Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB Leadership Conference 2018 Agenda

Note: Sessions and times are subject to change. Descriptions are still being finalized. Please check back periodically for the most up-to-date information.

Register for AFBLC18 Today!

Thursday, April 5, 2018
8:30 AM–9:45 AM

General Session: How Leading Tech Companies Are Raising the Bar for Blind and Visually Impaired Users

Room: Grand Ballroom
Moderator: Jennison Asuncion, Engineering Manager, Accessibility, LinkedIn
Panelists: Sarah Herrlinger, Director, Accessibility Policy and Initiatives, Apple; Mark Lapole, Lead Product Manager, Accessibility, eBay; Megan Lawrence, Accessibility Technical Evangelist, Microsoft; and Jeffrey Wieland, Director of Accessibility, Facebook
Description: The world’s leading technology companies will share insights on how they operationalize accessibility, engage with assistive technology users, and improve opportunities for persons with visual impairments.

9:45 AM–10:00AM—Break

10:00 AM–12:00 PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

What Makes the Generations Tick and What Ticks Them OFF!

Room: East 1
Speakers: Anna Liotta, President and CEO, Consultance; and Sylvia Stinson Perez, CEO, Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind
Description: This deeply insightful and humorously engaging keynote illuminates the opportunities (and challenges) in leading five generations. Anna Liotta masterfully guides participants to optimize the Generational CODES™ of their diverse teams to create inclusive experiences that attract and retain top talent.

AccessWorld Technology Summit

Room: OCC 208
Facilitator: Lee Huffman, AccessWorld, Editor and Manager, Technology Information, AFB
Description: This five-hour session, kicked off by Google, will feature practical, pertinent information about new accessibility developments in key technologies and offer opportunities for attendees to interact with mainstream technology and accessibility experts.

Employment Empowerment—Make It Work: A Course for Career Success!

(Two hours)
Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speaker: Paul Hippolitus, Director, Employment and Disability Benefits Initiative, World Institute on Disability
Description: This presentation will provide an overview of a core section of WID E3, a groundbreaking course of study that teaches competitive employment skills to people with disabilities. The E3 course content helps job seekers build and develop employment self-confidence and better understand the intricacies of today’s evolving world of work. Evidence-based outcomes from our efforts will be shared and time will be provided for questions.

How Technology Is Shaping O&M: Insights from Practitioners and an End User

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Facilitator: Yue-Ting (Ting) Siu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
Speakers: Chancey Fleet, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, New York Public Library; and Sandy Rosen, Ph.D., Coordinator, Program in Orientation & Mobility, Graduate College of Education, San Francisco State University
Description: This session will showcase trends and innovative technology adoptions in orientation and mobility. Current practices in personnel preparation will be discussed. A comparison of the usability of high-tech apps for savvy travelers with visual impairments will be presented. Finally, the session will cover how technology can be integrated for future-forward O&M practices.

Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program Administrators Workshop, Part 1

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Description: This is an invitation-only all-day workshop for administrators of the Older Individuals Who Are Blind Programs. For details, send an email to B. J. LeJeune of the Mississippi State University at bjlejeune@colled.msstate.edu. This session is designed to provide OIB Program Managers with information to assist them in effectively managing the OIB Program in their states.

12:00 PM–1:30 PM—Lunch on Your Own

1:30 PM–4:30 PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Overcoming Your Immunity to Change

(Three hours)
Room: East 1
Speakers: Amy Climer, Ph.D., Climer Consulting; and Megan Dodd, Director, AFB Center on Vision Loss
Description: We often move forward on goals with the best of intentions, but soon find ourselves stuck and nothing has changed. The reason: we have hidden motivations and beliefs that prevent us from changing. Harvard researchers Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey discovered a powerful process called Immunity to Change that deciphers how we get in our own way when we try to change. Learn this process by applying it to a change you are trying to make in your life.

AccessWorld Technology Summit

(Continuation of the morning session.)
Room: OCC 208
Facilitator: Lee Huffman, AccessWorld, Editor and Manager, Technology Information, AFB
Description: This is a continuation of the five-hour session, kicked off by Google in the morning session, that features practical, pertinent information about new accessibility developments in key technologies and offers opportunities for attendees to interact with mainstream technology and accessibility experts.

