Father Thomas Carroll Luncheon Speech at the BVA National Convention 2015

76th Virtual National Convention August 16-20, 2021 Registration Form

Should you require assistance registering please email membership@bva.org, or call (202) 371-8880 x 315.
Registrations received after the August 9, 2021 deadline will not be accepted.

Separate each guest name with a comma.

BVA 76th Convention Notice (PDF) (DOC)

Blinded Veterans Association Board of Directors Teleconference Policy
76th National Convention, August 2021

 

Due to the ongoing restrictions and issues of safety resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the BVA National Board of Directors is issuing the following directive as per National Bylaw Article XIV, Sections 1 and 9 (the National Board of Directors shall take action for conducting business between annual conventions for the membership).

 

BVA has postponed the traditional in-person 76th National Convention scheduled for St. Louis, Missouri during the week of August 16-20, 2021. A virtual convention will replace the in-person meetings, necessitated by the bylaw requirement that elections for national officers occur every two years.

 

Procedures for managing the Convention are:

 

Every BVA Member and Associate Member in good standing shall be eligible to participate in all meetings of the National Convention via a virtual platform. Members may establish an online or a telephone connection to the proceedings. During voting, each member shall be entitled to one (1) vote.  

 

BVA members must register to vote with the Administrative Director at least seven (7) days prior to the official start date of the Convention. National Headquarters shall provide notice of the Convention to all Members no later than 45 (forty-five) days prior to the Convention via postal mail, the national website, and The Bulletin. 

 

          (1)  Members or Associate Members may nominate themselves for candidacy for any National Officer position, up to and including 45 (forty-five) days prior to the start of the Convention (August 16), by writing to National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director). The notice must be postmarked no later than twenty-one (21) days before the Convention for it to be considered valid.

 

          (2)  If voting by Proxy, the votes of Members or Associate Members shall be cast by their elected Delegate or the Regional Group President. Such members must request a Proxy Form to be mailed to them by National Headquarters. The mailed form shall be the only Proxy Form recognized by the National Convention and must be returned to National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) with a postmark no later than twenty-one (21) days before the Convention for it to be considered valid and counted.

 

Roll call voting shall be in alphabetical order of Regional Groups and eligible voting Members. Those eligible to vote are Regional Group Presidents or the elected Delegates voting for their Members, and each individual Member who has registered at least seven (7) days prior to the Convention. Members who have not registered for the Convention may call in as guests but shall not be recognized for voting.

 

The National Convention Official Notice shall be mailed to each Member and Associate Member in Good Standing, and to each BVA Regional Group in Good Standing, no earlier than one hundred (100) days and no later than seventy-five (75) days before the start of the Convention. Additionally, the Official Notice shall appear in two (2) issues of The Bulletin, in postings on the national website, and in at least one (1) email transmission from District Directors to all Regional Group Presidents. 

 

During the National Convention, fifty (50) percent of the Members and Associate Members who have registered for the Convention, at least three (3) District Directors, and at least three (3) National Officers must be in attendance to constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the Convention shall have no authority and may transact no business except to adjourn from day to day until a quorum is established.

 

Regional Groups may elect a Member or an Associate Member from its group as the official Delegate, or vote to authorize the President to serve as the Delegate to the Convention. Such an individual shall be entitled to cast one (1) vote for each Member and Associate Member in Good Standing from his/her own Regional Group, not including the Members and Associate Members from his/her group who have registered for the Convention at least seven (7) days before the Convention, or who can vote for themselves, or who vote by Proxy.

 

Credentials certifying to the election of the Regional Group Delegate, accompanied by voting instructions to him/her, shall be in writing, signed by the Regional Group President and authenticated by the Secretary. One (1) copy shall be mailed to National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director), postmarked no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the Convention.

