Washington Council of the Blind 2019 Convention Program


Convention 2019



Hosted by

Pierce County Association of the Blind



October 24, 25, and 26, 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport

SeaTac, Washington


Welcome to the 2019 annual convention of Washington Council of the Blind!


All WCB meetings are open to members and non-members who are registered with this convention.


WCB is pleased to offer this program to assist you in locating all activities of this convention along with times and room assignments.


The Grand Ballroom which will hold general sessions and selected breakout sessions, main meals, exhibits, Silent Auction and Raffle Fundraiser, Showcase of Talent, and banquet are on the main floor and in the conferencing area.

Registration and volunteer table will be in the foyer of the conferencing area. The Cascade rooms are on the second floor, accessed by the tower elevators and will hold smaller meal functions, breakout sessions, GDUWS activities, youth program, Scholarship Reception, and hospitality.


For the security of this event, conventioneers are required to wear their convention name tag at all convention functions, including hospitality.


Throughout the general sessions, the Friday luncheon, business meeting and banquet, door prizes will be given out to those registered for the convention and in attendance at the time their name is drawn.


The majority of this weekend’s events will be streamed live on ACB Radio www.acbradio.org or accessed by phone at 605-475-8130 and recorded for future enjoyment on www.wcbinfo.org.


Aira is a proud sponsor of the WCB State Convention. With Aira Access Network, conventioneers can experience the service as part of the WCB state convention weekend within the DoubleTree, and as always is available at the SeaTac Airport.

To download the Aira app, visit: www.aira.io/app.



2:00 PM to 5:00 PM           GRAND FOYER

Registration/Information desk open

Pre-registered conventioneers only.


3:00 PM to 4:30 PM           CASCADE 9 and 10

WCB Welcome Lounge

Drop by to meet old and new friends, find a partner for dinner, or peruse the program with someone and ask questions about the convention. 

Hosted by the WCB Membership Committee


7:00 PM                             GRAND 1

Preconvention Board meeting


9:30 PM                             CASCADE 5

Resolutions Committee meeting


9:30 PM                             GRAND 1

Constitution & Bylaws Committee meeting


9:30 PM                             CASCADE 9 and 10


Mingle with old and new friends over snacks and beverages. Bar provided by the DoubleTree with set $5 drink pricing. Complimentary soft drinks and snacks provided by our host chapter, PCAB.

Registered conventioneers only.




7:00 AM to noon                GRAND FOYER

Registration/Information Desk open



7:30 AM                             GRAND 2

General Breakfast


7:30 AM                             CASCADE 1 and 2

First-Timer Breakfast for first-time WCB convention attendees.  Hosted by the WCB Awards Committee.


7:30 AM                             CASCADE 5

Presidents Breakfast for Chapter Presidents or their designees.  Facilitated by Denise Colley, WCB President.


EXHIBITS                          GRAND 3

The Exhibit Hall will be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, closed during the noon hour for lunch. Here’s your opportunity to peruse products and services intended for people who are blind or have low vision.

Free to conventioneers; $5 at the door for those not registered with the convention.


9:00 AM                      Vendor Setup

10:00 AM to noon      Exhibits open

1:00 to 5:00 PM         Exhibits open

5:00 PM                      Tear down     

Exhibits Coordinator: Cathy Wilson



9:00 AM to 5:00 PM           PRESIDENT’S SUITE

One-On-One Technology Training

By Appointment Only with Al Yardley, Assistive Technology Specialist

Email: accesstechnology@q.com / Call: 253-223-2069


FUNDRAISER                    GRAND 2

3:00 to 5:00 PM 

WCB’s Annual Convention Fundraiser

This year it’s a Multi-Raffle AND a Silent Auction!

Come bid on some incredible items and purchase chances to win some fantastic packages.

