March 2-4, 2017: Joint AFB Leadership and Virginia AER Conference, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA
June 26-30, 2017: International Orientation and Mobility Conference, Dublin, Ireland
July 19-22, 2017: AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference, Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA
AER International Conference at Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nevada
Thank you to all those that participated in making SWOMA 2016 such a success!
Three days of professional development, tons of knowledge and experience shared, loads of smiles and fun at the social; the list of positive items from the 2016 conference at Region 11 goes on and on. The energy now turns to building the program for 2017. We will be looking at the responses from the online survey about where to hold the next event and will be posting news and updates as we move along. The handouts from the 2016 event that were shared by presenters are all available on the Conference page, along with handouts from previous years. Onward to SWOMA 2017...
This year's SWOMA Social had all sorts of surprises. One fabulous surprise was the performance of "The Story of O&M, A Musical"; you can check it out from the Dropbox folder it has been uploaded to by clicking on the video link just after this line.
Another occurence at this year's social was the consideration of the SWOMA Logo. Shown below are the four submissions; choose you favorite to be the "Official" SWOMA logo and send in your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Option one is the same as the logo at the top of Web page; it is the letters of SWOMA in all capital letters SWOMA and includes a basic figure of a woman holding a cane and a basic figure of a man with a dog guide.
Option two is SWOMA in all capital letters, but the letter O is the octagonal shape of a stop sign and includes the word STOP in the center. It has a white cane beneath the letters of SWOMA as though the cane were the underline and then says Southwest Orientation and Mobility Association just below the cane. It was prepared by Beverly Jackson, Wendy Anderson, Toni Provost, and Carolina Gonzalez.
Option three is SWOMA written out on cubes; the face of the cube has the capital letter in print and the top of the cube has the same letter in braille. It was drawn by Troy Abrams.
Option four is SWOMA written out as though the letters were the lines of a crosswalk; the parallel lines that form the sides of the crosswalk are long canes. It was also drawn by Troy Abrams.
For everyone who has a Trekker Breeze sitting in a drawer because you were frustrated with the time it took to connect to a satellite or how many times you had to restart or reconnect, etc. it may be time to dust it off and put it back into action.
The TrekkerBreeze+ upgrade is $299, as compared to the full price of $799 for a new Trekker Breeze+. They will take your old device and replace the internal works, including the GPS set, and give you a new battery. I will still continue to use all the other terrific tools on iOS and Android like BlindSquare, Seeing Eye GPS, Ariadne, and Nearby Explorer, but there are some clients/students who need a stand alone device and it is nice to have another tool to share with them.
Looking for ways to improve freedom and independence in various travel environments? Echolocation is great tool to enhance awareness of your surroundings and add a distance sense tool to your box of tricks. As an example check out the video with the link after this paragraph to view a TED presentation by Daniel Kish of World Access for the Blind and how he uses the skill to enhance his own travels.
You can "Follow" SWOMA on Twitter by adding @SWOMAtweets to your "FOLLOW" list.
You can "Like" SWOMA on the Facebook page by visiting the Southwest Orientation and Mobility Association page
And, as a source of Orientation and Mobility information on Facebook, you can "Like" Orientation and Mobility, Outreach, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) to follow the page and receive the posts about orientation and mobility and related fields.
Orientation and Mobility Resources in LiveBinders
Wonderful way to preview your travel with the ability to save route information for locations that have described routes.
The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has information, resources, links, and more, that are specifically for Orientation and Mobility.