Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 OCB Convention

2013 Convention Registration 

"The Blind Spot"

Come Join Us!

Oklahoma Council of the Blind

2013 Annual Conference and Convention

September 20-22, 2013

Wyndham Garden Oklahoma City Airport

2101 S. Meridian Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 

1 800 622-7666 or (405) 685-4000

Message from the President, Elaine Boykin

Our theme is "Let's Make A Deal" and so come on down and choose a door
leading you to Development, Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership.  

We are pleased to have Melanie Brunson, CEO of the American Council of the
Blind, who will provide us with a great presentation on the DEAL we need to
be making to ensure our status as individuals with vision loss in this
ever-changing world.

As always, our convention has something special for everyone! You never know
what is going to be behind those doors.  Will it be something entertaining?
Will it be something good to eat?  Maybe it will be words of wisdom. Of
course, it could be that special door of friendship, that chance to visit
with others. 

It has been an honor to be your OCB President for this past year and it
feels like I've just gotten started. I look forward to visiting with many of
you and look to all of you for your advice and wisdom, which helps make our
organization strong. I look forward to your support in making this the best
convention/conference. Let's blow the top off of registration; please bring
yourself and a friend.

Weekend activities include:

.       Friday there will be a dynamic seminar on employment:  what
employers want, what counselors want and need to know, and what we as
consumers need to know to obtain those great jobs with cool benefits. We
will hear from Melanie Brunson, CEO of the American Council of the Blind;
Doug Ross, former VS Contracted Employment Specialist; Bobby Lakey,
successfully employed consumer and former Vocational Rehabilitation
Counselor in Texas; and many others. We will be treated to a great lunch
where we can network with DRS counselors and staff, OCB members and other
interested people. There will also be a panel of successfully employed blind
or visually impaired professionals; 

.       Visual Services Advisory Committee Meeting on Friday afternoon.

.       A wonderful dinner of pizza provided by the Heartland Council of the
Blind which will lead into a short welcome and a chance to add your input to
important OCB resolutions and Constitution and Bylaws changes. 

.       A game night on Friday night, which will give you the tools to build
new friendships and brace up old ones.

.       Exhibits all day Saturday.  Exhibits include:  high-tech computers
and CCTVs, low-tech independent living aids, arts and crafts, home
decorating aids, etc. 

.       It doesn't end on Friday. No, we are just getting started.  On
Saturday you will have special updates by Department of Rehabilitation
Services personnel and other blindness organizations.

.       Ever feel afraid while waiting for that bus or when you are getting
home late in the evening? You won't want to miss the session on self

.       Special Saturday night banquet presentations and entertainment.

.       An oral and silent auction.  Don't miss auctioneer Pat Kelly, who
adds humor and challenge to his auctioneering pizzazz and assists us in
raising funds for OCB.

.       A non-denominational church service on Sunday morning.

.       Our Annual Business Meeting including the privilege to elect your
future leaders who will strengthen our organizational roots. OCB needs your
input and vision. The business meeting is where your voice can be heard
because you might say something that will benefit us all for years to come! 

If you are only attending the Employment Seminar on Friday, registration is
$50. If you are attending the convention on Friday night through Sunday,
registration is $80 which includes five meals, entrance to the exhibit area,
all general sessions, special entertainment, the opportunity to meet new
friends, educational and training seminars, door prizes, etc. If you plan to
attend the Employment Seminar and convention, registration is only
$100--what a deal! 

Please register as soon as possible so the Conference and Convention
Committee has time to prepare your name tags and registration packets in

Please complete the form at the end of this newsletter and mail it with your
payment to Jeanne Meyer, 814 North F Street, Muskogee, OK 74403. Make the
check payable to "The Oklahoma Council of the Blind". You can also find the
registration form on the OCB website,  < .

