NFB of WI 2022 State Convention Agenda

47th Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin


Resilience, Adapting to Change & Defining Our Future!


April 1st, 2nd, & 3rd, 2022


Our special guest will be Amy Buresh, President NFB of Nebraska, National Board Member


Stoney Creek Hotel

3060 S. Kinney Coulee Rd.

Onalaska, WI 54650



The National Federation of the Blind knows 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.



President: John Fritz

First Vice President: Dave Hyde

Second Vice President: William Meeker

Secretary: Chelsea Dallin

Treasurer: Ben Dallin

Board Members: Denise Charlier, Laurie Holzmann, Tom Jeray, Heather Olson, Karen Riccobono, and Nicole Wolf




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, 608-774-5557.


Registration: Registration will be open in the Watering Hole on Friday, April 1, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, and Saturday, April 2, from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. If you have any questions contact Heather Fritz, 608-387-1865. Onsite registration is $20, Saturday Box Lunch is $20, Saturday Banquet is $40. Meals will be available on a first come basis until sold out.


Presidential Suite: Anyone who wants to meet with John Fritz or wants to visit is welcome to come to the Presidential Suite. Call John at 608-387-0494.


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. Childcare will be in Room 154 for all children. Morning and afternoon snacks will be provided. If you have 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, Northwoods Salon A-B.


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 and print and turned in to the door prize table located in Northwoods Salon A-B.


Dog Relief Area Information: When you walk out of the front doors of the hotel, walk straight across the drive-up lane to the curb in front of the Acoya Pond.  Turn right and follow the curb around, keeping the curb and pond on your left as it turns to the left, walking across the parking lot, towards the street which is perpendicular to you.  You will come to a curb and a sidewalk with grass on either side before the street. You will be nearly straight out in front of the flagpole in front of the hotel.  The trash can is outside the front door of the hotel. A reminder to please pick up after your dogs. The relief area is a sidewalk area used by pedestrian traffic so leave a good impression.  If anyone has questions, feel free to contact Lynzie Ashley at 715-660-0952.


Meet Amy Buresh:

 “My blindness is simply another of my characteristics like my auburn hair.” She didn’t always feel that way. Amy was born prematurely June 4, 1974, in Fairbury, Nebraska, and has been blind since then from retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). When she was five, her family moved from their farm to Nebraska City so that she could attend the Nebraska School for the Visually Handicapped (NSVH). Her parents made the difficult decision to relocate to a new community far away from family, friends, and all they knew so that Amy could continue to live at home during her school years rather than in a dormitory. Amy has said her family’s sacrifice was crucial to her peace of mind in her formative years, and she has always been grateful her parents made the choice they did.

While a student at NSVH, Amy received training in many blindness skills, the most critical of which was Braille, which helped her to excel academically. She participated in countless musicals, the track team, cheerleading, and speech competition. In her freshman year Amy began taking classes at the public school in Nebraska City. Although she was active in extra-curricular activities, including service as president of her school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Amy found it hard to make friends. She recalls that throughout her public-school years she sat through many lonely lunches. With an outgoing personality Amy easily made acquaintances, but no one invited her to parties or asked her to go to the movies.

Growing up, Amy had few positive blind role models and limited contact with her blind peers. During her teenage years she first participated in youth programs sponsored by the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCBVI), where she gained many valuable skills and met her future husband.

As a senior in high school, she began wrestling with life questions that neither her family and teachers nor her sighted peers could answer. Could she really be successful as an independent blind adult? Would she ever marry and have a family? What about employment? Could she get a job and do it well?

Following graduation, Amy began conquering her fears and seeking answers to these nagging questions by attending the Orientation Training Center of the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Lincoln. There she was first introduced to the underpinning philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind and, equally important, to kind and inspirational Federationist.

