2019 NFBN State Convention Agenda

2019 NFBN State Convention Agenda




OCTOBER 10-13, 2019


Ramada Columbus and River's Edge Convention Center

Columbus, Nebraska


National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska
Amy Buresh, President
1033 O Street, Suite 24B
Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 477-7711
Web Site: http://www.ne.nfb.org


Transcribed Into Braille
by Sahar Husseini
All About Braille
Phone: (402) 742-4361


"The life you were made to live can be yours right now if you have the courage to choose it." Matthew Warner





Amy Buresh, President, Lincoln
Jeff Altman, First Vice President, Lincoln

Mike Hansen, Second Vice President, Lincoln
Jamie Richey, Secretary, Lincoln
Cheryl Livingston, Treasurer, Lincoln


Members of the Board of Directors:
Stephanie Baldwin, Lincoln

Shane Buresh, Lincoln
Nancy Coffman, Lincoln

Geralyn Konruff, Chappell

Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter, Omaha

Kimberly Scherbarth, Kearney





The National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.  Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.




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 policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its constitution.




Follow the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska on Twitter! Visit http://www.twitter.com/nfbn

Like us on Facebook


Stay connected with your Nebraska Federation family by joining our state e-mail listserv. This list allows you to receive affiliate and national announcements. To sign up, visit www.nfbnet.org.

Visit us online at http://www.ne.nfb.org.




The Pre-Authorized Contribution (PAC) Plan has come to be an ever-more important part of financing our movement since its inception in 1974. According to the chairman of the NFB’s national PAC committee, Scott LaBarre, the Federation has raised more than $10,000,000 over the years through the PAC Plan.

The PAC Plan allows members, affiliates, chapters, and others to give a regular and automatic donation to the Federation every month. All you have to provide is your checking or savings account identification information. Because of the costs associated with operating the program, the minimum donation is $5 a month and there is no restriction on how much you donate.

Barbara Loos chairs Nebraska’s PAC efforts. Please contact her to begin a new PAC contribution or to make changes to your current contribution. Barbara can be reached by phone at (402) 486-3679 or email, beloos@neb.rr.com. Your donation will help the blind live the lives we want.


Dream Makers Circle

You can help build a future of opportunity for the blind by becoming a member of our Dream Makers Circle. It is easier than you think. You can visit your bank and convert an account to a P.O.D. (payable on death) bank account which is payable after your passing to the National Federation of the blind or one of our affiliates. Your legacy gift to the National Federation of the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska can be made in the form of a will or living trust, an income generating gift, or by naming us as the beneficiary of a retirement plan, IRA, pension, or a life insurance policy. You can designate a specific amount, a percentage, or list NFB as one of several beneficiaries. For additional information, please contact Patti Chang at (410) 659-9314, extension 2422 or at pchang@nfb.org.


Vehicle Donation

The National Federation of the Blind uses car donations to improve the education of blind children, distribute free white canes, help veterans, and so much more. We have partnered with Vehicles for Charity to process donated vehicles. Please call toll-free (855) 659-9314, and a representative can make arrangements, or locally call Jeff Altman at (402) 489-9458.  You can also donate online by visiting www.nfb.org/vehicledonations.


The KNFB Reader


The Award-Winning KNFB Reader App Turns Text to Speech on iOS, Android and Windows 10 Devices

KNFB Reader is a mobile app that reads print aloud. It’s easy to use. Take a photo and the app reads the text aloud or publishes it in Braille with a refreshable display. It's fast and accurate.

Patented features help you take the best photo. Text Detection lets you know you have print to capture. Tilt and Viewfinder Assist ensure you capture the entire page. Just a tap of the finger and the print is instantly available as speech, Braille, or easily-read, highlighted text.

Read the words you want to read; live the life you want.

Visit www.knfbreader.com For the latest news and information about the KNFB Reader, follow us on Twitter @KNFBReader or like us on Facebook.




Vendors will be here Friday from 8:00 a.m. to Noon and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to demonstrate their products.

The following is a partial list of exhibitors and sponsors:



Free Aira Site Access at this convention!

The National Federation of the Blind has partnered with Aira to provide free Aira Site Access to NFB members during our state conventions. Aira subscribers who are National Federation of the Blind members can use the service at our convention for free without having minutes deducted from their plans. In addition, those interested in Aira have the unique opportunity to try out the service for free while at our convention. This convention-wide, free site access is available only at NFB state conventions, giving NFB members an exclusive opportunity to test-drive Aira in a convention setting.

Aira allows blind individuals to connect via live video to a trained agent through a mobile app or wearable glasses to get real-time visual information or assistance. Learn more about Aira and special pricing available for NFB members at go.aira.io/NFB.

