be able to safely walk to a store or close by restaurant for breakfast or dinner? Well guess what, you can!!

14. FCCLV Business Meeting
FCCLV will hold its annual business meeting. Our guest speaker will be Ramon Dukes from the Lighthouse Central Florida. Ramon is a Vocational Services Instructor in the Adult Program. He has worked at Lighthouse Central Florida for nine years and is married with seven children. Ramon will share low vision tips and tricks, Android phone accessibility features and the latest in low vision aids. Everyone is welcome for a fun filled afternoon.

15. Saturday Silent Auction Annual Banquet.
FCB'S Annual Banquet: hosted by FCB President, Sheila Young. Talking Book Narrators, Jack Fox and Jill Fox will share with us what happens in a typical day of a talking book narrator.

John Richards’ tunes and more...
Directly following the banquet, don't miss tunes from the vast library of DJ extraordinaire, John Richards. Come dance, socialize, or enjoy while getting supercharged for the suspense and excitement of FCB's annual silent auction and raffle drawing for money and other exciting prizes. You can even learn who the winners of the Silent Auction are! Sleep, after all this? Are you kidding?

Sunday May 19th, 2019

16. Braille Revival League of Florida
There will be a BRLF breakfast meeting and gathering in one portion of the hotel restaurant Sunday morning at 7 a.m. Attendees must bring their hotel furnished coupon to receive the hotel provided complimentary breakfast.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, you can then claim your right and responsibility as an FCB member by participating in the organization's annual business meeting. Hear from leaders about progress made and work yet needing to be done and discover what important role you can play in advocacy.

FCB conventions are famous for having wonderful volunteers and staff at our hotels which is great. However, please be reminded that volunteers and hotel staff are NOT personal care attendants, nor can they serve as full-time personal guides. If you desire or require this level of assistance, please bring someone to assist you.

QUESTIONS — Contact our Project Insight Office at (386) 763-3836 or (800) 267-4448. To reserve assistive listening devices, (ALD) please call by May 1st.


**REGISTRATION — Pre-convention registration forms and payment as well as online registration and payment must be post marked no later than May 10th to guarantee the Early Bird registration discount. Please indicate which events you expect to attend on the registration form by placing an X next to the number associated with that event. Use the right-hand column to calculate the total payment submitted. Email or call Kati Lear with any questions or requests for assistance regarding convention registration at or (800) 267-4448.

Please make check payable to FCB and mail to:
Sally Benjamin
1009 Concord Road Apt. 106
Tallahassee, FL 32308

2019 Convention Registration Form