Text Version of 2020 Convention Agenda

The following information will help you get the most from  your ZOOM Conference experience.

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Note: during General Session, all persons will be muted by default. You must raise your hand to request the ability to speak.

If your name is mentioned as a winner of a door prize, you must raise your hand to claim your prize.

To raise your hand to ask a question, or claim your door prize, press *9.

Always allow the host to lower your hand.

Using Mac Computer:

Mute your microphone by pressing Command+Shift+A or press spacebar on the mute audio button.  To unmute, press Command+Shift+A again or press the spacebar on the unmute button.

To raise your hand, press Option+Y.

Always allow the host to lower your hand.

Using Windows Desktop or Laptop Computer:

Mute your microphone by pressing Alt+A or press spacebar on the mute audio button.  To unmute, press Alt+A again or press the spacebar on the unmute button.

To raise your hand, press Alt+Y.

Always allow the host to lower your hand.

Using iPhone or iPad:

Tap on the settings button and look through the options to improve your experience.

*There are two buttons, meetings and general. Meetings has settings you should review.

Auto connect to audio allows you to select connect using internet audio.

This gets rid of the prompt before you connect to a meeting and ensures you get the best sound quality.


Always mute my microphone when joining a meeting ensures you are never accidentally heard until you want to speak.

Then just double tap the unmute audio button when you have something to contribute.

Always turn off my video ensures you never unintentionally show yourself or your environment when you did not mean to.


Important: To prevent the annoyance of VoiceOver always speaking the names of participants as they join and leave, turn off Show name when participants join.


When connecting, you will get a prompt saying, “to hear others, please join audio.”  Select the “call using internet audio” option or go into settings and select internet audio to always be automatically connected.

Important: Find and double tap the mute my audio button until you want to be heard. Or go into settings and choose to always mute audio upon entry.

To raise your hand, tap on the more button on the far lower right, then double tap the button to raise your hand. This will exit you to the main screen. Allow the host to lower your hand.

To know who is currently speaking, swipe to the far left. It will say, displaying person’s name avatar.

You may want to use earbuds.

Again, always make sure your microphone is muted when you are not speaking to prevent background noise or people hearing you.

*Note:  Agenda times are all Eastern Standard time zone.

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Meeting ID: 955 3961 7118 


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 Dial in by phone: +1 646 876 9923 

Meeting ID: 955 3961 7118 

Instructions for listening on an Echo device

Wake word Alexa: call 646 876 9923

Just like calling on the phone, you will hear “welcome to Zoom. “

Meeting ID when prompted, then say wake word Alexa: Press

955 3961 7118 pound, listen for “enter your meeting ID or just press pound.”  Then say Alexa Press pound to enter the meeting.

Wake word Alexa: Press *6 to mute and unmute

A Huge THANK YOU to all our Sponsors!

National Federation of the Blind of Georgia

2020 State Convention


Sharing the Vision—Shapes the Future

Affiliate President, Dorothy Griffin

National Representative, Denise Avant,

NFB National Directors Board Member, Illinois


November 6-8, 2020

Zoom Virtual Platform & NFBGA Conference Line

Welcome to the 2020 Georgia State Convention

Our Affiliate President Dorothy Griffin, the board of directors and the convention committee would like to welcome you to the 47th annual state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia. Many people have worked hard over the last several months to create a dynamic and engaging agenda with something for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact  any board member at theblind@nfbga.org and we will help you take care of whatever you need.

Our convention theme this year is “Sharing the Vision—Shapes the Future”  The past year has been an exciting time of growth for the NFB of Georgia. We invested in our movement by training our seniors, supporting our students, advocating for higher education & job training services and working for our right to accessible voting and to do it privately and independently.  We want to celebrate those accomplishments and plan the next phase of sharing the vision! So, jump in. Your contributions are wanted and needed. We strongly believe that, “Many hands make light work.” Let’s go build the National Federation of the Blind of Georgia!

The National Federation of the Blind of Georgia would like to welcome our Veterans and thank you for your service!

NFB Pledge

I pledge to participate actively in the effort 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.

NFB of Georgia Officers and Board of Directors 2019-2020

President – Dorothy Griffin, Georgia Affiliate

1st Vice President – Gaylon Tootle, Central Savannah River


2nd Vice President –Vanessa Meadows, Alanta Metropolitan


Secretary – Katey Jackson, Atlanta Metropolitan Chapter

Treasurer – Nata Watkins, At Large Chapter

Board Seat 1 – Marcia Robinson, Atlanta Metropolitan Chapter

Board Seat 2 – Angela Daniel, Southside of Atlanta Chapter

Board Seat 3 – Stancil Tootle, Bainbridge Chapter

Board Seat 4 – Shikha Desai, Atlanta Metropolitan Chapter

Board Seat 5 – Darryl Rutledge, Affiliate Member

Board Seat 6 – McArthur Jarrett, Chatham County Chapter

All meeting times are eastern standard time zone.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Seminar Day

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Meeting ID: 955 3961 7118 

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM – Angel Eyes Fitness & Nutrition, Dawn Wells