The Convention registration fee is an excellent deal. Please remember that
the Oklahoma Council of the Blind must cover the expense of meeting rooms,
printing the Convention program, paying for incidentals such as meals and
lodging for speakers, etc. Also, the cost of our meeting rooms is impacted
by how many people reserve sleeping rooms at the hotel. We appreciate your

Make Those Hotel Reservations NOW!!!

Please make your early reservations by September 10, 2013. You can call
either 1-800-622-7666 or (405) 685-4000. Be sure and say you are with the
Oklahoma Council of the Blind. Room rates are $81 per night plus 13.875%
tax. This is for double or king, one to four people to a room. So you can
double up and save money. Don't forget your bathing suit as the hotel still
has an indoor swimming pool.  

Convention Scholarships

Is this your first time to go to an OCB Convention? Do you need a little
help with the financial burden of attending the convention? If you are blind
and would like to apply for one of 10 scholarships for convention, please
email or write a letter telling us why you would like to attend. The
scholarship will cover the $80 registration fee for Saturday and Sunday or
$100 registration fee if you also plan on attending the Friday Employment
Seminar. Scholarships will be first awarded to individuals who are
first-timers and then to others depending on the date applications are
received. Contact Vicky Golightly, 425 N.W. 27th, Oklahoma City, OK 73103 or
email her at  < You can also
contact her at (405) 740-6227. Applications must be received by September 1.

Convention Sponsorship Opportunity

Sponsorships support the OCB and help us with our convention weekend
expenses. Your name will appear in the program as a sponsor and you will
also be recognized at the convention during one of the general sessions.
Convention sponsorship levels are:  Patron, $5; Silver, $10; Gold, $20; and
Platinum, $30. Send your check to our treasurer, Jeanne Meyer (address
listed above) and be sure to tell us of your wish to become a sponsor and at
what level. The OCB sincerely appreciates your generosity.

Convention Advertising

Do you have a business you'd like to advertise? What about those arts and
crafts you'd like to sell? Do our OCB chapters feel this urgent need to tout
their outstanding programs? Place an advertisement in the Convention program
at the following rates:  quarter page, $25; half page, $50; and full page,
$100. Please make checks payable to the Oklahoma Council of the Blind and
send them to Treasurer Jeanne Meyer, indicating the money is to be used for
an advertisement.

Our Mission

To promote equal opportunities for blind Oklahomans to participate fully in
society and achieve a better quality of life. 

OCB is a statewide organization of blind and visually impaired individuals
and their families and friends. The organization works to encourage,
empower, educate and enhance the lives of Oklahomans who are blind or
visually impaired. OCB strives to empower blind Oklahomans to become full
and independent participants in society through advocacy, leadership and
public education on issues that affect the lives of citizens with visual
impairments. By connecting, sharing ideas and common concerns, and working
together, we build an alliance that, more than individuals working alone,
has the power to "improve tomorrow, today" for all Oklahomans who are blind
or visually impaired. 

Board of Directors

The Oklahoma Council of the Blind Board of Directors is proud to serve you,
our members and prospective members. Your Board members for 2012-2013 are:

Elaine Boykin, President, Oklahoma City

Tommy Robertson, First Vice-President, Muskogee

Joe Fallin, Second Vice President, Tulsa

Vicky Golightly, Secretary, Oklahoma City

Jeanne Meyer, Treasurer, Muskogee

Julie Bailey, Public Relations Director, Tulsa 

Sandi Webster, Board Member At Large, Oklahoma City

Jesse Martinez, Board Member at Large, Broken Arrow

Pam Holloway, Board Member at Large, Bethany


Don't forget to make your nominations for either the Gordon P Stephens or
LeRoy Saunders awards. Let's think about individuals who we can honor for
such awards. Send those nominations to Bob Moore, chair of the Awards
committee. His email address is  <> or if you have questions you can call (405) 650-8539.   



The Gordon P. Stephens Award was been established by the Oklahoma Federation
of the Blind (now the Oklahoma Council of the Blind) to honor and
memorialize a long-time member of this organization. His kind, generous,
unassuming manner graced the lives of many blind people within and outside
of the organization. The following guidelines have been established for
selection of the recipient of this award:

1) This award shall be conferred only at such time as a fully qualified and
deserving candidate is selected.  (Not on a regular basis).