Fundraising Coordinator: Lisa George



Breakout sessions are held in locations as noted

Awards Luncheon will be in GRAND 2


8:45 AM     Opening Ceremonies

Leading in the flag salute

Sydney Agers, 6th grade

10th Street Middle School


Antonette Jackson, Minister

Welcome to SeaTac       

Erin Sitterley, Mayor, SeaTac

Welcome by the host chapter

Cathy Wilson, President

Pierce County Association of the Blind


9:05 AM     President’s Report

Denise Colley, President

Washington Council of the Blind


9:25 AM     Report of the Nominating Committee

Frank Cuta, Chair

WCB Nominating Committee


9:35 AM     Reading of proposed amendments to the WCB Constitution and Bylaws

Frank Cuta, Chair

WCB Constitution and Bylaws Committee

9:50 AM     We Are Community    

“You count. Be counted.”  

Learn what is being done to ensure all are counted in the 2020 census!

Sue Meldazy

2020 Census Coordinator

Office of Financial Management


10:20 AM  Break


10:30 AM  An Enhanced View of current Low Vision Legislation

Clark Rachval

Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs

American Council of the Blind


10:55 AM   Transition to Breakouts


11:00 AM   3 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Technology Forum 2019


Don’t be Left Behind! Future-proof yourself as you get all your questions answered in one place by the best trainers and technology experts in Washington State. Is it time to replace Windows 7? Can Fusion 2019 change your life? What accessibility improvements are to be had with the newest iPhone operating system? How do I use my phone’s camera? Is Office 2019 better than Office 2016, or Office 365? Can you read email with your Alexa or Google Home device? What are some of our favorite new apps? If I get in trouble, where can I find help? All of these topics and more are up for demonstration and discussion, and a resource sheet will be provided.


Heather Meares, President

United Blind of Walla Walla


Reginald George             

Deb Lewis

Naomi Namekata

Al Yardley


The Essentials About Essential Oils

       CASCADE 5 and 6

What are essential oils and what are their benefits? Why and how can we use them? Educate yourself and leave with a “make and take.


Allison Hayes

Doterra Diamond Wellness Advocate


Around the House            

CASCADE 3 and 4

Learn some tips and tricks from others who are blind for cleaning, organizing, repairing, and living safely and comfortably in and around your home.


Carol Brame, Secretary

South Kitsap Council of the Blind

Panelists (and WCB members)

Julie Brannon

Jackie Cabrera

Frank Cuta


12:00 PM                           GRAND 2

Awards Luncheon       Hosted by Cindy Van Winkle Convention Coordinator

It’s time for special awards to be presented, chapter round up so we can hear highlights from our chapters, meet some of this year’s first-time attendees, and learn firsthand about the new Orientation and Training Center Program Manager, Deja Powell.



1:15 PM     Start Spreading the News

Real ways your chapter can utilize PR and Social Media

Katie Frederick

Board Director

American Council of the Blind


1:50 PM     Aira vs. Be My Eyes

Two popular apps bringing real-time assistance to those who are blind

Instead of someone telling you about how great these apps are, come experience the real thing as they are demonstrated live.

Denise Colley and Cindy Van Winkle


2:10 PM     Transition to breakouts


2:15 PM     3 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Gaming Accessibility: Where Are We Now? GRAND 1

There has never been a better time to be a member of the Gaming and Disability Community. In the last two years, the video game industry has seen marked improvement in the accessibility of their products. In this talk, we’ll discuss how and why the industry has begun to tackle inclusive design of their products, recent successes, and the challenges and opportunities that still lie ahead.


Brannon Zahand, Senior Gaming Accessibility Program Manager



On a Bicycle Built for Two:

Tandem riding is for everyone

CASCADE 5 and 6

Come learn how you can ride a bike without sight, what it means to be a captain or stoker, how you can get involved, and the many styles of tandem bikes available.


