2003 Statewide Annual Conference
This year the
conference was held in conjunction with the Institute for Innovative
Blind Navigationís Southwest Regional Seminar. CAOMS conference
attendees had the opportunity to register for this seminar as a
preconference day on Friday, or to attend the Saturday sessions
presented by IIBN as concurrent conference sessions.
The IIBN Friday
Seminar focused on advances in wayfinding technologies. Sessions dealt
with location based technologies and vision substitution. Participants
were given the opportunity to test out some of these technologies.
The CAOMS sessions
started on Saturday morning with IIBN presenting a BBC Documentary,
The Man who Learned to See, in an early session.
The first regular
sessions dealt with medical advances in artificial vision and working
with students with multiple disabilities. IIBN had Dr. Ione Fine present
on the medical advances related to artificial vision. Sandy Staples
presented on strategies for meeting the Mobility needs of students with
a wide variety of multiple disabilities.
The next two
sessions continued these two general areas. Dr. Fine continued her
presentation on artificial vision while David Brown presented on the
implications of providing O+M services for students with vision and
hearing deficits, who may also have poorly functioning vestibular,
tactile, and proprioceptive senses.
At lunch the
Keynote Speaker, Bobby McMullan, spoke about the role that sports have
played in his adjustment to the loss of most of his functional vision.
In his very direct and entertaining talk, Bobby emphasized the
importance of providing blind individuals the opportunity to participate
in high impact sports such as down hill skiing or mountain- biking, even
at the risk of injury.
After lunch there
were two concurrent sessions. Tasha Dean presented on the role of the
O+M specialist in career and vocational education for students. Julie
Vranna, Charley King, and Dave Torgersrud, presented an overview of the
Mt. Shasta Blind Ski Program.
The final activity
of the day was the chance to experience the thrill of following a guide
while blindfolded on a mountain-bike. After a brief explanation of the
techniques used by Team BAT, a group of blind and sighted riders in
southern California, Andy Griffin led participants along the beachside
started with sessions on working with deaf-blind clients who use sign
language and accessible pedestrian signals. Rasan Grey presented on
working with interpreters when doing mobility with clients that are deaf
and blind. Victoria Burns and Ty McClellan presented on how they worked
with traffic engineers to change an intersection to make it more
accessible with the use of a Polara System(APS)
The final two
sessions dealt with child development and innovations in guide dog
instruction. Evie Rote presented on the positive influence of
childrearing techniques in Ethiopia on the development of a blind child.
Emily Simone presented on the new trend of incorporating the use
of the long cane in conjunction with a guide dog for safe and effective
I would like to
thank all of those whose participation made this a successful
conference, especially the members of the conference committee and the
Conference Committee Chair
2003 host committee members
Cath Tendler-Valencia (left) and Jaye Shupin
displaying "goodie bag" items.
members attending the Friday Night Social.
provides instruction to Steve Suderman-Talco (under blindfold)
on a GPS navigation system.
A group of
O&M specialists with Jerry Kuns (3rd from left) and Mike May
(rear center) during hands-on instruction on electronic
O&M specialist and co-founder of Team BAT, provides information
on techniques for audibly guiding visually impaired bike
demonstrating audible bike guiding techniques with O&M
specialist Si Tarlen (riding behind, whose vision is
blocked by simulators.
of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. discusses recent developments
in guide dog techniques.
specialists providing a workshop on intersection pedestrian
signals and street crossing strategies.