Armed with newfound confidence and skills, Amy enrolled in Peru State College, graduating with a BS in psychology, sociology, and criminal justice. Throughout her time on campus, she was active as a peer mentor, in student senate, and in-residence hall government. She also soloed and toured with the concert choir. She helped found and held several offices in the Association for Challenged and Enabled Students (ACES), a group dedicated to breaking down stereotypes and eliminating discrimination against those with disabilities. ACES sought to educate the non-disabled public about the challenges people with disabilities face. During the years at Peru State College Amy began working with women and children who experience domestic violence, a field to which she still devotes time when she can. She served as a volunteer counselor for a nonprofit in Southeast Nebraska and other agencies. She has worked tirelessly as an advocate, role model, and leader for both women and the blind. She attributes her success with blind people to her discovery of and involvement in the National Federation of the Blind.


In 1993 the NFB of Nebraska established a scholarship program, and Amy won that first scholarship. The very next year, in October of 1994, Amy and a handful of other concerned blind Nebraska students were granted the charter for the Nebraska Association of Blind Students within the Nebraska affiliate. She was elected president of the student division, an office she held for two years.

Since those early days in the Federation, Amy has held a number of chapter and affiliate positions in Nebraska. In 2003 she was elected to serve as affiliate president, and in the Summer of 2006, she was elected by the national convention to the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind.

Amy and her husband Shane (a leader and dedicated Federationist in his own right) live in Lincoln with their son Noah (born May 2, 2006) and her daughter Sara (born February 14, 2014). She is employed as a rehabilitation counselor with the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.



Friday, April 1, 2022

3:30-5:00 pm   Registration, Watering Hole


5:00-9:00 pm   Exhibits, Northwoods Salon C


6:00-10:00 pm Hospitality, Room 154 The Fishing Shack

La Crosse County Chapter


7:00 pm                  Resolutions Committee Meeting, Northwoods Salon A-B

Dave Hyde, Chairperson


8:00 pm – Midnight  WABS, Northwoods Salon A-B


8:00 pm                  WPOBC Ice Breaker, Room 154, The Fishing Shack



Saturday, April 2, 2022

7:00 am – 8:45 am  Breakfast, Lobby Galley, (included if you stay at the hotel)


7:00 am                  Annual Meeting: Wisconsin Association of Guide Dog Users WAGDU, Lobby Galley– Lynzie Ashley, President


7:30 am - 9:00 am   Exhibits, Northwoods Salon C


8:00 am - 9:00 am   Registration, Watering Hole

Registration is $20, Saturday Box Lunch is $20, Saturday Banquet is $40. Meals will be available on a first come basis until sold out.


8:30 am - 5:15 pm   Childcare, Room 154 The Fishing Shack




(All general sessions will be held in the Northwoods Salon A-B)

9:00 am                  Call to Order


Pledge of Allegiance

NFB Pledge



9:20 am                  National Association of Blind Students

Kinshuk Tella, Board Member National Association of Blind Students


9:25 am                  Report from the National Federation of the Blind

Amy Buresh, President NFB of Nebraska, National Board of Directors


10:00 am                Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

Kathleen Enders, DVR Administrator


10:20 am                Vision Forward, Babies Count & AB 490.

Jaclyn Borchardt, Director of Operations

Colleen Kickbush, Teacher of the Visually Impaired


10:40 am                Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Dan Wenzel, Director


10:55 am                Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library

Katie Malloy, Outreach Librarian


11:10 am                This is What Blind Looks Like.

Angie Castro, Host & Producer

Kimberly Kiser, Co-Host & Writer


11:30 am                Wisconsin Elections Commission

Regina Hein, Elections Specialist


11:50 am                Beyond Vision

Jennifer Wenzel, Talent Acquisition Coordinator


12:10                      Adjourn


Lunch                    All Lunches will be available at the registration table outside of the Northwoods Salon C. Please only take a box lunch if you purchased one and have a ticket in hand.


