2020 NF Convention

AG National Deaf Culture Fellowship Administrative Committee has voted to postpone the National Deaf Convention in Austin, Texas – now rescheduled at Huston-Tillotson University exactly one year later on Tuesday thru Saturday, June 22-26, 2021.

Good news - registration prices will stay the same! If you have already registered, your money will be held and transferred to the costs for 2021! If you need a refund of your registration costs, please email Rev. Olivia Bibb - treasurer@nfdeaf.com

ASL video announcement will explain more next week. We are here for you, and want to support you in facing this hard time. As we get ready for Palm Sunday, Passover, and Resurrection Sunday – we are praying for you, your family, and your church body to know our Lord’s presence in a deeper way!!


2020 AUSTIN NATIONAL DEAF CONVENTION INFORMATION

The National Deaf Convention of the Assemblies of God happens every 2 years. It is now sponsored by the National Deaf Culture Fellowship, abbreviated “NF”. Sometimes we call it the “NF Convention” or just “NF”. ALL persons are welcome – you don’t have to already be a member of the NF. This year in 2020, we are thrilled that all main events will be happening Tuesday thru Saturday, June 23-27, 2020, at Huston-Tillotson University (“HT”) in beautiful downtown Austin, 900 Chicon Street, Austin, Texas 78702.

AIRPORT AND SHUTTLE SERVICE
If flying to Austin, the main airport to fly into is “Austin Bergstrom International Airport” (ABIA) on the southeast side of Austin. There will be NO van rides provided to and from ABIA, the convention university, or local hotels. The convention university is only about 15 minutes from the airport. So we suggest you rent a car, ask a friend to pick you up, or use a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft. Note – in Austin, Lyft tends to be cheaper than Uber. Ask to go to “900 Chicon Street in Austin”.

PLACE TO STAY – DORM or HOTEL

  • National Deaf Convention guests can stay overnight the cheapest way using the COMBO for 4 nights at the Huston-Tillotson University (“HT”) campus at the “suite residence hall” (dorm) on Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri nights. HT upgraded their dorms in 2014 and they are very nice with good a/c. “Suite Residence Halls” look like a small 2-bedroom hotel. They have 2 beds in each of the 2 bedroom suite, with one bathroom in EACH suite, so from 1-4 people can stay in each suite. (Notice – HT is not charging for each room. They are charging for each person.) So it is about $120 for persons ages 13+ for the 4 nights for staying here in the Suite Residence Hall dorms, IF the dorm cost is included as part of the combo package for 4 nights (see the registration form on page 5). Children ages 0-5 can stay free, and elementary kids (ages 6-12) are half price. Each family (or group of roommates) are required to bring 2-4 rolls of toilet paper for the 4 nights. Also you need to bring your own linens (sheets, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, towels), OR, you can pay on the registration form to rent an Austin package of linens for the week for $10.00 (will be ready for you at check-in). These “Suite Residence Hall” (dorms) at HT are much cheaper than nearby off-campus hotels. (HT is in downtown Austin, and the downtown hotels tend to be very expensive!) Dorm rooms will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis (with respect first to ADA accommodations). Please tell us if you need FIRST FLOOR ONLY (for persons who have difficulty walking up stairs or wheelchair users), or other special accommodations.
  • Check-in registration for ALL will be on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 2-9 pm. (NO early check-ins – if you come to Austin earlier than Tuesday afternoon, you will need to find another place to stay.) When first arriving at HT, look for the signs to go to the “NF Check-In” area.

  • Dorms and all buildings have good air conditioning. Note – Large chapel for the night worship services has very cold air conditioning! You may want to bring a sweater or jacket for the cold night services.

  • Which person(s) do you want to room with? Please tell us if you are a “male” or “female” on the registration form and your approximate age. And tell us who you plan to be roommate(s) with. For persons who don’t have any preference, we will do our best to put you with a roommate near your age.

  • We have worked hard to get the prices down for all persons that stay on campus at Huston-Tillotson University. However you are welcome to stay off-campus at other hotel, motel, AirBnB, etc. We don’t have a block of rooms reserved – Google to find a place that meets your needs. If you plan to stay offcampus (and not at Huston-Tillotson University), you must make your own reservations, and provide your own rides back and forth to the campus. There will NOT be a shuttle service to HT this year.

  • Check-out of the HT dorm rooms will be on Saturday morning, June 27, 2020 before 10:00 am. Persons
    wishing to stay later will need to move to another location and make other sleeping and eating plans.