How it Works

Before you head to convention or as soon as you get there, download the free Aira app from the App Store, and create a guest account if you are not already an Aira subscriber. Also, make sure your phone’s GPS feature is enabled. When you enter the convention Site Access location, your phone will receive a notification letting you know that the space you are in is part of the Aira Network. When you connect with an agent, he or she will also confirm that you are now covered by the network, and no minutes will be deducted from your account.

When you leave or enter convention areas that are covered by the Site Access network, you will be informed by the Aira agent.

To learn more about Aira and the special plan available exclusively to NFB members, visit go.aira.io/NFB.




Your local distributor for Vispero and many other vendors in Nebraska, Pat Fischer is the guy you need to know. He covers the entire state for all sales and service.  Please contact Pat if you need a quote or service.  His contact is:

Patrick J. Fischer

NanoPac, Inc.




Technology for Independence since 1987


National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska, Exhibitor

Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP), Exhibitor

Note: This year we will once again be conducting a special prize drawing for all those who can prove that they have visited all the exhibitors. You will be given a card in your registration packet which each exhibitor needs to punch. If your card is complete, it will go into the hat for a special drawing Sunday morning. Must be present to win.



Child care will be provided throughout the convention in the Delta Room. Pre-registration was required. Please note the following schedule: 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. on Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 8:30 a.m.-noon on Sunday.




If you have any questions about convention arrangements, contact Mike Hansen, Convention Arrangements Chair.

All persons taking advantage of the room rates or other special offers for this convention are required to register with the convention and to pay the registration fee of $30.00.



You may be the lucky winner of a fabulous door prize!

Names will be drawn throughout the general sessions and banquet. To be eligible to win, you only need to be registered and be present when your name is drawn. All donations of door prizes should be clearly labeled in braille and print and turned in to Jamie Richey, Door Prize Chairperson.



Note: Please be courteous and mute or turn off all electronic devices during convention meetings and the banquet.


Thursday, October 10, 2019


8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.: Let the Gold Rush Begin: Welcome to Columbus; Presidential Suite

Hosted by the At Large and Columbus Area Chapters along with the state affiliate, drop in for light snacks and a beverage


Friday, October 11, 2019


8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Registration — Courtyard: Mike Hansen, Convention Arrangements Chair

Registration Costs:
Registration: $30
Friday Luncheon: $25

Saturday Luncheon: $25

Banquet: $35

Sunday Box Lunch: $20

All convention participants must register to be eligible for door prizes, hotel convention rates, and to participate in convention activities. Both print and braille agendas are available at the registration table.


8:00 a.m. to Noon: Exhibits — Courtyard


9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: How Does It Benefit Me? Helping You Connect the Dots—  South Bank Room: Melisa Haessler and Krista Dittman, Facilitators

Have you wondered what your options are for health insurance?  Wonder if you're eligible for Medicare?  Not sure which plan to choose in the upcoming open enrollment period?  Listen to a presentation from Compensation Programs of Lincoln.  Helping you connect the dots to find the right program for you and your family.

10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.: NFB of Nebraska Senior Division Meeting —  North Bank Room: Robert Newman, President       

Unfortunately, many blind and visually impaired seniors believe that if blindness comes during their later years, life's major activities must come to an end. We know differently and we want to share our knowledge with those who hunger for it. Blindness in and of itself is not a barrier to living life, not when engaging in leisure, learning, living, or leadership.


"If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old." - James A. Garfield


Noon: General Session — Grand Ballroom

Call to Order: Amy Buresh President, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska

Invocation: Linda Mentink, President, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska, Columbus Area Chapter

Keynote Address: Power In Partnership: How Collective Consumer Advocates and a Champion in the Legislature Worked to Secure Rights for Blind and Other Disabled Nebraska Parents. — Senator Tom Briese, District 41

You Have the Power: Exploring Strategies to Advocate for Legislation— Christine Boone, Legislative Coordinator, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska and Edward Boone, Legislative Aide to Senator Tom Briese, District 41


1:30 p.m.: Welcome to Columbus: James Bulkley, Mayor, Columbus, Nebraska

Housekeeping and Announcements: Mike Hansen, Convention Arrangements Chair

2:00 p.m.: The National Report: Empowering Us to Live the Lives We Want. Everette Bacon, Board Member, National Federation of the Blind,  President, National Federation of the Blind of Utah

2:45 p.m.: News From the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Gabe Kramer, Director

3:00 p.m.: Adjourn.


3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.:  Exhibits —  Courtyard


3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Registration — Courtyard: Mike Hansen, Convention Arrangements Chair

Registration Costs:
Registration: $30
Friday Luncheon: $25

Saturday Luncheon: $25

Banquet: $35
Sunday Box Lunch: $20

All convention participants must register to be eligible for door prizes, hotel convention rates, and to participate in convention activities. Both print and braille agendas are available at the registration table.


