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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB Leadership Conference 2015 Agenda

The following sessions have been planned for the upcoming AFB Leadership Conference to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 9-11, 2015. Please check in periodically as more topics will be added as the schedule is finalized.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Exhibit Hall Open in the South Ballroom — 8:00 am-5:00 pm
(Coffee available from 7:30 am-9:30 am)

General Session: Welcome and Introductions — 8:30 am-9:00 am

Visit the Exhibit Hall for a Coffee Break and to Play Exhibit Bingo in the South Ballroom — 9:00 am-9:30 am

Session — 9:30 am-10:30 am

Demo 1: Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (Non-24)
Presenter: Dewey McLin, Ph.D.
Room: Salon 1
Description: Non-24 is a circadian rhythm disorder affecting the majority of people with no light perception. It is characterized by the inability to synchronize the master body clock, leading to disruption of the regular sleep-wake cycle. The drive for sleep in someone with Non-24 is no longer synchronized with the typical 24 hour day, often resulting in cycles of difficulty sleeping at night, and strong desire for sleep during the day. We will review Non-24, and hear the experiences of a person living with this condition. We wish to raise awareness about Non-24, while answering any questions about the disorder people may have. (Note: This session is not eligible for CEUs.)

Sessions — 9:30 am-12:30 pm

PC 101: Research, Policy, and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness — What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?
Facilitator: Mark Richert, Director of Public Policy, and Rebecca Sheffield, Senior Policy Researcher, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salons 3 and 4
Description: This session will include a brief presentation of recent successes and known challenges in research in the field of blindness and visual impairment. AFB Policy Center representatives will discuss ways in which AFB is seeking to centralize and disseminate data and research for a variety of audiences — the general public, practitioners, academic researchers, policy makers, etc., and will seek input and feedback as to how AFB can innovate and improve its website, newsletters, and other communication and collaboration tools.

Attendees will separate into three discussion groups for focused conversations about policy, practice, research and data needs related to education, rehabilitation and employment, and aging and age-related vision loss.

PC 102: Transition Summit
Facilitator: Joe Strechay, CareerConnect Program Manager, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: North Ballroom
Description: This all-day session will feature brief presentations about exciting developments in transition programs and trends in the field. Attendees will be able to learn and borrow from transition programs around the United States. Participants from community rehabilitation agencies, schools, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, universities, and other organizations are welcome to participate and share!

PC 103A: AccessWorld Magazine Tech Summit and Showcase
Facilitator: Lee Huffman, AccessWorld, Editor and Manager, Technology Information, AFB
Room: Salons 7 and 8
Description: This all-day summit and showcase will feature usable, pertinent information about new accessibility developments in key technologies — from mobile communications and GPS, to advancements in vision research. It will also offer opportunities for attendees to ask burning and detailed questions of these companies’ experts, as well as other leading companies in the mainstream and access technology spaces. PC 103B and 103C: In these three-hour sessions, participants have a choice of attending presentations by representatives from Google, Inc., or Apple, Inc. These sessions are limited to 15 participants per session who have pre-registered to participate. All slots for both sessions have been filled.

PC 103B: Google Docs/Drive Workshop: Product Description, Demonstration and Hands-on Opportunity
Presenter: Roger Benz, Accessibility Program Manager, Google Apps
Room: Salon 5
Description: Google Docs is a powerful tool for sharing content and engaging teams in a collaborative effort to produce information. Schools, workplaces and organizations are making use of this tool to disseminate information and collaboratively create content. Google has been working to improve the Docs accessibility experience for individuals with disabilities, including vision loss. This session will help attendees understand how to use Docs, its accessibility features, and strategies for using Docs effectively. The workshop will also include some hands-on opportunities (focused on screen reader users).

PC103C: VoiceOver In-Depth
Presenters: Diane Brauner, Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialist, North Carolina, and Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Product Manager, Apple, Inc.
Room: Salon 6
Description: This hands-on workshop, targeted to technology trainers and service providers, will focus on learning tips and tricks for how to use VoiceOver on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as well as with a Refreshable Braille Display (RBD). Participants will learn ways to customize VoiceOver, how to use its many features, and how to pair a device with an RBD and utilize its unique features.

Lunch (on your own) and Time to Visit the Exhibit Hall in the South Ballroom — 12:30 pm-2:00 pm

Session — 1:30 pm-4:30 pm

PC 201: A National Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss: Giving Feedback for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (Note: This session will start earlier than the other sessions.)
Facilitators: Priscilla Rogers, VisionAware Program Manager; Judy Scott, Director, Center on Vision Loss and Web Programs; and Rebecca Sheffield, Senior Policy Researcher, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salons 3 and 4
Description: The White House Conference on Aging occurs once every 10 years when the nation focuses on issues facing older people. In 2015, the Conference will emphasize four key issues: retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice. White House Conference leaders encourage organizations and individuals to lead discussions and listening sessions throughout the country, and AFB will take part by conducting a listening session as a part of our 2015 Leadership Conference. This session is your opportunity to both voice and hear about issues affecting older Americans who are blind or visually impaired and/or who are experiencing vision loss or caring for someone with vision loss. Through this session, we will gather your feedback about issues related to aging and vision loss to share with legislators, administration officials, and advocates. AFB is seeking participation from panelists with expertise in legislative and aging issues, to be announced.

