WCB Convention 2016 Bulletin


All aboard! Pack your bags, grab your friends, and travel full steam ahead down the tracks toward the knowledge, education, advocacy, and fun stations at the 2016 Washington Council of the Blind state convention. Our journey will last from Thursday November 3rd through Saturday November 5th 2016. Our hosts will be the United Blind of Seattle chapter.


Seattle Airport Marriott
3201 S. 176th Street
Seattle, WA 98188


$99 per night plus applicable taxes and fees. To get this convention rate, register by October 15, 2016 and be sure to mention the Washington Council of the Blind. The hotel phone number is 206-241-2000.


Just for this event, High Speed Internet for sleeping rooms is offered at the special rate of $3 per day.


Shuttle service will be provided by the Seattle Airport Marriott to and from SeaTac. The fee is $4 (round trip) and is charged to your room.


WCB will be providing travel stipends for those members in good standing prior to May 3, 2016 who reside outside King, Snohomish, Pierce or Thurston Counties. Those living on the east side of the mountains may receive $75.00. Individuals living in western Washington, excluding the counties listed, may receive $20.00. Applications must be received before October 15 2016. Please email your request to Deb Lewis at deb@lewissound.net or phone her at 206-434-6480 and leave a message. Each request must be made by the person who will be using the money. Stipends will be mailed within five days after October 15th.


On-site registration begins 7 a.m. Friday,
November 4.

  • $95 – registration plus meal package (including up to five meals: breakfast and lunch on Friday, breakfast, lunch and the banquet on Saturday),
  • $50 – registration plus Friday meals (breakfast and lunch),
  • $50 – registration plus Saturday meals (excluding the banquet),
  • $50 – registration plus banquet only
  • $35 – registration only

For those who miss the registration deadline, convention registrations will be accepted on Friday, November 4, 2016.


The registration/information desk will be open throughout convention: 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, 7 a.m. to 12 Noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday. Holly Turri will be scheduling two hour shifts. Volunteers are needed and appreciated. This is an enjoyable opportunity to meet and greet friends old and new. To sign up, please contact Holly at holly.turri9@gmail.com. If you have questions you may phone 360-922-0325.

Convention Highlights


This year, our key note speaker will be Jenny Lay-Flurrie. She is the accessibility coordinator for Microsoft. We will enjoy presentations on current research in ophthalmology, veteran’s affairs, reading technology, individual advocacy, consumer/fraud prevention, and cooking

We’ll be informed about what’s transpiring on a national level from American Council of the Blind Board Member Sara Conrad, discover recreation through ski for light, be inspired by the employment panel, and listen to reports from the directors of our three state agencies serving the blind.


This year, the exhibit hall will be open an extra hour on Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It will be bigger and better than ever, showcasing many adaptive technology items and other varied products and services. Once again this year, Carol Brame is working diligently to provide a variety of displays. If you have suggestions or questions please contact her at web.exhibits@gmail.com or call 360-509-9835.


For the first time, WCB is proud to offer an area of exhibits and services focusing on women. It will be held on Friday from 2 to 4 pm. topics covered include clothing, make up, and hair.


Once again we are fortunate to offer individualized technology
training throughout the Friday, of convention, November 4. It is very
important that if you’re interested in taking advantage of Al’s
generosity you make an appointment in advance to ensure your place.

Contact Al Yardley, Access Technology Specialist directly, and let him
know what you would like to work on. He is prepared to provide
computer training on Assistive Technology (Zoom Text, Magic, JAWS and
WindowEyes), the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, and
Power Point), and more. Contact Al at accesstechnology@q.com


Always a highlight, during all general sessions, door Prizes will be given out. Winners must be present in the meeting room. Donations are accepted at Convention Registration on Thursday, November 3, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and on Friday, November 4 until noon. Be sure items are marked with the name of the donor so proper acknowledgement can be made. Please contact Julie Brannon to let her know what you are donating, Jbrannon0612@gmail.com or call 206-547-7444.