Economic Empowerment: From ABLE Accounts to Workforce Innovation Opportunity and Act—Financial Education Requirements

(Three hours)
Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speakers: Thomas Foley, J.D., World Institute on Disability; and Anita Aaron, Executive Director and CEO, World Institute on Disability
Description: This presentation will explore a set of new financial empowerment tools and information to encourage employment, savings, budgeting, credit and paying down debt. Discover the power of new ABLE Accounts for saving without jeopardizing benefits, and make benefits programs work in one’s favor through state-specific disability benefits planning, training and resources from WID’s Disability Benefits 101 website.

Education Policy and Practice Summit

(Three-and-a-half-hours. Note: This session may run until 5:00 PM.)
Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Facilitators: Mark Richert, Esq., Director, Public Policy and Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, AFB; and Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB
Description: What are the essential elements of 21st century education for students who are blind or visually impaired? What policies and practices define the services, professionals, settings, and programs that serve infants, toddlers, children, and young adults? How should we interpret and shape state and federal policies in light of new technologies, medical advances, and ever-changing student and professional populations? Come and help our community coalesce toward the development of comprehensive written policy and practice guidance for parents and educators.

Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program Administrators Workshop (Part 2)

(Note: This meeting, which will be held from 1:30 PM–4:30 PM, is open to all conference attendees.
Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitators: B. J. LeJeune, M.Ed., Training Supervisor, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University, MSU; Kendra Farrow, M.A., National Research and Training Associate, Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University; Priscilla Rogers, Acting Director, Web Programs, AFB; and Mary Williams, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
Speakers: Doug Anslovar, Chief Learning Officer, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Mark Armstrong, CVRT, Senior Adult Program Specialist, Helen Keller National Center; ACVREP VRT Subject-Matter Expert; and Adjunct Lecturer, Hunter College Department of Special Education; Kim Barbar, Iowa OIB Program Manager; James Billy, Rehabilitation Services Administration; Kendra Farrow, OIB-TAC; Lynda Jones, Consultant, VisionAware Peer Advisor; Leamon Jones, Michigan OIB Program Manager; Ed Lecher, OIB Program Manager, Minnesota State Services for the Blind; Bill Tomlin, Older Individuals Who Are Blind Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC); and Mary Williams, Rehabilitation Services Administration.
Description: This session is designed to provide OIB Program Managers with information to assist them in effectively managing the OIB Program in their states. Participants will have the opportunity to talk to staff from RSA who manage the older blind program. They will have an opportunity to talk to the project managers of the new technical assistance grant for Services to Older Individuals Who Are Blind. They will also hear a presentation about the immerging trends in outcomes of older persons served through the older blind programs.

Friday, April 6, 2018
8:30 AM–10:00 AM

General Session: Empowering a Future of No Limits

(Employment Panel)
Room: Grand Ballroom
Moderator: Russell Shaffer, Director, Global Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, Walmart
Panelists: Jennison Asuncion, Engineering Manager, Accessibility, LinkedIn; Dina Grilo, Program Manager, Office of Disability Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Jen Guadagno, Senior Program Manager, Inclusive Hiring, Microsoft; and others to be announced
Description: A meaningful career remains an elusive goal for many Americans with disabilities despite a highly educated pool of talent and shifts in workplace culture and adoption of accessible technologies which are meant to foster greater inclusion. So where’s the disconnect? This panel will feature both professionals who are blind as well as leaders from inclusively minded companies to discuss stories of successes and challenges as well as effective strategies aimed at creating #NoLimits employment outcomes. The Stephen Garff Marriott Award will be bestowed during this session.

10:00 AM–10:15 AM—Break

10:15 AM–11:15 AM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Leadership through Story Telling (Part 1)

Room: East 1
Speakers: Jeremy Robinson, MSW, MCC, Executive Coach and Management Consultant, and President, Robinson Capital Corporation; and Tanner Gers, Motivational Speaker and Success Coach
Description: Participants will be empowered to help them find their voices and begin to practice the art of good storytelling as a core component of becoming leaders and managers. This session will be experiential storytelling journeys for each of the participants. Participants will learn elements of good storytelling, including how to use emotional intelligence domains, personal biography and vulnerability to practice what good storytelling sounds and feels like. The ultimate goal is to give participants more confidence and self-compassion in finding their own voices to further both career and personal development goals.

Guidelines for Giving an Accessible and Interesting PowerPoint Presentation

Room: OCC 208
Speaker: Ike Presley, TVI, CLVT, CATIS, National Program Manager, AFB
Description: Professionals in visual impairments often share knowledge and information about technology with individuals with disabilities, family members and professionals. Presenters use PowerPoint to organize and display their content. Often presenters are unaware that content will not be accessible to all audience members. Careful development of the presentation can ensure that it will be accessible to everyone. This session will provide guidelines for making PowerPoint presentations accessible and interesting.

