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State Convention

National Federation of the Blind of Iowa 35th ANNUAL STATE CONVENTION

October 25th through 27th, 2019

The 35th Annual State Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa will be held at the:
Holiday Inn & Suites Des Moines Northwest
4800 Merle Hay Road
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

We are honored to have Julie Deden, Director of the Colorado Center for the Blind, serve as our National representative on behalf of NFB President Mark A. Riccobono.

Mark your calendars and make every effort to attend the 35th annual state convention of the NFBI. Get Involved. Make a Difference!

Room Reservations

The Holiday Inn & Suites Des Moines Northwest is now accepting room reservations for the state convention. To make your reservation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please dial 515-278-4755 or online at, and use the group code of NFB. The best time to call is during regular business hours, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The 2019 room rates is $83 a night. Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes, which at present is 12% and will be in effect at the time of check-out.

For early arrivals, there are a number of rooms reserved for Wednesday, October 24th. Don’t hesitate, please make your room reservations as soon as possible. Our block of rooms are available until October 10th, then they are released to the general public. In years past, the block sells out prior to the deadline, so please don’t hesitate!

When making hotel room reservations,you need to secure via credit card. There will be no charge to your card until you arrive at the hotel. In addition, there are a limited number of wheelchair accessible rooms and if needed, don’t hesitate, make it known when you are making your room reservation.

With this said, if you are thinking about attending, if you are somewhat positive that you will attend, not quite sure you will attend and to those that know that they will attend, PLEASE make your hotel reservations as soon as possible.

Note: if you can not attend and you have made hotel reservations, don’t call the hotel to cancel. Please call Scott Van Gorp at 515-720-5282. Scott usually has a waiting list to review as many learn about the state convention after the date of October 10th. if the block is not sold out, the remainder of rooms will be released to the public. In years past, the block sells out prior to the deadline and therefore, Please, don’t hesitate!

Committees for the 2019 convention

Audit Committee Chair:

Karen Clayton
Phone: 712-202-6325

Convention Coordinator and Convention Committee chair:

Cindy Ray
Phone: 515-334-7231

Nominating Committee Chair:

Bob Ray
Phone: 515-334-7231

Resolutions Committee Chair:

Michael Barber
Phone: 515-771-8348


Once again this year we have online registration and we would prefer registration be done online, but as usual you can still mail in your registration along with your check to: NFBI, P.O. Box 93071, Des Moines, IA 50393. To get the discounted rate of $83 per night at the Holladay Inn, you must register for the convention, and by pre-registering you will help us give a more accurate count to the hotel.

What are the perks for pre-registering for the state convention? The biggest perk is you save $5 off the cost of each food event you attend and the registration fee, plus you won’t have to wait in a longer line when picking up your packet. Don’t delay and miss out on the savings, and pre-register and pay for the convention no later than October 15, 2019. After October 15, 2019 all prices go up by $5.00.


Meetings and events

The Iowa Diabetes Action Network will hold its annual face-to-face meeting from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Friday with registration beginning at 12:30 outside the meeting room. Registration is $5.

The At Large Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa will hold its annual face-to-face meeting at 3:00 p.m., Friday, October 25, 2019. Chapter dues will be collected and they are $5. Registration begins at 2:30 outside the room.

The annual face-to-face meeting of the Iowa Association of Blind Students will be Friday October 25, 2019 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. Their business meeting will begin at 3:00 where they will have dynamic speakers that will help determine what the future of the movement looks like. They hope you can make it and they can’t wait to meet you! Their dues are $5 and will be taken at the door.

Convention registration will be open from 3:00-6:45 p.m. on Friday, October 25, and will resume Saturday, October 26, from 7:30-8:45 a.m.

We are working on a possible technology event for Friday morning, so stay tuned for more details!

A meet and greet reception will take place from 5:15-6:45 on Friday October 25, 2019. Cost is $25 if purchased by October 15 2019, and $30 if purchased after October 15 2019.

The Resolutions Committee will consider resolutions at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening. Submit resolutions electronically to Chair Michael Barber at by October 19, 2019. You may also bring resolutions in final Braille and written form to the committee meeting as long as there is provided an electronic version by the deadline above.

Friday evening will also have hospitality hosted by the Iowa Association of Blind Students. It promises to be a night of fun you don’t want to miss!

Saturday morning Come to the President’s breakfast from 7:00am- 8:00am - $25 if purchased by October 15, $30 if purchased after that date.

8:00am – 8:45am join the board of directors for the annual face to face board meeting. All are welcome to attend.

9:00am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 5:00pm will be our general sessions. You won’t want to miss our National report from Julie Deden, the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa presidential report, Iowa Department for the Blind update from director Emily Wharton, National student report, and much more!

We will have a lunch on Saturday from 12:00-1:45 PM and the cost is $25.00 if purchased by October 15, and $30.00 after that date. This time will be filled with good food, good fellowship, and more!

Saturday evening will be the annual Banquet of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa. Julie Deden will deliver this year’s banquet address, and our very own Mike Harvey, President of the Des Moines Chapter of the National federation of the Blind of Iowa, will be the Master of Ceremonies. The banquet is $40.00 before October 15th, and $45.00 after that date. The convention planning committee will be hosting hospitality following the banquet. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 8:00am-8:45am:
Start your Sunday off right with a short morning devotional. All are welcome!

Our annual business session will take place Sunday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Convention funding available

The National Federation of the Blind of Iowa does have some funding available to assist folks with attending our state convention this year. If you are planning to attend the convention and are in need of such assistance and are not currently receiving convention funding from another source, please contact President Scott Van Gorp at 515-720-5282 or no later than October 15, 2019. Scott will evaluate assistance needs based on the information he receive and the number of people who respond. Please let him know if there are any questions.

Request for Door Prizes

We are in need of door prizes for our upcoming state convention. Chelsea Page is our door prize coordinator this year and she would love to take them. If you have door prizes you would like to contribute in advance please sed them to:
Chelsea Page
5509 Aurora Avenue #5
Des Moines, IA 50310

If you have any questions please contact Chelsea by email at or by phone at 601-618-5170.

If you are going to send items in advance, please have those to her no later than October 23, 2019. Otherwise, feel free to bring them to convention! Let’s have some fun at convention with fantastic door prizes!

Additional Information

If you have questions and need additional information, please contact:
Scott Van Gorp
PO Box 93071
Des Moines, Iowa 50393
Phone: 515-720-5282

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