Sessions — 2:00 pm-5:00 pm

PC 202: Transition Summit
Facilitator: Joe Strechay, CareerConnect Program Manager, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: North Ballroom
Description: This is a continuation of Session 102.

PC 203: AccessWorld Magazine Tech Summit and Showcase
Facilitator: Lee Huffman, AccessWorld, Editor and Manager, Technology Information, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salons 7 and 8
Description: This is a continuation of Session 103A.

PC 204: Rides in Sight — Developing a Local Transportation Solution
Facilitator: Katherine Freund, Founder and President, Independent Transportation Network of America
Room: Salon 6
Description: With all of the national and international headlines about Uber and Lyft ride-hailing services, transportation network companies (TNCs) have become the hottest topic in transit. The national nonprofit Independent Transportation Network of America (ITNAmerica) was the first national non-profit transportation service for seniors and people with visual impairments and is celebrating 20 years of service this year. This symposium will explain how ITN uses technology and a combination of paid and volunteer drivers in private automobiles to provide dignified service, 24/7, for any purpose. Katherine Freund will present the ITN model, paying special attention to services for people with visual impairments, as well as Rides in Sight, ITN’s newest website, searchable national database and toll-free information hotline for transportation services serving seniors and those with visual impairments across the country.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Exhibit Hall Open in the South Ballroom — 8:00 am-5:00 pm
(Coffee available from 7:30 am-10:00 am)

General Session and Presentation of the Stephen Garff Marriott Award — 8:30 am-9:30 am


General Session 100: Talking about Success and Vision Loss
Moderator: Joe Strechay, CareerConnect Program Manager, American Foundation for the Blind
Speakers: Russell Shaffer, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs, Walmart, and Chris Downey, Architect
Room: North Ballroom
Description: Two successful professionals who are blind and visually impaired will talk about their paths to success in the workplace and life. Come find out their thoughts on their paths, accessibility, and their own careers. The panelists and moderator experienced an adventitious loss of vision. Learn what skills and accommodations opened up the door to success.

Visit the Exhibit Hall for a Coffee Break and to Play Exhibit Bingo in the South Ballroom — 9:30 am-10:00 am

Sessions — 10:00 am-11:00 am

Demo 2: Inclusive Social Learning
Room: Salon 1
Presenters: Tom Babinszki, Accessibility Advisor, IBM; Peter Fay, Manager, Outreach and Advocacy, IBM; and Erich Manser, Accessibility Consultant, IBM
Description: With the explosive growth in online education, institutions are faced with a new set of challenges to ensure that all students have equal access to online learning platforms and content. IBM is a major contributor to the leading global organizations that create standards to enable accessible technology platforms, like the W3C. In this session, participants will learn about the latest technology innovations being developed at IBM to deliver an exceptional inclusive student experience. Particular focus will be given to solutions that enable blind and low vision students to thrive online and on campus using IBM's innovative social learning platform. (Note: This session is not eligible for CEUs.)

Session 101: In-depth Look at Android and What's New on Lollipop
Presenter: Lia Lopes, Technical Program Manager, Accessibility Engineering, Google, Inc.
Room: Salon 3
Description: This workshop will present the Android Operating System, demonstrating built-in accessibility features and highlighting the newest release, Android Lollipop.

Session 102: Increasing Students' Math Word Problem-Solving Skills Through an iPad App
Presenters: Jane N. Erin, Ph.D., Professor (Retired), Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology, College of Education, and L. Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D., Professor of Practice, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona
Room: Salon 4
Description: The AnimalWatch Vi Suite Project is in the process of conducting a national intervention study to evaluate the effectiveness of an iPad app and accompanying materials in supporting youth with visual impairments in increasing their math competence. The app gives the students opportunities to solve word problems about endangered species. A variety of supports, including two hints and solution videos, are available to scaffold student learning. During the intervention study, students alternate between using the app and not using the app. The project is nearing the data collection phase and the presenters will have much to share about the experience of the national sample of youth and their teachers.

Session 103: Assessment-Driven Intensive O&M Services at ASB-Tucson
Presenters: David DeWeese, O&M Instructor; Ed Gervasoni, O&M Instructor; Susanne Hogan, O&M Instructor; William Koehler, Acting Assistant Superintendent; and Kathy Zwald, Principal, Arizona School for the Blind
Room: Salon 5
Description: This presentation will address the research and administrative reasons for the implementation of the Assessment-Driven Intensive O&M Services Program; use of the assessment and progress monitoring tools with continuity among the O&M staff; how intensive individual and small group O&M services have been implemented over the last 18 months; and the results of the model of re-teach or enrich currently being used.

