49th Annual State Convention Agenda

Table of Contents

Springing Into Action: Advocating for an Accessible Future!

April 5th, 6th, & 7th, 2024

Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
625 W Rolling Meadows Drive
Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Reservations: (920) 923-1440

Our special guest will be Everette Bacon, Secretary of the National Federation of the Blind Board of Directors, and President of NFB of Utah.

The National Federation of the Blind is the only organization directed by blind people that believes in our full capacity and has the power, diversity, determination, and love to transform our dreams into reality. We believe in the capabilities of blind people; we take action to advance the aspirations of the blind; and we create a loving community where we learn to be our most powerful selves. Our faith in the capacity and dignity of blind individuals is at the heart of our mission. We know that blindness need not hold you back. We want our community to feel empowered to dream big; and we’ll work with determination so those dreams can be realized. There are no limits to what we can accomplish.

NFB of Wisconsin Board of Directors and Officers

President: Ben Dallin
First Vice President: Dave Hyde
Second Vice President: Denise Charlier
Secretary: Laurie Holzmann
Treasurer: John Fritz
Board Members: Chelsea Dallin, Kimberly Kiser, Hunter Kuester, Renee Jones, Nicole Wolf, and Patty Zallar

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 

Convention Arrangements

If you have any questions about convention arrangements, contact Dave Hyde at 608-774-5557.


Registration will be open on Friday, April 5, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, and Saturday, April 6, from 8:00 am to 8:45 am. If you have any questions contact Chelsea Dallin, 608-290-5573. Onsite registration is $25, Saturday Box Lunch is $25, Saturday Banquet is $45. If registering onsite, meals will be available on a first come basis until sold out.

Presidential Suite

Anyone who wants to meet with President Ben Dallin is welcome to come to the Presidential Suite. Call Ben at 775-934-6181.

Childcare Room

Childcare will be open during the general convention sessions. Children may be dropped off no earlier than 30 minutes prior to the start of the session and must be picked up no later than 15 minutes after. Morning and afternoon snacks will be provided. For location and any questions, please contact Debi Meng at 608-558-1589 (Before and during the convention).

Door Prizes

You may be the lucky winner of a great door prize. Names will be drawn throughout the convention sessions and banquet. To be eligible to win, you need only to be registered and to be present in the meeting room when your name is drawn, unless you are in childcare. All donations of door prizes should be clearly labeled in braille and print and turned in to the door prize table in Meeting Room C.


We encourage all attendees to visit our exhibitors. Learn about employment opportunities, technology, and more! Everyone who visits each table will be entered into a drawing for a special prize!

NFBW Auction

You may be the lucky high bidder of a great auction item! All donations of auction items should be clearly labeled in Braille, printed, and turned in to the door prize table in Meeting Room C.

PAC Plan

You can be a part of our mission to help blind people live the lives we want. Make recurring monthly donations through direct withdrawals from a checking account or charges to a credit card by signing up for our Pre-Authorized Contribution (PAC) program. Visit our PAC table during general sessions, or visit https://www.nfb.org/pac/.

Service Animal Information

After going through the doors (which may or may not be open) at the top left of the lobby, turn left and down a short hallway. you will find the pool/game area. The pool is on the left side with a wooden fence around it. To the right of the pool are tables and chairs. There is also a game area here with a pool table, air hockey table, etc. On the right side of this room are doors that lead out to a courtyard where service dogs may be relieved. There will be a garbage can outside. Please contact Meghan Whalen from WAGDU at 262-844-7938 if you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of pickup bags.

Note: When checking in at the hotel, they may give you a Service Animal Companion Letter and ask you to complete an emergency contact form for your service animal. This is completely voluntary and is not required to complete. They will also give you a sign to hang on your door, please display your “Dog on Vacation” sign at all times.

Meet Everette Bacon

Everette Bacon was born in Huntington Beach, California. At the age of five he was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy, a condition which had run in his family on his mother’s side for thirteen generations, causing rapid-onset blindness primarily in female family members. Despite the diagnosis, Everette’s family took the advice of teachers and medical experts, believing (or, more accurately, hoping) that since Everette was male and his vision was not deteriorating rapidly like that of other family members, he was unlikely to go blind. As a result, Everette did not learn Braille or other alternative techniques during his school years. Looking back, Everette says, his mother and other family members wish that they had encouraged him to learn Braille and other blindness skills.

