BVA 2020 National Convention

BVA planned to commemorate its milestone 75th anniversary in August 2020 with a never-to-be-forgotten national convention in the Nation’s Capital. Only a global pandemic could alter such grandiose anticipation and that is exactly what occurred. Although we cannot meet in person, please stay tuned for upcoming messages from BVA National Headquarters regarding our summer seminars and organizational training sessions to be conducted online via Zoom.  Most of these will occur during the week that would have featured the convention. Make plans now also to attend the next national gathering August 16-20, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Overview of Washington, D.C., with the Capitol Building in the foreground.

Blinded Veterans Association August 2020 Virtual Conference Schedule All Times Eastern Daylight Time Platform Zoom

Date & Time: Monday, August 10 (1:00pm – 2:00pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Introducing the Zoom Platform
Presenter: Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center CATS (TBD)
Description: This session will introduce blind and visually impaired users to the Zoom platform on computers, smartphones, and tablets. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 12 (2:00pm – 3:30pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership / Public
Session Title: Space and Vision Loss
Presenters: Dr. Steve Laurie (Lead Scientist) and Tracy Minish (Mission Control Center Systems [MCCS] Operations Manager) Johnson Space Center.
Description: This two-part session will explore Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS), a condition experienced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight resulting in vision changes, folds in the retina, and swelling around the optic nerve. The second session will feature a “Vision for Space,” as told from the perspective of a legally blind Mission Control Center manager.

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 18 (1:00pm – 1:45pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: What Happens When the Caregiver Needs a Caregiver?
Presenter: Travis Wilson, VIST (Boise, ID VAMC)
Description: This session will explore and raise awareness of needs to consider in advance of experiencing this major life challenge. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 18 (2:00pm – 2:45pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Gary Barg Caregiver Panel
Presenter: Gary Barg
Description: This session will explore caregiver experiences and solutions. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 18 (3:00pm – 3:45pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Enabling v. Empowering
Presenter: Kelly Golden, BROS and Trudi Valdez, VIST (Albuquerque, NM VAMC)
Description: This session will explore caregiver natural tendencies to become enablers. Empowerment, however, needs to be the focus in order for our blinded veterans to achieve their independence potential. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 19 (1:00pm – 3:30pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Virtual Conference
Presenter: Board & HQ Staff
Description: This session will feature; BVA National President Welcoming Remarks; National Chaplain Invocation & Remembrance; VIP Remarks; and Executive Director State of the Organization.

Date & Time: Thursday, August 20 (1:00pm – 1:45pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Benefits Administration
Presenter: Dr. Lawrence, Under Secretary (VBA)
Description: This session will explore the VA VBA system. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

Date & Time: Thursday, August 20 (2:00pm – 2:45pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration
Presenter: Randy Reeves, Under Secretary (NCA)
Description: This session will explore the VA NCA system. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

Date & Time: Thursday, August 20 (3:00pm – 3:45pm)
Zoom Link: (TBD)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Loan Guaranty Service
Presenter: Jason Latona, Chief Specially Adapted Housing (SAH)
Description: This session will explore the VA loan guaranty housing grant programs available to blind veterans. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

2019 Convention Gallery

Pictures and Videos from the Week of the 2019 BVA Convention. Enjoy!