The Employment Continuum: Creating Continuity from Campus to Career

Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speaker: Russell Shaffer, Director, Global Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, Walmart
Description: TK

Accessible Media for Students Who Are Blind and Have Low Vision

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Speakers: Cindy Camp, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Described and Captioned Media Program; and Jason Stark, Director, Described and Captioned Media Program
Description: Multimedia is beneficial to all students. However, teachers of visually impaired students may not use video, may not be familiar with audiodescription or cannot locate accessible media. The Described and Captioned Media Program is a free, federally funded program that provides accessible educational media.

Update on the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitator: Mark Richert, Esq., Director, Public Policy and Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, AFB
Speakers: Megan Dodd, Director, AFB Center on Vision Loss; Neva Fairchild, National Independent Living and Employment Specialist, AFB; Priscilla Rogers, Acting Director, Web Programs, AFB; and Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB
Description: The 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss is a collaboration between experts in the many fields relating to aging and vision loss with a goal to raise awareness, facilitate increased and improved services, and protect and promote the rights of seniors with low vision. During this session, hear an update on the agenda’s four goals from AFB staff who facilitate this national effort.

Leadership through Authorship: Sharing Your Research and Practice

Room: OCC 210/211
Speakers: Sandra Lewis, Ed.D., Coordinator and Professor, Visual Disabilities Program, Florida State University and Editor-in-Chief, JVIB; Rona L. Pogrund, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator, Visual Impairment Program, College of Education, Texas Tech University and Associate Editor for Practice, JVIB; and Rebecca Burrichter, Senior Editor, JVIB, AFB
Description: Join the editor-in-chief, associate editor of practice, and senior editor of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB), as they describe the importance of authorship in building the knowledge- and evidence-base of the field of visual impairment for the purpose of encouraging new and existing authors to gather evidence and submit their research and practical techniques for scholarly publication.

11:15 AM–11:30 AM—Break

11:30 AM–12:30 PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Leadership through Story Telling (Part 2)

Room: East 1
Speakers: Jeremy Robinson, MSW, MCC, Executive Coach and Management Consultant, and President, Robinson Capital Corporation; and Tanner Gers, Motivational Speaker and Success Coach
Description: Participants will be empowered to help them find their voices and begin to practice the art of good storytelling as a core component of becoming leaders and managers. This session will be experiential storytelling journeys for each of the participants. Participants will learn elements of good storytelling including how to use emotional intelligence domains, personal biography and vulnerability to practice what good story telling sounds and feels like. The ultimate goal is to give participants more confidence and self-compassion in finding their own voices to further both career and personal development goals.

What's New with Google Home and Google Assistant?

Room: OCC 208
Speaker: Kiran Kaja, Technical Program Manager, Google
Description: Join Kiran Kaja, a Technical Program Manager at Google, to learn about new features in Google Home and Google Assistant. Also learn about new products that run the Google Assistant.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: A Job Search Intervention for Transition-Age Youth

Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speakers: Jennifer Cmar, Assistant Research Professor, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University; and Michele McDonnall, Ph.D., CRC, Director and Research Professor, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University
Description: Early paid work experiences are associated with future employment outcomes for youth who are blind or visually impaired, particularly for those who find their jobs independently. To examine the effectiveness of adding a guided job search program to a summer work experience program, researchers at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision are conducting a study with transition-age youth who are blind or visually impaired. The intensive 5-day job search program uses a group training model based on principles of active learning and includes activities designed to strengthen youths’ job search skills and enhance their self-efficacy. In this session, presenters will introduce the job search program and share preliminary results of the program’s effects on short-term outcomes.

Cerebral Visual Impairment, Cerebral Visual Disorders, and Cerebral Visual Deficiencies: Discussion on Definitions

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Speakers: Lea Hyvarinen, M.D., Ph.D., Prof. H.C., Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Technical University, Dortmund, Germany; and John Ravenscroft, Professor and Chair, Childhood Visual Impairment and Head and Director, Scottish Sensory Centre, The Moray House, School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, and Editor in Chief, British Journal of Visual Impairment
Description: A shared understanding of what CVI/CVD/CVDs mean across international borders is important. IDC-11 may help to clarify the existence of two different groups of children with disorders in the visual brain when defined for educational purposes, yet uses cerebral visual disorders as the medical diagnose that combines both groups. The speakers propose that definitions for cerebral visual impairment and cerebral visual deficiencies suggested by the International Council of Ophthalmology be considered.