The exhibit hall is where you can peruse and bid on many wonderful items for the annual Silent Auction. Remember, all proceeds benefit WCB. So bid often!!! If you or your chapter would like to contribute something(s) for this purpose, please contact Lisa George at lmwgeorge@yahoo.com or call 816-668-5345 to let her know what you’ll be bringing. Description of donations must be received no later than October 30. Bring these items to registration on Thursday, from 3 to 5 p.m. where they will be accepted. Preview and bidding will take place on Friday, November 4, and during the pre-banquet hour on Saturday, November 5.


On Friday evening members will gather to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment from all across our beautiful state. We’re all your friends, so feel free to participate. To do so, sign up on the convention registration form. Acts must be family friendly and no more than four minutes in length. In advance, Contact Alan Bentson, a.bentson@comcast.net or call 206-819-9283. Let him know the title, instrument to be played, whether a CD will be used, etc.)


This special interest affiliate holds its annual business breakfast and lunch concurrently with the WCB Convention throughout Saturday. At the breakfast business meeting, Officers are elected, board positions filled, and the course for the next year is charted.

During lunch, join fellow guide dog handlers for a wonderful meal and an interesting and entertaining speaker.


At the end of every busy day, come unwind with your old and new friends in our hospitality room. It’s a wonderful opportunity to mingle and discuss all the exciting and fun events which have occurred.


On Thursday evening, come observe and learn more about the operations of the governing body of the Washington Council of the Blind. Witnessing so many people working toward positive goals is an experience not to be missed.


Frank Cuta chairs this year’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee. If you have amendment suggestions, please contact Frank at deb@lewissound.net or phone 206-526-2479. The Resolutions Committee meetings are open to all interested individuals. Those submitting a resolution should be at the meeting during the time their resolution is being discussed.


The course of the work done in 2017 by the Washington Council of the blind will be charted at the business meeting. Every member is encouraged to actively participate in this most important part of our journey. Elections, resolutions, amendments to the constitution and bylaws, our annual budget and other decisions will be considered by concerned members.


During our business meeting elections will be held for 2nd vice president and secretary. Additionally, three board positions need to be filled. Currently these are held by carol Brame, Denise Colley and Gaylen Floy. Ms. Brame and Ms. Colley may run again. Ms. Floy has reached her term limit.

Finally, The Nominating Committee will be suggesting the name of a candidate to serve as alternate delegate to the 2017 ACB National Convention which will be held in Reno, NV. This person is a representative for the Washington Council of the Blind. In order for an individual to be considered, attendance at a previous national ACB convention is a requirement. 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. This will help the committee to get to know you. No later than October 15, 2016, email this information to Julie Brannon, Nominating Committee Chair, jbrannon0612@gmail.com or call 206-547-7444.


The scholarship reception takes place before the banquet on Saturday November 5th. It is an excellent opportunity to meet and celebrate with our honored scholarship recipients up close and personal.


On Saturday evening, the convention will culminate with our banquet. Featured at this mealtime will be the speech by our national guest, Sara Conrad, the presentation of scholarships, and WCB external awards. Winners of the silent auction will be announced.


…for events conducted or sponsored by the Washington Council of the Blind (WCB)

Behavioral expectations WCB strives to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all of our event participants. Attendees are expected to govern themselves appropriately, acceptably, respectfully, and sociably. Purposeful behavior which causes another attendee, their companion(s), or their service animal personal injury or harassment may result in WCB person(s) in authority taking immediate appropriate action. Additionally a written review of the given situation for our records may result.

Travel and safety To ensure safe passage in crowded areas, each participant must remain vigilant of others’ safety. Caution and consideration should be practiced while negotiating aisles, halls and other pathways.

Advance preparation In planning for events, we provide tools to assist our blind attendees, such as: advanced training to hotel staff, published hotel descriptions, braille menus, and when possible minimal volunteer assistance throughout the event.

Volunteers at WCB-sponsored events Volunteers are available to provide only limited assistance with navigating the public areas of our events. 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.

Personal assistance WCB and its representatives are not responsible for personal care or ongoing individual assistance. Volunteers or WCB representatives are not responsible for 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.


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 at steve@fiksdal.com. Refunds, when appropriate, will be made within two to four weeks of the convention conclusion.

We look forward to seeing you November 3-5, 2016
“Full steam ahead to the WCB Convention. All aboard!”

Cindy Van Winkle
Chair, 2016 WCB Convention Committee
wcbconvention@gmail.com or call (360) 689-0827