The planning for the 2016 General Assembly that will once again be held in cooperation with the ICEVI and being hosted by the National Federation of the Blind (USA), is well underway. This article provides the important information about the Assembly that will help you in your own planning.
The full Assembly event will take place from Thursday, August 18 to Thursday, August 25th, 2016.
It should be noted that these dates include the entire Assembly event comprising the following:
· Thursday August 18th – WBU Executive meeting and other WBU Pre-Assembly committee meetings
· Friday August 19 – Monday August 22 – WBU General Assembly
· Monday August 22 – ICEVI Paper presentations (ICEVI will also join the plenary for the WBU GA closing ceremonies)
· Tuesday August 23 – Wednesday August 24 – Joint WBU/ICEVI concurrent sessions
· Thursday August 25 – ICEVI General Assembly
The Assembly event will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel, which has been used for a number of years by the NFB to hold its annual conventions.
Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
All Assembly events and accommodations will be located in the same venue, which makes it very convenient for everyone. The hotel is well laid out and easy to get around; there are also lots of restaurants, some shopping and other attractions close by and it is very easy to walk on the footpaths around the hotel area. The NFB was also able to negotiate a very favorable room rate for us at about $125 (US funds) per night per room, including all taxes. Please note, meals are not included in the room rate but the hotel has very good food service and there are lots of low cost options close by for breakfast and other meals.
Expected Registration Fees
The registration fees are expected to be similar to those charged in 2012; however it should be noted that lunches are not included in the fees although arrangements will be made for reasonable cost options for purchase. The approximate fees are as follows:
WBU General Assembly
Accompanying Person $300
ICEVI Events & Assembly
Accompanying Person $250
Attendance at both WBU and ICEVI Events
Accompanying Person $500
A number of joint planning and WBU specific planning committees have been established for the Assembly Planning. We will place the full GA Planning committee lists on the General Assembly page of the WBU Website. Here are the committees that have been assigned thus far as well as their Chairs:
International Organizing Committee Arnt Holte
International Program Committee Fredric Schroeder
Local Organizing Committee Marc Maurer
WBU Delegate Support Committee Terje Iversen
WBU Constitution Committee Wolfgang Angermann
WBU Nominations Committee Mr. J. L. Kaul
Delegate Support Process
As in the past, a limited number of sponsorships are available to support the participation of delegates from developing countries to attend the General Assembly. The Delegate Sponsorships committee will meet in May of this year to finalize the process and application form. The application forms will be made available to members in August of this year and delegate support applications must be submitted by November 30, 2015 It is expected that delegate support decisions will be made by January 31, 2016 so as to give sufficient time to make travel arrangements for delegates to obtain visas and so forth.
Please remember that only members who have paid their fees in full up to and including 2015, prior to submitting a sponsorship application will be considered, and no final approvals will be granted nor arrangements for participation commenced until 2016 fees are submitted. The membership fees committee will not entertain requests for fee relief at the point of reviewing sponsorship requests. Any such requests must have been dealt with in sufficient time for review and submission of fees prior to the November 30th delegate support application deadline.
It would be very helpful if all members could confirm their voting delegates with the WBU office during 2015 if possible. In any case, the final deadline for submission of delegate names will be June 15, 2016, as per the requirements set out in the WBU Constitution.
Membership Fees payment
The deadline for payment of WBU membership fees in 2016 will be March 31, 2016. When sending out the invoices for 2015, the WBU office will inform members of the amount of your 2016 fees in the event that you wish to pay those in advance in 2015. If you choose to do that, we do employ a special accounting provision to hold fees in a special account until the year in which they are due to be paid. We are already doing this for many members who are in a lower fee category and who prefer to pay their full fees for the quadrennium in one payment so as to avoid excess wire transfer costs. This is not obligatory at all, but is an option for those who wish to use it given that the fee payment deadline will be earlier next year, because the Assembly is held in August.
Some Important Dates
You will of course be reminded of these dates in subsequent communications, but here is a list of dates and deadlines that you might find useful in your planning:
August 2015 – Delegate support applications available
November 30, 2015 – Deadline for delegate support applications
December 31, 2015 – Constitutional Amendment proposals submitted to Constitution committee
January 1, 2016 – Registration opens for Assembly events
January 31, 2016 – delegate support decisions confirmed
March 31, 2016 – Membership fees for 2016 due
April 18, 2016 – Constitutional Amendments finalized
May 18, 2016 – Nominations for Table Officers submitted if nominee requesting distribution to membership
May 31, 2016 – Final date for visa invitation letters
May 31, 2016 – Registration Closes for Assembly events
June 15, 2016 – WBU Delegate confirmation deadline
I do hope that this information summary is helpful to you. We will plan to provide you with an update within each E-bulletin. For specific information, please feel free to contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org