2014 PCB State Convention and Conference Schedule

Thursday October 16, 2014

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Convention Registration

The registration desk is located at the bottom of the stairs approaching the Crown Ballroom.


7:15 PM – 9:00 PM General Session, Crown Ballroom

Presiding PCB President, Tony Swartz

Welcome: PCB President Tony Swartz

7:20 PM President’s Report

7:25 PM  Report from Executive Director, John Horst


7:30 PM Leadership Is for Everyday, Sue Lichtenfels

On first thought, most people associate the word “Leader” with business Tycoons, high ranking politicians, and celebrities. In fact, true “Leadership” is about setting an example through our behaviors and attitudes. This type of leadership is for everyday. This presentation will discuss the qualities that can make us good leaders at home, in the community, or on the job. It will also share insights from everyday leaders who are blind or visually impaired. Come join us to learn how you too can live your leadership.


8:00 PM Chapter Reports

8:30 PM Resolutions & Bylaws – First Reading, Carla Hayes Resolution Committee Chair, Rose Martin Bylaws Committee Chair

8:45 PM Announcements

8:55 PM Door Prize


9:00 PM Convention Mixer, Crown Ballroom

Convention weekend is jam packed with so much information and entertainment, we often don’t have the opportunity to formally interact and network with one another. The Convention Program & Planning Committee is setting time aside to make sure we start the convention off the right way; with each other.

The Membership Committee     has a full, fun and interactive agenda planned to promote collaboration among members as well as taking time to recognize convention first timers and other notable member milestones.


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


Friday October 17, 2014

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM PCB board Meeting, Crown Ballroom

All members and guest of PCB are welcomed.


8:30 AM – 5:00 PM Convention Registration


8:30 AM Johnstown Heritage discovery Center Tour Departure

“Rather than simply looking at artifacts, you’ll actually experience the sights, sounds and even the smells of immigrants’ daily lives, and come away with a more complete understanding of the sacrifices and achievements of these Americans in the making. As you enter, you’ll choose a card with a photo of one of eight immigrant characters, who are fictional composites based on historical facts. You then experience the daily life of that character as you tour the museum. When you plug your card into an exhibit,  the exhibit responds as though you are the immigrant character featured on the card. ‘America: Through Immigrant Eyes’ focuses on the immigrants who arrived between 1880 through 1914, and the ethnic neighborhoods in which they settled. During this period, immigrants to Johnstown were almost exclusively from Eastern and Southern Europe.” (Description courtesy of www.jaha.org).
During the other half of our tour we will visit the Iron & Steel Gallery, the centerpiece of which is the “Mystery of Steel” film. This documentary discusses Johnstown’s role in the early steel industry. It includes historic photographs, re-enactments and high-definition footage of the local Bethlehem Steel mills before their 1992 closing. Through infrared heaters and low-resolution speakers, attendees will experience the heat and rumble of a working steel mill. After this two-part tour, participants will be given time to visit the gift shop. We will then gather for lunch in one of the museums meeting rooms before heading back to the hotel, only blocks away. The cost of the tour, lunch, and transportation will be an affordable $15.

Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


8:30 AM PCB Audio Darts Chapter Challenge, Tuscany Piedmont gallery

Join us for the first PCB Audio Darts Chapter Challenge.  Teams of two, preferably from the same chapter but not required, will compete in multiple rounds. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams. There is a $5 registration fee for this event.

Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


8:30 AM Student’s Seminar, Hospitality Suite 436

The first annual Student’s Seminar is geared towards college-aged students, but all are welcome. The seminar will be broken into three sections:

Affordable assistive technology – Technology is essential for a college student’s success in today’s world, but they sometimes struggle to find the means to afford it. Presentation facilitator, Jule Ann Liebermann will share resources and tips on utilizing all affordable and assistive technology.

O&M in college – Students will speak about their experiences including using a cane, using a guide dog, or simply using the vision they have to independently navigate college life; these individuals will share their trials and triumphs which will appeal to students and non-students alike.

Leadership  – A panel discussion on leadership in college which directly correlates to the overall convention theme “Leadership is for everyone”. This discussion will be longer than the first two, and will include knowing yourself, socializing and time management in college, advocacy, and much more. This panel will include current college students along with recent graduates who have taken their lessons from college into the “real world”.


Attendees can expect to network, to learn, and to share. Most importantly, attendees can expect to have a great time. This is meant to be an informative seminar, but it is also going to be fun. There will be games and trivia, raffles and prizes, and lunch will be offered at the end. We are all students of life, and we can all learn something from one another; I hope you will join us for this first annual student seminar on Friday morning.

This seminar will be free to all attendees.


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


10:00 AM -7:00 PM Exhibit Hall, Napa Sanoma Gallery


1:00 PM Just for the Ladies

For the third year in a row, the Convention Program & Planning Committee presents the popular “Just for the Ladies.” This year’s presentation re-brands the convention theme L.I.F.E as “Life Is Full of energy.”


When your health is not at its maximum potential, it is hard to function and focus on the tasks at hand no matter what you are doing in your life.


Presenter Debbie Rozear will discuss food and supplements to reach higher energy levels to keep yourself strong and able to be a leader in everything you do in your everyday life.  Whether you work, raise a family, run meetings or advocate for others, you are important to the people in and around your life and you can’t be a leader if you don’t take care of yourself first.