Mike Magures, Secretary

Peninsula Council of the Blind


A Closer Look: an in-depth exploration of assistive technology (Limit 20 participants)

CASCADE 7 and 8

This is your opportunity for an in-depth exploration of assistive technology, including smart speakers, speech and braille, and low vision, in up to three 20-minute small group curated hands-on sessions.  Take the time you need to discover the latest devices in detail and have your questions answered by top AT specialists.


Heather Meares, President

United Blind of Walla Walla


Reginald George

Deb Lewis

Naomi Namekata

Al Yardley


3:30 PM     4 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

HAM Radio: It’s not your daddy’s hobby


Particularly in the northwest, HAM Radio is still a vibrant and interesting pastime. The digital age has come to this hobby, too. There is a myriad of differing ways to communicate. In this session, you will learn about many of these.

Presented by WCB members

Jim Turri

Debby and Craig Phillips



Become a Knifty Knitter: Knitting using a loom (PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED; MAXIMUM 10 PARTICIPANTS)

CASCADE 3 and 4

This event is scheduled for 90 minutes and is a hands-on learning event. Cost $10 to cover the cost of supplies.

Instructor    Jean Colley


The Ten Must-Haves in a Lady’s Wardrobe

CASCADE 5 and 6

A hands-on fashion show, honest girl talk, and empowering tips and tricks to help you make the best choices for you on what to wear for real life occasions.

Facilitator   Hayley Agers


Gaming Accessibility: Open Discussion and Demos

CASCADE 7 and 8

In this session we’ll have an open, free-form discussion to address questions related to gaming, disability, inclusive design, and assistive technology in the interactive entertainment industry. Additionally, demo stations will be available to try out Microsoft gaming products such as Ear Hockey and Forza Motorsport.

Facilitated by Microsoft experts


4:30 PM     End of General Sessions



5:00 PM                       SEAPORT RESTAURANT

GDUWS Dinner/Social


5:00 PM                             CASCADE 1 and 2

Youth Program

For registered teens and their families only. Sponsored by Department of Services for the Blind and WCB Families Committee.


7:30 PM                             GRAND 1

Showcase of Talent

Hosted by    Meka White, Vice President

South King Council of the Blind

Come enjoy entertainment provided by some of our talented conventioneers!  Free to conventioneers;

$5 at the door for those not registered with the convention.


9:00 PM                             GRAND 2

WCB Life Members Reception

Hosted by WCB President Denise Colley

Come socialize, enjoy special refreshments, and get a VIP look at all the silent auction and raffle items.

WCB life members only.


9:00 PM                             CASCADE 9 and 10


Mingle with old and new friends over snacks and beverages. Bar provided by the DoubleTree with set $5 drink pricing. Complimentary soft drinks and snacks provided by our host chapter, PCAB.

Registered conventioneers only.






7:00 AM to 12:00 PM         GRAND FOYER

Registration/Information desk open



7:00 AM                             CASCADE 5 and 6

GDUWS Breakfast and Business Meeting


7:30 AM                             GRAND 3

General Breakfast


9:00 AM to 3:00 PM           CASCADE 1 and 2

Youth Program for registered teens only.

Sponsored by Department of Services for the Blind and WCB Families Committee.




8:45 AM     Announcements


8:50 AM     We Are ACB

It’s time to be in the know concerning blindness issues on a national level.

Katie Frederick, Board Director

American Council of the Blind



9:20 AM     The Journey to the Job

Three people who are blind share their journey to employment.


Cindy Van Winkle, WCB Past President


Bradford Manning

Co-Founder, Two Blind Brothers

Christel Hustad

Loan Program Associate

Northwest Access Fund

Roberto Cordero

Assistive Technology Specialist

Department of Services for the Blind


10:10 AM   Break


10:25 AM   Knowledge is Power

With the advent of alternatives and additions to Library of Congress materials, there are many sources where we can obtain books and magazines which we will explore together.

Panelists (and WCB members)

Meka White, Jim Turri, and Alan Bentson


10:55 AM   State of the State

Together let’s learn what’s happening with our three state agencies serving the blind.