Goal 1 Spotlight: Who Is the Older Individual with Vision Loss?

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitator: Mark Richert, Esq., Director, Public Policy and Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, AFB
Description: What do we know about older individuals with vision loss and how has this population changed over time? What are the key challenges and opportunities facing this population? Learn the answers to these questions and more during this informative session, which is broken up into two segments:
  • Demographics on Aging and Vision Loss. What about the 60-Plus Adult?
    Speaker: Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB
  • Research on Aging, Vision Loss, Co-morbidities and Implications
    Speaker: Anne Riddering, Ph.D., OTR, CLVT, COMS, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Henry Ford Health System’s Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center of Michigan, Research on Aging, Vision Loss, Co-morbidities and Implications

Enhancing Independence with a Low Vision Focus: A Field Guide for Caregivers and Professionals

Room: OCC 210/211
Speaker: Ed Haines, Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Program Leader, Low Vision Focus, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Description: The purpose of this initiative is to address the needs of the rapidly growing population of older adults with low vision who have not been served by traditional rehabilitation entities. Caregivers and professionals responsible for this population are also customarily not part of the traditional vision rehabilitation field, and include such persons as spouses, children, and professionals in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. "Enhancing Independence with a Low Vision Focus" is a multimedia reference tool that is targeted to sighted caregivers and professionals unfamiliar with vision loss so that they might quickly identify rehabilitation solutions for those under their care without undue research or effort.

12:30 PM–2:00 PM—Lunch on Your Own
2:00 PM–3:00PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Exceptional Leadership: Overcoming Challenges, Inspiring Others, Achieving Success (Panel)

Room: East 1
Moderator: George Abbott, Chief Knowledge Advancement Officer, AFB
Speakers: Anita Aaron, Executive Director, World Institute on Disability and CEO; Helaine Blumenthal, Ph.D., Classroom Program Manager, Wiki Education Foundation; and Jack Chen, Product Counsel, Google
Description: These leaders, who are visually impaired, will discuss how they have overcome challenges, assumed leadership roles and helped others develop as leaders. They will also explore characteristics and opportunities that helped them achieve career and other goals and discover the impactful projects they are leading.

TMAP—Tactile Maps Automated Production

Room: OCC 208
Speakers: Greg Kehret, Director, Media and Accessible Design Lab, Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; and Naomi Rosenberg, Senior Designer, Media and Accessible Design Lab, Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Description: The significant implications of TMAP, a web-based app for rapid production of tactile street maps of any location in the U.S, for education and orientation and mobility of blind and visually impaired travelers, will be discussed. TMAP as an aid for teaching tactile literacy, the ease with which TMAP can enter curriculum, and the ease with which TMAPs are generated will also be discussed.

A Vision for Succeeding in High Finance

Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speaker: Gena Harper, Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Management Consultant, Morgan Stanley
Description: How does someone with a visual impairment compete in the world of high finance? One of the nation's leading female investment and financial services industry executives, who happens to be blind, shares her vision for getting hired in a competitive, demanding industry and taking control of advancing your career. Obstacles faced, creative solutions applied, tools used and personal characteristics that lead to success will be shared.

State Education Policy Updates: Focus on California

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Speakers: Mark Richert, Esq., Director, Public Policy and Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, AFB; Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB; and Yue-Ting (Ting) Siu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
Description: They say that "all politics is local," and it is certainly true that national-level education policy and best practice is only given meaning and effect as it plays out in the states. Come to this lively discussion about how evolving national policy, debates about the roles of TVIs and other professionals, and the application and sometimes misapplication of federal and state law and policy are affecting California's students with vision loss and their educators.

Goal 2 Spotlight: Best Practices in the Administration of the OIB Program

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitator: Priscilla Rogers, Acting Director, Web Programs, AFB
Speakers: Adele Crudden, Ph.D., Researcher, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University; Kendra Farrow, M.A., National Research and Training Associate, Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University; and B. J. LeJeune, M.Ed., Training Supervisor, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University
Description: A task force to address best practices in the administration and implementation of the Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB) Program was formed in 2017. The Best Practices Task Force considered 16 topic areas impacting the efficient delivery of services in state OIB Programs. Sponsored by the OIB-TAC at Mississippi State University, fourteen subject matter experts convened to address these sixteen topic areas. This presentation is a summary of their work to reach consensus.

