Welcome to the Fifth Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Montana!
Friday-Saturday, September 22-23, 2017
5 East Baxter Lane
Bozeman, Montana 59715
Hotel Reservation Phone Number: 406-587-4561, or 877-859-5095
Nestled against the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Gallatin Valley and just minutes from Gallatin Field, Montana State University, and the Museum of the Rockies, the Holiday Inn® Bozeman is the area’s premier full service hotel and conference center. With easy access to and from Interstate 90, you’ll be able to find everything that you need, for business or pleasure, right near our property. At the Holiday Inn Bozeman, patrons enjoy the best amenities such as a complete fitness center, Bozeman’s largest indoor pool and Jacuzzi, and award winning service. Our on-site restaurant, 3 Rivers, serves mouthwatering Montana cuisine, and our lounge, the Dry Fly Saloon, offers daily food and drink specials. Stay with us and find out why we're one of the finest hotels in Bozeman, MT.
Joy Breslauer, President, National Federation of the Blind of Montana
Jeannie Massay, National Representative, National Federation of the Blind
STRIDING TOWARD OUR FUTURE
Founded in 1940 in Pennsylvania by sixteen members from eight states, the National Federation of the Blind is now the largest and most influential consumer and advocacy organization of the blind in the United States, with a nationwide membership of over fifty thousand, and affiliates in all fifty states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The NFB improves the lives of blind people through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. The NFB works toward the removal of legal, economic, and social barriers to full participation by blind people in all aspects of community life. We are not an organization speaking for the blind; we are the blind speaking for ourselves.
As a state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind of Montana is an organization in which the blind members and their families and friends come together to plan and carry out programs to raise the expectations of blind people and those with whom we live, work, and play, because we know that low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. We believe that we can live the lives we want; blindness is not what holds us back.
Hotel check-in time is 3:00 P.M. Check out time is 12:00 P.M.
The Three Rivers restaurant is open daily from 6:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. and from 5:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. They are staying open after 11:00 A.M. on Saturday with a limited menu just for us to have lunch.
You must be registered for the convention in order for your name to be drawn for door prizes! Please come to the registration table in the meeting room to pick up your registration packet.
You must be present in the meeting room when your name is drawn in order to collect your door prize!
You must be present in the banquet room when your name is drawn in order to collect the grand door prize.
Want to go to next year's convention absolutely free? At the banquet on Saturday evening, we will have a drawing for the grand door prize, an all-expenses paid trip to next year's NFB of Montana convention, plus two hundred dollars cash. To take advantage of this exciting opportunity, you must be present in the banquet room when your name is drawn in order to win the Grand Door Prize.
The check-out time for the hotel on Sunday is 12:00 P.M.
A sincere Thank You to all who contributed time and effort to make this convention a success, especially Our National Representative Jeannie Massay and other guest speakers, Sam Robbins, our sound man extraordinaire, The NFB of Montana Convention Planning Committee, And all of the NFB of Montana chapters and members who work together to make our mission possible.
Born in Pennsylvania, raised in Rhode Island, schooled in Massachusetts and North Carolina, I have spent all of my adult life in California and Montana. I Moved to Montana in 1994, after "retiring" from the practice and teaching of law.
I have been married to Dede Taylor, an adjunct professor of art history at MSU, since 1994. We have four children: a daughter and three sons. Our sons attended Bozeman schools, the youngest from Kindergarten through Bozeman High.
While licensed to practice law in Montana, since 1994 my primary employment has been as a neutral (mediator, arbitrator and facilitator) in legal and public policy disputes or discussions. Work has taken me as far away as Sweden, but is mostly concentrated in Montana and Wyoming. My work has been mostly in areas of high conflict, such as family mediation. I have learned from my Mediation/arbitration/facilitation practice that the key to success in all consensus processes is to bring together a group of people who have different points of view and experiences, who are well informed, and who are able to listen to each other and to competently articulate their understanding of a situation. I believe that this is also one of the keys to good government.
Aira develops transformative remote assistive technology that connects the blind with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind person sees in real time. Agents, serving as visual interpreters for the blind, help users accomplish a wide range of daily tasks and activities - from navigating busy streets to recognizing faces and literally traveling the world. Aira's goal is to develop leading technology and services that help remove remaining barriers for the visually impaired, expanding their possibilities to live with greater confidence and independence.
Our name is derived from two interesting sources: the emerging field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the ancient Egyptian mythological being and symbol known as the Eye of Ra (RA). Steeped in the mysteries of Egyptian mythology, the Eye of Ra has symbolized protection, healing and the power to perceive and interpret both the seen and unseen in the universe.
The seeds for starting Aira were planted in 2014 when Suman Kanuganti and Yuja Chang struck up a friendship with a blind communications professional Matt Brock. This led them to begin discussing how Google Glass technology could be used to help the blind and visually impaired become more mobile and independent. Using this concept, Kanuganti and Chang were inspired to create a service akin to "OnStar" for the blind.