Danielle Miller

Program Manager/Librarian, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL)

Lou Oma Durand

Executive Director, Department of Services for the Blind (DSB)

Scott McCallum

Superintendent, Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB)


12:00 PM                           GRAND 3

General Lunch


12:00 PM                           CASCADE 5 and 6

GDUWS Lunch and Program


1:30 PM                             GRAND 1


Agenda items include In Memoriam, elections, budget, constitution and bylaw amendments, resolutions, old business, new business.


4:30 PM           Adjourn



5:00 PM                             CASCADE 9 and 10

Scholarship Reception

Come learn about, hear from, and meet our scholarship winners.  Hosted by the WCB Scholarship Committee.


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM                 GRAND 2

WCB’s Annual Convention Fundraiser

This is your last chance to bid on Silent Auction items and purchase multi-raffle tickets!  

Winners will be announced at the end of the banquet and need not be present to win.

Fundraising Coordinator: Lisa George


6:00 PM                             GRAND 3

Pre-Banquet Hour

Come socialize, grab a drink, check out the Silent Auction and Raffle next door, and secure your seat.


7:00 PM                             GRAND 3


Master of Ceremonies

James Turri,

WCB Board Director


Sarah Edick Howe, member

Pierce County Association of the Blind

Presentation of scholarships

Kim Moberg, Chair

Scholarship Committee

Presentation of awards

Danette Dixon, Chair

Awards Committee

Banquet address

Katie Frederick

Board Director

American Council of the Blind


9:30 PM                             CASCADE 9 and 10

Hospitality and Karaoke

Help us bring our 2019 convention to a close with socializing, singing, and refreshments. Bar provided by the DoubleTree with set $5 drink pricing. Complimentary soft drinks and snacks provided by our host chapter, PCAB.  Karaoke provided by David Edick.  Registered conventioneers only.



Cindy Van Winkle, Chair, Minneapolis

Lori Allison, Registration Coordinator, Puyallup

Carol Brame, program, Port Orchard

Denise Colley, program, Olympia

Kevin Daniel, program, Burien

Mike Magures, program, Bremerton

Heather Meares, program, Walla Walla

Holly Turri, Volunteer Coordinator, Bellingham

Cathy Wilson, Exhibits Coordinator, Tacoma




Denise Colley, President, Olympia

Julie Brannon, First Vice President, Seattle

Jeff Bishop, Second Vice President, Redmond

Frank Cuta, Secretary, Benton City

Deb Cook Lewis, Treasurer, Clarkston

Steve Fiksdal, Immediate Past President, Federal Way

Reg George, Board Director, Yakima

Holly Kaczmarski, Board Director, Dayton

James “J.R.” Kinnison, Board Director, Bremerton

Heather Meares, Board Director, Walla Walla

James “Jim” Turri, Board Director, Bellingham 

Hotel Description

Welcome to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport!

The main entrance of the hotel is at the West end of the building. Upon entering, the Coffee Garden restaurant will be to your right. Turn left, heading North and soon after you walk on carpeting, the front desk will be to your right with the concierge desk directly across to your left.

By continuing North on the carpeting, you will come to the gift shop in front of you. Making a right and heading East here, you will find yourself on tile, at the beginning of which is the entrance to the Seaport Dining Room to your right, followed by the coffee bar and then the entrance to the Seaport Lounge. Just before reaching the end of the tile, accessible public restrooms will be to the right.

Continuing East, you will now be on carpeting. The Grand Foyer will be to your right. This is a large, very open area where registration and volunteer tables will be set up. There are two hallways beyond this foyer leading to two ballrooms. We will be using the one along the left when facing the foyer, or East hallway, which is the Grand Ballroom.

Heading back to the main walkway and continuing East, with the Grand foyer to your right, there is a staircase directly across from the foyer and just before you reach tile. These stairs lead to the second floor where the Cascade meeting rooms are located. About five feet before the tile, you can turn left to go to those stairs, or right to head toward the Grand hallway.