Division Meetings and Annual Meetings:


Wisconsin Association of Blind Merchants WABM

Tom Jeray, President, Northwoods Salon A-B


Annual Meeting: Wisconsin Association of Blind Students WABS, Craig Duffeck, President, Room 154 The Fishing Shack


Luncheon and Annual Meeting: Wisconsin Parents of Blind Children WOPBC, Debi Meng, President, Northwoods Salon A-B



General Session 2

(All general sessions will be held in the Northwoods Salon A-B)

2:00 pm                  Call to Order


2:05 pm                  The National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin Presidential Report

John Fritz, President, National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin, Board Member, National Federation of the Blind


2:20 pm                  North American Squirrel Association

George Wilson, President

Dr. Virginia Wintersteen, Committee Chair


2:40 pm                  Diversity and Inclusion

Cheryl Orgas, LCSW, Executive Director, Audio Braille Literacy Enhancement

Chelsea Dallin, College & Career Readiness Teacher, Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm   Breakout Session 1, Northwoods Salon C

Wisconsin Parents of Blind Children

Debi Meng, President


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm   Breakout Session 2, Northwoods Salon A-B

Structured Discovery, BLIND Inc.

Jennifer Kennedy, Executive Director


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm   Breakout Session 3, Northwoods Salon A-B

Technology Corner

Stacy Fuerher, Newsline Coordinator

Ben Dallin, iOS Tips and Tricks, Best Practices

Braille and Technology, A Powerful Partnership

Question & Answers


5:00 pm                  Adjourn


6:45 pm until the End of Banquet:   Childcare, Room 154 The Fishing Shack


7:00 pm   Resilience, Adapting to Change & Defining Our Future!  Annual Banquet, Northwoods Salon A-B, Master of Ceremonies: Ben Dallin


Banquet Address: Amy Buresh, President, National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska, Board Member National Federation of the Blind.

Pledging Our Way to the Future!


PAC Plan



9:30 pm                  Fund Raising Auction, Northwoods Salon A-B



Sunday, April 3, 2022

6:30 am – 8:45 am  Breakfast, Lobby, (included if you stay at the hotel)



(All general sessions will be held in the Northwoods Salon A-B)


8:00 am                  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 am                Adjourn



Special Thanks from the State President:

I am honored to take the opportunity to thank our members, our families, guest speakers, and special guests for showing strong dedication to the blind by not only attending the NFB of Wisconsin’s 47th Annual Convention, but by everything they are doing each and every day of the year. Your presence at state and national events and your willingness to help and share, has truly made this convention special. A very special thank you to Amy Buresh for joining us all the way from Nebraska to share her expertise, wisdom, and experience with us. This convention has truly been a memorable experience. Everyone, please have a safe journey back to your homes and we hope to see you all very soon. Go in peace.   


Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy: BELL:  We are once again excited to be offering our NFB BELL Academy, In-Home Edition for the summer of 2022. This year, students will be organized into classes based on their prior knowledge of the Braille code, which means we will be better able to offer challenging and fun content for Braille learners of all levels. The NFB BELL Academy is appropriate for students ages four through twelve; applications for this year’s program opened in late February. Learn more about the NFB BELL Academy.



As an attendee at our convention, you not only represent yourself, but also represent our greater organization. Although we encourage members to socialize and have fun, the convention also provides a valuable opportunity to come together to continue the work of our organization, to learn about the important initiatives that we are involved with on local and national levels, and to plan our work for the future.

  • 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)


Participants are expected to abide by these rules and behaviors in all convention venues, including online arenas, social media, and social events. Participants who are asked to stop a behavior that the recipient considers hostile or harassing are expected to comply immediately.

For assistance or to report an incident, please call 504-621-4162. All formal reports will be fully investigated according to the steps outlined in the National Federation of the Blind Code of Conduct. Based on the information found in the investigation, appropriate action will be taken and may involve staff, organization leaders, and legal counsel. Based on the circumstances, hotel security and/or law enforcement may become involved, when appropriate.