Session 104: Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CLD/CLDB) who are Blind or Visually Impaired: Issues, Psycho-Educational Assessments, and Instructional Strategies
Presenter: Olaya Landa-Vialard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, Illinois State University
Room: Salon 6
Description: This jam-packed session is geared toward discussing the issues involved in working with students who are English language learners with visual impairments. First, the state of English language learners who are visually impaired in the United States will be covered. This session will also cover guidelines and practices for the psycho-educational assessment of students who are English language learners with visual impairments. Finally, an in-depth view of one instructional strategy that can be used when teaching students who are English language learners with visual impairments will be discussed.

Session 105: Sew Independent: Strategies for Instructing Sewing
Presenter: Polly Abbott, Director of Rehabilitation, Second Sense
Room: Salon 7
Description: As certified vision rehabilitation therapists (CVRT), we are taught how to teach someone to thread a needle and sew on a button, but what if your student desires more? This seminar will discuss and demonstrate more options for hand stitching, measuring and cutting fabric, working on small projects, and sewing with a machine. This seminar will share one CVRT’s experience with teaching these skills. There will be time to share project ideas suitable for all levels, suggestions on how to effectively use volunteers, as well as thoughts on the process of teaching this skill that can inspire students in so many ways.

Session 106: To Be or Not To Be...Ethical
Presenter: Shari Roeseler, Executive Director, Society for the Blind
Room: Salon 8
Description: We know that stealing, cheating, and hurting others is wrong. But what about those gray areas of moral judgment and ethical behavior? Whether you are an instructor, a student, a member of an advocacy group, or work for a nonprofit or a government entity, ethical conundrums are sure to surface. Oftentimes, the question asked when facing an ethical dilemma is “What ought we to do?” In this workshop, we will use case studies to explore ethical conduct and moral judgment from a Virtue Ethics framework in which our key questions will be “What kind of person do I want to be?”

Sessions — 11:15 am-12:15 pm

Session 201: Employment in 2015: A Panel Discussion
Panel: Various Corporate Representatives
Room: Salon 3
Description: Joe Strechay, AFB's CareerConnect Program Manager, will moderate an employment panel of human resources and corporate representatives specific to current employment trends. The panel will be asked questions about current successes and obstacles around employment. Panelists will share their own advice on navigating the modern employment process.

Session 202: Apple Connected
Presenter: Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Product Manager, Apple, Inc.
Room: Salon 4
Description: Mobile technology can help individuals perform an ever-increasing number of tasks, staying fit, managing homes and health, and of course, staying connected to work, school and family/friends. In this session, we will look at many of the ways that one can use the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to get more out of the Internet of Things (or IoT) to transform and assist in one's daily life. (Note: Because of space limitations, only the first 75 attendees will be admitted to this session.)

Session 203: Navigation in the 21st Century — How Much Has Really Changed?
Presenter: Sandra Stirnweis, M.A., COMS, Rehabilitation Services Manager, Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired
Room: Salon 5
Description: With the advent of smart phones and Dick Tracy-like wrist communicators, anyone can get information about traveling a route with a few swipes, taps, or voice commands. However, does this instant access really make someone a more independent traveler? What happens when the technology breaks down? How do you know which is the best navigation system for you — stand-alone, phone-based, or brain-based? This workshop will discuss the various ways in which travelers with visual impairments gain and use route information, plan, and problem solve. The strengths and weaknesses of each system will be discussed. Participants will compare the "best option" vs. "toolbox" philosophies of navigation in the modern age.

Session 204: A Practical Approach to Assessment and Intervention of Children with Cerebral Visual Impairment in Education Settings
Presenter: Amanda Hall Lueck, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education, San Francisco State University
Room: Salon 6
Description: This presentation focuses on ways in which various approaches to assessment and intervention of cerebral visual impairment with children have emerged from alternative theoretical and clinical bases. How these perspectives can be embraced and aligned will be considered along with practical implications for the delivery of services to children and families from an educational perspective.

Session 205: Babies Count: The National Registry for Infants and Toddlers with Blindness and Visual Impairment
Presenter: DeEtte Snyder, Washington State Coordinator for Birth to 3 Supports for Children with Blind and Visual Impairments
Room: Salon 7
Description: The Babies Count project is one of a kind as no other registry of infants and toddlers exists in the United States. The project aims to collect vital prevalence and demographic information about children aged birth to 3 who are visually impaired or blind, including characteristics regarding their visual condition, developmental history, family, and early intervention service provision. This vital information can be used for creating responsive and appropriate support programs for children and their families in early intervention and school-aged programs, improving teacher preparation programs, and funding of program development to meet the unique needs of this growing population. This presentation will introduce, or re-introduce, participants to the information gathered in the project since 1995, how the project is changing and evolving, how they can participate in contributing data to the project, and how programs (both public and private) can benefit from the information gathered from the project.

