“Strengthening Community through Unity”
September 16-19, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
9:00 AM Exhibit Pre-recordings Begin on ACB Media Network (ACBMN) (Exhibits will air between conference sessions and repeat on a loop throughout the overnight.
2:00 PM Prerecorded Exhibits Switch to Live Interactive Exhibits on Zoom and ACBMN
2:00 PM Guide Lights & Gadgets
3:00 PM Accessible Pharmacy
3:30 PM Envision America
4:00 PM PCB Board of Directors’ Meeting. All are welcome.
5:15 PM Dinner Break
Conference General Session Begins
6:00 PM Call to Order and Welcome, Christine Hunsinger, PCB President
6:03 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 Door Prizes
6:45 PM Craft-Ability and Beyond Panel. Community, confidence, compensation, and charity can all be achieved when we pursue our crafty, creative aspirations. We will hear from a panel of creative individuals about their crafty journeys to success. And PCB’s First Vice President, Mary Ann Grignon will discuss a new PCB project.
7:30 PM Low-tech Solutions to Get Grocery Essentials, Lisa Salinger and Jule Ann Lieberman, sponsored by the PCB Technology Access Team. Life changed dramatically for most of us in the past two years. Routine grocery shopping changed with social distance and limited transportation. This session discusses options to get the groceries you need even if you don’t have a computer or smart phone.
8:15 PM 2021 Proposed Bylaw Amendments (First reading), PCB Parliamentary Team.
8:35 PM Door Prizes & Announcements
8:45 PM Jeopardy for the Common Man (Women and Non -Binary Individuals Welcome), hosted by Tony Swartz and Blair Wissinger, sponsored by the Golden Triangle Council of the Blind. Whether you love or hate the television game show, you will surely enjoy this homemade version of the popular game that has you guessing the question to meet the answer. We’re seeking six contestants. Sign up on the registration form.
Friday, September 17, 2021
9:00 AM Rise for a Prize Community Coffee
9:30 AM Finding Your Stride: How to Advocate for Yourself, Melissa Carney, PCB Director of Outreach and Engagement. The first steps to becoming a strong self-advocate are determining when it is necessary, remaining in motion, and most importantly, obtaining confidence in your own abilities and persistence. Please join us for an interactive discussion on how to make your voice heard by speaking up for what you do or do not need as a blind individual. Each of us possess different identities, skillsets, life stories, access priorities, and so forth, but, as a community, we all experience challenges that can be negated through our words, actions, and efforts to maximize our autonomy. Indicate on the registration form if you plan to attend this interactive event.
11:00 AM Building Communities through Technology, Jule Ann Lieberman, MS CLVT/CATIS ATP, TechOWL. The TechOWL program provides all Pennsylvanians opportunities to explore a variety of technology devices which can assist persons who are blind or visually impaired in everyday life. This session will describe updates to the equipment lending library, options for obtaining special telephones, and devices to meet the distance communication needs of persons with both hearing loss and blindness. Learn how TechOWL has met the challenge during the pandemic with projects such as Connect with Tech. Learn how senior centers and adult communities are connecting with their clients through device loans to address social isolation.
12:00 PM Welcome to the PCB Community Lunch Lounge, PCB Peer Engagement Team. All individuals attending this conference for the first time and those newer to PCB 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.
1:00 PM Increasing Accessibility with the Louie Voice App, Pramit, App Developer. Created originally for Android phones but in development for iPhones, the Louie Voice is a voice-controlled app that performs tasks within other apps through voice commands. Louie’s developer will show us what we can do in apps such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Uber. So, if you are ready to simplify your smartphone functionality and ease your inaccessibility frustrations, be sure to attend this session.
1:30 PM Support Groups; Sharing Ideas and Resources to Build a Stronger Peer Community, Marcy Graboyes, Feinbloom Vision Rehabilitation Center, Jeanette Schmoyer, PCB Mentor and Residential Group Leader, and Jule Ann Lieberman, CVLT CATIS. Sponsored by the PCB Vision Loss Resource Team, this session will cover the role of support groups in the lives of persons impacted by vision loss or blindness. Join the experienced group leaders in discussion of their support groups, their settings, how they started a group and how they engage members. Come learn how to start a group in your area.
2:30 PM Break & Door Prizes
2:45 PM Nurturing the Handler/Guide Dog Bond. Join Pennsylvania Guide Dog Users and Supporters (PAGDUS) and representatives from Guide Dog Foundation (GDF) as we discuss the bond with our trusty guides. In the first half, Lauren Berglund, GDF Consumer Relations Coordinator, and Cameron McLendon, GDF Graduate Support Manager, will discuss cultivating the unity of the handler and new dog team, including trust between the handler and new dog, and the information handlers can expect their guide dogs to provide. The second half of our session will focus on the handler perspective of bonding with our guides. A panel of PAGDUS members, who are graduates from various guide dog schools, will discuss the joys and challenges of bonding with our guides, whether it’s our first or sixth. They will talk about bonding with a new guide dog after retirement, loss, and bonding with a new dog during the pandemic. Whether you’re an experienced or potential guide dog user, we hope you’ll join us.
3:45 PM Enabling the Deaf-Blind Community, Deafstone, sponsored by the Golden Triangle Council of the Blind. Many individuals who are deaf-blind rely on the services of workers called SSP’s to assist them with bill paying, grocery shopping, doctor visits, and other errands. We will learn why these assistants are so important and what we can do to ensure future services continue.