We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. These principles have been delineated in our Code of Conduct found at


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. In addition to the traditional method of establishing pre-authorized contributions from a checking account, we now can accept PAC Plan donations via credit card. And, if you need to take a minimum distribution from an IRA, you can designate that to PAC and avoid paying taxes on the money.


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, and a representative can make arrangements, or you can donate online by visiting


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. It is easier than you think. Just visit your bank and convert an account to a P.O.D. (payable on death) bank account which is payable after your passing to the National Federation of the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin. Your legacy gift to the National Federation of the Blind or the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin can be made in the form of a will or living trust, an income generating gift, or by naming us as the beneficiary of a retirement plan, IRA, pension, or a life insurance policy. You can designate a specific amount, a percentage, or list NFB as one of several beneficiaries. For additional information, please contact Patti Chang at 410-659-9314, ext. 2422 or at

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 plastic, four-line, twenty-eight cell slate along with a saddle stylus to those that need them. That includes those that are blind and low vision who know Braille or want to learn Braille. The slate and stylus have long been and continue to be valuable tools 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,


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. We started our free white cane program because we believe that no blind person should be without a white cane, regardless of his or her ability to pay for it. For more information, please go to


Help America Vote Act Training & Technical Assistance (HAVA T/TA) Project: Casting a secret ballot is a right most Americans take for granted. Speech-output-technology voting machines and accessible absentee ballot-marking tools make it possible for blind and deaf-blind people to cast a secret ballot privately and independently. The goal of the HAVA T/TA effort is to increase the participation of blind voters in the election process by providing training and technical assistance to protection and advocacy personnel, state and local elections officials, developers of accessible voting technology, and blind advocates.


Resources for Staying in Touch:

  • Safety & Support: As the leading civil rights organization of the blind in the United States, every day we work to bring equality, love, and hope to our community. The blind community, like the rest of society, is not immune to violence and sexual misconduct. We thank the brave survivors for sharing their stories during a recent movement under the hashtag #MarchingTogether. We are committed to and welcome an ongoing process of learning how to heal from past trauma, to prevent future instances, and to protect victims and survivors.
  • The Braille Monitor is the flagship publication of the National Federation of the Blind. It is published eleven times each year, with a double issue for August and September that highlights the national convention. It is the best source for in-depth information about what is happening in the National Federation of the Blind, as well as everything from how-to articles to profiles of interesting blind individuals to stories about people coming to terms with their blindness and living the lives they want. 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
  • 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. In addition to our main library collection, we are responsible for the preservation of the NFB institutional records, the Jacobus tenBroek Personal Papers, and all NFB literature, including the Braille Monitor. We have digitized historical information about our movement, including key records related to its founding in 1940. You can access this and other information about our holdings and services at
  • Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research (JBIR): JBIR is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed publication presenting primary research, scholarly reviews, and reports of innovative information and research that broadens and deepens our understanding about blindness and the best practices for increasing the independence, self-respect, self-determination, and potential of individuals who are blind. For more information, visit
  • 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 from the National Federation of the Blind.
  • Presidential Release: This monthly audio update from President Riccobono, traditionally played at chapter meetings, is posted on the NFB website each month and is also available through NFB-NEWSLINE, as an iTunes podcast, on the NFB Connect mobile app, and through Amazon's Alexa devices such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. You can also receive a thumb drive with the release by making a request to President Riccobono. The Presidential Release is now available in both English and Spanish, and transcripts are posted for use by our deaf-blind members. You can access the release in all formats at
  • 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 to read and share the posts.
  • NFB on social media: Want to ensure that you don't miss any of the latest news and information from the National Federation of the Blind? You can get firsthand access to all our newest videos, photos, and information on our social media channels. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@NFB_voice), and subscribe to our YouTube channel (NationsBlind), and you won't miss a thing!