Session 206: Data-Driven Decision Making
Presenter: Donald A. Ouimet, Vice President of Programs, Junior Blind of America
Room: Salon 8
Description: Organizational improvement, regardless of the processes you use, is based upon objectively measuring where you are, where you are going, and the variety of processes that can help you get there. Data-Driven Decision Making is an approach that values verifiable data that can be used to assist leaders in determining what to address, how effective various solutions may be, and how you know if you are truly successful. This session will address the link between data and various improvement processes, the collection of data that has meaning, and the use of data that can help simplify the monitoring of ongoing performance.

Lunch (on your own) and Time to Visit the Exhibit Hall in the South Ballroom — 12:15 pm-1:45 pm

Session: Special Lunch from Our Lead Sponsor, JPMorgan Chase & Co. — 12:15 pm-1:45 pm

Demo 3: JPMorgan Chase & Co.*
Presenter: Amy Furash, ADA National Coordinator, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Room: Salon 2
Description: JPMorgan Chase & Co. invites you to review our online banking website and/or mobile app and provide feedback. You do not need to be a Chase customer. Complimentary lunch will be served. *Limited to 30 participants; RSVP to hwalters@afb.net required. This session is not eligible for CEUs.

Sessions — 1:45 pm-2:45 pm

Session 301: What We've Learned about Barriers to Employment
Presenter: Adele Crudden, Ph.D., CRC, Professor, Mississippi State University
Room: Salon 3
Description: Negative employer attitudes and lack of transportation are considered the two biggest barriers to employment for people who are blind or visually impaired. Despite this, little research has been conducted on either topic for this population. Staff of the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision undertook two 5-year research projects to investigate these barriers. The first project involved assessing how VR agencies and their personnel are interacting with employers and directly measuring employer attitudes. The second project involved an intervention to help VR consumers obtain work-related transportation and a national survey regarding transportation issues. This presentation will provide the highlights of what we learned through these research projects. Future research directions will be discussed.

Session 302: Accessibility Trends in Mainstream Technology and Determining the Role of Assistive Technology
Presenter: Dominic Gagliano, Vice President Sales, HumanWare USA
Room: Salon 4
Description: The accessibility features of mainstream technology continue to improve and offer many advantages to the consumer and student, but how has this changed the role and future trends of assistive technology?

Session 303: Baby Steps: Using Teleintervention with Families of Young Children with Visual Impairments
Presenters: Hong Phangia Dewald, M.A., COMS, and Catherine Smyth, M.S., EI-TVI, University of Northern Colorado
Room: Salon 5
Description: This presentation will follow the successful experiences of two Early Intervention (EI) providers (certified orientation and mobility specialist and EI teacher of students with visual impairments), using the innovative service delivery model of teleintervention to provide orientation and mobility (O&M) support to very young children with blindness/visual impairment (B/VI) and their families during home visits. Reflective journaling and videos of actual sessions demonstrate the awareness of provider interactions, improvement of parent engagement, and the increased effectiveness of coaching skills of EI personnel from a distance. In the teleintervention model of practice, EI providers are required to improve their communication and modeling skills so parents become fully engaged and confident in the recommended O&M strategies. The necessity of using coaching strategies with parents through an EI teleintervention model provides an opportunity to promote family-centered best practices to increase parent engagement and improve child outcomes.

Session 304: Quality of Life Reflected in the ECC Experiences of Youth with Visual Impairments: Analyses of NLTS2 Wave 5
Presenter: Kathryn D. Botsford, Ph.D., NBPTS, COMS, Executive Director, Vision Education Research, and Adjunct Faculty, Portland State University
Room: Salon 6
Description: Transition skills and employment success are complex and interactive topics. Frustratingly, students with visual impairments are noted to have the highest levels of high school achievement, yet have persistently low levels of employment. Despite research and investment in specific interventions for youth with visual impairments, there remains a gap between potential (as measured in high school achievement and percentages of youth going onto post-high school education or training) and transition outcomes. Following up on Dr. Kay Ferrell’s investigation of Waves 4 of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) data, this presentation will share the results of two different analyses of Wave 5 NLTS2 data that explored the relationships between the expanded core curriculum (ECC) and transition outcomes for youths with visual impairments. The research in this presentation offers insights into how and why outcomes for this population differed from both model projections and earlier analyses.

Session 305: What’s New in Technology for People of All Ages with Low Vision?
Presenter: Ike Presley, National Project Manager, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salon 7
Description: This presentation will give participants an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in technology designed for people with low vision. New low-tech and high-tech tools will be discussed that can be used to accomplish educational, employment and independent living tasks. Updates from the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference and the 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) will be provided.