PARKING
If you are driving to Austin, a large parking lot is on the west side of HT near Chalmers Ave. and 9th Street. After dropping off your things in your dorm room, then you can move your car to park there. For persons that have a handicapped parking permit tag in your car, a FEW places will be available on the main HT University campus – please write on registration form that you must “park near dorm ON campus”. First come, first serve – for medical needs. A map of the HT campus is available online at https://htu.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2011/07/HT-Campus-Accessibility-Map.pdf More info will be given when you arrive.

RV PARKING
NO RV parking or hookups are at the HT campus. We suggest you contact “Austin Lone Star RV Resort” -- 20 minutes south. See https://www.sunrvresorts.com/resorts/southwest/texas/austin-lone-star/ to check their prices and make your own reservations.

ROOMS AND MEALS
“Combo Package Plan” includes 4 nights (Tuesday night through Friday night) in the suite residence hall. This combo package includes insurance for you and entry into all workshops and meetings. The Combo Package Plan also includes all 11 meals from Tuesday evening dinner through Saturday morning breakfast. If you pick this Combo Package Plan and you miss a meal, we will not be able to refund any of your meal costs. Why? The food is purchased about two weeks before the convention -- according to the number of registrations received. We pay for the meals whether you eat or not. Even if you miss a meal, the cost is
still cheaper so that you will save a lot of money by not eating out at restaurants. And the NF officers can tell you – the food is excellent here at the HT cafeteria!!

Daily we will be eating 11 meals in the HT University Cafeteria. A special badge will be given to all using the Combo Package Plan. But the persons NOT doing the Combo Package Plan are welcome to eat at the cafeteria by paying for each meal directly to HT University at the last minute as you go through the line. However food is first come, first serve. Breakfast - $5.15 each; Lunch - $8.25 each; Dinner - $9.00 each.

A cake and punch reception will be held on Tuesday evening - after the worship service to welcome everyone to this year’s convention! Cost is free for all staying at HT – others we ask for a $5.00 donation.

We will NOT be having a “Mission Banquet” this year. We do ask you to dress up on Thursday evening -- we will be taking a group picture. We will eat the Thursday evening dinner in the cafeteria. Then we will have the awesome Thursday Missions Service in the main chapel, featuring some of our missionaries. Please come ready to donate to our AG World and US Missionaries, serving in the Deaf Culture field.

GOLF CART, AND OTHER TRANSPORTATION
HT University is giving us ONE free golf cart for those who have difficulty with walking. This golf cart can hold up to 3 passengers. If you need to use the golf cart every day for walking between the buildings, please write it on the registration form near “Do you need any special physical accommodation?” and send in your form early. If more than 3 people need this daily service, NF will need to rent more golf carts.

Transportation rides off campus will be very limited. We strongly encourage you to drive your own car or rent a car, or join and ride with a friend. Rides MAY be provided for local tours (with advanced planning), but we would encourage carpooling together. (It’s becoming almost impossible to borrow any church vans in Austin.) We are planning van rides for our Youth and/or Children’s programs when they go off campus.

CHILDREN AND YOUTHS (TEENS)

  • We will have a children’s class for all very young kids ages 0-5 years old. The program will be provided in the daytime during workshops and meetings, and also during the nightly worship services.
  • Children ages 6-12 (1st thru 6th grade) are welcome and encouraged to come join the separate class for these spiritual champions with their own age-level curriculum taught. Qualified teachers for D/deaf, deaf/blind, and hearing children provided. Please let us know of any special needs. The program will be provided in the daytime during workshops and meetings, and also during nightly worship services.
  • We will also have a program for D/deaf, Deaf/blind, HH, and hearing youths/teens, ages 13-19 (going into 7th grade or above). Most of the time these youths/teens will be meeting in the HT Gym in the mornings and evenings (with huge fans there – no air conditioning turned on during the summer time, but it is nice and cool). Because of the afternoon heat in June, youths/teens and the teaching staff will probably be going offsite in the afternoons for swimming or other activities.
  • All teachers working with minor children/teens will have background checks done in advance. Parents will need to pick up their children/teens before meals and after church services in the evening.

PETS
Due to the very busy schedule of the Convention and HT University policy, we ask that you not bring any pets. We would also discourage the bringing of “hearing ear dogs” for the same reason. If you must bring your hearing ear dog, please contact us before April 1st to work out the details.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES
Good news - a registered nurse is on the HT campus. And there is a professional clinic just outside of HT on the northwest corner of the campus. We will also have directions ready to the nearest hospital.

