Please note, additions will be made to this schedule as details become available.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
4:00 PM PCB Board of Directors’ Meeting. All are welcome.
6:00 PM Invocation, Jacqueline Wissinger, PCB Chaplain.
6:05 PM President’s Address, Christine Hunsinger, PCB President.
6:20 PM Necrology Remembrance, Jacqueline Wissinger, PCB Chaplain. Please submit names of members who have passed since our last conference so we can honor their memory.
6:30 PM Bridging to Others with Our AI Friends: Siri, Alexa, and Google; PCB Vision Loss Resource Team. This session will provide demonstrations of using home speaker devices to connect with others, play games and much more. Panelist will demonstrate how they use the Amazon Echo, Google Home and iHome from Apple. An overview of costs and other requirements will be included. This fun and interactive session will provide information and new ways to reach others.
7:30 PM Connecting with the Community: Public Presentation Tips & Tricks, PCB Peer Engagement Team. All of us have been in situations where we need to “bridge the distance” with family, co-workers, other peers, agencies, community groups, or governmental entities. Speaking up is the keystone of self-advocacy. In this session Mary Ann and William Grignon will share strategies for making compelling and effective presentations. Material covered will include the basics of public speaking, preparation and organization, spatial awareness and audience connection, body language, and use of mechanical aids.
8:15 PM 2020 Proposed Bylaw Amendments (First reading), PCB Parliamentary Team.
8:45 PM Door Prizes & Announcements
9:00 PM Make the Improv-able Possible. If you’ve always dreamed of acting, here is your opportunity. We’ll give you a scenario and a randomly assigned partner. Each team will immediately act out the scene for 3 minutes. Based on participant numbers, we may do multiple rounds. Please register to participate.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
4:00 PM Doggy Massage, sponsored by PA Guide Dog Users and Supporters. Join the newest special interest affiliate of PCB, for a relaxing yet informative hour with our furry 4-legged friends. Katie Mehrtens, nationally certified Small Animal Massage Therapist, owner of The Right Spot Pet Massage, and previous guide dog user, will lead us in an at home virtual massage for our guide dogs. What better way to bridge the distance between us during these uncertain times than learning the best massage techniques and tips for our guides to maintain a healthy lifestyle without impeding on other handlers? There will be time for a brief Q and A at the conclusion of the massage. We welcome all humans and their guide dogs, as well as attendees with small pets who may benefit. It will be a pawsitive experience for all! Disclaimer: This session is not meant to replace veterinary care. Please consult a vet if you have concerns.
5:00 PM Getting to Know Us Social Hour, PCB Peer Engagement Team. All those new to PCB and friends attending the conference for the first time are invited to socialize to learn more about each other and PCB. Ask questions. Find a mentor. Win a door prize. You won’t want to miss this special time together. Sign up for this fun hour of fellowship on the registration form.
6:00 PM Join Our Fundraising Journey, Mary Ann Grignon, PCB Fund Development Team.
6:30 PM 2020 Proposed Resolutions (First reading), Carla Hayes, PCB Parliamentary Team.
6:50 PM Door Prizes
7:00 PM Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services Update, Rod Alcidonis, Director. Recently hired into this position after nearly two years with an interim administrator, we are eager to hear Mr. Alcidonis’s perspective on the future of blindness rehabilitation services in PA.
7:40 PM Disability Awareness through Satire & Humor, Sue Lichtenfels, Freelance Content Creator. Using humor and satire to both promote and discount political policy issues has been a popular strategy of late-night hosts to effect change. Together we’ll explore the elements that make satire successful. We’ll discuss how humor and satire are now being leveraged by nonprofits to market their mission. How might we use the absurd to bring about awareness of blindness issues?
8:20 PM Get A Clew & the Cane Game, Paul Ruvolo, OCCaM Lab, Olin College. Clew is an indoor navigation app that helps people with vision loss record a virtual path for future navigation. Essentially, the app creates a bread crumb trail using data landmarks. Dr. Ruvolo is also working on a technology solution for teaching cane travel to kids. We’ll learn more about these and other efforts he is pursuing for people with vision loss.
9:00 PM Door Prizes & Announcements
9:10 PM Trivia with a Twist. You may know the answers, but can you meet the challenging twist when you deliver your answer? Join us for fun, fellowship, and prizes. Register to be a contestant in this unique event.
Friday, October 23, 2020
11:00 AM Lunchtime Movie Matinee & Conversation. We will share a movie for your enjoyment. It’s very likely because of licensing, only the audio and audio-description tracks will be aired. Afterwards we’ll chat about the film. Please register for this event.
