Get ready for Convention 2018 — Jacksonville 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 65th annual convention scheduled from May 17th -- May 20th, 2018 in Jacksonville. The convention hotel is the Lexington Hotel & Conference Center Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel 1515 Prudential Drive Jacksonville, Florida 32207

Room rates are $89.00 per night. Reserve your room by calling 904-396-5100 or 877-539-7070. 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 15th.** 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 17th, enjoy a delicious Italian dinner consisting of many great Pasta dishes that will make your mouth water along with a Salad.

After a complementary beer or glass of wine, there will be a cash bar. There will also be some entertainment by our own Paul Kurtz.

Friday May 18, 2018

Four Concurrent Workshops

2. Guide Dog Users of Florida

This year our GDUF’s program is twofold. We will hear from a Jacksonville vet who will discuss vaccinations, food and treats, flea prevention, general care, medications and holistic supplements. We will also hear from a Jacksonville policeman from the Community Outreach Department who will talk to us about law enforcement for guide dog access in public places, fake service animals and the white cane law. There will be plenty of time for questions. Upon conclusion of our program, we will have a short business meeting. please come and join us.

3. Budget and Finance

FCB is your organization. Members from the Budget and Finance committee will be available to answer questions in order to insure a transparency in FCB'S budget process. This session is an attempt to share information about FCB's finances and the proposed budget. This will help expedite approval of the budget on Sunday morning.

4. Employment Committee Workshop

2018 Employment Workshop
LaVonne Gilley-Williams
Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor/Unit 08G will present a workshop on The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy

5. Braille Revival League of Florida

Join BRLF on Friday as we delve in to Braille with IOS and Android. Pairing demonstrations, and review of available options with IOS and Android are planned. Braille displays featured include the Orbit 20. If time permits, there will be a question and answer session following the presentation by Paul Edwards and Elizabeth Bowden. Come join us in our exploration. During the Sunday breakfast we will conduct our business meeting.

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.

6. Annual FCB Legislative Seminar

Come join us for the 2018 FCB Legislative Seminar. 

Once again, the FCB legislative team will bring interesting, informative and insightful thoughts regarding the reception by the Florida Congressional delegation of the 2017 legislative agenda set forth by ACB.  These perceptive thoughts will serve us well as we work through the early days of the new administration and the 115 Congress. 

7. First-timers Workshop

Is this your first time attending a FCB Convention? WELCOME! We have a special workshop just for you, co-hosted by long-time members and FCB experts, Linda Jacobson, 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-meal package deal for your dining pleasure. Purchase tickets for Thursday night Italian Dinner, Friday night Awards Dinner and the Saturday evening FCB Banquet for $95.00 and save $10.00. If you would like to attend only one or two of these meal events, the cost is $35.00 per event.

8. 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 Jason Goldfield and Sheila Young. 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-meal package for $95.00. Please note the meal choices and mark your registration form accordingly.

Saturday: May 19th, 2018

Opening Ceremonies,
More to membership than members:

Growing and maintaining chapter and affiliate memberships is a challenge. During this session learn how to communicate and innovate to maintain and attract ACB members. Katie Fredrick and Cassandra Jessie will present an exciting program on Membership. Katie is an active member of the American Council of the Blind. She serves on ACB’s Board of Directors, leads ACB’s marketing and communications strategic initiative, is President of the ACB-Ohio Columbus Chapter, and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind of Ohio. When she is not working on ACB activities, Katie helps ensure applications and websites are accessible to people with disabilities at The Ohio State University, where she is employed as a Digital Accessibility Specialist.

Three Concurrent Workshops

9. Technology Committee Workshop

The technology committee does it again!

Join the team at the 2018 FCB Conference as they present a lively discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) devices. You can expect a wealth of information, along with demonstrations and time for questions and answers by those with vision loss already using such devices as the Amazon Alexa, Google Home and others.

If you've ever thought of getting an AI device but wanted a real time comparison of some of the most popular devices before investing, or if you have an AI device but don't think you are getting the most from it, than this presentation is for you.