Short Term Immersion Learning and Training Opportunities: A Springboard for Building Community, Confidence, Independence and Leadership

Room: OCC 210/211
Speakers: Kathy Abrahamson, Director Rehabilitation Services, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Debbie Bacon, Rehabilitation Counselor, MS/QRP, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Katt Jones, COMS, Orientation & Mobility Specialist, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Lisamaria Martinez, Director of Community Services, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Description: Immersive learning provides students a cohort to develop and build a foundation of skills within a community of peers and mentors and skilled teachers and facilitators. The LightHouse for the Blind highlights three programs: Changing Vision Changing Life, life skills for adults new to blindness/low vision; Youth Employment Series, empowering transition age students to strive toward employment, post-secondary educational success and full independence; and Mobility Immersion for dog guide applicants developing O&M skills most relevant to guide dog mobility.

3:00 PM–4:00 PM—Exhibitors and Networking Break

This hour is designated for networking and visiting with the exhibitors during their final hour.

4:00 PM–5:00 PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Succession Planning as a Leadership Development Tool

Room: East 1
Speakers: Constance Engelstad, President, The Shaman Group, Inc.; and Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D., Educational Consultant, SZS Educational Consulting
Description: Succession planning tools are important for maintaining stability within an organization, creating opportunities for upward mobility, achieving a sustainable and learning workforce and serving as a change management tool during times of organizational change or employee turnover. This session will present examples from informal, employee-mentor driven participation in succession planning to more formal, organization-wide planning processes. The important differences between replacing an employee or "filling a job" vs. succession planning will be explained. Focus will be on identifying candidates who have both the capacity to lead and willingness to learn critical skills crucial for a successful succession plan and creating a plan that prepares an employee for leadership positions. With a proper plan in place, emerging leaders can be equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities in preparation for increased responsibilities and leadership positions.

Accessibyte: Fun and funky AT

Room: OCC 208
Speaker: Joseph Jorgenson, MSEd., COMS, CVRT, CATIS, Lead Developer, Accessibyte, Assistive Technology Instructor
Description: Learn how you and your students can benefit from Accessibyte software. Developer insights, teacher recommendations and student experiences will be shared. Accessibyte Online, a cloud-based AT service, will be introduced, in addition to discussions on Typio, the accessible typing tutor, Quick Cards, Accessibyte Arcade and the Teacher Dashboard.

Job Retention: Characteristics and Services Associated with Maintaining Employment

Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speakers: Adele Crudden, Ph.D., Researcher, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University; and Anne Steverson, Research Associate, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University
Description: Recent WIOA legislation reaffirms the role of state/federal vocational rehabilitation agencies in assisting persons with disabilities in retaining employment and pursuing career advancement. The speakers examined the personal characteristics and services received by employed persons with vision loss seeking vocational rehabilitation services and looked for similarities and differences in employed and unemployed applicants, how persons who retained employment differed from those who did not, and strategies that appear conducive to promoting job retention and advancement.

Determining Effective Print Size for Students with Low Vision: An Evidenced-based Evaluation Program

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Speaker: Amanda Hall Lueck, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Department of Special Education, San Francisco State University
Description: A new evidenced-based evaluation program to determine appropriate print size for students who have low vision is now available through the American Printing House for the Blind. This program provides a set of materials applicable to students through all grade levels, beginning at the pre-primer stage, to help students, educators and parents quickly find the optimum print size for various educational and leisure tasks. It includes sentence and text reading cards at different reading levels along with a guidebook for evaluators. This presentation will discuss the development of the tool and how to use it with students who have low vision. Additionally, ways in which it can be used to uncover some of the unique reading requirements of students who have cerebral visual impairment will be discussed so that the tool can be applied effectively to this population.

Fall Prevention

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitator: Megan Dodd, Director, AFB Center on Vision Loss
Speakers: Christy Lau, MSSW, Program Director, Partners in Care Foundation; and Ed Lecher, Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program Manager, Minnesota State Services for the Blind
Description: In this session, learn about the Fall Coalition in California headed by Christy Lau, and the steps they have taken to include individuals with vision loss. Christy will discuss the NCOA fall prevention program and opportunities for state agencies to get involved. Ed Lecher will discuss how his agency has addressed fall prevention, the collaborative the agency has done with other agencies, and possible funding sources such as leveraging monies available from home and community-based services.