When Everette was around eighteen his entire family moved to Texas. Everette pursued a degree in church music at Dallas Baptist University. He jokes that he was pushed toward music because “you know, blind people sing.” His first job was teaching a seventh grade choir, but he found it not to his liking. Searching for other employment in order to earn money to help his wife through medical school, Everette ultimately accepted a management position with Blockbuster Video in 1997. He was very successful in this position, winning several awards and steady promotions. By 2004, he was managing ten stores in the Houston area.

Everette’s eye condition began to worsen, and instead of giving up, he adapted by using alternative techniques. “I started carrying a cane, mainly for identity, but I was using it when I felt I needed it.” “I was never embarrassed or ashamed about becoming blind, because I grew up around blind people, adapting was something you just became accustomed to doing.” However, when he asked for reasonable accommodations from his employer, instead of granting these accommodations, Blockbuster terminated his employment despite his outstanding record. The company even went so far as to describe Everette’s conduct as “fraudulent,” implying that he had deceived the company about his capabilities, even though he had previously been praised and awarded for his work

Scott LaBarre, the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and a successful disability rights attorney, took Everette’s case, and ultimately Everette received a settlement from Blockbuster. More importantly, though, he learned about the National Federation of the Blind and the many battles the organization has fought in the effort to advance and protect the civil rights of blind people. “I had heard of the Federation and been told that they were militant,” Everette says, “but my experience taught me the importance of our advocacy.” There are so many reasons to be proud of whom we are as blind people, and the Federation has paved the way for our climb to the top of the mountain of civil rights!

In 2004, Everette and his wife, Dr. Angela Peters, moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Everette became involved in the Utah affiliate and developed what he describes as life-changing relationships with dedicated Federationists. These friends helped Everette improve his blindness skills and grow in the movement. Everette was also looking for new employment opportunities in Utah and heard about a job opening as a Blindness Skills Teacher at the Utah Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The agency supported Everette in his pursuit of a master’s degree in rehabilitation. He went from teaching technology to supervising the technology staff, and served as the agency’s field services coordinator, overseeing all of the agency’s technology and employment services, supervising a staff of nine.

Everette began advocating for Utah’s blind residents with an effort to encourage a prominent local cinema chain to incorporate audio description technology into its theaters. An avid movie fan with an extensive collection dating from his Blockbuster days, he believes that audio description can enable blind people to connect more easily with their sighted peers when discussing entertainment. “One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from the NFB is the understanding that blending in to society is an important skill. Being able to relate to our sighted colleagues about movies, television, politics, and sports are excellent paths to opportunities that help change common misconceptions about blindness.”

In 2012, Everette was elected president of the National Federation of the Blind of Utah. He is proud of the affiliate’s successful advocacy for a state “mini-508” law requiring accessibility of new state websites and procurement of accessible electronic and information technology; subject to fines when agencies fail to comply. His advocacy for accessibility made him an outstanding candidate to serve as the Federation’s representative on the Disability Advisory Committee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was nominated for appointment to this committee by President Riccobono and duly appointed to serve by the FCC in 2015. Everette is chair of the Utah Library Advisory Board. He also sits on the Utah Assistive Technology Council and the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind’s Audio Equipment Advisory Committee (Western Region). He was unanimously elected to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind at the organization’s 2015 convention. He and Angela and their two dogs live in Salt Lake City, but Everette still roots for his beloved Dallas Cowboys. 

Friday, April 5, 2024 Schedule

2:00 - 7:00 p.m. Exhibits, Meeting Room D/E

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Registration, Meeting Room D/E

6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Hospitality, Room 188/189
Come enjoy refreshments and great company to kick off your convention experience! Hosted by the Badger
Chapter of the NFB of Wisconsin

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Resolutions Committee Meeting, Meeting Room A, Dave Hyde, Chairperson

8:00 p.m. – 12 Midnight Game Night:
Name That Tune and Family Feud, $5 entry , Meeting Room B

Saturday, April 6, 2024 Schedule

7:00 a.m. Annual Breakfast Meeting: Wisconsin Association of Guide Dog Users WAGDU, Hotel Restaurant– Angie
Castro, President

7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Exhibits, Meeting Room D/E

8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Registration, Meeting room D/E
Registration is $25, Saturday Box Lunch is $25, Saturday Banquet is $45. Meals will be available on a first come basis until sold out.

