Washington Council of the Blind 2021 Virtual Convention

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Join us for Washington Council of the Blind’s (WCB) annual convention October 29 – 30, 2021!

This year the convention will be virtual.

Our youth track theme will be “The Science of Sound”. Students will hear from a variety of panelists who are blind and low vision and work with sound in their careers as sound engineers, music producers, voice over artists, and in the fields of broadcasting and media! Students will also be able to participate in an interactive activity involving sound amplification and sound dampening using different materials.

While DSB will be offering youth sessions just for youth and a session for parents, DSB youth and families are also invited to attend the WCB’s general convention. The WCB Convention is the opportunity for many of the organizations’ over 400 members to learn about the plans of leaders in the blind and low vision community - including American Council of the Blind, Department of Services for the Blind, Washington State School for the Blind and Washington Talking Book and Braille Library.  Individual members will present their experiences on a variety of subjects including technology development, advocacy successes and challenges, recreation opportunities, mobility, and guide dogs. Each year a career panel of blind and low vision individuals share their path to successful employment.  Vendors demonstrate products and services that improve accessibility.  Scholarship winners share their journeys and plans. Entertainment and an auction are always a part of the convention, whether in person or virtual.  The broad scope of topics offers something for everyone!

The general convention schedule and session descriptions can be found on the WCB website: https://wcbinfo.org/

Schedule

All sessions are optional. Please feel free to attend all, some or even just one, depending on availability and needs. Zoom links and call in information will be sent out a week prior to the convention. Those registered for the Youth Track are also eligible to select sessions from the General WCB Convention Program, and are encouraged to do so. The full program agenda will be sent out to registered attendees closer to the event date.

Friday, October 29

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.    - Social Hour lead by blind and low vision teens 

We will kick off convention weekend Friday night with a social hour intended for, and lead by, blind and low vision teens! Youth will get a chance to meet their peers from around the state while participating in fun activities that fit into our “Science of Sound” theme.

Saturday, October 30

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. - Lunch with Hayley & Vivian - PARENTS ONLY

Parents will learn valuable techniques concerning how to get your blind or low vision child more involved in activities and chores around the house. Topics will include (but are not limited to): 

  • Using patterns to wipe counters and surfaces and how these patterns can be utilized for many other things around the house
  • How to set your child up for success with laundry
  • Cooking start-up skills and suggestions

Although there will be lots of information and resources provided, parent directed topics that are pertinent to their family are welcome.  Please join us in this safe place to learn from those who are already living this life and succeed at it each day.

Session hosted by:

  • Vivian Huschke: Vivian lost her vision in 2009 due to Glaucoma; although, by that time she was no stranger to dealing with vision challenges.  She currently works for Lilac Services for the Blind, as a Rehabilitation instructor. For twenty years, Vivian lived and worked in Texas. She taught independent living skills to children with special needs, so she has a wealth of knowledge to share.
  • Hayley Agers: Hayley currently resides in Marysville, where she has been married to her husband David for 27 years and is the Mum to two teenagers. She grew up in the U.K and later moved to Delaware, due to her husband’s military career.  While in Delaware, she graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy, working with both children and adults, covering a multitude of areas. She also worked for Department of Services for the Blind, as a Rehabilitation Instructor, teaching Home Economics.  Hayley was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of five and lost the rest of her vision by 2013.

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.    - Science of Sound Activity

Come experience what it’s like to be a sound engineer! Students who sign up for this session will be mailed a kit with materials prior to the session. Using these materials, students will be able to play with sound dampening and amplification and will get a chance to manipulate sound first- hand.  Joey Stuckey, who is a visually impaired sound engineer and music producer, will be joining us for this session. Participants will be able to ask him questions about his career in music and sound engineering!

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.     Science of Sound Career Panel

So, what’s it like to be a podcaster? How do you make it as a music producer? Do I need to go to college to work in broadcasting or radio? This career panel will be able to answer these questions and more! Panelists during this session will include: 

  • Joey Stuckey - As a toddler, Joey was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery with little hope of survival. Though the tumor left Joey blind and with other health challenges, today, he continues to live a successful life of intention in his chosen field of music. Joey is professor of music technology at Mercer University, the Music Technology Consultant for Middle Georgia State University, an official Music Mentor for the Recording, Radio and Film Connection in Los Angeles and an active voting member of the Grammys. He is the owner and Senior Engineer at Shadow Sound Studio - a destination recording facility with state-of-the-art analog and digital technology. 
  • Tanja Milojevic - Tanja currently does voiceover and produces a radio drama podcast.   She works with Storymore - a one-stop shop for audio drama content.  Tanja also works with Resemble AI, a Canadian technology start-up that specializes in cloning voices and providing high-quality synthetic voices to various clients.
  • Debbie Hazelton - As someone who grew up blind, sound was always important to Debbie.  What sounds were comforting? What sounds were scary? What sounds helped her feel connected and/or gave her a sense of belonging?  She found that radio provided her with an important way of feeling on equal footing with both the on-air personalities and other listeners. Since radio is non-visual, Debbie learned about voices and speaking styles by listening. She makes the most of opportunities to use her voice today through radio, podcasting meditation, and guided imagery.
  • Ana Capri Garcia - Anna has been losing her vision, due to Retinitis Pigmentosa, and currently lives in California.  She is a YouTube content creator.  Her channel is called “Blind with a Vision”. Anna believes that where there is accessibility and congruency, there is inclusion.  She has a master’s degree in counselling and has experience working with people at both ends of the age spectrum, from children to geriatric patients, and bring a lot of passion and compassion to the table.

Cost

Free! This event is free for visually impaired students in Washington State and their parents.

Who

Blind or Visually Impaired Youth, ages 9 - 21, and their families.

When

-

Where

Online via Zoom.

RSVP

Registration Deadline: Thursday, October 15, 2021

Please register by completing online registration below. 

For more information, contact Jen Scheel at jennifer.scheel@dsb.wa.gov or 360-999-3138.

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