Session 306: Achieving Strategic Collaborations and Lasting Partnerships
Facilitator: Jay Allen, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Panelists: Kathleen Mary Huebner, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Salus University and Adjunct Professor, University of Arizona; Roxanne Mayros, Chief Executive Officer, VisionServe Alliance; Richard Rueda, Director of Transition Services, Junior Blind of America; and Scott Truax, Program Manager, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salon 8
Description: Working strategically to acquire resources and the new programs and services to provide maximized opportunities from independence to achieve gainful employment can benefit agencies, school districts and government organizations. This interactive session will address and uncover successes in the spirit of collaborating and partnering on projects, program outcomes and aligning organizational values. Panelists will discuss challenges and barriers that turned into solutions through Memorandums of Understanding, use of shared office space, sharing of grant funds and alignment of personnel to achieve time sensitive project completion.

Visit the Exhibit Hall for Coffee and Snacks and to Play Exhibit Bingo in the South Ballroom — 2:45-pm-3:15 pm

General Session — 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

General Session 200: “All the Buzz”: Your Guide through the Changing Landscape of Technology Developments and Accessibility
Moderator: Paul Schroeder, Vice President, Programs and Policy, American Foundation for the Blind
Panelists: Eve Andersson, Manager, Accessibility Engineering, Google; Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium; Rob Sinclair, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft, and President, IAAP Board of Directors; and Thomas Wlodkowski, Vice President, Comcast Accessibility and Multicultural
Room: North Ballroom
Description: A panel of experts from the technology industry will provide insight regarding technology trends and issues that will impact people with vision loss. The goal of this session will be to help our community become more informed and effective champions of accessibility.

Presentation of the Access Awards — 4:30 pm-6:00 pm
Room: Pueblo Jr. Ballroom

Nifty Fifty: Arizona AER 50th Anniversary Celebration — 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
Room: Pueblo Jr. Ballroom



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Memorial Service – 7:00 am
Room: Salon 3

Coffee available in the South Ballroom from 8:00 am-10:00 am

General Session — 8:30 am-9:30 pm

General Session 300: Future Directions and Challenges for Personnel Preparation in Blindness and Visual Impairment
Moderator: Kathleen Mary Huebner, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Salus University and Adjunct Professor, University of Arizona
Panelists: Kathryn D. Botsford, Ph.D., NBPTS, COMS, Executive Director, Vision Education Research, and Adjunct Faculty, Portland State University; Yvette M. Blitzer, M.S Ed., Coordinator of the Program, Teachers of Students Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired at Dominican College in Orangeburg, Rockland County, New York; Sunggye Hong, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Coordinator, Programs in Visual Impairment, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona; Olaya Landa-Vialard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, Illinois State University; and Holly Lawson, Coordinator, Teachers of Students with Blindness and Visual Impairments Program, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University
Room: North Ballroom
Description: The panel will discuss the future challenges AND potential strategies for recruiting and providing training in the coming 20 to 25 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. Topics will include the impact of new technology, funding, partnerships, globalization, and culturally responsive teaching.

Sessions — 9:45 am-10:45 am

Session 401: Supporting Adults in the Transition from Driving to Non-Driving
Presenter: L. Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D., Professor of Practice, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona
Room: Salon 3
Description: This session will explore ways in which professionals in the field of visual impairment and related fields can support adults with vision loss as they make the transition from driver to non-driver. We live in a car-oriented society in which driving in most of the United States and other Western countries is assumed. We need to help adults recognize that we are all interdependent on each other and therefore when one becomes a non-driver, it does not mean one is losing independence. Rather, it is a way to rethink how to maintain one's current lifestyle. The American Printing House’s video and user guide Reclaiming Independence will be shared as a resource that can be used with and by adults who are transitioning to non-driving.

Session 402: 21st-Century Pioneers: Leading the Way with Assistive Technology Instruction for Students with Multiple Disabilities
Presenter: Jenny Wheeler, CTVI, OMS, Assistive Technology Specialist, Desert Valleys Regional Cooperative
Room: Salon 4
Description: Whenever assistive technology instruction surfaces as a discussion topic, we tend to focus on high-tech training needs for our teachers and how to access the “latest and greatest” devices or resources that are available. But when technology implementation fails, it is rarely because a teacher didn’t know how to operate a device or the newest version of a product wasn’t purchased for a child. Especially for our students with multiple disabilities, our attention to assistive technology needs to shift toward high-level teamwork and individualized, student-driven, academic-based instruction.

Session 403: Why Having Interns Matters
Presenter: Sandra Stirnweis, M.A., COMS, Rehabilitation Services Manager, Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired
Room: Salon 5
Description: As practitioners, we all had to do some field experience, whether we called it student teaching, practicum, or internships. Those professionals who were our cooperating teachers were critical to our development as professionals. With changes in many university preparation programs, the quality of the internship is even more important to creating quality professionals. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for a university student to locate a good cooperating teacher in their area. This is not always due to a lack of a good professional, just a lack of professionals who do not think they could be cooperating teachers. This workshop will give you the tools and insight you need to be a great cooperating teacher and get the support of your school or agency as well. It's really not as hard as you think and you will gain as much from your intern as the intern gains from you.