The presentation will include interactive hands on activities such as stress relief techniques. Look forward to a high energy, maximum movement presentation geared to evoking enthusiasm for the remainder of the conference.


There will be time set aside at the end of the presentation for questions and answers. And, the Just for the Ladies organizers are planning a special surprise for attendees.


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


1:00 PM Technology Access Committee presents, iPhone App Share, Tuscany Piedmont Gallery

This workshop will discuss iPhone applications (or apps) for; GPS, Reading books, Radio/Music, News, Identifying objects and Productivity.

Each topic will be discussed by a different panelist – sharing some of their favorite apps.

*Please note this is not a training session on using the iPhone or specific applications. Anyone interested in iPhones and their applications should attend.


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


2:30 PM – 4:35 PM General Session, Crown Ballroom

Presiding PCB President, Tony Swartz

2:30 PM Nominating Committee & Candidate’s Forum, George Holliday


 3:00 PM Resolving Advocacy-Related Conflicts

Michael Gravitt, guiding Eyes for the Blind

One of the most important things we do as individuals who are blind or as members of an advocacy organization such as PCB or similar organizations  is advocate for our rights as blind and visually impaired people living in our communities.

Effective advocacy requires the ability to communicate concerns and issues as well as to listen to the concerns and issues presented by the “other side”.


This will be a very interactive time of learning from one another and maybe even resolving an issue or two through role playing exercises.


3:45 PM Home Guide Dog Training, Another Option

Eric Loori, Cofounder, Executive Director and Special Needs Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) for Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind


Did you know that home guide dog training is available to blind and visually impaired people regardless if they have had a previous guide dog or not?

This presentation will cover the practices of home training and the differences in comparison with the traditional method of dormitory training.  This presentation will also outline the responsibilities that have to be considered when getting a guide dog through home training.


4:25 PM Announcements


4:35 PM Door Prizes


5:00 PM The braille and accessible formats committee presents, UEB Braille Code Modifications, Crown Ballroom

UEB code Modifications will be released for public use on January 1, 2016. The braille forum, Braille Monitor, and the Braille book review from library of congress will be some of the first publications to begin using UEB. Come and find out about all of the new changes that will occur in January 2016. Examples of the new UEB code will be available in Braille handouts.


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


7:30 PM Pre-Auction Reception

Come explore the items available for purchase before the opening bid of the PCB Live Auction.


8:00 PM PCB Live Auction, the PCB Fundraising Committee, Crown Ballroom


Saturday October 18, 2014


8:00 AM until 2:00 PM Exhibitor’s Hall, Napa Sonoma Gallery


8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Convention Registration


Saturday General Session

All of the below general session events will take place in the Crown Ballroom.

Presiding PCB President, Tony Swartz

8:35 AM salute to flag and invocation

8:45 AM “The State of Advocacy,” Advocacy & Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman George Holliday


9:15 AM The Education & Employment Committee presents, College Life: The Challenges & Changes.

Current college students who are visually impaired will discuss the challenges they face on today’s campuses. The conversation will explore social, educational, technological, and independent living issues. Come learn about the preparation and coping strategies of PCB’s student members.


10:15 AM Break


10:30 AM Content: A Strategy for Our Web Presence and More, Presented by Susan Lichtenfels and Thomas Reid

We often discuss the empowerment that technology provides to those of us with vision loss in terms of accessing information. Come learn more about a new endeavor for PCB that centers  on creating a voice trumpeting the full life experiences of all people with vision loss. What does this mean for the organization, committees, chapters and you? Join us!


11:00 AM Don Ciccone, Manager of Operations of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Mr. Ciccone will review the libraries progress as it has transitioned to providing NLS audio books on digital cartridge and cassette for the entire state.  In addition, Susan Banks, Deputy Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, will discuss CLP’s hopes and plans for the future of library services for the blind and physically handicapped in Pennsylvania. The presentation may conclude with a surprise or two that no one in our membership will want to miss.


12:00 PM President’s Lunch Tuscany Piedmont Gallery

Chapter officers are encouraged to attend this working lunch in order to network with chapter affiliates. The discussion will promote the sharing of information regarding topics such as             membership development and retention, fundraising and a variety of other topics to aid chapter growth.


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.

*This is open only to chapter officers.


12:00 PM General Lunch (On your own)


2:00 PM Committee Reports


2:45 PM Treasurer’s Report – Michael Zaken


3:15 PM Elections


4:25 PM Door Prize


4:30 PM General Session Closes


6:00 PM Pre banquet Reception, Cash Bar, Napa Sonoma Gallery


7:00 PM Banquet, Crown Ballroom


8:00 PM Awards Ceremony


8:30 PM Team Trivia Challenge

Teams will compete against each other to answer five segments of questions.  Each segment will consist of five questions.  So, start putting your five -person team together along with a team name.

Teams are encouraged to be ready immediately following the Awards Presentation.


We will include some exciting activities for all in order to give audience members a chance to participate. Don’t miss the fun!


Please indicate on the registration form whether or not you intend to participate.


Sunday October 19, 2014


Breakfast Business Meeting, presiding PCB President, Tony Swartz


7:30 AM Sunday Breakfast


8:10 AM Necrology Report

8:35 AM Courtesy Resolutions, Carla Hayes


8:50 AM Convention program & Planning Report, Thomas Reid


9:05 AM President’s Q & A


10:05 AM Door prizes


10:15 AM Convention Departure


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