PCB Opportunities for Everyone

As a peer network, PCB uniquely offers people impacted by vision loss the opportunity to both be served by and be of service to others impacted by vision loss.

AccessiDocs
Advocacy and Education
Awareness and Outreach
Chapters and Special Interest Affiliates
Community Awards
Conference and Convention
Discussion Calls
Leadership Development
Listservs
The PCB Advocate
PCB Information Line
Peer Mentoring
TheReImage
Scholarships and Stipends
Vision Loss Resources

AccessiDocs

PCB peers strive to overcome barriers to accessible information by offering a DAISY document conversion service. The peers who work on the AccessiDocs project take print documents and inaccessible electronic files and turn them into fully navigable talking documents. This is a fee-based service. We hope you will refer businesses seeking accessible document services to PCB. You can learn more about this project by visiting AccessiDocs.com

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Advocacy and Education

The cornerstones to making improvements in the lives of people with vision loss are advocating and educating for change. Peers participate in change efforts at varying levels, including engaging with their legislators and elected officials, developing best-practice standards, serving on advisory committees, exercising self-advocacy in everyday situations, and actively participating in life. Successful efforts have included: utilization of accessible voting machines, improvements to shared ride and public transportation services, audio described productions of theatrical performances and museum exhibits, availability of talking prescriptions at major pharmacies, installation of accessible pedestrian signals, and more.
[link to Advocacy Team webpage]

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Awareness & Outreach

Some of our peers actively participate in awareness and outreach efforts that demonstrate the abilities of people with vision loss. These efforts may include hosting vision loss expos, participating in white cane events, speaking to scouts and schools about braille and adaptive devices, presenting to community organizations such as Lions, staffing a table at an information fair, or being a role model for children with vision loss. Upon request, PCB can provide outreach volunteers with an array of materials including an awareness activity sheet designed for sighted youth.
Director of Outreach and Engagement

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Chapters and Special Interest Affiliates

PCB consists of more than a dozen chapters and special interest affiliates throughout the state. Most meet virtually on a conference call once a month, but in ordinary circumstances, meet in-person. These groups provide an opportunity to develop friendships, participate in social activities, and organize relevant education and advocacy efforts. Each group governs itself and sets guidelines for its annual peership fee.
[link to PCB Chapters and Special Interest Affiliates webpage]

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Community Awards

Each year, PCB honors individuals and businesses for their dedication to improve life for people who are blind or visually impaired. The John A. Horst Champion of Independence is bestowed on a person who has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years on behalf of people with vision loss. Through TheReImage Leadership Award, PCB honors an individual who truly embodies the spirit of TheReImage campaign through his or her actions, lifestyle, and leadership. The Anthony B. Swartz PCB Peer Excellence Award is given to a long-time PCB peer who, in addition to having been a steady volunteer for PCB events, projects, and chapters, has demonstrated distinguished service to PCB and its peers by taking on leadership roles or continually surpassing volunteer service expectations. Our Community Impact Award recognizes a company, agency, or foundation for the impact its products, services, or contributions have made in the vision loss community.
[link to Awards, Scholarships, and Stipends webpage]

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Conference and Convention

Once a year, the Annual PCB Conference and Convention provides a weekend packed with information, fellowship, and accessibility. In past years, the event has featured educational presentations, hands-on workshops, accessible tours, adapted games and recreation, a live auction, award ceremonies, talent-filled banquet performances, exhibits of blindness product vendors, and much more. Best of all, it is a chance to eat, drink, and be merry with your peers in a warm, accepting environment. Amidst this slew of offerings, the business of the organization is conducted through resolutions, elections, and annual reports. In 2020, most of these activities were held through Zoom meetings and other such virtual platforms.
[insert link to Conference and Convention webpage]

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Discussion Calls

The interests of PCB peers regarding vision loss range from student life and technological advances on the one hand to the concerns of parents and senior citizens on the other. Throughout the year, PCB hosts many discussion calls; presenting such topics as: adjustment to blindness and the family, home management techniques, accessible apps and devices, traveling with a guide dog, and tips for health and exercise. You are welcome to suggest future topics and take a turn at hosting one of these friendly and informative sessions. Join any of our discussion calls by dialing 605-475-4715 if you have unlimited long-distance. If not, call toll-free to 844-844-0414. Once your call is answered, enter passcode 815419#.
View PCB Calendar

