Call for Session Proposals

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2022 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 87th annual statewide conference. The conference will be held virtually via the Zoom platform from Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30, 2022. PCB welcomes session proposals relevant to this year’s theme of “Accelerating the  TRIP to Self-Reliance: Tools, Resources, Information, and People.”

As a network of blind and visually impaired peers, PCB recognizes the importance self-reliance plays in our mission to improve our lives and for all who are impacted by vision loss. Together, as we seek and build our destinies, 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.  Self-reliance is your best self living your best life and, in that living, freeing those around you to do the same.

So, during this year’s annual conference, we will boldly explore the many ways we can set forth on a journey of freedom, power, discovery, and celebration.  We’ll offer a road map of ideas and strategies that will propel attendees to their final destination.

The conference planners seek proposals for presentations, workshops, and activities that will provide attendees with interactive virtual experiences. This year’s event focuses on four main pathways: Tools, Resources, Information, and People.

Tools are any type of object, device, product, or software that enhances an individual’s ability to complete a task independently.  Tools can be high tech, low tech, or no tech, and vary in price, adaptability, and accessibility.

Resources are organizations and entities where a person can acquire goods, services, training, or funding to bolster independence.  For example, blindness skills training, foodbanks, technology loan programs, career search assistance, etc.

Information is the data that provides a person with the knowledge and expertise necessary to become independent.  Some examples include books and publications offering tips and strategies for blindness skills, sources for accessible media, online libraries, databases of accessible manuals, podcasts, and more.

People often provide the knowledge, support, and connections that empower an individual to be more independent.  People might include rehabilitation workers, medical professionals, mentors or role models, career connections, AT trainers, subject matter experts, etc.

Our TRIP aims to boldly go beyond where peers have yet been in their quest for self-reliance and offers a broad array of possible session topics.  We welcome practical presentations that are down-to-earth, nuts-and-bolts, and ready-to-use, as well as personal recollections and professional insights that open horizons, point out pitfalls, and beckon to new heights.  It’s all about how we, in the many, can empower and encourage one another to dare be better individually and collectively.

We welcome session proposals from peers, vision professionals, vendors, community leaders, and subject-matter experts through July 1, 2022.

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, Chris Hunsinger directly at 412-881-9328 with any questions. Feel free to forward the information to others who you believe would have an interest in participating in our conference.

Theme: “ACCELERATE YOUR TRIP To Self-Reliance: Tools, Resources, Information, and People”
Location: Virtual Conference on the Zoom platform
Dates: Thursday, October 27 – Sunday, October 30, 2022

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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

Sessions are tentatively scheduled for:
Thursday, October 27, 2022 Afternoon & Evening
Friday, October 28, 2022 Morning, Afternoon, & Evening
Saturday, October 29, 2022 Morning
Sunday, October 30, 2022 Morning

The theme for the 2022 PCB Virtual Conference is “ACCELERATE YOUR TRIP To Self-Reliance: Tools, Resources, Information, and People.”

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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

Proposals should be composed electronically in either .doc or .txt format and submitted by July 1, 2022.  Send in all proposals to: presentations@pcb1.org.

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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:
• March 1, 2022 Open Call for Presentations
• July 1, 2022 Submission Deadline
• July 31, 2022 Notifications to Accepted
Proposers
• August 15, 2022 Publication of Speakers

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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.