12:00 PM -1:30 PM – Senior Division, Vanessa Meadows

*1:45 PM – 2:30 PM – Diabetes Action Network Division, Robert Smith

*Note: Diabetes Seminar will be on our Affiliate Free Conference Call Line: Dial: 712-775-7085, code: 951866 pound

To bypass prover charges dial: 425-535-9164, then

follow the prompts and enter 712-775-7085, code: 951866

2:30 PM – 2:50 PM – VANDA PHARMACEUTICALS, Vicki Preddy

3:00 PM – 3:55 PM – Men’s Health, Dr. Jay Morgan

4:00 PM – 4:50 PM – Essential Oils, Ms. Anita Eley

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Blind Employee Panel, Jamila Lane 

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Student Seminar, Justin Heard

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Passcode: 1111

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+1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 890 7425 3594

8:00 PM – NFBGA Board Meeting

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Dial in by phone: +1 646 876 9923 

Meeting ID: 955 3961 7118 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

General Session

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Meeting ID: 955 3961 7118 


9:00 AM – Call To Order

9:05 AM – Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance

National Anthem, NFB Pledge and Moment o Silence

9:15 AM – Welcome, Katey Jackson

9:20 AM – 10:00 AM – National Report, National Representative

Denise Avant, NFB National Directors Board Member,Illinois

10:05 AM – Door Prize, Vanessa Meadows

10:10 AM – 10:20 AM VANDA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Vicki Preddy, MSN, RN Nurse Educator

10:25 AM – Fit Break and Door Prize,

10:30 Am – 11:10 AM – Center for Independent Living and Training Centers – disABILITY LINK, Colorado, Blind Inc. and Louisiana

11:10 AM – Door Prizes –

11:15 AM – 11:25 AM – Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS), Asha Hagood and Beverly Williams

11:30 AM – 11:45 AM – NFB Newsline Service, Jessica Beecham

11:50 AM – Announcements and Door Prizes

12:00 PM -Adjourn

12:00 Noon -1:30 PM – Break

Saturday, November 7, 2020 -Continued

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM – General Session,

1:30 PM – 1:35 PM – Call to Order

1:35 PM – 1:55 PM – State President Report – Dorothy Griffin, Affiliate President

1:55 PM – Door Prizes

2:00 PM – 2:10 PM National Association of Blind Students – Johna Wright


Saturday, November 7, 2020 -Continued

2:15 PM – 2:35 PM – Updates from Project Independence, Kay McGill Program Manager, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

2:40 PM – Fit Break and Door Prizes

2:50 PM – 3:15 PM – Dropping the Dis, Tina Aldridge and Tracy Jackson

3:20 PM – 3:45 PM – Advocacy:  The beginning steps of freedom and independence. Grace Dixon and Daryl (Bishop) Rutledge

3:50 PM – Announcements and Door Prizes

4:00 PM – Adjourn


6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – NFBGA 2020 State Convention Banquet,

Invocation – Darryl Rutledge

President Dorothy Griffin:  Welcome

Master of Ceremony: Garrick Scott,

Keynote Speaker: National Representative Denise Avant

Garrick Scott – Fundraiser:


Sunday, November 8, 2020

**Subject to change**

12:30 PM – Call to order

12:35 PM – 1:10 PM Memorial Service, Robert Smith

1:15 PM – Annual Business Meeting

1:15 PM – Door Prizes

1:20 PM 1:55 PM – Roll Call of Chapters and Divisions

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM Officer Reports

2:20 PM – Door Prizes

2:30 PM – President Report,




National Representative Biography

I am Denise Renee Avant. I was raised in and I am still a resident of Chicago.  I was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1984. I  attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where I received a B.A. in political science in 1980, and a J.D.  in 1983. I received my M.A.  in journalism from Roosevelt University in 2003.

I retired from the Office of the Cook County Public Defender on August 31, 2017 after thirty years of service. I worked in our appellate and post-conviction units. Prior to working at the Public Defender, I worked for two years at the Will County Legal Assistance Program, Inc.

I am the affiliate President of the National Federation of the Blind Of Illinois, and  currently serve on the Board of Directors of  the National Federation of the Blind, as well as on the board of the National Association of Blind Lawyers, a division of the NFB.

I will be starting my second year as the  chair of the Commission on Disability Rights. I have been a member of the American Bar Association since 2012, during which time I served as a commissioner on the Commission on Disability Rights, Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Commission on Youth at Risk. I will be starting my second term as a Member at Large/Disability to the ABA’s nominating committee for the House of Delegates, and I have served on other ABA committees as well.

I participated in the Implicit Bias video series sponsored by the ABA. In August 2018 at the ABA’s annual meeting, the Government and Public Sectors Lawyers Division presented me with the Nelson award.

My hobbies are reading, exercising and cross-country skiing, I am a longtime member and  a deaconess and Secretary of the Board of Directors at Christian Tabernacle church,  located on the south side of Chicago.

2020 State Convention Sponsors

We want to give a huge thanks to all our Convention Sponsors

*Diamond Level Sponsor

VANDA Pharmaceuticals

Elliot and Mary Daniel

*Bronze Level Sponsors

Griffin Lions Club

Happy Feet Mission

The National Federation of the Blind of Georgia would like to thank you all for attending our 47th State Convention and we look forward to seeing you all again next year. Please remember 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