State Convention

The National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts State Convention is the largest gathering of blind people in the state. It is the premier event for training, support, and information for the blind community. It also serves as a governing body, democratically electing our leadership and establishing each year's organizational priorities.

National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts 2024 State Convention

Friday, March 15 through Sunday, March 17, 2024

Register and make a difference in the lives of blind Massachusettsans!

The 2024 State Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts will be held at:
Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites
225 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970

Overflow hotel:
Hampton Inn Salem
11 Dodge Street
Salem, MA 01970

We will be live streaming portions of the convention that will be recorded for archival purposes on the website.

Note: The agenda will be finalized, distributed, and posted on the state website in mid to late February. Yes, the agenda will be available on NEWSLINE® too!

Here is your chance to participate and learn more about the NFB’s programs and goals on the state and national level. Hear from the NFB national representative. Also, hear from speakers on topics of national and state importance, membership, seniors, technology, Braille, students, guide dog users, and parents’ concerns, meet the scholarship class of 2024 and much more!

We are proud to announce that Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, will serve as the national rep for this year's state convention. Click here to read Mark Riccobono's bio.

Mark your calendars and make every effort to attend the 2024 State Convention of the NFB of Massachusetts. Get involved. Make a difference! Please share with others, everyone is welcome!

Room Reservations

Our seventy-First State Convention is filled with so much excitement and opportunities for learning, networking and fun! We have totally filled the Salem Waterfront Hotel !!! Therefore, we now have an overflow hotel Available. The Hampton Inn Salem (located at 11 Dodge Street in Salem) is about a 10 minute walk from the Salem Waterfront Hotel. The cost to reserve a room in our block is $165.00 per night on March 15 and March 16. Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes, which will be in effect at the time of check-out.

If you have not booked a room at our Convention hotel which is the Salem Water Front Hotel, you can book a room at the Hampton Inn by calling 800-HAMPTON (426-7866) or you can use the booking link below. If neither of those work for you or if you are having trouble booking, You may reach out to Jill at 978-306-7575 or Shara at 617-304-0347.

Here is the booking link:
https://www.hilton.com/en/book/reservation/deeplink/?ctyhocn=BOSSAHX&groupCode=CHHNFB&arrivaldate=2024-03-15&departuredate=2024-03-17&flexibleDates=true&cid=OM,WW,HILTONLINK,EN,DirectLink&fromId=HILTONLINKDIRECT

Our room block is available until Wednesday, February 28. Please make your reservations early. You need a credit card to secure your reservation, but your card will not be charged until arrival.

Note: if you can not attend and you have made hotel reservations, don’t call the hotel to cancel. Please call Shara Winton at 617-304-0347. Shara usually has a waiting list to review as many learn about the state convention after Wednesday, February 28. If you are a student attending the convention, please contact Shara to make your room reservation.

Registration

Registration for the 2024 NFB of Massachusetts State Convention is now open!

The entire registration will cover Friday dinner, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, and the Banquet dinner on Saturday Evening. For the banquet there are three delicious options to choose from - seasoned vegetable risotto, steak tips, or stuffed shrimp. Salad and clam chowder and dessert are also included, as well as coffee and tea. There will also be a cash bar for your convenience.

The convention registration package, including Friday night dinner, Saturday breakfast, Sunday breakfast and banquet tickets is $100.00. Register by March 5th to take advantage of the Early-bird package for $90.00. Registration for Saturday only including banquet is $75.00 until March 5 , after which the fee will increase to $85.00. Registration for a day pass without meals on Friday or Saturday is $20 until March 5 , after which the fee will increase to $30.00.

Click here to register for the convention.

House of the Seven Gables Tour

Please join us on the House of the Seven Gables Tour on Friday, March 15, At 12:45PM during the 2024 NFB of Massachusetts State Convention. Anyone interested in attending the tour should be at the house of the Seven Gables lobby by 12:45pm on March 15. Each person is responsible for their own transportation to and from the Gables. The House of the Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street, which is about a 15 minute walk from our hotel, but the walk might be a bit difficult for those who have impaired mobility, as the walk is over cobblestone walkways and uneven sidewalks. If you are not there by 12:45, they have the right to sell your reservation to another interested guest, per their rules.

The tour will take about 1 hour and there will be an opportunity to visit the gift shop if anyone wishes to do so. The tour itself is entirely on foot and does require stair climbing on narrow and steep staircases. Keep in mind this is a very old historic home and the tour is not required to be ADA compliant. The Gables also ask that no one bring backpacks or large bags. The space is tight and they will their best to accommodate any needs we have.

Be very mindful of the integrity and historic nature of the house. Any damages that occur will be the responsibility of those who damaged the property. Please be careful for your own safety and for the integrity of the House of the seven gables.

The cost for NFB members for our private tour is $20 per person for anyone 12 and over in age. For those under 12 the cost is $15. Please register by 11:59pm on Wednesday, February 28. Room is limited, first come first served.

Here is the link to register:
https://nfbma.org/civicrm/event/register?reset=1&id=7

Lunch Options

This year’s convention will have a 2-hour lunch break. Everyone will be responsible for paying for and choosing your own lunch. But it is extremely important to be back by 2PM to be there for our exciting afternoon sessions and win your door prizes.