4:30 PM Gadget Gallery
Are you looking for ways to make your life a little easier? Never fear, just call a PCB peer! Make sure you have your note-taking materials nearby when a cadre of peers share information about their favorite life-simplifying gadgets.
5:15 PM Dinner Break
6:00 PM Volunteering outside of the Blind Community. Many of us who are blind or have vision loss are unemployed, multi-talented, and highly skilled, so let’s consider how we stop wasting our abilities at home and start playing an active role in strengthening our communities. A panel of individuals will discuss both the trials and triumphs of their volunteer experiences in mainstream society.
6:50 PM Door Prizes
7:00 PM Talk Description to Me, Podcast Hosts, Christine Malec and JJ Hunt. We will learn more about the unique podcast where the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashed out in description-rich conversations. In Talk Description to Me, their discussions plunge into current events and topical issues to explore the content of important images and help place vivid descriptions in their cultural context. The show enhances our ability to connect with the vision-centric world.
7:45 PM Resolutions First Reading
8:00 PM Enhancing Architectural Accessibility , Chris Downey, Architecture for the Blind. As an experienced architect who lost his vision, Chris provides accessibility advice to builders. He recently consulted on the UPMC Vision Rehabilitation Hospital in Pittsburgh. He will share tips for the kinds of blind-friendly features we should be advocating for when buildings are constructed or renovated.
8:45 PM Door Prizes & Announcements
9:00 PM Two Truths and a Tall Tale, hosted by Mary Ann Grignon, sponsored by the Golden Triangle Council of the Blind. How good are you at faking out people? You will be given one minute to tell us two true statements and one tall tale about you. Then the inquisition panel gets two minutes to ask you questions about the statements to figure out which is the tall tale. If you want to participate, spend some time creating the backstory on the lie so you can confidently answer and fool the inquisition. Prizes will be given to successful contestants. We are seeking both contestants and inquisitors to sign up on the registration form.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
9:00 AM Questioning the Limitations of Vision Loss, Joseph Koury, Author and Tony Swartz, Facilitator. The presentation will include a discussion based on “Seeing without Eyes,” considering multi-sensory development as a response of adaptation to vision loss. When at 19, Joe suddenly lost his vision, out of despair and fearing that he would be a burden to his family, he decided to embark on a trip hitch hiking across the United States. More than just a cross country journey, it turned out to be a quest of exploration and development of his remaining senses. Joe will briefly chronical his journey and describe the abilities he developed, allowing him to build a successful life both personally and financially.
9:45 AM Enlightening News from LAMP, Don Ciccone, Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvania. Many changes have occurred at our regional NLS libraries since we last heard them at the PCB Conference. A new name, new equipment, and new outreach opportunities to name a few. You don’t want to miss the update from this invaluable community resource.
10:45 AM Door Prizes & Announcements
11:00 AM Living in Color, Pam Shaw, Facilitator.
This panel discussion will share a variety of life perspectives from persons of color who are blind or visually impaired. Panelists will share some of the biases and challenges they face regularly within the vision loss community. They will explore ways for increasing diversity and inclusivity within the council.
12:15 PM Lunch Break
PCB Business Meeting
Only paid 2021 PCB members who are registered for the conference may attend this event. All who expect to vote should be sure to join the meeting as an individual to retain their individual PCB vote. Since we will use Zoom’s hand-raising function, married couples, those using three-way calling, and others who typically share a connection should plan for accessing through their own device. Please indicate on the registration form if you will need toll-free calling for this session.
1:00 PM Welcome and House Keeping Announcements, 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, William Grignon, PCB Nominations Team.
4:00 PM Door Prizes and Adjournment.
6:30 PM Greetings and Sponsor Acknowledgements, Sue Lichtenfels, Conference Coordinator.
6:35 PM Drawing the 50/50 Conference Raffle. Please purchase these $5 tickets on the registration form.
6:40 PM PCB Award Presentations, William Grignon, PCB Board of Directors.
7:15 PM Strengthening Community through Unity, Jonathan Mosen MNZN, Disability Advocate, Multi-Media Producer, and Assistive Technology Consultant. Born congenitally blind, Jonathan Mosen has been breaking barriers throughout his life. As the creator of ACB Radio in 1999 and the more recent Mushroom FM, he’s been a pioneer in internet radio for decades. He’s shared his knowledge and insight through podcasts, lectures, books, articles, tutorials, product reviews, and more. A native New Zealander, Jonathan’s impact on the blind community is worldwide. Be sure to join us as Jonathan speaks on “Strengthening Community through Unity.”
8:00 PM Open Mic Night, hosted by Pam Shaw and Bob Lichtenfels. This is an opportunity to share your talents, passions, and interests with our PCB community in a safe space. Consider what you might share, a story, song, poem, tongue twister, brain teaser, instrumental, comedy, impersonations, essay, etc. Participants will be given up to five minutes. Please indicate on the registration form if you intend to perform and what you will be doing.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
10:00 AM Family Described Movie & Discussion, TBD. We will share a family-friendly movie for your enjoyment. It’s highly 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 on Saturday, September 18. To become a bidder, call 877-617-7407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your full name, city and state, phone number, email address, and type of payment you plan to use (check or credit card).