DEAF-BLIND PERSONS, and DEAF-LOW-VISION PERSONS
Deaf-blind persons are welcome to come. All campus has Braille signage. We are trying to set up local volunteer SSPs (CNs) and interpreters, if possible. Please indicate on the registration form what things will help you really enjoy this convention – large screen TV, amplification, SSP/CN, PT-trained interpreter, etc.

EXHIBITS/BOOTHS/TABLES
If you, your ministry, your business, or your church wants to set up a booth at the convention, you will need to register and pay in advance for the booth space. A table and 2 chairs are provided. It is best to register early because there is a limited number of tables/space available – first come, first serve. This is the ONLY place that has different prices for if you are an NF member (M) or non-member (NM). See the registration form below – deadline to sign up and pay for a booth is May 31, 2020.

CONVENTION T-SHIRTS
Local Austin people are working on new NF Convention T-Shirts with a special logo. If you would like to order a T-shirt to remember this special 2020 event, sign up on the bottom of the registration form. Cost will be $15 per shirt for the smaller sizes, and $20 per shirt for the larger sizes.

INTERPRETER WORKSHOPS
Interpreter workshops for ministry are planned daily during this convention. Both National RID CEUs and Texas BEI CEUs will be applied for. We would encourage interpreters to come and learn from some excellent teachers! And this will be a huge opportunity to network and worship with hundreds of Deaf pastors and team members! Extra costs will be charged for CEU credits. More details will come soon.

NON-SIGNERS AND BEGINNING SIGNERS WORKSHOP (HEARING ALLIES OF THE DEAF COMMUNITY)
In addition to the workshops for Deaf pastors/team, we would like to have one special workshop for hearing “non-signers” and “beginning signers”. Many of these friends want to be involved with Deaf Ministries and want to become better allies of the Deaf Ministries and the Deaf community outreach. If this kind of workshop is something you would like for yourself, please add the info on your registration form.

CAPACITY - Chapel and dorms can hold up to 372 persons. Register early before all the spaces are filled!

REGISTRATION INFORMATION – SEE PRICE DETAILS ON REGISTRATION FORM
Sign up early to save the most money!! Early Bird: Now until March 1, 2020.
Regular Registration Time: March 2, 2020 through April 15, 2020
Late Registration Period: April 16, 2020 through June 27, 2020. (May 31st is deadline for dorm and food.)

PAYMENT FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL DEAF CONVENTION
You can register online at www.nfdeaf.com. Also you can pay online by debit or credit card at our website at www.nfdeaf.com (Note: 4% fee will be added when paying online) - OR - Download, print, and fill out the convention registration form. Write your check payable to “National Deaf Culture Fellowship”. Put “NF Convention” on the check memo line. Mail form and check to:

Attention - Rev. Olivia Bibb
National Deaf Culture Fellowship
1640 Broadway Street
Vallejo, California 94590

REGISTRATION ONLY
This plan is for those who have a place to stay in the Austin area, who wish to stay in a motel, or who live in Austin. Under this plan, you will still be able to eat in the cafeteria by paying for each meal as you go through the line. And this allows local Austin-area people to come from home each day, attend the workshops and meetings, and only pay a small amount. This includes registration fees and insurance. All those persons attending any of the daytime convention MUST fill out the registration form attached.

ATTENDING EVENING WORSHIP SERVICES ONLY
If you have friends in the Austin area, or you live in the Austin area (not staying at HT) – you can attend the 7:00 PM evening worship services each night FREE!! To keep in touch with you, we prefer you go ahead and fill out the registration form with your contact info. This is for those people who work/live in the Austin area and are attending the evening worship services ONLY! Please park on the west side of the HT campus in the parking lot near Chalmers and 9th Street, then walk to the chapel.

If you are NOT staying in the HT suite dorm and want to join any of the daytime workshops or meetings, you can pay the REGISTRATION ONLY fee – to cover the workshops and insurance for you.

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NEW UPDATED INFORMATION!!

A)  All the HT University campus buildings are fully accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, golf cart use, etc.  See HT Campus Accessibility Map

B)  Excellent meals for people eating at Huston-Tillotson will be prepared by the vendor, Ala Carte Menu Services.  They are also happy to make specialized meals such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, etc.  Please write the info on your registration form (or if doing online sign-up, please email us at the same time).

C)  The full 5-page registration form pdf can be downloaded and printed.  If you would like to print the one-page registration form only, go to (link to pdf – see attached)

D)  We are looking for volunteers to join our committees NOW – there is much you can do even if you don’t live in Austin!  If you want to help, contact Rev. Debbie Stiles (info on page 1).

E) Full schedule of the workshops and services, speakers, and room assignments will be added soon.