49th Annual State Convention
April 6-8, 2018
Hilton Garden Inn
2631 Highwood Blvd
Smyrna, TN
Federation Gone Country!

National Federation of the Blind Pledge

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.

General Information: Hotel staff provided the following information regarding the guide dog relief area:

The relief area for the guide dogs can be outside the hotel on the left-hand green corner when you are facing the hotel. When you walk out the left-hand side door, it will be right outside. There will be a covered trash can to dispose your dog’s waste. Let us show honor and respect for the property by setting a good example and picking up after our dogs.

Transportation will be provided at a drastically reduced price by On Demand Paratransit. For transportation from the Hilton property, contact On Demand at 615-955-2520. When calling, state that you are an attendee of the 2018 NFB convention for a discounted fare.

Registration will be held on Friday, April 6th, in the Prefunction Room, from 2:00-6:00 PM and Saturday from 8:00-9:00 AM.

Newsletter Announcement:

Let indoor wayfinding technology be your guide around our event this year. MD Support is providing its new LowViz Guide app at no cost to you or us. Just download it to your iPhone or iPad and let it describe all points of interest and routes throughout the hotel lobby and meeting areas.

For important information, see www.mdsupport.org/audioguide. Everything you need to know is there, including:

  •  A direct download link to the App Store
  •  Instructions for use
  •  Frequently asked questions
  •  An audio/visual demonstration of the app
  •  What you need to know ahead of time
  •  Articles and audio broadcasts about LowViz Guide

MD Support personnel will be on hand to provide technical assistance, but your advance preparation will make using the LowViz Guide application faster and easier.

Please support the Tennessee Association of Blind Students and the Tennessee Association of Guide Dog Users on Friday night from 9:00 to 11:30 PM for the TAGDU TABS Country Carnival Fundraiser! Enjoy freshly made cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn! If that is not appetizing enough, we will have a dance instructor from 9:15-10pm provide lessons for some waltz, 2 step, or line dancing to some great Nashville music. Afterwards, continue to enjoy a variety of music, shake your tail feather, and enjoy socializing with your federation family. The price to enter is $10 per person. Entrance includes the dance instruction, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, a photo or photo decal from the photo booth, dancing the whole night to great music, and access to the cash bar where drinks and refreshments will be available for purchase. All proceeds will be used to build our Tennessee student and guide dog division, as we advocate, educate, and empower our state’s blind!

Support The You Cane Give Initiative!!

Wondering what to do with that old cane you no longer use in the closet? Is that drawer of used canes collecting dust and taking up space? Donate your old canes to our new “You Cane Give” program. Kustom Cane is collecting donated canes to refurbish and send to individuals who are blind and visually impaired around the world. Let’s face it, we have it good in America. With the click of a button, we can order almost anything we need, including a cane. In countries like Mexico, China, India, and South Africa, people do not have access to the proper tools to empower independence and success. Do not let your canes go to waste! “You Cane Give” allows you to help us give your used cane to a person far away who needs it!

Exhibit Hall

All vendors at the exhibit hall will have a notepad and pen so that you can provide your name and contact information in order to be entered for a drawing to win a prize! Yes! All vendors are participating in a drawing at the end of the exhibit hall on Saturday for prizes valued at $25 or higher!!!


Friday, April 6th, 2018

2:00-6:00 PM: Registration in Prefunction Room and Exhibit Hall

Exhibitors include:

TN Library for the Blind, Sprint, Adaptiveware, Tennessee Disability Coalition/Benefits To Work, Enhanced Vision, Tennessee Technology Access Program, Recovery Services with Tawanda Murray, JW.org, ARC of Davidson County, The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC), Braille Works, Kustom Cane and The You Cane Give Initiative, The NFB Sports And Recreation Division, The Tennessee Association of Guide Dog Users, AIRA, Project Pave, The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), Achilles of Nashville, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, The Seeing Eye, Guide Dog Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Fidelco Guide Dogs.

2:30-4:00 PM: NFBTN Board of Directors Meeting

Restaurant Area

James Brown, President

4:00-6:00 PM NFB Division Sports and Recreation Seminar Bloomin Room

Division President: Jessica Beecham

6:00-7:30 PM: Tennessee Association of Blind Students

Lily Room

Division President: Shannon Hanson, Stones River Chapter

Murfreesboro, TN

6:00-7:00 PM: Financial Audit Committee

Garden Room

Chair: Melissa Smith, Scenic City Chapter

Chattanooga, TN

7:00-8:00 PM Resolution Committee.

Garden Room

Chair: Terry Smith, Scenic City Chapter

Chattanooga, TN

7:30-9:00 PM: Hup Up Tennessee, Guide Dog Division

Bloomin Room

Division President: Shea Welch, Nashville Chapter

Nashville, TN

6:00-8:00 PM: Hospitality Room

Room 226

9:00-11:30PM TAGDU TABS Country Carnival Fundraiser.

Bloomin Lily Garden Ballroom

For $10, learn to dance, eat popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, enjoy the cash bar, photo booth, and some great music to dance to!

