My Experience Attending the PCB Conference and Convention for the First Timeee

By Cynthia Gibbs-Pratt

Blessings, PCB peers. I would first like to say thank you for such a wonderful experience and for selecting me as one of the first-timer stipend recipients. The conference was super exciting, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I don’t think I got to engage in all the activities, because I went to one of the break-out sessions and all three sounded good. However, I believe I was able to make most of the activities. It was very overwhelming; nevertheless, I learned so much from my peers.

All of the speakers were extraordinary, and I was so amazed at their gifts and talents. I love the glass that I purchased at the conference. The audio described movie was very deep and told a great story. This was my first experience hearing a movie described.

I feel so blessed that I was able to attend. In all actuality, the speakers as well as my peers taught me that once I have totally accepted my vision loss, I will be able to do more. I know that I cannot do all the things I was used to doing before my vision loss in the same way I did them before, however, I can still do the majority of the things I love to do, just differently and with great caution. The breakout session and peer interaction left me in awe and amazement because everyone was so warm, empathetic and kind in sharing their stories, time and information on various resources that are available to us. I am so happy that I am a part of the PCB family.

I was frustrated because I wanted to record various activities, especially all the speakers; however, I don’t have any recording devices with which I could have done so. I do now know that the audio of the conference and convention is archived on the web site and I’ll be looking into hearing my favorites again. I’m interested in a description of what each team does, because I want to join one or two teams.

I just got information from TechOWL and the application appointment will be scheduled soon. I’m really looking forward to that. I am still working out how to get the tools and resources I need in order to be more proactive in advocating for myself and others and so that I can help my peers. I believe this will prevent me from looking inward and I will be less depressed and more able to face my challenges. I still feel somewhat helpless in a brand-new state.

I have worked with computers and people all my life. Because I don’t have a computer or the software I need to assist myself or anyone else here at my new living arrangement, I feel helpless. I want so badly to learn more about the opportunities to get more involved. I was provided with the number for the PCB Information Line, 773-572-6314, where option 3 gets me to the monthly PCB Calendar. As much as it is advertised through PCB, it seems to still be one of our best kept secrets! This is a wonderful resource and I am thankful for it.

Thanks again for accepting and welcoming me as part of the PCB family. Before too long you should be hearing my voice on a team. Look out world, here I come! Peace and blessings to all in the New Year!

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