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Leadership Development

PCB takes leadership development seriously and strives to empower all peers to explore their leadership potential. The PCB website includes an ever-growing section of resources for enhancing individual, chapter, and community leadership.
View Leadership Development Page

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Listservs

For peers who are online, PCB offers two listservs to connect and inform. PCB-L is a resource list for sharing fact-based information and announcements relevant to blindness or vision loss such as: assistive product info, legislative and regulatory efforts, meeting/training/webinar announcements, survey/research postings, Council news and updates, reposting of fact-based articles of interest, employment opportunities, business or service provider resources, and the like. PCB uses this listserv to post its monthly calendar, calls for action, and organization news. This list is open to all who want to stay informed on vision loss news. You can subscribe to this list by sending a blank email to: pcb-l+subscribe@groups.io.

The second listserv PCB offers provides a forum for peers to exchange ideas, opinions, and questions on all matters vision loss related. Aptly named, PCB-Chat allows for online conversation on topics important to peers. This is the place, for example, where someone new to vision loss could ask for advice on kitchen techniques or where a long-time peer might express bewilderment at the latest invention to “help the blind.” Join this listserv by sending a blank email to: pcb-chat+subscribe@groups.io.

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The PCB Advocate

PCB publishes a quarterly magazine entitled The PCB Advocate. The publication is available to all peers via email, through the PCB Information Line, and on our website. For paid peers, the magazine is sent in their preferred reading format: Braille, large print, or NLS audio cartridge. Do you like to write? You are encouraged to submit articles, stories, poems, and other writings of interest to people with vision loss for publication in our award-winning magazine. Submissions must be received by the following deadlines: March 1, June 1, September 1, and November 20. Email items to: advocate@pcb1.org.
View PCB Advocate Page

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PCB Information Line

If you are not online, you are only a telephone call away from having the latest news and happenings with PCB. The PCB Information Line at 773-572-6314 offers a menu of options to read our newsletter, learn about upcoming events, listen to podcasts, read the articles posted to the PCB-L listserv, and more. We now offer a toll-free number for those without long-distance. Contact the office toll-free to get this number.

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Peer Mentoring

Individuals experiencing vision loss have access to a data base of mentors with various backgrounds, experiences, interests, skills, and areas of expertise, who are willing to share their time, knowledge, and individual perspectives on vision loss. Mentors can give both advice and assistance in problem-solving or as someone who has gone through what you might be going through and who will just listen to you with an understanding heart. Our mentors are not professional counselors and as such, are not a substitute for professional rehabilitation or psychological support.
[link to where?]

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TheReImage

PCB’s on-going, online awareness effort is TheReImage.net where we strive to recreate the image of people with vision loss. All impacted by blindness or vision loss are invited to participate in TheReImage.net, an innovative online format that shares stories focusing on all aspects of life. Each story features individuals with different degrees of vision loss, but rather than concentrating on that one aspect, we are examining the emotions, feelings and experiences we share as humans.
[link to TheReImage webpage]

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Scholarships and Stipends

Attending a PCB Conference and Convention has been a life-changing event for many individuals with vision loss. It is for that reason that PCB has established several stipends to enable those who have never attended before to do so. The student category is open to college and high school students who are blind or visually impaired and college students who are sighted but majoring in a blindness field. Individuals who have lost vision within the last five years may qualify for the adjusting to vision loss category. In these first two categories, applicants could be, but do not need to be a peer in PCB. The final category, the 1st-Timer stipend, is designated to sponsor a PCB peer who has played an active role within the organization but who has not yet had the opportunity to attend the conference. For more information about these opportunities, email stipends@pcb1.org.
[link to Awards, Scholarships, and Stipends webpage]

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Vision Loss Resources

PCB maintains a vision loss resource list. We can provide information about rehabilitation providers, vocational assistance, technology solutions, product vendors, and more. Additionally, our peers have created and compiled written material to provide guidance on adapting to vision loss. Currently, PCB also offers a virtual support group by phone each month, led by a professionally licensed psychologist who is also a peer with vision loss. Simply give the PCB office a call to inquire about our vision loss resources, and either a staff person or a peer liaison will help.

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