8:30 - 5:15 pm Childcare, contact Debi Meng for location (608-558-1589)

General Session 1

All general sessions will be held in Meeting Room C

9:00 a.m. Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance
NFB Pledge
Welcome and Proclamation – Fond du Lac City Council President  Keith Heisler

9:20 a.m. Meet our Exhibitors!

9:30 a.m. Report from the National Federation of the Blind
Everette Bacon, NFB Secretary

10:00 a.m. Report from the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Dan Wenzel, Director

10:20 a.m. SAAVI Services for the Blind
Cody Beardslee, Residential Services Coordinator

10:40 a.m. Services Offered by Aging and Disability Resource Centers
Jaclyn Jaeckels, Manager, ADRC of Fond du Lac County

11:00 a.m. What’s New At AiRA?
Everette Bacon, Vice President of Blindness Initiatives

11:20 a.m. My Journey as a Blind Educator
Lynzie Ashlee, Wisconsin BELL Program Coordinator

11:40 a.m. My Career at Confections for Any Occasion
Joel Bernhard, Owner

12:00 p.m. Adjourn


All Lunches will be available outside of Meeting Room C. Please only take a box lunch if you purchased one and have a ticket in hand.

12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Exhibits, Meeting Room D/E

Division Meetings and Annual Meetings
  • Luncheon and Annual Meeting: Wisconsin Association of Blind Students WABS, contact for location, Hunter Kuester, President (920) 285-8530
  • Luncheon and Annual Meeting: Wisconsin Parents of Blind Children WPBC, Debi Meng, President, Meeting Room C
  • Luncheon and Annual Meeting: National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin Badger Chapter, contact for location, Kimberly Kiser, President, (920) 809-5422

General Session 2

All general sessions will be held in Meeting Room C

2:00 p.m. Call to Order

2:05 p.m. The National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin Presidential Report
Ben Dallin, President, National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin

2:20 p.m. Opportunities and News from the Business Enterprise Program
Theresa Taylor, owner of Taylored Treats
John Fritz, owner of J and H Vending

2:50 p.m. Employment Panel: Overcoming Barriers and Starting Your Career
Chelsea Dallin, College and Career Readiness Teacher at WCBVI
Rose Burrell, Talent Acquisition Coordinator at Beyond Vision
Jeff Young, HR Representative at IBVI

3:15 p.m. Fifty Years in the Movement
Dave Hyde, First Vice President, NFB of Wisconsin

3:30 - 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session 1, Meeting Room A
Wisconsin Parents of Blind Children, Debi Meng, President
Listen to guest speakers, learn about topics such as braille, technology, and special opportunities for blind children, including our upcoming BELL Program this summer.

4:15 - 5:00 p.m. Breakout Session 2, Meeting Room A
Sighted Spouses and Family Members meeting: This session is for anyone who has a loved one who is blind. We will have an open discussion surrounding issues of blindness from a sighted perspective. Sighted people only, please.
Moderated by Dr. Angela Peters

3:30 - 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session 3, Meeting Room B
Training Centers and Structured Discovery
Learn about adjustment to blindness training, speak with current staff, former students and employees. Presented by SAAVI Services for the Blind

4:15 - 5:00 p.m. Breakout Session 4, Meeting Room B
Guide Dog Corner
Come learn about everything to do with guide dogs including considerations for potential users, care, training, and best practices. Come with your questions, and learn about upcoming opportunities.
Presented by the Wisconsin Association of Guide Dog Users

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Exhibits, Meeting Room 5A/B

5:00 p.m. Adjourn

6:45 p.m. to End of Banquet: Childcare, contact Debi Meng (608-558-1589)

7:00 p.m. Springing into Action: Advocating for an Accessible Future! Annual Banquet, Meeting Room C,
Master of Ceremonies: Dave Hyde
Banquet Address: Everette Bacon - Pledging Our Way to the Future!

