the Washington Council of the Blind
invites you to attend
our 2017 annual state convention,
the United Blind of the Tri-Cities
Thursday, October 26 – Saturday, October 28, 2017
Red Lion Inn, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco, WA 99301
Rate: $95 per night (based on double occupancy) plus applicable taxes.
To get this convention rate, you must register by October 4, 2017 and mention the WCB convention.
WIFI and parking are both complimentary.
SEEKING A ROOMMATE?
If you would like assistance in finding someone to share a room with to help offset the cost of convention, contact Cindy at email@example.com 360-689-0827 right away! Be sure to include any pertinent details such as: you have a guide dog, you’re okay with (or not okay with) rooming with someone who has a guide dog, etc. Individuals will still be required to make their own hotel reservations.
For those WCB members meeting the 6 month membership requirement, having no outstanding loans in default, and needing a little extra financial assistance to attend this year’s state convention, a no-interest loan up to $300 may be requested by contacting Treasurer, Deb Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-526-2479 no later than October 4, 2017. A promissory note (agreeing to pay back the loan in ten equal installments over the next ten months, with the loan being paid in full no later than August 5, 2018) must be signed prior to receiving the loan.
This year WCB will be providing one convention bus at a cost of $25 one way, or $40 round trip. Reservations must be made online via the convention registration form. Seats will be reserved as reservations are made and is based on space availability. On Thursday, October 26, the bus will depart from the Executive in, 200 Taylor Avenue North in Seattle at 11:00am, returning on Sunday, October 29, leaving the Red Lion at 10:00am, arriving back at the Executive Inn around 2:00pm.
TRANSPORTATION IN THE TRI-CITIES
For those wishing to utilize the local public bus system while at convention, Ben Franklin Transit offers fixed route as well as a Dial-A-Ride service. Information on the fixed routes can be found by going to Http://www.bft.org or by calling 509-735-5100. To use the Dial-A-Ride service, eligibility information must be received at least 3 weeks prior to your visit and may be faxed to 509-734-5195. Please call 509-735-0160 with any questions.
Convention weekend kicks off on Thursday evening with the pre-convention board meeting followed by committees meeting on Resolutions and Constitution and Bylaws.
Friday will be a very busy day. Exhibits will be open from 10:00am-5:00pm, welcoming over 20 vendors who will display their blindness related products & services as well as other items of interest. From 9:00am-5:00pm, conventioneers who schedule an appointment will receive onsite technology training (free of charge). From 2:00pm-5:00pm folks will have opportunity to check out the silent auction and bid on wonderful items. Friday morning will begin with a little business, followed by a keynote address from Mike May, President and CEO, Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., and presentations on raffles and more from the Gambling Commission and the education of blind students in Washington. During Friday’s luncheon, our WCB Awards Committee will present this year’s awards, internal to WCB. Friday afternoon will be filled with informative presentations on using your smartphone to access household items, nutrition – organic vs natural, the Edith Bishel Center, exercising our advocacy muscles, the latest on eye conditions and treatment, and Patio Gardening. Then, Friday evening we will present the 14th annual WCB Showcase of Talent.
On Saturday morning we will hear a report on the activities of ACB, be inspired by those on the ever-popular employment panel, learn how we can bring audio description to live theatre in our local communities, and hear from the directors of our three state agencies serving the blind. Saturday afternoon is when the most important part of convention takes place, our annual WCB business meeting with elections, resolutions, amendments to the constitution and bylaws, our annual budget, and other decisions to be considered by the membership assembled. The convention will culminate on Saturday evening with our celebration banquet which will include the awarding of scholarships and WCB external awards, not to mention other surprises.
And still there’s more! Door prizes will be given out to those registered and in attendance throughout general sessions, the Awards Luncheon, and banquet. Each night of convention we will gather in the hospitality room to mingle with friends, old and new. This is truly a weekend that will offer something for everyone!
COMMITTEES AND COORDINATORS
During our business meeting elections will be held for president, first vice-president, treasurer, and the director positions currently held by Danette Dixon, Holly Kaczmarski, and James Turri. If you are interested in being considered for any of these positions, please email a letter of intent summarizing your activities in WCB, your local chapter and community, as well as any other information that would qualify you for the position you seek so the committee can get to know you. Letters must be received no later than October 4, 2017, and should be sent to Janice Squires, Chair, Nominating Committee, email@example.com. If you have any questions or need clarification e-mail or call her at 509-947-1554.
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
Frank Cuta chairs this year’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee. If you have amendment suggestions, please contact Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org 509-967-2658 in plenty of time for the committee to work on language prior to convention. This committee will meet directly following the Thursday evening pre-convention board meeting to discuss the proposed changes and is open to everyone.
The Resolutions Committee, chaired by Deb Lewis, will meet Thursday evening following the pre-convention board meeting. Resolutions must be submitted electronically, in a workable state, prior to that meeting. Deb can be reached at email@example.com 206-526-2479. The Resolutions Committee meetings are open to anyone who may be interested in attending, and we request that those submitting a resolution be at the meeting during the time their resolution is being worked on.