2021 Virtual Convention Rules (PDF) (DOC)

2021 Convention Credentials Letter (PDF) (DOC)

2021 Convention Credentials Forms (PDF) (DOC)

All Times Eastern
Platform Zoom

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 12 (11:00am – 4:30pm)
Audience: National Board of Directors / National Staff
Session Title: Business Meeting

 

Date & Time: Friday, August 13 (11:00am – 4:30pm)
Audience: National Board of Directors / National Staff
Session Title: Business Meeting

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (11:00am – 11:45am)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: VetTec – Getting Familiar with Zoom and Adaptive Technologies
Presenters: Brian Harris (DD-2), Kevin Jackson (DD-6), and Paul Mimms (Ombudsman)
Description: This session will educate blinded veterans, regardless of the technology they prefer, to navigate the zoom platform and be comfortable attending the upcoming BVA convention and beyond. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (12:00pm – 12:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Caregivers – Learning and Sharing Ideas!
Presenters: Rev. Edna Dixon (BVAA – Vice President), Patricia Hail (BVAA – Reporter and Past President), Kelli Golden (BROS – New Mexico VAMC), Trudie Valdez (VIST – New Mexico VAMC)
Description: Moving from “Independence + Acceptance = Dignity” into “Worlds in Confluence” with Knowledge and Advocacy. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (12:45pm – 1:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Department of Defense Shared List (Exploring Federal Employment for Persons with Disabilities)
Presenters: Elizabeth W. Starek (Disability Program Specialist)
Description: This session will explore federal employment opportunists for persons with disabilities via an overview of the shared list (a unique resource for individuals inside and outside the federal government allowing for resume submissions and hiring manager engagement). This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (1:00pm – 1:15pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (1:15pm – 1:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Sponsor
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (1:30pm – 2:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: The Low Vision Shop: The Shop with A Vision
Presenters: Bari Azman, Diane Ducharme
Description: This session will cover an in-depth exploration of The Low Vision Shop’s quest for providing exclusive, outside of the box items that will reshape the future of living with a sight impairment. We will share our philosophy of how blindness does not equal a lack of vision. Our products are hand-picked to enable people with sight impairment to achieve their highest goals and pursue a life that they may not have imagined for themselves. The Low Vision Shop is where you will find both low- and high-tech solutions to everyday challenges. Whether you are looking for the new Omni-Sense cane tip to hit the streets in smooth strides, an OrCam to identify your prescriptions, or an eSight to enhance your sight. Please join us so that we can assist you with improving your independence and enhancing your quality of life.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (2:00pm – 2:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: OneClick Politics – What is Grassroots Advocacy and Why Does it Matter?
Presenters: Chazz Clevinger (CEO, OneClick Politics), Jim Vale (National Service Director, Veterans Benefits & Policy) and Erin McConnell (Deputy Director of Policy)
Description: It takes a dedicated team effort to win on Capitol Hill, BVA staff cannot pass legislation alone. OneClick Politics is the force multiplier for BVA’s government relations team by involving our members in a grassroots advocacy campaign. By contacting their respective members of Congress, with effective messaging crafted by our government relations team, OneClick Politics provides an easy tool for BVA members to help deliver the message to win co-sponsors and votes to get legislation passed. Learn how you can make a difference with just a few clicks on your smart phone or PC.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (2:45pm – 3:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: iBill Currency Readers
Presenters: Lydia Washington, Lead Public Affairs Specialist and Tracy Garrett, Public Affairs Specialist
Description: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing provides iBill currency readers, free of charge, to all eligible blind and visually impaired U.S. citizens and national residents, as well as two mobile apps – the EyeNote for iOS and IDEAL Currency Identifier for Android – to assist with the denomination of U.S. currency notes. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (3:00pm – 3:45pm)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Regional Group Leadership – Do’s & Don’ts
