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VISIONS 2019: What's New in Technology for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Physically Disabled


Wednesday May 15, 2019: 11:00am to 4:00pm


Downtown Library


The 2019 VISIONS Vendor Fair features a variety of Michigan exhibitors who will demonstrate the latest products and services for the blind, visually impaired and physically disabled. Electronic readers, magnifiers, support services for the blind, Braille devices, library services, CCTVs, leader dogs, and transportation services are just a few of the many outstanding services and products that will be on display.

The VISIONS Vendor Fair is presented by the Ann Arbor District Library (which also serves as the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled) and is cosponsored by the State of Michigan's Bureau of Services for Blind Persons.

Presentations will also be offered on topics related to vision health, services, and assistive technology. Ray's Red Hots and Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea will be on site selling refreshments.


12pm: Shannon McVoy
Statewide Transition Services Manager, Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons 

Bureau of Services for Blind Persons: Technology and the Impact on Transition Services for Students with Visual Impairments

Shannon McVoy is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor serving as the Statewide Transition Services Manager for Michigan’s Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP). Shannon has a long history of assisting students with disabilities transition from school to college and/or employment. She served as a state liaison to the Michigan High School/High Tech Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) grant.  Shannon is currently developing and implementing many Pre-Employment Transition programs throughout the state for BSBP students.

Join Shannon as she discusses how BSBP is engaging youth through tools such as the Career Index Plus in Career Exploration and Workplace Readiness training. Learn about recent programs focusing on emerging technologies such as 3D printing and autonomous vehicles along with careers that in those areas. Shannon will explain how BSBP is utilizing multiple learning platforms to incorporate alternative service delivery to students including online learning components to better prepare them for postsecondary success.

1pm: Donna Wicker, O.D. and Sherry Day, O.D.
Optometrists and Clinical Assistant Professors of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, W. K. Kellogg Eye Center

UM Kellogg Eye Center: Multidisciplinary Low Vision Rehabilitation

Donna Wicker, O.D. and Sherry Day, O.D. are optometrists and Clinical Assistant Professors of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan, W. K. Kellogg Eye Center.  They are both involved in direct patient care for low vision patients, as well as teaching and clinical research.

Join Dr. Wicker and Dr. Day as they discuss multidisciplinary low vision care, optical devices and technology options for low vision patients and assessment of daily living activities.

2pm: Sile O’Modhrain
Associate Professor, University of Michigan

Designing a Full-Page Tactile Display: What we Know and What We Don’t Know Yet 

Sile O'Modhrain is an associate professor at the University of Michigan where she holds a joint appointment in the Performing Arts Technology (PAT) program in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and in the school of information. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction, especially interfaces incorporating haptic and auditory feedback. She earned her master's degree in music technology from the University of York and her PhD from Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). She has also worked as a sound engineer and producer for BBC Network Radio. In 1994, she received a Fulbright scholarship, and went to Stanford to develop a prototype haptic interface augmenting graphical user interfaces for blind computer users. For the past six years, she has been working with Brent Gillespie and Alex Russamanno to design and build a full-page tactile array to support the display of braille and tactile graphics.  

Join Sile as she discusses being part of the team at UM exploring new techniques for building a full-page tactile display, thoughts on interacting with content on these displays, what has been discovered about working with information on a full-page dynamic tactile display, and the questions that remain relating to the design of content and guidelines for those who will prepare materials for these devices.

3pm: Jack Bernard and Christina Kline
Associate General Counsel at the University of Michigan and Assistant Director and ADA Coordinator at the University of Michigan Office for Institutional Equity

Updates to the ADA: Emotional Support Animals, Assistive Animals, and More

Jack Bernard is an Associate General Counsel at the University of Michigan and Christina Kline is the Assistant Director and ADA Coordinator at the University of Michigan Office for Institutional Equity

Do you know the difference between Emotional Support Animals and Assistive Animals? Do you know which animals can legally be kept in dorms or in rentals? Which animals can be taken into public spaces such as restaurants and stores? You may have seen news reports about Emotional Support Animals that passengers bring aboard airplanes, but what is the law? What documentation is needed? Get answers to these questions and learn what's new in the Americans with Disabilities Act from U-M experts, Jack Bernard and Christina Kline.