Southeast Orientation and Mobility Association (SOMA) Conference in Chattanooga, TN March 13-15, 2016 (Pre-Conference workshops March 12-13)
2016 Texas AER Conference, March 30th - April 2nd, 2016 Omni Houston Hotel at Westside
July 20-24: AER International Conference 2016, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville-Riverfront, Jacksonville, FL
2016 SWOMA Conference, November 3-5, 2016 in Fort Worth, TX at Region 11, Education Service Center (ESC)
July 19-22: AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference, Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA
Though we are still just at the very beginning of 2016, it is already time to begin the initial planning for this year's conference. Last year we received an offer from Region 11, Education Service Center (ESC) and State Leadership Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SLSBVI) to host SWOMA for 2016. The results of the survey question related to having the conference in Fort Worth showed the majority of respondents favored having the conference in Fort Worth rather than Austin. What we know so far is that SWOMA will be at Region 11 ESC in Fort Worth this year, the tentative dates are the first week/weekend of November, specifically November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2016. There is a backup date in December just in case there are conflicts with other major events in the field happening simultaneously (a date and event search is already underway to make sure the November date will work).
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. I have been anxiously awaiting the refresh from HumanWare and today the official E-mail came through…
The TrekkerBreeze+ upgrade is $199. 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.
The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has a blog page specifically for Orientation and Mobility.
Wonderful way to preview your travel with the ability to save route information for locations that have described routes.