Session 404: Using Daily Routines to Address Learning Objectives
Presenter: Mindy Ely, MS. Ed., EL VISTA Project Coordinator, Department of Special Education, Illinois State University
Room: Salon 6
Description: The importance of integrating learning goals into the everyday activities of young children and their families will be explored. Tips will be given for involving parents in a way that promotes follow through. This workshop will be practical and interactive.

Session 405: Mentors with Visual Impairments Working with Future Teachers of Visually Impaired Students
Presenters: Jane N. Erin, Ph.D., Professor (Retired), Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology, College of Education, and Sunggye Hong, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Coordinator, Programs in Visual Impairment, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, University of Arizona
Room: Salon 7
Description: Under a federal grant to prepare teachers of students with visual impairments, each graduate student at The University of Arizona spends time with an employed blind or low vision individual who can introduce the student to ways of adapting to visual impairment in daily living. Mentors have included those in a wide variety of professions, including a social worker, attorneys, skilled computer professionals, and vending stand operators. This session will report on candidate experiences with mentors, with emphasis on work experiences, transportation, adjustment to visual impairments, and social interaction. The presentation will include mentors and teacher candidates who participated in the program.

Session 406: Must You Be an Extrovert to Be a Leader?
Presenter: Leslie E. Stocker, Jr., Consultant, President Emeritus, Braille Institute of America
Room: Salon 8
Description: What comes to your mind when you hear the word “leader”? Studies have shown that a large number of words immediately emerge and personality types are certainly among them. Yet, regardless of all the many factors, there are a few that are universal whether they are seen at the personal level, in a group leader, a project leader, or even in an executive. In this discussion we will explore those overarching, essential, common factors to successful leadership. We will also examine the role of personality and define what we really mean by extrovert and introvert and how they interrelate with leadership.

Sessions — 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Session 501: Personal Finance Strategies to Maximize Your Economic Future!
Presenter: Thomas Foley, J.D.
Room: Salon 3
Description: This workshop guides participants through a series of work incentives and personal financial strategies to demonstrate how people with vision loss can design an economic future! From budgeting to credit, debt repayment, home-ownership and investment, this workshop simplifies the necessary steps to build wealth.

Session 502: An Accessibility Study of Mobile-Connected Health Devices and Apps
Presenters: John Lilly, National Technology Associate Mobile; Aaron Preece, National Technology Associate; and William Reuschel, Manager, Technical Solutions, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salon 4
Description: In this session, AFB Tech staff will discuss its research regarding mobile health devices as well as the possible implications for the future of hardware device accessibility. Through a grant from the DuPont Foundation, AFB researched the accessibility of health devices and other wearables that connect to smartphones and tablets and interact with an app on the mobile operating system. These systems usually take the form of a physical device sending data to an app where it can be viewed, stored, analyzed, and shared. Many health device types such as blood glucose meters or blood pressure monitors have few accessible options. While manufacturers must provide accessible stand-alone devices, mobile-connected devices offer an alternative to people with vision loss who use a compatible mobile device.

Unfortunately, the medical device industry has not generally addressed the access needs of consumers with vision loss. Few, if any, health-related devices are available with built-in accessibility, e.g., audio output of display information and displays with magnification and contrast adjustments. Thus, mobile-connected health apps offer the potential for accessibility for people with vision loss. It is imperative for developers of health-related devices to incorporate accessibility into the design of their products in order to ensure that individuals with vision loss can properly and safely monitor and manage their health. But, with the merger of physical devices with the accessible mobile platforms, people with vision loss will have much greater choice in the type of available devices, including new mainstream technologies. AFB is very enthusiastic about this trend and will continue to work with companies to help make their mobile apps as usable as possible.

Session 503: Students with Visual Impairments and Low Muscle Tone: Help Them Get Ready to Learn!
Presenter: Joanne Szabo, PT, DPT, MHA, PCS, Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind
Room: Salon 5
Description: Low muscle tone is one of the common muscle system problems that coexists with visual impairment. Specifically low muscle tone puts children at risk for developing poor balance and coordination, permanent orthopedic conditions, learning disabilities and language delays. Students with low muscle tone often have difficulty sitting up properly in class, paying attention, motor planning a task, sustaining an activity and ultimately learning. How to support these students at school by identifying their needs to allow for proper intervention and what simple activities can be implemented and practiced during the school day to help ready the student's body for learning will be discussed.

