Presenting the 2016 Conference Lineup

By Thomas Reid, PCB Conference Coordinator

I am very happy to bring you today an unofficial look at what will probably be the official 2016 PCB Conference schedule. I say unofficial because the official schedule will be published on the Conference web page at If you have not yet subscribed to the PCB-l email list you should really do so in order to make sure you are one of the first to know when the latest conference related information is ready for your viewing. Simply send a blank email with a blank subject field to

In just a moment I’ll present the schedule but there are a few things you should know about this year’s conference.

The Exhibit Hall:
This year the exhibit hall will be open on Friday October 21, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. ONLY. We have decided to eliminate the Saturday hours in order to more effectively serve both our attendees and participating vendors. Remember, the exhibit hall is a great time to get in some accessible, affordable holiday shopping.

Our Guest Affiliate:
We are excited to welcome the ACB Maryland affiliate to this year’s conference. They will participate in all of the conference activities and have an opportunity to privately conduct their affiliate business while PCB does the same on Saturday afternoon.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Presenting the first look at the 2016 PCB Conference presentation lineup:

Leading off the conference on Thursday October 20 will be the PCB Board of Director’s Meeting. The official opening to the conference will of course be done during the General Session by PCB President Susan Lichtenfels.

The general session will include:
• Joe Stretchay, Director, Bureau of Blindness & Visual services (Listen to the May Conference Blast for more on Joe Stretchay.)
• Vanda Pharmaceuticals
• The first reading of proposed Resolutions and bylaw amendments
• Announcements and door prizes

Immediately following the general session, it’s time for some fun and interaction. We have a new game in store for you that we are calling, The Perception Game! We will have more details to share in the coming months.

Friday morning will begin with your choice of entertainment including the popular Audio Darts Tournament, this year sponsored by Mr. George Holliday. You will also have plenty of time on Friday morning to begin perusing all of the products and information available in the exhibit hall.

After a lunch, whether in the hotel or at one of the several restaurants nearby, we will feature more presentations that will take place during the general session. This will include a presentation from a local news broadcaster titled “Scam School”. If you’re thinking PCB is trying to teach members how to start their own scamming business, you are incorrect. It’s all about preventing yourself from being on the losing end of the scam.

Continuing with our tradition of assuring our members are informed on the latest technology with application to those with vision loss, we will hear all about indoor navigation. And the potential this technology has for the community of people with vision loss. We will even have an opportunity for those who do not have access to the smart devices that enable the use of indoor navigation, to get a feel for the technology and its benefits.

Friday afternoon is the perfect time for the Affiliate & Membership Relations Team to recognize first-time Conference attendees and others.

Friday night, well that’s Live Auction time. You know what that means; lots of fun while bidding and purchasing all sorts of items while supporting the organization that supports you.

Our Saturday morning lineup is a perfect blend of presentations for both those newly impacted by vision loss or the more seasoned veterans. Following a report from the Advocacy & Governmental Affairs Team, we will have presentations from:
• Tony Stevens ACB Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs on helping us craft our stories for improved advocacy.
• Andrew Chepaitis, CEO Elia Technologies discussing an alternative method for accessing printed information.
• A presentation from the Vision Loss Resource Team on resources for living with vision loss.
• Andre Watson PhD., discussing misperceptions of blindness and how they impact our lives.

Saturday night, following the banquet and awards, Tony Stevens ACB Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs will be our Keynote Speaker.

For those who were fortunate enough to be a part of the 2015 PCB Conference, you will of course recall the GTCB Murder at the Tonylou Awards, featuring an all PCB cast.

Well, The Conference Program & Planning Team realizes we can’t top that, but we can look to our members to provide some real talent! You’re going to have to be there to learn more…

The conference will also include elections, reports from all of the work teams, the President’s lunch, raffles, door prizes and just an awesome time to make or continue friendships.

Now it’s your turn, make your reservation:
Date: October 20 – 23, 2016
Location: Crown Plaza Harrisburg-Hershey
23 South Second Street Harrisburg, PA 17101
Room Rate: $89 per night
Call: 1-717-234-5021
Make sure you tell them you’re attending the PCB Conference.

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