AAVL at 2021 ACB Virtual Convention
The corona virus led ACB to hold its 2021 annual convention virtually for the second year. During the 2021 convention, AAVL held elections for its officers and directors at its business meeting. It sponsored sessions during which author Deborah Kendrick and attorney Meredith Weaver, from Disability Rights Advocates, discussed the challenges of weaving your way through the health care system, Cecelia Warren, Director, Emergency Preparedness Policy, Maryland Department of Disabilities, Baltimore, MD, talked about disaster preparedness, and the founders of Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind described how it may help with accessible drug labelling and provide assistance with medication. AAVL also sponsored a baby boomer trivia contest.
AAVL at 2020 ACB Virtual Convention
Due to the corona virus pandemic, the annual ACB convention for 2020 was held virtually. AAVL held virtual meetings during which various speakers participated. AAVL hosted a joint seminar with ACB's Rehabilitation Issues Taskforce. Lee Nasehi, President & CEO of VisionServe Alliance, the largest consortium of blindness agencies in the country, explored ways in which we can attempt to fill the ever-growing need for specialized services for seniors who are blind or low vision. Lori Scharf, Masters in Social Work and Certified Work Incentive Practitioner, addressed Medicare questions. She talked about such topics as when a person is eligible and what kinds of benefits can one receive. AAVL also held a panel discussion during which Jenine Stanley, Explorer Communications Manager Aira Tech Cor, and Alexa Holland, Enterprise Manager, Gogo grandparent, talked about how these companies can enhance your independence and quality of life. AAVL then held an open discussion on the work it is doing on behalf of seniors with vision loss.
AAVL at 2019 ACB Convention
In 2019 AAVL hosted a joint luncheon with ACB Rehabilitation Issues Taskforce on July 8 during ACB’s Rochester, NY convention. Mark Reichert, Director of Public Policy, National Disability Institute, spoke on the topic “Upping Our Game for Services to Seniors with Vision Loss”. Reichert, a long-time blindness community advocate, addressed the issue of how to make advocacy efforts more successful.
Following the luncheon AAVL hosted a panel discussion on “Innovations in Services to Seniors with Vision Loss”. The panel talked about new service delivery approaches to meet the complex needs of seniors suffering recent vision loss. Serving this rapidly growing population with the limited resources available is a major challenge and sharing success stories is extremely useful to improve service delivery nationwide. Panelists were Brian Daniels, Director, New York State Commission for the Blind, Albany, New York; Nancy Miller, Executive Director/CEO Visions/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, New York, New York; Sara VanBortel, Assistant Director, Vision Rehabilitation Department, Association for the Blind-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, Rochester, New York; and Sylvia Stinson-Perez, Director, Older Blind Technical Assistance Center at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi.
AAVL also hosted a mixer on July 9 for its members and friends. Food and libation were served in a relaxing atmosphere where people could reunite or meet for the first time and share their stories and experiences.
In prior years, AAVL’s speakers have described dealing with becoming blind after age 50, preparing for emergency situations without sight and establishing local organizations to provide social, cultural and athletic activities for people with physical disabilities. AAVL welcomes suggestions for future programs and presentations.