10. "Charter Communications employees will move from their tables in the Exhibit Hall to conduct a Saturday morning workshop on their accessibility efforts and the workings and future of their talking guide narration device. They will answer questions and entertain a dialogue about future directions and needs.

11. Saturday morning we are hoping to offer a hands on workshop for attendees with the vendor of AIRA, the glasses with a cameras connected to human eyes at the other end, for helping with everything from independent travel and exploration of one's environment and surroundings, to shopping, reading labels on products in your pantries, paying bills and even interpreting and reading directions for assembling household products such as book shelves. Learn about Aira, its benefits, its availability and its potential for changing your life.

12. Saturday Afternoon will feature the FCB Town Hall Meeting Featured will be a presentation and discussion regarding the current status of the Division of Blind Services (DBS): with Jim Kracht and the Division's Director Robert Doyle.

Special Interest Affiliate Meetings: Saturday, May 19, 2018

13. Coalition for the Concerns of the Totally Blind (CCTB).

Join us and learn about basic self-defense techniques that can be used by people who are totally blind on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 3:00 P.M. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, JASO Academy Officers, will demonstrate and teach to courageous CCTB members who are willing to learn self-defense moves techniques and how to protect themselves.

14. The Florida Council of Citizens with Low Vision (FCCLV).

Heather Borders is a Registered Dietitian offering programs combining nutrition education with engaging culinary instruction, empowering people to make lifestyle choices that will sustainably improve their health. Guided culinary nutrition tours at grocery stores, label reading workshops, plant-based cooking classes, and private nutrition counseling are some of the services offered. Heather completed her nutrition training at the University of North Florida and her Dietetic Internship was through Wellness Workdays. She has been a Food for Life instructor with PCRM since 2012, completed the Rouxbe professional certification in plant-based nutrition, and completed the plant-based nutrition certification through Cornell and the T. Colin Campbell foundation. 

15. Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of Florida

Offering employment and business opportunities for individuals who are blind and visually impaired and programs that enhance the bottom line for all members to allow them to support their families. RSVF is a volunteer organization composed of blind and visually impaired vendors and those individuals who support the Randolph-Sheppard program.

16. Saturday Silent Auction Annual Banquet.

FCB'S Annual Banquet: hosted by FCB President James Kracht. Katie Fredrick ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs American Council of the Blind will share her story with us.

Cecil Edgecumbe’s tunes and more...

Directly following the banquet, don't miss tunes from the vast library of DJ extraordinaire, Cecil Edgecumb. 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 20th, 2018

17. 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 complementary breakfast."

Bright and early on Sunday morning, you can then claim your right and responsibility as a FCB member by participating in the organization's annual business meeting and election of officers. Hear from leaders about progress made and work yet needing to be done and discover what important role you can play in advocacy. While in attendance you can also cast your ballot for the slate of incoming officers who will handle FCB'S business for the next 2 years.

Proposed new subsection I to FCB Constitution, Art. VI:

Add Article VI Section I

I. Employees, contractors, and family members as FCB officers and members of the FCB Board of Directors:

1. No employee or contractor of FCB may serve as an officer or as a member of the Board of Directors of FCB.

2. Should an FCB officer or member of the FCB Board of Directors become an employee or contractor of FCB, that officer or Board member shall resign from their position immediately and their position shall be filled as determined by FCB governing documents.

3. Should an employee or contractor of FCB become an FCB officer or member of the FCB Board of Directors, that employee or contractor shall immediately terminate all participation in any employment or contract with FCB.

4. There is no restriction on family members concurrently serving as FCB officers or members of the FCB Board of Directors.

5. Members of the same family may serve as FCB officers or members of the FCB Board of Directors and concurrently be employees or contractors of FCB so long as all family members abide by FCB’s Conflict of Interest rules. FCB officers and members of the FCB Board of Directors whose family members are employees or contractors of FCB must recuse themselves from any discussion and vote affecting any family member’s employment or contract with FCB.

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 12th to guarantee the Early Bird registration discount. 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
1531 Dempsey Mayo Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308

2018 Convention Registration Form