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

General Session: (Bloomin Lily Garden Ballroom)

Theme: Federation Gone Country!

9:00 AM: Call to Order!

James Brown, President, NFB of TN

Nashville, TN

Invocation, National Anthem and Federation Pledge:

Jana Jackson, Member, Nashville Chapter

A Big Howdy from Middle Tennessee

James Boehm, President, Nashville Chapter

Mary Esther Reed, Mayor, Smyrna TN

Mike Sparks, Tennessee State Representative, Smyrna, TN

9:25 AM: National Report:

Doing the Federation Two Step from Oklahoma to Tennessee!!

Jeannie Massay, Board Member

National Federation of the Blind

President, NFB of Oklahoma


10:00 AM: A Strong Blind Woman, Showing Horses and Beyond!

Bobbie Davis PH.D, LCSW

Clarksville, TN


10:20 AM: 2018 Tennessee Scholarship Class

I Hope You Dance!

John Harris, Chair, Scholarship Committee, State Board Member

Murfreesboro, TN

10:40 AM: AIRA, Blazing Trails to New Possibilities

Marty Watts, AIRA Director of Sales

La Jolla, CA

11:00 AM: Sports and Wellness for the Blind in Tennessee

Turning them There Setbacks into Comebacks

Jessica Beecham, Executive Director

We Fit Wellness

Colorado Springs, CO

11:20 AM: Running Blind and Mobility Impaired in Music City

Achilles International

Amy Harris, Executive Director

11:30 AM: Snow Cowboy

Ski for Light International

Larry Povinelli, Treasurer

NFB of Alabama

11:40 AM: The Traveling Country Library Gets a New Name

Ruth Hemphill, Outreach Librarian, Tennessee Library for the Blind

Nashville, TN

Noon: Adjourn for Lunch

Exhibit Hall open from 10:00-2:00 PM

12:00-1:30 PM: Tennessee Association of Blind Merchants

Meeting will take place at Ruby Tuesday across the street. Please see President Smith for details.

Melisa Smith, President

Chattanooga, TN

General Session: (Bloomin Lily Garden Ballroom)

2:00 PM: Let Freedom Ring

Tennessee BELL

Christina Clift, President, Memphis Chapter

Memphis, TN

2:20 PM: The Gambler

A Blind Nashville Song Writer’s Story

JP Williams, Treasurer, Nashville Chapter

Nashville, TN

2:40 PM: Becoming a Redneck Superhero!


Ginny Owens, Member, Nashville Chapter

3:05 PM: Got Them There Blindness Skills?

Jessica Beecham, Colorado Center for the Blind

Karen Davis, Smyrna Tennessee Rehabilitation Center

3:25 PM: Tennessee Blind Services

Getting Down on the Farm

Shaniqua Cox, Director

Field Operations for Services for the Blind

Chattanooga, TN

3:55 PM: National Federation of the Blind Entrepreneurial Initiative

Don’t Blink

Terry Smith, First Vice President, NFB of TN

Chattanooga, TN.

4:20 PM: Down Home Legislation in DC!

Christina Clift, President, Memphis Chapter

Memphis, TN

4:40 PM: Nominating Committee Report

Nominating Chair, Terry Smith

First Vice President, NFB of TN

Chattanooga, TN

4:45 PM: Elections

James Brown, President, NFB of TN

Nashville, TN

5:00 PM: Adjourn

7:00-10:00 PM Banquet (Bloomin Lily Garden Ballroom)

Master of Ceremony: JP Williams, Nashville Chapter Treasurer

Keynote Address: Jeannie Massay, Board Member

National Federation of the Blind

President, NFB of OK.

Sunday April 8, 2018

7:45-8:45 AM: Nondenominational Service

(Bloomin Lily Garden Ballroom)

General Session (Bloomin Lily Garden Ballroom)

9:00 AM: Call to Order

James Brown, President, NFB of TN

Nashville, TN

9:05 AM: Invocation

Keith Tim Anderson, Member, Nashville Chapter

Nashville, TN

9:10 AM: Communications Committee Report

Steve Norman, Chair

State Board Member

Murfreesboro, TN

9:40 AM: Legislative Committee Report

Christina Clift, President, Memphis Chapter

Memphis, TN

9:55 AM: Audit Committee Report

Melissa Smith, Chair

Chattanooga, TN

10:10 AM: Treasurer’s Report

Evelyn Hogue, Treasurer, NFB of TN

Memphis, TN

10:25 PM: Website Committee Report

Tyler Butler, Committee Chair

Member, Nashville Chapter

Nashville, TN

10:40 AM: Chapter and Division Reports

11:15 AM: Resolutions Report

Terry Smith, Chair, Resolutions Committee

Chattanooga, TN

11:50 AM: Customary Motion

Nominating an Alternate Delegate to National Convention

11:55 AM: State Convention 2019

Noon: Adjourn

Thank you to all of our members!

We couldn’t do this without you.

President: James Aaron Brown

4113 Tea Garden Way

Antioch, TN 37013

(615) 412-9632