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Blindness Awareness Expo poster 

BLINDNESS AWARENESS EXPO 2017

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, and the Advisory Committee for the Blind of Pennsylvania will host its bi-annual Blindness Awareness Expo. The 2017 event will be held on Tuesday, May 23 in the State Capitol Building, Harrisburg, Pa. There will be an awards ceremony in the Main Rotunda from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. followed by an exhibitor exposition in the East Wing Rotunda from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. This year's theme is Access = Success in Education, Employment and Independence. #AccessEqualsSuccess

The 2017 Blindness Awareness Exposition will be an excellent opportunity for Pennsylvania legislators, employers and employees, teachers and students, and capitol guests to learn about life-changing technology and services that assist Pennsylvanians who are blind or visually impaired to succeed in education, employment and independence. It will also be a great way for organizations to promote programs and services and to demonstrate and display products and technology that make a difference in the daily lives of Pennsylvanians who are blind or visually impaired, their families, and friends.

Congratulations to those selected to receive an award! This year’s award recipients are listed below:

2017 Blindness Awareness Expo Award Recipients

Outstanding Elementary School Student Access=Success in Education Video Award
Nathan Craig watch the video
This award will honor students who are blind/visually impaired in elementary (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) who have successfully used alternative methods in order to access school materials and submit assignments using Braille, low vision devices, computer software, or any other assistive methods, of either high or low technology.

Outstanding Middle School Student Access=Success in Education Video Award
Jaylen Hallowell watch the video
Simon Bonenfant watch the video
This award will honor students who are blind/visually impaired in elementary (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) who have successfully used alternative methods in order to access school materials and submit assignments using Braille, low vision devices, computer software, or any other assistive methods, of either high or low technology.

Outstanding High School Student Access=Success in Education Video Award
Kayla McDonough watch the video
This award will honor students who are blind/visually impaired in elementary (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) who have successfully used alternative methods in order to access school materials and submit assignments using Braille, low vision devices, computer software, or any other assistive methods, of either high or low technology

Outstanding Individual Access=Success in Employment Award
Ren Wang
This award will honor an individual with a visual impairment who is employed in a competitive job setting and has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of:

  • Professionalism, self-determination and social skills
  • Promotion of a positive attitude regarding employment of individuals with visual impairments
  • Use of assistive technology and other tools and strategies which increase independence
  • Involvement in community activities

Outstanding Employer Access=Success in Employment Award
Bayer HealthCare, LLC
We will also be honoring an employer for looking beyond the employees’ visual impairment to recognize the qualities and skills the employee could bring to the company

Outstanding Individual Access=Success in Independence Award
Ron Ream
This award will honor an individual with a visual impairment, dual impairment, or secondary disability who has demonstrated personal and social independence to the highest degree possible in the areas of:

  • Home management
  • Personal management
  • Travel skills
  • Communications and advocacy
  • Community involvement

Outstanding Business Access=Success in Independence Award
PSECU
This award will honor an individual, manufacturer, service provider or other business (e.g., author, artist, web designer, architect, etc.) which has demonstrated:

  • Promotion of public understanding of unique information access needs of individuals who are blind or visually impaired;
  • Willingness to involve individuals who are blind and visually impaired in decisions regarding accessible product or service design; and
  • A commitment to ensuring that their products, services or information are accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired

Great Lakes Regional Braille Readers Are Leaders Award Winner- Special Recognition
Andrew Godwin

List of Participating Exhibitors:
DeafBlind Living Well Services www.cilcp.org
American Foundation for the Blind www.afb.org
Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council www.parac.org
Pennsylvania Council of the Blind www.pcb1.org
Associated Services for the Blind www.asb.org
Humanware www.humanware.com
Orcam www.orcam.com
Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology www.disabilities.temple.edu/piat
Sage Vision www.sagevisiontech.com
National Federation of the Blind www.nfb.org
Enhanced Vision www.enhancedvision.com
Veterans Administration www.va.org
The Seeing Eye www.seeingeye.org
Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services http://www.dli.pa.gov/Individuals/Disability-Services/bbvs/Pages/default.aspx