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Transforming Challenges into Opportunities: Recapping NFB’s Annual Convention

“During the past year, the strength of our determination and the power of our togetherness in the organized blind movement [have] transformed our challenges into opportunities,” stated Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), during the “2022 Presidential Report” given at NFB’s 2022 Annual Convention. The 82nd Annual Convention of the NFB was held from July 5 through July 10, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It had been three years since the event had been held in person. Riccobono spoke about the continued challenges faced by blind people, including discrimination, limited access to critical information, and “overwhelming barriers throughout society.” During a period of isolation and disruption affecting everyone in the nation, the continued commitment to working together “has made all the difference to the success of blind people…”

Sessions covered a wide range of disciplines, including such topics as access technology training, advocating for accessibility, and producing tactile graphics; what’s new with Jaws, Fusion, and Zoomtext; and news from technology developers. A seminar for job seekers and career fair were held as well. An exhibit hall featured more than 80 companies and organizations, ranging from technology providers to blindness advocacy groups and service providers, to manufacturers of devices, to educational organizations, and more.

The 18 resolutions adopted at the convention included those regarding:

–  “the need for Federal legislation requiring all websites and applications to be accessible;”

– “state legislation guaranteeing fully accessible vote by mail;”

– “manufacturers’ development of accessible medical devices;”

– “audio description and text-to-speech;”

– “accessible at-home medical/COVID-19 testing;” and

– “increased funding for the (government-supported) Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program.”

To read the full list of resolutions and details, the full Presidential Report and banquet speech from Mark Riccobano about “Spirit, Togetherness, and Service: The Signature of the Blind People’s Movement,” and more coverage from the convention, visit the NFB webpage on the 2022 National Convention.