3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Let’s Get Physical—  South Bank Room: Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter and Kimberly Scherbarth, Facilitators.

Practical, effective and empowering! Learn what the blind of Nebraska are doing to keep fit and stay healthy. Exercise and fitness don’t have to be elusive endeavors for blind people. This session is about encouraging health and wellness and demonstrating how blind people can be involved in physical activity.

3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: NFB Technology Q&A—  Courtyard: Nancy Coffman, Facilitator

Have you ever seen a reference to an NFB app in our literature or email lists and wondered whether it was something you might find useful? Have you ever downloaded one of our apps to explore it?

Drop by the exhibit table for an opportunity to learn about technologies that might be useful to you including KNFB-Reader, NFB Newsline®, NFB Connect, and the NAGDU app created for guide dog users. Learn about the technology we, the NFB, have created for living the lives we want.


5:00 p.m.: Nominating Committee (closed meeting): Jeff Altman, Nominating Committee Chair


 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Rookie Round-Up — Commons Room: Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter, Facilitator

 Is this your first state convention in Nebraska? We warmly invite you to join us to learn more about the NFB and the Nebraska affiliate. Meet our state president, Amy Buresh, and our national rep, Everette Bacon along with other members. There will be fun and food, so don’t miss out.


7:00 p.m.: Resolutions Committee — Grand Ballroom: Barbara Loos, Resolutions Committee Chair

 Any member may submit, at least 2 weeks in advance of the convention, a resolution which may be considered by the Committee. All members are encouraged to attend as this is where you will learn about the resolutions for this year. Resolutions which pass the committee will then be voted on by the membership during general session of convention. Resolutions are the birthplace of what becomes the policy and action of our affiliate.


8:30 p.m.:  The Tonight Show— Grand Ballroom:

Come let loose after a busy day at convention. This event is completely free to audience members and performers  There will be a cash bar.  In honor of Johnny Carson, who grew up in Nebraska, studied broadcasting at the University of Nebraska of Lincoln, and was the king of late night for 30 years. Come be a member of the live studio audience with your host, Stephanie Baldwin, co-host Charli Saltzman, special guest, Nebraska state president, Amy Buresh, National Rep Everette Bacon, Scholarship winners Maura Loberg, Ben Micek, Brandon Peters and Dominick Vanlaningham, musical guest, an animal expert, and much more weird, wild stuff. 

"Remember, life is a precious gift, love is a wonderful gift, and laughter is a glorious gift. So live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and laugh as much as you breathe."– Mark Twain


Saturday, October 12, 2019


7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Breakfast with the Board — Grand Ballroom

Open to all, bring your meal and hear from the board of directors.


9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Krafters Corner — North Bank Room: Tammy Freitag, Facilitator

Feeling “krafty”  but not sure where to begin? Are you bogged down because you don’t know how to create cute projects because you’re blind? Don’t let fear and doubt hold you back. Come touch and see. Learn from those who know the skills and adaptive techniques that work. View a display of items from jewelry to paintings created by blind artists and crafters. Make a project of your own to take home!


9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Blind Parents Discussion Group — Commons Room: Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter, Facilitator

Are you a blind parent? Hoping to start a family one day? Meet blind and visually impaired parents from across Nebraska during our blind parent meeting. Parents with kids of all ages will be present to answer questions and provide tips and advice for nonvisual parenting. This will be a great opportunity to connect with fellow blind parents, whether you’re a parent already, expecting or merely considering starting a family.


10:30 a.m. to Noon: National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska At Large Chapter Meeting — Commons Room: Kimberly Scherbarth, Facilitator

 If you do not have a local chapter of the Nebraska NFB affiliate near you, then you won’t want to miss this.


10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Nebraska Association of Blind Students Business Meeting — South Bank Room: Maura Loberg, President

Whether you are a high school student preparing to attend college, a nontraditional student, a seasoned college veteran, or a professional employed in the education of blind students come and join us.


Noon: General Session — Grand Ballroom

Fuel for the body and mind; come enjoy food, fellowship, Federation and a presentation from a VIP keynote speaker.