High-Tech Testing for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Room: OCC 210/211
Speakers: Adrian Amandi, Assistive Technology Specialist, California School for the Blind; Joy Harris, Ph.D., Executive Director, Council of Schools and Services for the Blind, and Faculty, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; Trisha Klein, Director, Student Supports, Smarter Balanced; Scott McCallum, Superintendent, Washington State School for the Blind; Jan McSorley, Vice President of Accessibility, Psychometric and Testing Services, Pearson Publishing; Susan O'Brien, Adapted Materials Specialist, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; and Yue-Ting (Ting) Siu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
Description: The Council of Schools and Services for the Blind (COSB) will lead a one-hour panel discussion about online testing for students who are blind or visually impaired. Panelists include superintendents of schools for the blind, experts in testing and accessibility, and TVIs. As a result of our discussion, participants will learn challenges faced by students with visual impairments in technology-driven testing environments as well as tools and resources to help prepare students for success.

Saturday, April 7, 2018
8:30 AM–9:45 AM

Keynote Address: A Vision of How People Who Are Blind Will Live and Learn in the Future

Room: Grand Ballroom
Speaker: Bryan Bashin, CEO, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco
Description: Blindness professionals gathering in Oakland today are standing on the verge of new social and technological developments which will profoundly change blindness services and outcomes. The LightHouse for the Blind in San Francisco is engaged with the world’s leading technology, engineering and communications companies in an effort to invent new and effective ways to serve our community. But more than any one blindness agency, the way blind people are beginning to manage their daily needs through their use of mainstream technologies, reliance on technology network companies, transportation, and consumption of new media tools is fundamentally changing the paradigm of what a blindness services professional should do, and why. We’ll explore some of these trends in and out of our field and speculate on what’s going to be important a little farther than the eye can see.

9:45 AM–10:00 AM—Break

10:00 AM–11:00 AM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Get Involved and Promote Career Success! Use Goal-Setting and Self-Assessment Tools as Part of Any Performance Evaluation Process

Room: East 1
Speakers: Constance Engelstad, President, The Shaman Group, Inc.; and Sharon Z. Sacks, Ph.D., Educational Consultant, SZS Educational Consulting
Description: Performance evaluation is more than a checklist and can be an effective career development tool when both leaders and employees take active roles in the process. The scope of this session is on Goal-Setting and two Self-Assessment tools: the TEAM-Plate and GAP Analysis models. Use of these tools in the performance evaluation process can increase employee ownership of career development and gain support from leaders and mentors to create career opportunities. The TEAM-Plate and GAP Analysis models will be shared as well as strategies to conduct performance evaluations and connect them to professional development outcomes. Through GAP Analysis, participants will understand how to identify and address areas for growth and create their own professional development plans based on Goal-Setting and various tools that can lead to development opportunities, upward mobility and pay increases.

Coping through Technology: Tools for Seniors with Combined Loss of Vision and Hearing

Room: OCC 208
Speaker: Mark Armstrong, CVRT, Senior Adult Program Specialist, Helen Keller National Center; ACVREP VRT Subject-Matter Expert; and Adjunct Lecturer, Hunter College Department of Special Education
Description: This session will highlight alerting, communication, and mobile technologies that assist persons with dual vision and hearing loss maintain independence.

The Pearson Mentoring Experiment: How a New Corporate Mentoring Program Is Raising Career Expectations and Empowering Blind College Students and Young Adults Throughout the Globe

Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speakers: Elizabeth Delfs, Esq., Vice President, Global Accessibility Counsel and Director, Changing the Channel Corporate Mentoring Program, Pearson; and Tarryn Brennon, Vice President, Senior Counsel, Global Product, Pearson
Description: The corporate world has a new tool to repair low expectations and "career avoidance" that hold back young adults from pursuing professional careers. Pearson, Inc., a large global company, developed an innovative virtual mentoring program for the benefit of college students and young adults who are seeking to identify and pursue careers that match their skills and interests. Evaluation results point to demonstrable growth and change for both mentors and mentees. The program can be easily duplicated by other corporations and continues to accept applications from blind young adults throughout the globe.

Braille Literacy Statistics Research Study

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Speakers: Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB; and Frances Mary D'Andrea, Independent Educational Consultant in Visual Impairments, Greater Pittsburgh Area
Description: The number of braille readers in the United States is a potentially powerful indicator for our field. However, this statistic has proven difficult to substantiate and clarify. The presenters will relay findings from their literature search and analysis, leading into a discussion about why this is an issue and what the policy implications are. Discussion questions include: Is braille readership declining? What braille-related projects and research should be funded?