Session 504: Socially Competent Adults: Implications for Teachers, Families, and Future Independence
Presenter: Kathryn D. Botsford, Ph.D., NBPTS, COMS, Executive Director, Vision Education Research, and Adjunct Faculty, Portland State University
Room: Salon 6
Description: What do we want for our children with visual impairments when they grow up and become adults: an education, a job, independence, friends, and personal relationships? Looking at the experiences of adults who have achieved these goals offers insights for young families and early childhood service providers. By learning about the stories of 14 blind adults who shared their experiences for this study, session participants will increase their understanding of: the personal and social impact of viewing naturally occurring human differences as “disabling”; the critical role of teachers as partners with parents in helping children develop social competence; and the impact of having a sense of group membership and how that awareness positively influenced these adults’ social interactions in the community.

Session 505: Why “B for Blind” Is Not Good Enough: How Providing Synchronous Distance Learning Math Class Options for Blind and Visually Impaired Students in LEAs Is a Necessity for the Future
Presenter: Mike Bicknell, Digital Research/Development Coordinator, Washington State School for the Blind
Room: Salon 7
Description: Teaching math or science to blind or visually impaired (BVI) students is a daunting task for many general education teachers. Many TVIs who serve local districts have not specialized in STEM subjects, so they too can find it challenging to properly serve these students even if their caseload allows them the time. Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) developed synchronous distance learning math classes to serve BVI students in Washington and eventually in surrounding states. Classes are offered from middle school math to Algebra 2 using fully accessible videoconference system (Microsoft Lync) to students in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, formerly Montana, and now Alaska. Interest is growing in several other states as well. WSSB hopes to teach other schools how to develop similar distance learning programs in math and science or in any subject they wish to teach. We also hope to convince underemployed TVIs to consider teaching classes via distance learning technology, even if they do not work at a school for the blind or live near one.

Session 506: How Did We Get Here? Learning, Sharing, and Celebrating the History of Disability Rights
Presenters: Mark Richert, Director of Public Policy, and Rebecca Sheffield, Senior Policy Researcher, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salon 8
Description: The rights of people with disabilities have not always been protected by legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act. In helping families, students, and adults who are blind and visually impaired to become knowledgeable about their rights, we must be sure to pass along the rich history of struggles, successes, setbacks, and triumphs which helped to bring about these legal protections and rights. AFB’s Director of Public Policy and Senior Policy Researcher will engage attendees in a review of many of the policy and advocacy highlights from the history of the field of blindness and visual impairments, and then attendees will be encouraged to consider how this history can be shared and taught in schools, rehabilitation programs, and beyond.

Migel Award and Corinne Kirchner Research Award Lunch — 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Room: Pueblo Jr. Ballroom

Sessions — 2:15 pm-3:15 pm

Session 601: New Developments in eLearning: Unified English Braille Training Projects Funded through Rehabilitation Services Administration
Presenters: Stacy Kelly, Assistant Professor, Visual Disabilities Program, Department of Special and Early Education, Northern Illinois University; Holly Lawson, Coordinator, Teachers of Students with Blindness and Visual Impairments Program, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University; and Paula Mauro, Project Director, Center for Instructional Supports and Accessible Materials
Room: Salon 3
Description: About every five years, the Rehabilitation Services Administration sponsors a braille training grant, and in 2014, three awards focusing on 21st century learning and Unified English Braille (UEB) instruction were awarded. Come learn about the exciting new opportunities to learn UEB on the horizon. All three projects involve emergent learning platforms and are geared toward supporting professionals to learn UEB by the UEB implementation date.

Session 602: STEM: The Accessible Science Lab
Presenter: Mahadeo A. Sukhai, Ph.D., National Educational Association of Disabled Students
Room: Salon 4
Description: Students with disabilities are not well represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and are frequently deterred from pursuing careers in these fields by perceived and actual barriers. In this session, these barriers as well as potential solutions from the perspective of building a “culture of accessibility” in STEM will be explored.

Session 603: BlindSquare O&M Project: Intersection Data Gathering — Circa 2015
Presenter: Rob Nevin, Accessibility Director, AfterShokz
Room: Salon 5
Description: The current absence of information about street intersections poses a frequent hazard to travelers who are blind or have low vision. The BlindSquare O&M Project, which was started in 2014, is a project whose main purpose is to digitally gather detailed information about intersections and make it available for free to use by travelers who are blind or have low vision. In this session, participants will learn about the methods and the processes used in the project and how the value of their daily work can be multiplied to benefit blind and low vision travelers. Participants will learn to describe and implement current best practices for O&M with digital devices, including intersection evaluation using Google Earth.

Session 604: Alternate Assessments for Students Who Are Blind and Have an Intellectual Disability
Presenters: Audra Ahumada, Director, Alternate Assessment, Arizona Department of Education, and Diane Shifflett, TVI, COMS
Room: Salon 6
Description: The Arizona Department of Education is a member of a national consortium working to provide appropriate alternate assessments for students with visual impairments and intellectual disabilities. The National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) is working on building an alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. This presentation will provide insight into the testing process as well as outline plans for future tests. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to review testing materials and share experiences with standardized testing.

