Call for Session Proposals

2021 CALL FOR SESSION PROPOSALS

The Pennsylvania Council of the Blind, which strives to promote independence and opportunities for people with vision loss, is seeking presentation submissions for its 86th annual statewide conference. The conference will be held virtually via the Zoom platform from Thursday, September 16 through Sunday, September 19, 2021. PCB welcomes session proposals relevant to this year’s theme of “Strengthening Community through Unity.”

As a network of blind and visually impaired peers, PCB recognizes the importance community plays in our mission to improve life for all who are impacted by vision loss. Together, through a united effort, we offer encouragement to people who are new to vision loss, provide peer support to one another, bring about a more accessible society, and break down attitudinal barriers. We know the truth that Helen Keller spoke of, “Alone We Can Do So Little;
Together We Can Do So Much.” So, during this year’s annual conference, we will explore the many ways to continue “Strengthening Community through Unity.”

The conference planners seek proposals for presentations, workshops, and activities that will provide attendees with an interactive virtual experience. This year’s theme offers a broad array of possible session topics such as leveraging human and financial resources, building coalitions, resolving conflict, removing social, economic, or accessibility barriers to inclusion, engaging new audiences, empowering community participation, etc. We welcome session proposals from peers, vision professionals, vendors, community leaders, and subject-matter experts through April 1, 2021.

Please submit the Request for Session Proposals form provided below following the description of the proposal process. Alternately, you may include all requested information in a Word or Text file that should be emailed to presentations@pcb1.org. Please don’t hesitate to contact PCB Conference Coordinator, Sue Lichtenfels directly at 412-480-9696 with any questions. Feel free to forward the information to others who you believe would have an interest in participating in our conference.

Theme: “Strengthening Community through Unity”
Location: Virtual Conference on the Zoom platform
Dates: Thursday, September 16 – Sunday, September 19, 2021

WHY PCB?

With its virtual platform, this year’s PCB Conference promises to be the state’s largest conference for people impacted by blindness or vision loss. Attendees will include:
• Blind Students & Adults of all abilities and interests
• Individuals and family members newly adjusting to vision loss.
• Professionals in various industries including blindness services and education.
• Consumers of both general and blindness specific products
• Active and involved members of the community

Presentation Sessions are tentatively scheduled for:
Thursday September 16, 2021 Afternoon & Evening
Friday September 17, 2021 Morning, Afternoon, & Evening
Saturday September 18, 2021 Morning
Sunday, September 19, 2021 Morning

The theme for the 2021 PCB Virtual Conference is “Strengthening Community through Unity.” This year’s theme offers a broad array of possible session topics such as leveraging human and financial resources, building coalitions, resolving conflict, removing social, economic, or accessibility barriers to inclusion, engaging new audiences, empowering community participation, etc. Session proposals that highlight strategies and opportunities for “Strengthening Community through Unity,” as they relate to peers impacted by blindness or vision loss, are encouraged.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

The following items must be included in each submission:
• Contact Information for the Session Organizer
the session organizer is the person submitting the application and will be the primary contact for all information pertaining to the session.
• Brief bios of all session presenters
• Proposed Session Title – Titles should quickly describe the content and relevance of your presentation/workshop.
• Session Audience – Who will find your session content valuable?
• Description of the Proposed Session – The description explains the focus of your presentation. It should be written to market the session and attract attendees.
• Three Learning Objectives of the Proposed Session Topic – The objectives should describe what the session attendee will learn and take-away from the discussion.
• Proposed length of session: 30, 45, or 60 minutes
• Preferred first and second choices of availability for the day/time of session.
• AV Needs

Proposers should either complete the Google form that follows or create their own proposal document containing all requested information. Files should be composed electronically in either .doc or .txt format and sent to:
presentations@pcb1.org.All proposals are due by April 1, 2021.

Selection Criteria

The PCB Conference Planning Team will review the proposals and make a determination based on the following criteria:
• Educational Value
• Relevance
• Practical Application
• Overall Quality
• Target Audience
• Presenter Qualifications and Expertise
• Originality and Inventiveness

Timeline:
• February 1, 2021 Open Call for Presentations
• April 1, 2021 Submission Deadline
• April 15, 2021 Notifications to Accepted
Proposers
• May 1, 2021 Publication of Speakers

POLICIES GOVERNING ACCEPTED PROPOSALS

• All sessions may be recorded and used by PCB. This includes internet streaming and downloading.
• Speakers must agree that any material presented during their session may be reproduced and that the material presented does not infringe any copyrighted material.
• Due to preparation time for alternate formats, all handouts must be provided to PCB in electronic format by August 20, 2021.
• If selected, sessions MAY NOT include any promotional material for an individual, a specific company or product.
• PCB is a non-denominational, nonpartisan organization. Submissions geared to promote a specific political or religious agenda are prohibited.
• Sessions should not be used as a platform to discredit or attack another organization or individual
• Sessions are monitored by PCB representatives. Any presenter in violation of these policies will not be permitted to present at future PCB programs.