There will be six teams from which we would like for you to choose one for lunch on Saturday, March 16. Please take a look at the following team leaders, restaurant choices and menus below. When you have decided which location you would like to have lunch, it is necessary to contact your team leader. The team leader will be responsible for making reservations and guiding the team to and from the hotel. There are two choices inside the hotel. The other four, are within a short walking distance. The team leaders will be walking there. If walking is not an option for you, we strongly recommend that you stay and have lunch at the Regatta Pub, inside the hotel. You are responsible for paying for the cost of your own food, drinks and gratuity. If none of these places are something you would choose, you are welcome to get to and from or have delivered from where ever you select on your own. Please contact your team leader no later than Wednesday January 31, 2024.

Team one:

Kyra Sweeney is the team leader for the Regatta Pub. Contact Kyra at 310-430-3817 or kyra.sweeney94@gmail.com.

You are welcome to stay at the hotel and enjoy the fine food at the Regatta Pub. Sleek and modern with a charming nautical flair, the Regatta Pub boasts seating up to 49 and an extensive lunch menu with over 50 mouth-watering menu offerings, from seasonal New England favorites and classic American bistro fare to fresh local seafood. Our bar features a global wine list, bottled and draft beers, signature cocktails, and themed martinis.

Regatta Pub - Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites

Team two:

This choice is exclusively for the students. You will need to contact Shara Winton at 617-304-0347 or sharawinton@gmail.com, right away to let her know that you are coming. Your lunch will be provided for you during your annual business meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Blind Students. Your lunch will be served in the main ball room.

Team three:

Cullen Gallagher will be the team leader for Brother’s Taverna Located at 283 Derby Street. Contact Cullen at 781-428-1254 or cullen.gallagher@gmail.com.

Whether you want to enjoy a nice seated meal or sit at the bar and watch the game, Brothers has you covered. Everything you see on our menu is made fresh in our kitchen daily; this is to ensure that you have the best dining experience possible here at Brothers. You will find all of your New England comfort foods with many pasta, fish and steak options. Soups, salads and heart healthy menus are also available.

Website: https://brotherstaverna.com/

Includes menu categories near top of page.

Team Four:

Debbie Malone will be the team leader for Sea Level Oyster Bar at 94 Wharf Street. Contact Debbie at 774-786-0177 or Dmalone510@gmail.com.

Sea Level Boasts two floors with spectacular views of the Salem Harbor. We feature fresh seafood, raw bar, pizzas, sandwiches, 20 craft beers and cocktails. Innovative, sustainable, inspired menus all lead to an extraordinary dining experience. Our menu emphasizes creatively prepared fresh local seafood along with seasonal offerings. Our raw bar offers the freshest local oysters, littleneck clams, chilled lobster and jumbo shrimp.

Website: https://sealeveloysterbar.com/
Menu: https://sealeveloysterbar.com/dinner/

Team Five:

Shirley Dorris will be the team leader for Longboards Restaurant and Bar at 76 Wharf Street. Contact Shirley at 615-598-5020 or Ladyshirl519@gmail.com.

Longboards is the neighborhood joint for locals and a must-stop for visitors. It's a lively, casual space perfect to call your own. Stop in and say hi. You're sure to see Justin, Matt, an old friend, or one you haven't met yet!

Why Longboards?

Although the inspiration to open a laid-back bar on the ocean comes from the West Coast, you won't find any surfboards or skateboards here. Instead, we take pride in our unique flatbread pizzas served on... long boards. They have the best Lobster Rolls! They also have many sandwiches as a Salmon BLT and tons of choices that do not include any seafood at all. Panini’s, burgers, and pizza are to be found at Longboards for your enjoyment.

Website: https://www.longboardsbar.com/
PDF Menu: https://www.longboardsbar.com/_files/ugd/0d21ef_bd115b4718314bc4a90f926b82e1a341.pdf

Team Six:

Mike Karsok Will be the team leader for Mercy Tavern at 148 Derby Street. Contact Mike at 978-979-7356 or mike.karsok@gmail.com.

Mercy Tavern works hard to be the best neighborhood restaurant and bar in Salem. We are committed to delicious, locally sourced and sustainably produced food and drink, and we place tremendous value in fun, friendship and community. Our staff is committed to one another, to our guests, and to providing exceptional service. We truly do care about your experience.

Mercy’s business model is designed around giving to community and social justice organizations, so much so that a % of every customer’s tab goes directly to organizations that help our community. Best Burgers on the North shore!

Website: https://www.mercysalem.com/pub/
Menu PDF: https://www.mercysalem.com/pub/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/winter2023-24menu.pdf

Code of Conduct

As an attendee at our convention, you not only represent yourself but also represent our greater organization. We want you to enjoy our time together and to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. 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 seeks to provide a convention environment in which diverse participants, including members, speakers, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers, may learn, network, and enjoy the company of friends and colleagues 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
  • 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. We are committed to diversity, equity, and the free expression of ideas. Please visit https://nfb.org/code-conduct for more information.

Additional Information

Additional information will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Check back often. For more information, please contact us at 617-600-8130 or sharawinton@gmail.com.