On Friday, October 27 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, we will be offering one-on-one technology training courtesy of Al Yardley, Access Technology Specialist. He will provide assistive Technology training with the iPhone, screen reading and screen magnification software, and the Microsoft Office Suite. Contact Al at firstname.lastname@example.org 253-223-2069 to reserve your time with him.
Carol Brame is coordinating exhibits, working diligently to bring us vendors with a variety of interesting products and services. If you would like to register as a vender, have suggestions of venders to contact, or have specific questions about exhibits, please contact Carol at email@example.com 360-509-9835.
We will be holding our Silent Auction with all proceeds benefiting WCB. If you or your chapter would like to contribute an item for this purpose, please contact Lisa George at firstname.lastname@example.org 816-668-5345 to let her know what you’ll be bringing. Description of items must be received no later than October 20. Auction items will be accepted at registration during published hours on Thursday and until 10:00 am on Friday. Preview of items and bidding will take place on Friday, October 27, from 2:00pm-5:00pm, and during the pre-banquet hour on Saturday, October 28, ending at 7:00pm that night.
Always a highlight, door Prizes will be accepted at Convention Registration on Thursday, October 26, and on Friday, October 27 until noon. Be sure items are marked with the name of the donor so proper acknowledgement can be made as items are awarded.
SHOWCASE OF TALENT
Those interested in performing in this year’s Showcase of Talent being held Friday, October 27 at 7:30 pm must sign up on the convention registration form. Acts must be family friendly and no more than four minutes in length to allow for fair distribution of time to all performers. Once you’ve signed up to perform on your convention registration form, share with us the details of your act in advance (including title, instrument to be played, whether a CD will be used, etc.) by contacting Meka White at email@example.com 360-689-1678.
We will be offering a convention themed shirt at a cost of $15 (all sizes) for purchase on the convention registration form. No shirts will be sold on site. Shirts must be paid in full by the October 4 deadline. No exceptions!
The registration/information desk will be open throughout convention: 2:00pm-5:00pm on Thursday, October 26, and 7:00 am-12:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, October 27-28. Lori Allison will be scheduling 2 to 3 hour shifts and will need volunteers. If this sounds like something you would like to do, contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org 253-537-4428.
HOW TO REGISTER
Complete the official registration form:
or request to register over the phone by calling 800-255-1147 and leave a message and someone will return your call to assist you. Each person must register individually. Registration will not be complete until payment is received in full.
Forms must be submitted by October 4, 2017 to receive the following registration rates and to be guaranteed in the meal count:
$95 – registration plus meal package (includes up to five meals: breakfast and lunch on Friday, breakfast, lunch and the banquet on Saturday),
$50 – registration plus banquet only,
$25 – registration only.
Registrations received after October 4 or paid by Purchase Order, will be at a higher rate, and onsite registrations will only be accepted on Friday, October 27 until noon.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THOSE ATTENDING WCB-SPONSORED EVENTS
The Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) strives to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all of our event participants. Attendees at WCB-sponsored events are expected to govern themselves in an appropriate, acceptable and sociable manner. Purposeful behavior which causes another attendee, their companion(s), or their service animal personal injury, harassment, or to be fearful about attending WCB-sponsored events may result in WCB writing a review of the given situation for our records and taking action as needed on a case by case basis
In planning for events, we provide tools to assist our blind attendees, such as: advanced training to hotel staff, published hotel description, and minimal volunteer assistance throughout the event when possible. To ensure safe passage in crowded areas, each participant must remain vigilant of others’ safety, using caution and consideration while negotiating aisles, halls and other pathways where large numbers of blind individuals and dog guides may be present.
When volunteers are available at WCB-sponsored events, they are to provide only limited assistance to participants. WCB and its representatives are not responsible for personal care or ongoing assistance to participants. If greater individual assistance is needed, participants are expected to arrange for such support at such WCB-sponsored events on their own based on individual needs.
When possible, volunteers may be on-hand to provide minimal assistance to attendees with navigating the public areas of our events. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide significant individual assistance. When volunteers are available, they may escort attendees to and from sleeping rooms only upon initial check-in, and then, only to the hotel room door. Volunteers will not be available to assist with handling or administering medication, packing luggage, ongoing escort to and from sleeping rooms, feeding, dressing or toileting, and/or walking service animals. If you know you will need substantial individual assistance, we ask you to arrange to have someone accompany you for this purpose.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
Conventioneers who cancel their registration at least 14 days prior to the start of the convention are subject to a $10 processing fee. Unless an extreme hardship exception is approved by the president, those canceling after that time forfeit their full registration fee. Cancellations must be made in writing directly to the WCB President.
Refunds, when appropriate, will be made within two to four weeks of the end of convention.
Call the WCB Info-line at 1-800-255-1147 and press number 6 or go to http://www.wcbinfo.org for up-to-date information about the upcoming WCB convention. We look forward to you joining us October 26-28, 2017 in Pasco!
Cindy Van Winkle, Convention Coordinator
2017 WCB Convention Committee