Continuing onto the tiled area, there will be an opening to the left which houses a bank of elevators leading to the Tower; these are the Tower elevators. As mentioned, the Cascade meeting rooms can be found on the second floor and most of our group sleeping rooms will also be in this Tower.

Continuing past the elevators, still heading East, you will find automatic doors out the East entrance. This will lead to the relieving area.


Directions to our meeting space

From here, I will give directions from the Tower elevators, which are four elevators set in an octagon shaped area. The buttons can be found straight in, between the middle elevators.

Once on the main floor, and going to the right when leaving the Tower elevators, you will be on tile. Once you step on carpet, the stairs heading to the 2nd floor will be to your right. Just past the stairs you can turn left to head toward the Grand Hallway.

Turning left, you will be facing South and keeping a wall along your left there will be the Grand Foyer to your right. Once you’re in the hallway, you will pass Grand 1, then Grand 2 and 3. The registration and volunteer tables will be along the right in the center of the foyer.

Grand Ballroom 1 is where the pre-convention board meeting, all general sessions, the business meeting and Showcase of Talent will be held.

Grand Ballroom 2 will hold general meal functions and Life Members Reception on Friday and the Multi Raffle and Silent Auction fundraisers on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.

Grand Ballroom 3 will hold exhibits on Friday, general meals on Saturday, and the banquet Saturday night.

Past the second entrance to Grand Ballroom 2, and just before Grand Ballroom 3, there’s an adjoining hallway that runs West toward the Northwest Ballrooms. It is along this connecting hallway where you find the public restrooms. As you walk West, you will find public restrooms to your left, men’s and then women’s. To your right is an outside courtyard which separates the 2 long hallways. The restrooms in this connecting hallway are not wheelchair accessible.

To locate the accessible restrooms, make a right at the Northwest hallway, which will have you facing North and lead you back to the foyer. Upon exiting the Northwest hallway, make a left and you will soon be on tile, which alerts you that the restrooms are to your left. If you are locating these restrooms from the main walkway, with the Grand Foyer to your left, heading West, upon reaching the tile, turn left.

If you desire to go to the coffee bar, gift shop, restaurants, front desk, etc. while in meetings, head to the right when leaving the Grand Ballroom, through the foyer which will be on the left and a wall will be along your right, and once the wall ends, turn left. Or, you may find it easiest to take the Northwest hallway back out to the foyer and make a left to head toward those locations, bypassing the Grand Foyer.

The Cascade rooms are on the 2nd floor. Making a right when leaving the elevator bank, go about 3 feet (you may find it helpful to trail the wall to your right) and then turn left to head South down a long hallway. Please be aware that if you do not make the turn as planned, a set of stairs are about 20 feet West of the elevators which lead down to the main floor. Cascade 1-10 are along the right (West) side of the hallway and are the rooms we will be using for our event. Accessible public restrooms are just around the corner from Cascade 1. If coming from the elevators, you would turn right, just before the wall begins on the right to the long hallway, and if heading North from one of the Cascade rooms, you would turn left once the wall ends along your left. You will then turn to the left to enter the entryway of the restrooms.




Relieving Area

Exiting the elevator bank on the main floor but going to your left will lead you out the automatic doors. You will then turn left to get outside. Turn right, keeping the building on your right and walk about 10 feet. Turn left and walk another 20 feet or so to get to the relieving area. There will be 3 choices of surfaces to use and receptacles placed nearby.


Other information

All 3 public restrooms are set with Men’s being to the left and Women’s to the right.

There are ice machines and pop vending machines on all sleeping floors in the Tower which can be found at the beginning of the hallway to the right.

In the Tower, odd numbered sleeping rooms are along the left side of the hall and even numbered rooms are along the right.

Braille and large print menus are available upon request.