9:30 p.m. Fundraising Auction, Meeting Room C 

Sunday, April 7, 2024 Schedule

Business Session 3

All general sessions will be held in Meeting Room C

8:00 a.m. Annual Business Meeting
Secretary’s Report
Treasurer's Report
Nominating Committee Report
Committee Reports
Legislative Report
Chapter & Division Reports
Resolutions Committee Report
National Convention
State Convention
Miscellaneous Business

11:00 a.m. Adjourn

Special Thanks from the State President

I am honored to take the opportunity to thank our members, friends, families, guest speakers, and exhibitors for attending the 49
th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin. Your help, suggestions, ideas, and presence truly made this convention possible and memorable. A very special thank you to Everette Bacon and Dr. Angela Peters for joining us from Utah to share their knowledge, wisdom, and experience. This convention has certainly been filled with opportunities to learn, grow, and come together to change what it means to be blind. Everyone please have a safe journey back to your homes and we hope to
see you all very soon. Go in peace.

Federation Initiatives

Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy

We are once again excited to be offering our NFB BELL Academy here in Wisconsin for the summer of 2024. This year our program will take place on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, from August 4-9. It is open to students from ages 6-14.

Guide Dog Users Seminar

The Wisconsin association of guide dog users is planning a seminar from August 16-18 2024. It will be held in Madison or Milwaukee and will have a balance of recreation and education for guide dog users and their allies. Please reach out to Meghan Whalen at 262-844-7938 or watch nfbwis.org for more information.

Inclusivity, Diversity, and Social Conduct

The National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin seeks to provide a convention in which all participants can come together in an environment of mutual respect and professionalism. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and uphold that atmosphere for the benefit of all.

Some behaviors are therefore specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, physical appearance, or other group identity.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact
  • Public drunkenness and associated behaviors (e.g., belligerence, yelling, hostility, destruction of property)

We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. These principles have been delineated in our Code of Conduct found at https://www.nfb.org/code-conduct. For safety and support, visit https://nfb.org/programs-services/safety-and-support.

Vehicle Donations

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, or you can donate online by visiting www.nfb.org/vehicledonations.

Leaving A Legacy: Dream Makers Circle

You can help build a future of opportunity for the blind by becoming a member of our Dream Makers Circle. For additional information, please contact Patti Chang at 410-659-9314, ext. 2422 or at pchang@nfb.org. Thanks to these Wisconsin Dream Makers: John & Heather Fritz, Linda Pennell

Free Slate and Stylus Program

The National Federation of the Blind will distribute a slate and stylus to those that need them. The slate and stylus has long been and continues to be a valuable tool for writing Braille, which is vital to literacy for the blind. It is the only Braille-writing device that has the same portability, flexibility, and affordability as a pen and pencil. Please visit our free slate and stylus program online application to request your slate and stylus, https://freeslates.nfb.org/.

Free White Cane Program

The National Federation of the Blind has distributed more than 64,000 free white canes since 2008. The white cane gives blind people the ability to achieve a full and independent life, allowing us to travel freely and safely. For more information, please go to https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/free-white-cane-program.

NFB Publications

Braille Monitor

The Braille Monitor is the flagship publication of the National Federation of the Blind. It is the best source for in-depth information about what is happening in the National Federation of the Blind. To subscribe to the Braille Monitor or to make any changes to your subscription, call the national office at 410-659-9314, extension 2344, or email nfbpublications@nfb.org.

Jacobus tenBroek Library

The Jacobus tenBroek Library is the only research library on blindness in the United States that is owned and managed by an organization like the National Federation of the Blind. Find more information at https://nfb.org/jacobus-tenbroek-library.

Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research (JBIR)

JBIR is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed publication. For more information, visit https://www.nfb.org/jbir.

Imagineering Our Future

This is the monthly e-newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind. It features a message from President Mark A. Riccobono and highlights our most recent news, action items, and happenings.

Nation’s Blind Podcast

This is our podcast show that highlights different themes related to blindness, independent living, and news.

Presidential Release

This monthly audio update from President
Riccobono is posted on the NFB website each month. You can access
the release in all formats at https://nfb.org/presidential-releases.

Voice of the Nation’s Blind Blog

Entries are posted to the Voice of the Nation’s Blind blog regularly. From access tech reviews to stories and advice from blind parents, there’s something for everyone. You can go to https://www.nfb.org/vonb-blog to read and share the posts.\