1:05 p.m.: What I Discovered at NFBEQ: Molly Troxel and Maura Loberg

1:25 p.m.: Steam It Up: Interactive Activity, Barbara Loos, Facilitator

1:45 P.M.: Team Work Makes the Dream Work: Learn How the Nebraska Career Mentoring Program is Helping Transition-aged Youth in Nebraska Accomplish Their Career Goals: Kelly Coleman, Coordinator

1:55 p.m.: Your Free Ticket to Printed News Media: NFB-Newsline®, Kimberly Scherbarth, Nebraska NFB-Newsline® Outreach Coordinator

2:15 p.m.: Partners in Empowering Blind Nebraskans To Live the Lives We Want: Mike Hansen, Designee, NCBVI Board of Commissioners and Carlos Servan, Executive Director, Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


3:00 p.m.: Your Generosity at Work: A Story of My First But Not Last National Convention Experience Thanks to the Kenneth Jernigan Fund, Rebecca Stevens

3:20 P.M.  Reports and Resolutions.

3:30 p.m.: Adjourn.


6:00 p.m.: Cocktail Reception/cash bar — Courtyard

Pre-dinner music by The Pitch Pipes


7:00 p.m.: Annual NFB of Nebraska Banquet — Courtyard: Barbara Loos, Master of Ceremonies

Invocation: Cheryl Livingston, Treasurer, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska

Keynote Address: Everette Bacon, Member, board of Directors, National Federation of the Blind, President, NFB of Utah.

NFBN Scholarship Presentations: Shane Buresh, Scholarship Chair.


9:30 p.m.: Overtime— Courtyard

Enjoy relaxed social time, watch a re-play of Husker football, play cards or board games and unwind after a busy convention Saturday. A cash bar will be available.


Sunday, October 13, 2019


7:30 a.m.:  Non-denominational Devotions — Commons Room: Linda Mentink and Christine Boone, Facilitators


“Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.” – Stephen Covey


9:00 a.m.: General Session — Grand Ballroom.
Invocation: Shane Buresh, Member, Board of Directors, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska

9:10 a.m. – The Blind History Lady Presents: Stories Of Us: Peggy Chong, Aurora, Colorado

9:30 a.m. –NFB Membership Affirmation, Pledge, One-Minute Message and Membership coin presentation


10:00 a.m.: Reports:
A. Roll Call of Chapters and Divisions.
B. Minutes of the 2018 Convention
C. Annual Treasurer's Report.
D. Resolutions.
E. Nominating.


11:00 a.m.: Write Your Story: One Man’s Tale of Success and Triumph Over Overwhelming Odds: Carlos Servan, Member, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska

11:20 A.M.: Straight from the Heart; Why I Am A Federationist: Stephanie Baldwin, Member, Board of Directors, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska  and Kimberly Scherbarth, Member, Board of Directors, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska

Noon: Adjourn





To those who helped with registration, welcomed new members, assisted with hospitality, served on committees, collected door prizes and baked auction items, your efforts are truly appreciated. This is OUR Federation! We built it and we will continue to grow it.


To our distinguished guests and presenters, thank you for your service and your commitment to increasing opportunities for blind children and adults in Nebraska.


To those who contributed to PAC, guested on the Tonight Show, sold raffle tickets and participated in all the fund-raisers needed to support our organization, your generosity and sacrifice make our programs possible.


To state and chapter officers, your support and dedication are invaluable. Thank you for spreading our message of love, hope and determination throughout Nebraska.


To my colleague, Everette Bacon, thank you so much for your leadership, laughter and words of wisdom.  After all; everyone loves Bacon! :)


To the staff of the Ramada, Columbus, we appreciate your excellent service.


To Shane, Noah and Sarah, family is the greatest blessing and my best and most favorite job. Thank you for your patience, love and understanding.  Most of all, for being a constant source of humility, strength, comfort, laughter, and light. XOXO always and forever!


To each member of my Federation family, thank you for your never-ending enthusiasm, love, sacrifice, and tireless commitment to our organization. Together, we are forever shattering barriers and misconceptions about us: living the lives we want and turning dreams in to reality!  I am filled with hope, energy, and love by participating in the National Federation of the Blind because my expectations are raised, my contributions make a difference to me and to others, and I can celebrate the realization of my dreams with my Federation family.

  So with renewed hearts, strengthened dedication and resolve, Together, LET’S GO BUILD THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND!

—Amy Buresh


Live the life you want

by J.P. Williams, James Brown, Richie Flores, and J.J. Meddaugh


Live the life you want

nobody can stop you,

Shoot for the sun,

break on through,

So your blind, you'll be fine, we've got good news,

you can live the life you want

We know the truth.


Grab a cane, get trained, gotta get moving.

Make a change, earn a wage, that's what we're doing.

Come with me,

to live the life you want,

You and me, NFB

let's dream together,

NFB, you and me

lives on forever,

you will see.

You can live the life you want, nothing can stop you.

Shoot for the sun, break on through,

So your blind, you'll be fine, we've got good news,

you can live the life you want,

cause we know the truth.

you can live the life you want,

cause we know the truth