2) The recipient of the award shall be an individual, or individuals, whose
voluntary services to blind persons and/or organizations of and for the
blind have been  meritorious, unselfish, and without personal remuneration.

3) The President of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind shall appoint an
Awards Committee consisting of a chairman and two additional members of the
Oklahoma Council of the Blind; and 

4) The Committee shall select a recipient of this award not less than thirty
days prior to the Oklahoma Council of the Blind Annual Convention at which
the award is to be conferred. The committee may use its discretion in
notifying the recipient in advance of the presentation. A plaque or some
other appropriate item shall be selected by the committee as a tangible
recognition of the award.

An award nomination form will be accompanied by a letter enumerating the
qualifications of the candidate. The nomination shall further be supported
by two additional letters of recommendation.




City, State, Zip:


REASON FOR NOMINATION (use more space if necessary):




City, State, Zip:


All nominations must be submitted either by mail or email to the Chair of
the Awards Committee no later than 30 days prior to the OCB State


The Oklahoma Council of the Blind instituted the LeRoy Saunders award in
2002. This award is in honor of Mr. LeRoy Saunders who has contributed a
lifetime of dedicated effort in promoting the abilities of individuals who
are blind and to improve their quality of life. His professional endeavors
expanded employment opportunities for Oklahomans who are blind. His national
advocacy role through active participation in the American Council of the
Blind and the President's Committee For Purchase From People Who are Blind
or Severely Disabled exemplifies his lifelong achievements in the field of

The guidelines for nominations are as follows:

    1)    Nominees for this prestigious award should demonstrate
extraordinary effort in promoting employment and advocacy activities, which
promotes the abilities of Oklahomans who are blind.

    2)    Any person employed and/or residing within the State of Oklahoma
is eligible. The award may be made posthumously provided that death has not
taken place more than twelve months prior to the nomination.

    3)    Persons nominated for the award should be considered carefully.
The person must have made some outstanding contribution to services in the
field of work for the blind. The nominee should be selected solely on merit
and performance. Any member of OCB in the state is eligible to submit the
name of a nominee.

    4)    Nominations shall be submitted on a form provided by the awards
committee (also found on the OCB website) and supporting statements should
adequately justify the person's nomination.

    5)    A person who has retired or resigned from his employment or
volunteer services may be nominated provided that they have left within five
years of nomination.




REASON FOR NOMINATION (use more space if necessary):


All nominations must be submitted either by mail or e-mail to the Chair of
the Awards Committee no later than 30 days prior to the OCB State

2013 Oklahoma Council of the Blind Conference and Convention Registration 

Please complete the form below and mail with your payment to Jeanne Meyer,
814 North F Street, Muskogee, OK 74403. Make the check payable to "The
Oklahoma Council of the Blind"

Name ____________________________________________


City_______________ State__________ Zip____________

Work Phone (      )___________________________________

Home Phone (       )___________________________________

E-Mail ____________________________________________

____ Friday Employment Registration Only            $  50.00

____ OCB Registration Only                                     $  80.00

____ Registration For Both                                      $100.00

____ Extra Lunch Ticket

(applies to people with friends and family 

already registered at the convention.                     $  20.00

____ Extra Banquet Ticket

(applies to people with friends and family 

already registered at the convention)              $  30.00

I need my program in __ Large Print  __ Braille  __ Disk

_____ I would like vegetarian meals

_____ I need an assistive listening device

Other Special Needs________________________________

For more information, contact:  Conference and Convention Chairman  Julie
Brantley, 405 250-9933 or 405 522-3442 or 

Email:   <

Oklahoma Council of the Blind                     FREE MATTER FOR  
P.O. Box 1476                                                  BLIND &

Oklahoma City, OK 73101

1 877 578-6212