Wednesday, June 21

Descriptions of NFB Convention Areas

Greetings. Here's a description of the exhibit hall and grand ballroom for the upcoming NFB convention. I've placed 3 stars between the sections for better navigation. Enjoy.

2006 NFB Annual Convention, Exhibit Hall "Verbal Map"

OVERVIEW: The Khmer Pavilion Exhibit Hall is a perfect rectangle, which will make finding one's way around the 146 tables an easy shot for the power shopper.
There are tables around the 4 walls, with the east and west sides being the long sides. There are 3 rectangles of tables covering the middle space. These
are called A-Square, B-Square, and C-Square. A and B and C Squares have their short ends facing the east and west walls, their long ends parallel with
the north and south walls, and A-Square is nearest to the entrance.

ENTRANCE: When you enter the ballroom through the east wall you will be at the southeast corner of the room in a vestibule. Coming out of the hotel hallway,
you will enter the vestibule, turn right, and in a few steps enter the Khmer Pavilion. (By the way, there is a water station set up just inside the vestibule
to your left as you enter.)

Upon entering the Pavilion, Information Tables 1 and 2 are on your right. Pick up your room map (print only) and exhibitor lists with table numbers (in
Braille or print) here, or ask directions to a specific vendor's location. Left of the doorway you will find the Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind
Reader tables (62-64), but let's continue straight north, (keeping the entrance behind us, the east wall on our right) to check out East Wall tables 1
through 20. Some of the notable vendors along the wall are NFB-NEWSLINE® (6, 7), Independent Living Aids (9, 10), and Guide Dogs for the Blind (12).

Turn left or west after table 20, passing a water station, and peruse North Wall tables 21 to 34. Need cash? Diebold's accessible talking ATM machine (with
real money in response to your credit card) and the Diebold (sample) accessible voting machine are at space 21 (straight ahead of the entrance).

The West Wall tables 35 to 52 are next. If shopping makes you thirsty, the NFB Merchant's Division is midway at tables 41-44 with their snack packs and
free sodas. The interesting exhibits from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are at tables 49 to 51, followed by the Jernigan Institute National Center
for Blind Youth in Science at 52.

Turn left again to check out the South Wall tables 53 to 64. Optelec at tables 56 to 61 has the most tables in this stretch. And now you are back to the
Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader tables, beyond which is the vestibule.

To get to A-Square after examining the new handheld reader, put your back to the south wall and cross the aisle. You have arrived at HumanWare (A65-A71,
and A90-A92) on the A-Square's east end. Go left to find Sendero Group at A87-88, about midway on the square's south side, or to the end of the side to
find "ifbyphone" at A82-83. On the other hand, if you wish to find table numbers in ascending order, travel counterclockwise around each square.

B-Square is in the center of the room, with Freedom Scientific taking up its entire east end at tables B93-B99 plus B118-B120. National Industries for
the Blind (NIB) is at B116 midway on the B-Square's south side.

C-Square is furthest north in the room, with tables C121 through C146. As with the other squares, only 2 or 3 tables are on each end, and 11 tables are
on each of the long sides.


a verbal map for the 2006 convention

These four functions will be in the Grand Ballroom: book-signing area (limited hours); free NFB literature; NFB aids and literature for sale; and the Accessible
Home Showcase, an exhibit and lecture area (limited hours). Be sure to check your agenda for the functions with limited hours.

You will enter the Grand Ballroom from its north wall. Inside the door to your left on the east wall are the four tables for NFB authors doing book-signings.
Straight ahead of you is a large rectangle of 16 tables full of free literature. To your right is a larger square of 27 tables for the NFB Store. The
Accessible Home Showcase is located all the way to the right back corner of the Grand Ballroom. You will find the large free-standing appliances next
to a dozen chairs set-up for the demonstrations listed in the agenda. From the Ballroom entrance, you may turn right and follow the 3 inside walls until
you arrive, or you may want to travel between the free NFB Literature tables and the NFB Store tables all the way to the back of the room, then turn right
and continue walking until you arrive.

The NFB Store offers you your best chance all year to examine many aids and appliances before you buy. Ask for a free lesson if you would like to take
a long white cane for a test drive before buying, or ask the folks demonstrating Braille products for a beginner's Braille lesson, or how to use the templates
for letter-writing. Examine the NFB literature which is sold (not given away). Our fellow members serving as volunteer demonstrators are there to show
you how each product works. Each product (except canes) has an attached Braille-print label and stapled to it, small print tickets with ID numbers. As
always, you need to hand the shopkeepers one print ticket from each product you wish to buy so that they will know exactly which product it is. A large
paper clip attached to the Braille-print label signifies that this item can be examined at convention but must be shipped to you from Baltimore after convention.

The side of the NFB Store area closest to you (its east side) begins with NFB canes. Follow the tables to your left (clockwise) and on the beginning of
the fourth side (its north side), you will find two parallel tables sticking out into the aisle to help organize two lines for the shopkeepers. They are
ready to take your tickets for products and your money to pay for them. Beyond the shopkeeper's counter, please note that there are five more tables of
products for sale so you may want to check them out before getting in line. After those five tables is the corner that puts you back at the cane tables.
When you are ready to exit the Grand Ballroom after your purchases at the sales counter, put your back to the shopkeepers, walk straight ahead to the
north wall, and follow it to your right (eastward) until you find the entrance on your left.

This completes your tour of the Grand Ballroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment