Mid-Atlantic ACB Affiliate Convention

November 21-23, 2008

“Short on Sight, Long on Vision”

 Tentative Program and Schedule

(as of September 21, 2008)


Friday, November 21, 2008

  5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Registration

  5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Exhibits 

  6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Reception with light appetizers, jazz quartet, and cash bar

  8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Hospitality Room



Saturday, November 22, 2008

  7:45 – 10:00 a.m. Registration

  Drop Off Your Perkins Brailler

J. J. Quinn, experienced Perkins Brailler technician, will provide free on-site cleaning and minor repairs.  Braillers will be returned at the end of the afternoon.  Saturday only.  Must pre-register for this service. 

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Misc. Announcements and Introductions

  10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Exhibits


General Sessions

  9:00 – 9:30 a.m.  American Council of the Blind:  Who We are and What We Believe  

Learn about ACB’s philosophy and position on important issues you face such as democracy in action, mobility, reading and rehabilitation services.  Brief update on currency lawsuit.  Panel:  Paul Edwards, Miami, FL, ACB past president and three ACB Board Members -  Billie Jean Keith, Arlington, VA, Cammie Vloedman, Arlington, VA and Pat Sheehan, Silver Spring, MD

9:30 – 9:50 a.m.  Hybrid Cars and Pedestrian Safety

Learn about those gas-electric cars which are good for the environment but maybe not so good for us.  Issues, possible solutions, future trends and more will be discussed.  In the afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to see the best selling hybrid, the Toyota Prius in action.  You’ll experience its sound - or lack of - for yourself in a safe environment.  Lukas Franck, Supervisor of New Initiatives, Seeing Eye Inc., Morristown, NJ


9:50 – 10:40 a.m.  Accessible Home Appliances

Learn what you need to know before you buy.  New strategies for shopping and learning about your appliance.  Learn alternative techniques for using the appliances you have, specific model recommendations.  Brad Hodges, American Foundation for the Blind, Huntington, WV


10:40 – 11:00 a.m.  Break


11:00 – 11:20 a.m.  Books 

Guru Paul Edwards from Miami, FL shares new and different ways to access electronic books.  Brief update on the NLS digital download and players

11:20 – 12:00 p.m.  Handling Finances Smartly in Today’s Environment Learn about identity theft and how to prevent it, safe on-line bill paying, accessible credit reports, how to save money when shopping and more.  


12:00 – 12:45 p.m.  Lunch and Luncheon Speaker


Go for the Gold! 

An inspirational talk from Paralympian Joe Aukward, Bethesda, MD.  Joe, a sprinter who is visually impaired, competed in the Athens Paralympics in 2004 and the World Championships in 2003 and 2005.  Learn what sports and exercise can do for you.


12:45 – 1:00 Break



Breakout Sessions 1:00 – 5:30 p.m.; duration:  1 hour each


Group 1  1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


A: New Developments in Lighting and Low Vision

There is a dizzying array of choices - full spectrum, Chromalux, daylight bulbs, fluorescent, halogen…Learn the facts about different types of lighting and tips on how to select good lighting to reduce eye fatigue and glare.  Elaine Kitchel, Research Scientist, American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, KY  (to be delivered remotely)


B: Accessible GPS’s

Learn what are they as well as what they can and can’t do for you.  Panel of consumers share their thoughts.     


C: Follow your Passion

Guidance for transition to a new job after layoff, burn-out or retirement.  Explore ways to mix and match your greatest gifts and passions with work you love.  Sheridan Gates, Coach and Organizational Consultant, Falls Church, VA



Group 2  2:10 – 3:10 p.m.


A: Your Eyes - Stem Cells, Implants, Genetics Testing – Hope or Hype? 

Hear the latest from a medical professional at Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD. 


B: New and Mid - High Priced Assistive Technology - Some Cutting Edge Options  

Vendor presentations and demos. 


C: From Good to Great: Strengthening our Organization through Leveraging Resources and Talent  

Speaker:  Becky Barnes, President, Guide Dog Users, Inc., Mount Kisco, NY.  Program is sponsored by Maryland Area Guide Dog Users.


D: Accessible GPS Demo  

Take a 45-minute stroll outside with a vendor and see for yourself why everyone is excited about GPS’s.  Must pre-register for this by calling 703-645-8716.  Limited to five participants.



Group 3  3:20 – 4:20 p.m.


A: Vision Changes Got You Down? 

Learn how to regain emotional strength and self-esteem as well as overcome feelings of hopelessness.  Jessie Rayl, licensed professional counselor, Martinsburg, WV


B: New and Inexpensive Assistive Technology – Some Cutting-Edge Options

Vendor presentations and demos.    


C: Accessible GPS Demo  

Take a 45-minute stroll outside with a vendor and see for yourself why everyone is excited about GPS’s.  Must pre-register for this by calling 703-645-8716.  Limited to five participants.



Group 4  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.


A: Flying the Unfriendly Skies:  Airline Travel for Folks with Vision Loss

Learn regulations that pertain to folks with visual impairments and complaint resolution overview.  Tips on how to successfully manage flight delays and cancellations, check-in requirements, charges for baggage and assistive technology as well as oversales and “air rage”. 


B: Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) Public Meeting 

DBVI will obtain input from blind and visually impaired consumers who live in Virginia, vendors of services, and other interested parties.  Comments may be made regarding vocational rehabilitation and other services provided by DBVI.  Come and make your voice heard!  Susan Davis Payne, Vocational Rehabilitation Director and James Taylor, Chief Deputy Director.  Both are with the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired and live in the Richmond, VA area.


C: Maryland Office of Blindness and Vision Services 2008 

An update on the services that OBVS has provided for their patrons in 2008 and what is expected for 2009.  Susan Schaffer, Director, Maryland Office of Blindness and Vision Services, Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services, Baltimore, MD


D: District of Columbia Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Meeting (invited)



***Remember to pick up your Perkins Brailler.***


5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Networking and Hospitality Room


6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Cash Bar in Banquet Room


7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Banquet


Keynote Speaker – Paul Edwards, Miami, FL, a past President of American Council of the Blind







Sunday, November 23, 2008


9:00 – 10:00 a.m. On the Phone, On the Hill and in the Courts

Legislative Update with Eric Bridges, Director of Governmental Affairs, American Council of the Blind, Arlington, VA


Where We are and Where We’re Going

Explore other regional events and activities.


Convention Wrap-Up


10:00 – 2:00 p.m.  Affiliate Business Meetings


2:00 p.m. Depart for Home



Program subject to change


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