Goal 3 Spotlight: Engaging our Communities to Think about Livability

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitator: Megan Dodd, Director, AFB Center on Vision Loss
Speakers: Sharon Baggett, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Indianapolis, Center for Aging & Community; and Anne Riddering, Ph.D., OTR, CLVT, COMS, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Henry Ford Health System’s Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center of Michigan, Research on Aging, Vision Loss, Co-morbidities and Implications
Description: During this session, learn about SiteWise, the publication of Henry Ford Health System’s research on adapting public spaces to increase inclusiveness and accessibility. Hear about how the University of Indianapolis’s Center for Aging & Community engaged locals and created an active group of livability advocates, and their step-by-step guide to creating an advocacy movement in your community.

Powerful Partnerships: Benefits of Collaboration between Eye Care Providers and Educators When Serving Students with Low Vision

Room: OCC 210/211
Speakers: Lizbeth Barclay, TVI/Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Low Vision Clinic, University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry; and Marlena Chu, O.D., FAAO Low Vision Diplomate, American Academy of Optometry, and Chief, Low Vision Services, University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry
Description: We all know of the importance of information provided by vision specialists to inform the assessment and teaching practices for our students with low vision. Too often TVIs and orientation and mobility specialists must proceed with incomplete, incomprehensible or out-of-date vision reports that make it challenging to confidently engage in best teaching practices. This workshop highlights the importance of pro-active collaboration between educators and vision specialists. Essential elements of a low vision exam for school-aged children will be described and implications for classroom recommendations will be included. Strategies for teacher/doctor collaboration will be discussed.

11:00–11:15 AM—Break

11:15 AM–12:15 PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Developing Leadership in Youth: Successfully Transitioning to College and the Workforce

(Panel)
Room: East 1
Moderator: Megan Dodd, Director, AFB Center on Vision Loss
Description: Learn about the leadership qualities needed to successfully navigate the transitions into college and the workforce. A panel of consumers and service providers will share their insights, experiences, and tactics to building these key leadership skills.

Accessible Interactive Math with Desmos

Room: OCC 208
Speakers: Jason Merrill, Lead Calculator Engineer, Desmos; Stephen Clower, Accessibility Engineer, Desmos; and Jennifer Wales, Lead Designer, Desmos
Description: The speakers will discuss software designed to make it easier for anyone to author interactive mathematical material that is accessible to sighted, visually impaired, and blind teachers and students, including braille- and screen reader-accessible and editable math notations and audio representations of mathematical graphs.

Overview and Implications of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Room: Junior Ballroom 3
Speakers: Elena Gomez, Deputy Director, Specialized Services Division, California Department of Rehabilitation; and Rosa Gomez, Assistant Deputy Director, Specialized Services Division, California Department of Rehabilitation
Description: It has been over 15 years since the initial Workforce Investment Act of 1998 was changed. On July 22, 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law. This empowering legislation updates the federal job training programs in the public workforce system. WIOA is designed to improve the coordination of employment, education and training services across core partners, including Vocational Rehabilitation, within the workforce system. This presentation will provide an overview of WIOA and its implications for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

State of the States Research Update

Room: Junior Ballrooms 1 and 2
Speakers: Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB; and doctoral scholars (TBA)
Description: Variations in policies and demographics around the United States present key challenges to research, advocacy, and services in the field of visual impairment. For many critical programs, each state organizes its own programming, sets its own professional criteria, and defines its own eligibility requirements. Presenters at this session are working with AFB to construct a "State of the States" database of information with implications for advocates, practitioners, students, clients, families, researchers, and personnel preparation programs.

Goal 4 Spotlight: Coping with Low Vision, the Emotional Impact

Room: Junior Ballroom 4
Facilitator: Neva Fairchild, National Independent Living and Employment Specialist, AFB
Speakers: Mike Cole, Facilitator, Discussion Support Group, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco, Audrey Demmitt, R.N., VisionAware Peer Advisor; and Anthony Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, American Council of the Blind
Description: Audrey Demmitt will discuss the emotional impact of vision loss in older adults including depression, anxiety, isolation and loneliness. She will present a tool that can be used to screen clients for depression and to monitor depression symptoms so appropriate referrals can be made. A panel of consumers will engage in a Q & A discussion of their needs for resources, potential solutions during this time of limited services, and the important role support groups play in adjusting to vision loss.

Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness Peer Reviewer Workshop

Room: OCC 210/211
Speakers: Sandra Lewis, Ed.D., Coordinator and Professor, Visual Disabilities Program, Florida State University and Editor-in-Chief, JVIB; and Rebecca Burrichter, Senior Editor, JVIB, AFB
Description: Current peer reviewers and prospective peer reviewers of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) are invited to meet with the journal's editor in chief and senior editor to discuss the journal's peer review process and share and learn ideas from each other about what constitutes an excellent peer review.

12:15 PM–2:15 PM

Migel Medal and Corinne Kirchner Research Award Luncheon

Room: Grand Ballroom

Please purchase your ticket for the ceremony and luncheon during the online registration process. Tickets are $20.00 each.

2:15 PM–3:15 PM


Accessibility and VI Professionals: How the Modern Practitioner Becomes an Accessibility Facilitator for Students with Visual Impairments

Room: Ballroom 1-2
Speaker: Yue-Ting (Ting) Siu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
Description: As classroom and community information has evolved to include digital information and multimedia, much of our students' instructional materials now include online curriculum, mobile apps, and interactive technologies. The scope of practitioners' responsibilities are no longer just about providing our students with large print and braille copies; rather, the savvy practitioner must understand how to evaluate educational products for accessibility, know how to advocate for accessible digital media, remediate materials as needed for low vision or nonvisual learning, and deliver materials in a digital workflow. This session will focus on how the busy practitioner can empower IEP teams to support a digital workflow and empower students to be in charge of their own accessibility needs. Handouts will provide resources for how to ensure accessible multimedia are provided to students.

National Disability Insurance Scheme: A New Australian Focus on Support

Room: OCC 210/211
Speaker: Maribel Steel, VisionAware Peer Advisor, Author, Speaker and Positive Vision Educator
Description: Learn about The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a new Australian funding system for people with a disability that is designed to give participants more choice and control of the services they require. Is this true? Decide for yourself and be part of the audience where you can gain an inside perspective as a participant on the new scheme and discover why the funding model in its infancy is being received with mixed reactions. The speaker will deliver a creative presentation based on her personal experience and her research on the new system.

2:15 PM–4:15 PM

Note: Sessions run concurrently.

Creating an Action Agenda for the Development of Leaders Who Are Blind

(Two-hours)
Room: East 1
Speakers: Kirk Adams, President and CEO, AFB; Ron Morey, President, Profound Results Consulting; and Jeremy Robinson, MSW, MCC, Executive Coach and Management Consultant, and President, Robinson Capital Corporation
Description: This session will serve as the capstone for the leadership track. In the coming year, we want to ensure we maintain solid momentum by engaging participants in a highly interactive session that will inspire attendees to help create a vision that will prepare blind leaders for a variety of roles across sectors. Our intent is to clarify what we have achieved over this three-day leadership conference, while spurring action in the coming year through creation of an action agenda to improve leadership development opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired and identifying how we will reconvene and map out next steps for this initiative.

The 2nd National Conversation on Issues Related to Aging and Vision Loss: Consumer Voices

(Two hours)
Room: OCC 208
Facilitator: Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, AFB
Speakers: Amber Carroll, Director, Partnership with Senior Center Without Walls; and Mike Cole, Facilitator, Discussion Support Group, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco
Goal Responders: Megan Dodd, Director, AFB Center on Vision Loss; Neva Fairchild, National Independent Living and Employment Specialist, AFB; Mark Richert, Esq., Director, Public Policy and Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, AFB; Priscilla Rogers, Acting Director, Web Programs, AFB
Description: During the 1st National Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss (2015), we highlighted four key challenges facing this population: elder justice, long term services and support, healthy aging, and retirement security. Receive an update on the four key challenges from AFB staff and directly from consumers about the issues that are most important to them. Don’t miss your opportunity to weigh in and engage in the conversation during this landmark session!

Note: If you are unable to attend this session and would like to engage in the conversation, please fill in our national survey on aging and vision loss at www.afb.org/agingsurvey. The Senior Center Without Walls will also be offering a national opportunity to weigh in at a teleconference on May 4.

services icon Directory of Services

book icon Featured Book

O & M for Independent LivingO&M for Independent Living

O&M for Independent Living

Join Our Mission

Your generosity makes our programs possible.