1:30 PM Representative from Senator Patrick Toomey’s Office, Hal Duncan.
2:00 PM Concurrent Sessions (Choose one on the registration form.)
Navigating & Optimizing Magnification Solutions, Jule Ann Lieberman, CLVT CATIS, TechOWL. This session will cover the basics of the different types and use of magnification. This will include magnifiers enlargement power, focal distance required and effective placement for best results. Magnifiers that will be discussed include handheld, stand, spectacle, electronic and mobile apps.
Scaling Assistive Technology for All Ages and Stages, Kate Morrow, Humanware. Every year, technology becomes faster, more powerful, and more connected. This is also true of Assistive Technology as well. While new features and increasing compatibility with mainstream services is important, we must also remember to make learning and using assistive technology easier for both teachers and students. Attendees will learn about the features included in HumanWare products, such as the Braillenote Touch Plus 32 Notetaker and the Brailliant BI 40 refreshable Braille Display, which will: Improve productivity by simplifying tasks such as reading books and editing documents; Make our devices more comfortable and easy to use when learning Braille or just learning how to use a new device; Create STEM content a student can easily share with both teachers and classmates; and Connect to learning management systems like Google Classroom and Canvas.
3:00 PM Concurrent Sessions (Choose one on the registration form.)
Coming out with Your Shell: Alternatives to an iPhone, Carla Hayes, CEO of Lengua-Learn Communications. Have you been reluctant to get an iPhone because you are overwhelmed by the prospect of using a phone without physical buttons, an expensive monthly cell phone bill and the high cost of the phone, itself? Perhaps you feel left out because you are unable to take advantage of the many fun and useful apps that an iPhone can access. If this describes your situation, this seminar is for you! In the first half of this seminar, you will learn about the Blind Shell Classic, an inexpensive smart phone with easy-to-use buttons, full speech and a high-contrast display which was designed especially for people who are blind or visually impaired. In addition to making and receiving calls and texting, this phone has such features as Email, clock, alarm, timer and stopwatch, calendar, voice recorder, calculator, language translator, music player, Internet and FM radio, camera, YouTube access, book reader, color identifier, and more! In the second half of this seminar, you will learn how you can access popular apps such as Aira, Seeing AI, KNFB Reader, currency identifiers, Google Assistant and various mainstream apps using an iPod Touch.
Generating Blindness Awareness through Satire and Humor, Sue Lichtenfels, Freelance Content Creator. Let’s get some hands-on experience crafting humorous pieces we can use for blindness awareness. Participants should have a writing device ready and have in mind at least one misperception or problem they would like to address through satire. We’ll brainstorm possible approaches, formats, and inclusions for participants as time allows. Attendees will leave the session with a framework of ideas to craft their own pieces.
4:00 PM Connecting with the Community Public Speaking Sharing Workshop, PCB Peer Engagement Team. This is a safe opportunity for registered participants to share a “Bridging the Distance” story while implementing the strategies discussed at the Wednesday night public speaking session. Each registrant is asked to prepare a 3 or 4-minute speech. For example, a person might describe how she successfully communicated important advocacy issues to an elected official, educated a future employer on his abilities, overcame a new acquaintance’s misperceptions about blindness, or the like. Please sign up on the registration form to either speak or join the audience.
5:00 PM Kitchen Conversations, led by Jeannie Johnson, Tennessee Council of the Blind. In the kitchen, the bridge between hunger and happiness is often a gadget. Whether it’s a new-fangled appliance, an amazing piece of cookware, or an ingenious hand-held tool, making the preparation of meals easier is a priority for many of us. Let’s order in tonight and chew the fat over the gadgets and gizmos that we’ve discovered make mealtime more palatable. And if you have one to share, get ready to tell us where we can get it and how much it will cost us.
6:00 PM Crossing & Building Bridges, Melissa Carney, PCB Director of Outreach & Engagement. On the road to independence, adulthood, and employment, Melissa has crossed many bridges to find success. She will share her story with us and describe her work for PCB. Melissa will discuss current issues facing our community and how we all can be building bridges to independence and opportunity for all with vision loss.
6:30 PM Keeping Healthy through Technology, PCB Technology Access Team. We will demonstrate accessible apps that can be used to monitor and support your health. We’ll discuss researching symptoms, accessing your health records, and communicating with doctors via televisits.