Presenters: Brian Harris (DD2), Monaca Gilmore (DD3), and Darryl Goldsmith (DD5)
Description: This session will focus on motivating membership and creating effective leadership at the local level. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (4:00pm – 4:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Bookshare
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Monday, August 16 (4:30pm – 4:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: The Descriptathon Approach: Co-creation of Audio Description as a Media Accessibility Strategy
Presenters: Brett Oppegaard (Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
Description: This session will focus on making public places, such as national parks, more accessible for people who are blind or have low-vision. The UniDescription Project, www.unidescription.or, has been developing a co-creation strategy during the past few years, during which park staff and BVA members can collaborate on writing these descriptions and sharing them with the public. That process, called a Descriptathon, is a fun and friendly competition to determine who can "describe it best," and our next Descriptathon is coming up Oct. 26-28, if you want to get involved. We already have made more than 130 National Park Service sites more accessible through this process; you can listen to these descriptions on your smartphone by searching "UniDescription" in your app store and downloading the free app. This time around, the Descriptathon will feature teams from the U.S. National Park Service, National Parks UK, Parks Canada, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and The Kennedy Center. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (11:00am – 11:45am)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: BVA Women's Veteran Group & Resources
Presenters: BVA Women's Veteran Group Committee
Description: This session will provide an overview of BVA’s Women's Veteran Group’s mission, activities, impact, and available resources. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (11:45am – 12:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Sponsor
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (12:00pm – 12:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Caregivers, Spouses, and the VA – Eligibility & Opportunities
Presenters: Lauriann Stoker (Caregiver Support Program, Mann-Grandstaff VAMC) and Thomas
McGuinness (LICSW, Caregiver Support Program, Mann-Grandstaff VAMC)
Description: Eligibility and programs of importance for Caregivers, Spouses, and Veterans available in confluence with the VA. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (1:00pm – 1:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: The Vets First podcast, communicating research to Veterans
Presenters: The hosts of Vets First, Levi Sowers, PhD and Brandon Rea
Description: This session will feature a discussion around the Vets First Podcast, focusing on its unique ability to effectively communicate the latest VA sponsored research to veterans, their families, and caregivers. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (1:30pm – 2:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: OrCam Technologies
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (2:00pm – 2:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
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 B/VI veterans. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (3:00pm – 3:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Independence is a Family Affair
Presenter: Penny L. Nechanicky (Executive Director Prosthetic & Sensory Aids, VA Central Office), Rae Hail (Guide Dog Handler’s Committee Co-chair) and Paul Mimms (Guide Dog Handler’s Committee Co-chair)
Description: Successful integration of a guide dog as a vital family member for enhanced independence for all. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 17 (4:00pm – 4:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: VA Programs/Opportunities for Veterans that Spouses/Family Caregivers Need to Know
Presenters: Travis Wilson (VIST Boise VAMC)
Description: This session will focus on the integral role VIST Coordinators play in identifying relevant programs and opportunities available to B/VI veterans empowering their Independence, while promoting support, acceptance, and confluence within the family unit. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 18 (11:00am – 2:00pm)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: First Business Meeting
Description:

  • Invocation
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Welcome and Response
  • Virtual Roles of Convention
  • Report of Credentials Committee
  • Finance Report Executive Director and SmithBucklin
  • Minutes of the 2019 Tulsa National Convention
  • Report of the National Board of Directors
  • Necrology Report
  • Nomination of National Officers
  • Virtual Roll Call: Registered Delegates / RG Presidents / Members
  • Election of National Officers
  • Installation of National Officers

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 18 (2:00pm – 2:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Intracortical Visual Prosthesis Study: A Phase 1 Clinical Trial to Determine the Feasibility of
a Human Cortical Visual Prosthesis for People with Blindness
Presenters: Gislin Dagnelie, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, JHU Lions Vision Research &
Rehab Center Johns Hopkins Hospital) and Dr. Philip R. Troyk (Executive Director, Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering)
Description: This session will provide Information about a research study to determine the safety of an investigational brain implant called an Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP) that may help people who are blind perceive some light. Restoring vision is not the goal of this study and should not be the
expectation. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 18 (2:30pm – 3:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Magnifiers That Make a Difference: Eschenbach Optik of America
Presenters: Joe Buttazzoni (Eschenbach West Region Sales Manager)
Description: This session will focus on new and unique Eschenbach magnification solutions empowering those experiencing vision loss to more effectively accomplish their daily living tasks. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 18 (3:00pm – 3:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Services
Presenter: Nicole L. Sandlan (National Program Director, Blind Rehabilitation Services, VA Central Office)
Description: This session will explore the VA blind rehabilitation programs and services available to B/VI veterans. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 18 (4:00pm – 4:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Research
Presenters: Lina R. Kubli, Ph.D. (Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research & Development)
Description: This session will explore the VA Vision Research & Development state of the science. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (11:00am – 11:45am)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Bylaws & Resolutions – Why They Matter and How They Work!
Presenters: Joe McNeil (National VP), Kevin Jackson (DD-6), and D. James Hindle III (Parliamentarian)
Description: This session will focus on exploring the rules and regulations of an organization defined by the bylaws. The bylaws also define the structure of the organization, its purpose, how the organization runs its affairs, and the duties and responsibilities of those involved. Resolutions are used for many things, and the bylaws require resolutions for various tasks or decisions. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (12:00pm – 12:45pm)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: 2021 Bylaws Committee – Session 1
Presenters: Elizabeth Holmes (Co-Chair), Kevin Jackson (Co-Chair), and D. James Hindle III (Parliamentarian)
Description: This session will focus on a review of proposed bylaw amendments as submitted by the Membership and Regional Group Committees. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (12:45pm – 1:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Sponsor Recognition
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (1:00pm – 1:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Father Carroll Virtual Luncheon
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (1:30pm – 2:00pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Cerner Government Solutions
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (2:00pm – 2:45pm)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: 2021 Bylaws Committee – Session 2
Presenters: Elizabeth Holmes (Co-Chair), Kevin Jackson (Co-Chair) and D. James Hindle III (Parliamentarian)
Description: This session will focus on a review of proposed bylaw amendments as submitted by the Membership and Regional Group Committees. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (3:00pm – 3:45pm)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Regional Group Leadership – Do’s & Don’ts
Presenter: Brian Harris (DD-2), Monaca Gilmore (DD-3), and Darryl Goldsmith (DD-5)
Description: This session will explore best-practices for motivating membership and developing effective leadership. This will be an interactive session with question and and opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Thursday, August 19 (4:00pm – 4:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Envision Glasses (Florida Reading (TBD)
Presenters: TBD
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Friday, August 20 (11:00am – 11:45am)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Taking Care of Yourself – So You Can Care for Your Veteran
Presenters: Trudie Valdez (VIST – New Mexico VAMC) and Kelly Golden (BROS – New Mexico VAMC)
Description: Activities, Exercise, Respite, Health – and even education – for a better Caregiver experience for Caregiver and Veteran. This will be an interactive session with question and answer opportunities.

 

Date & Time: Friday, August 20 (12:00pm – 12:45pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Session Title: Veterans Service Program – Calling All Ambassadors!
Presenters: Jim Vale (National Service Director, Veterans Benefits & Policy) and Duayne Driscoll (Deputy Director of Benefits)
Description: Do you have what it takes to be a BVA Ambassador? The VA Blind Rehabilitations Service has identified over 120,000 blind veterans and 1.2 million veterans with low vision, and a large number of these veterans either do not know about the blind rehabilitation services offered by the VA, or incorrectly assume they aren’t eligible because their vision loss isn’t service-connected. BVA Ambassadors help get the word out to our blinded veterans and provide valuable benefits information and crucial tips to help make the most of VIST, BROS, VICTORS/VISORS, and BRC services. Ambassadors are the key liaison between B/VI veterans and BVA’s Veterans Service Program. Anyone interested in becoming a BVA Ambassador should attend this session.

 

Date & Time: Friday, August 20 (1:00pm – 1:30pm)
Audience: Membership / BVAA / Public
Presenters: TBD
Session Title: Award Presentations
Description: TBD

 

Date & Time: Friday, August 20 (1:30pm – 4:30pm)
Audience: Membership
Session Title: Second Business Meeting
Description:

  • Report on Proposed Bylaws
  • Roll Call Voting
  • New Business
  • Adjourn

***Notice***
A member wishing to exercise his/her right to vote may do so by registering in advance. Only registered delegates and members will be recognized and permitted to vote during the virtual national convention. The registration form may be completed or downloaded online at https://bva.org/, requested via email
at bva@bva.org, or by phone at (202) 371-8880. There is NO cost for registration. BVA national headquarters must receive registration forms by August 9, 2021. If not attending, you can request an official proxy form from Brigitte Jones at (202) 371-8880 ext. 330, or by email at bjones@bva.org. All proxy forms are due by July 26, 2021. The official national headquarters proxy form and credentials form shall be the only forms recognized at the virtual national convention.

Proposed Bylaw Amendments (PDF) (DOC)

Sponsorship Levels (PDF) (DOC)

Sponsorship Application (PDF) (DOC) (WEB)

Sponsors

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