Session 605: Life After School for Those with Severe Multi-Handicapping Conditions
Presenters: Emily Coleman, Parent, TVI and FamilyConnect Blogger, and Susan LaVenture, Executive Director, National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
Room: Salon 7
Description: What happens after age 21 and the familiar routines of public school disappear? There are many different roads individuals and their families can take, with most avenues being dependent on the community resources available. This session will discuss several options for students and how to best prepare for the on-ramp to adulthood that we all know is coming. The discussion will include examples of employment, day programs and living situations.

Session 606: Serving the LGBT Community
Presenter: Sean Greatsinger, Sales Executive, Phoenix, AZ, and Toni Mayros, HR Director, Boston, MA
Room: Salon 8
Description: What if Jack and Jill were actually Jack and Jack or Jill and Jill? Would the services provided to Jack be different if he were transitioning to Jill? During this interactive session you will hear examples from within the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community as it relates to training, therapy, home/community visits and services provided. You will learn about laws affecting employers and employees such as Title VII or anti-discrimination laws. During this session we will also discuss how your personal and/or religious beliefs play into the treatment/services provided to an openly gay/bisexual or transgender individual, including when and how to discuss your beliefs with your employer.

Sessions — 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Session 701: Rising to the Challenge: Leadership Through Authorship
Presenters: George Abbott, Director, AFB Press and Professional Development; Ellen Bilofsky, Executive Editor, AFB Press; and Rebecca Burrichter, Senior Editor, JVIB; Dr. Jane Erin, JVIB Practice Perspectives Editor; and Dr. Diane Wormsley, JVIB Editor-in-Chief
Room: Salon 3
Description: During this panel presentation and interactive session, the value of information sharing and knowledge building within our profession and the AFB publishing processes and possibilities will be explored. Editors, authors, and webinar presenters will share their perspectives. Bring your creative juices and be inspired!

Session 702: A Tale of Two States’ Creative Ability to Provide Braille
Presenters: Collette Bauman, Michigan Department of Education, Low Incidence Outreach, and Vivian Seki, Director, Media Center (Arizona Instructional Resource Center) at the Foundation for Blind Children.
Room: Salon 4
Description: Arizona’s Foundation for Blind Children and the Michigan Department of Education-Low Incidence Outreach are providing creative opportunities to learn braille. In addition, both agencies provide students with materials in a timely manner. Join us to explore the possibilities!

Session 703: Reimbursement Models
Moderator: Eileen Siffermann, M.A., M.Ed., COMS
Panelists: Cathy Holden, COMS, Director of Clinical Operations; Roxanne Mayros, Chief Executive Officer, VisionServe Alliance; Lylas G. Mogk, M.D., Director, Center for Vision Rehabilitation and Research; Kathleen E. Zeider, President/CEO, ACVREP
Room: Salon 5
Description: The professionals who provide services to consumers who are blind or visually impaired are concerned with limited available funding. The speakers will discuss current successful reimbursement models and offer suggestions to initiate other reimbursement models. The speakers will address issues facing orientation and mobility service providers in relationship to these models.

Session 704: Grief and Parents of Babies Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Presenter: Anne McComiskey, Director, Babies Early Growth Intervention Network
Room: Salon 6
Description: This discussion will cover what professionals need to know about the effects of grieving on parents of babies who are blind or visually impaired— why grief keeps them from being effective, guiding parents and what professionals need to know to enhance parents’ ability to ‘just do it.’

Session 705: Labeling for Everything and Everyone: A Hands-on Demonstration of Tools and Systems Used by Those with Low or No Vision
Presenter: Neva Fairchild, National Independent Living Associate, Center on Vision Loss, American Foundation for the Blind
Room: Salon 7
Description: What is the best labeling system for your student or consumer to use? How do they work? How much do they cost? Where do you get them? From rubber bands to iPhone apps, learn about a wide variety of methods for labeling everything from important papers to prescriptions to frozen peas to polo shirts to cat food. Items from Esther’s Place at the AFB Center on Vision Loss will be explained and demonstrated, and you can try them for yourself following the session.

Session 706: Where Will the VRT Profession Be in Five Years?
Presenter: Susan Dalton, Instructor, Special and Early Education, Northern Illinois University; Roxanne Mayros, Chief Executive Officer, VisionServe Alliance; and Judy Scott, Director, Center on Vision Loss
Room: Salon 8
Description: This session will summarize the collaborative discussions that took place in April 2014 during the Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Strategic Symposium hosted by Salus University and VisionServe Alliance. The purpose of the symposium was to bring together a consortium of stakeholders to address specific challenges faced by the Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Personnel Preparation Programs and the profession at large. Three main topic areas will be described as well as the strategies and actions this consortium of stakeholders has committed to further investigate, develop and executive. These topics are: Recruitment of Quality Students into Personnel Preparation Programs, the Need for a Clearly Defined Professional Identity, and the Need for an Updated Curriculum. The leaders of this session will seek attendees’ thoughts, input, and recommendations.

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