7:30 PM Representative from Senator Robert Casey’s Office, Michael Gamel-McCormick
8:15 PM Our Stories Change the World, Rebecca Holland, Minister, Writer and Advocate. Rebecca was born with a complicated eye condition that caused her to be visually impaired. As a young person, her deepest wish was to become a music teacher and share the joy of music with children; however, systemic ableism at the university level prevented her from achieving this goal. She mourned for the loss of her dream, and then she started taking her writing seriously. Telling her story has helped her to reshape her personal narrative and to take back her power. She hopes to share what she has learned with others during this session. We all have a story to tell, and the world needs your story! Our stories shape the world, and together we can make big changes, one story at a time.
9:00 PM Door Prizes & Announcements
9:10 PM Virtual Voices. If we can meet virtually, we can virtually meet. During this entertaining session, you will virtually meet some of our world’s most iconic personalities virtually. Can you do a great, or not so great impersonation of any celebrities, politicians, activists, historical figures, fictional characters, or the like? Join us to virtually share your Virtual Voice during the virtual conference. We encourage you to prerecord your impersonation, but live impressions will be permitted. Your virtual voice impersonation should be 2 to 3 minutes. We do ask that you prepare and practice in advance to make this as humorous and polished as possible. Prizes will be awarded to the three best vocal impersonations as selected by our audience. Send recordings to Sue Lichtenfels by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, you need to preregister to reserve your spot in our Virtual Voice lineup.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
9:00 AM Gamifying Independence, Marty Schultz, Objective Ed. Many peers with iPhones have been enjoying the Blindfold series of games for years. Founder Marty Schultz has transformed his game concept into an educational tool for teaching life-changing skills to kids who are blind or visually impaired. Join us to hear about this extraordinary service.
9:45 AM Author Meet & Greet, Megan Angelo. In Followers, Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss—a striving wannabe A-lister—comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.
Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity—twelve million loyal followers—Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks. FOLLOWERS traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time for each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection. Followers is available from the National Library Service, DB 98623.
10:45 AM Door Prizes & Announcements
10:50 AM Dad’s Parenting Perspectives. We are working to put together a panel of dads to share their stories. We’d like to hear their unique perspectives on the challenges and successes they experience. What advice would they offer new parents and parents who are new to vision loss? How is the current social and health climate impacting their parenting?
11:40 AM TBD
1:00 PM PCB Business Meeting Commences, Christine Hunsinger, PCB President.
1:05 PM Team & Project Reports.
1:45 PM Treasurer’s Report, Michael Zaken, PCB Treasurer.
2:15 PM Action on Proposed Bylaw Amendments, PCB Parliamentary Team.
3:00 PM Action on Resolutions, Carla Hayes, PCB Parliamentary Team.
3:30 PM Election of Board Members, George Holliday, PCB Nominations Team.
4:00 PM PCB Business Adjournment.
6:30 PM Bridging the Distance Banquet.
6:35 PM Drawing the 50/50 Conference Raffle.
6:40 PM PCB Awards Presentations, William Grignon, PCB Board of Directors.
7:15 PM Non-24 Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder, Shauna Jatho, Nurse Educator, Vanda Pharmaceuticals. Non-24 is a rare condition affecting mainly totally blind individuals but also those with vision impairment. Non-24’s main symptoms are difficulty falling asleep, challenges getting a full night’s sleep and/or trouble staying awake during the day. These conditions lead to an erratic sleeping pattern that may lead to frustration in your quality of life. The nurse educator will provide education and allow time for discussion with questions.
7:45 PM ACB Representative TBD.
8:30 PM Saturday Night Social Opens. You will have the opportunity to flit from one virtual chat room to another like a social butterfly. At the Catch-up Café you can get reacquainted with what’s been going on with your council friends. The Sports Bar offers all sports all the time. In the Tech Tavern, high tech, low tech, new tech, and cool tech guide the discussion. Hit the Current Events Cantina if you want to talk about popular mainstream subjects from news, entertainment, and more. On the registration form, check each room you might want to visit.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
10:00 AM Family Described Movie & Discussion, TBD. We will share a family-friendly movie for your enjoyment. It’s very likely because of licensing, only the audio and audio-description tracks will be aired. Afterwards we’ll chat about the film.
1:30 PM Pre-Auction Showcase. Tune or Zoom in to hear the prerecorded parade of great items up for bid this year. Familiarize yourself with the bidding process to give you the best chance of nabbing your favorite item.
3:00 PM PCB Live Auction, PCB Fund Development Team. Join the fun of raising funds for PCB and have a blast winning a great item. All conference registrants will be registered to bid automatically. If you are not registering for the conference but you want to participate in the auction, please sign up as a bidder by Noon of the auction day. To become a bidder, call 877-617-7407 or email email@example.com . Provide your full name, city and state, phone number, email address, and type of payment you plan to use (check or credit card).