Michigan Chapter of AER Annual Spring Conference


                      Marriott Hotel at Laurel Park Place                    

                           Livonia, Michigan                       

Thursday & Friday, April 25 & 26, 2013

Click here to view registration form


About the Speakers - word

Conference Program  - word

Vendor Information - word



Thursday, April 25, 2013



Continental Breakfast – Sponsored by the Michigan Optometric Association




Exhibitors - open all day




Welcome – President Erica Ihrke




Keynote Address: Where “AER” We Headed? From Matures to Millennials – Minding the AER Gap

Lou Tutt, Executive Director, AER

Today’s multi-generational workforce, Matures (born between 1932-1945), Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), Gen Xers (born between 1965-1981), and Millennials (born between 1982-2000), can be found in the workplace. Just as employers are adapting the workplace to this multi-generational workforce, AER finds itself in a similar position. How does AER Recruit, Retain and Regain its members from this multi-generation?

Where are we headed handout








Salon B


Low Vision Assessment Kit

Dorothy Goldie

This session will assist you in putting together your own Low Vision Assessment Kit.  Tools and strategies for assessing distance acuity, near acuity, visual field, oculomotor skills, binocularity, color vision, visual perception and response to magnification will be outlined.  With limited budgets, components of the kit will be prioritized.  Time will also be given to demonstrating less familiar tools and discussing the implications of data obtained.

Low Vision Assessment Tools & Methods handout



Salon C

Cooperation, Coordination, COLLABORATION

Lou Tutt, Executive Director, AER

A little over six years ago, Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) burst onto the general and special education scene around the country. The DeFours, a wife/husband team, edited a book, On Common Ground; they traveled around the country presenting workshops on this new way of improving learning on the part of the student via PLC’s. What they and their book were trying to establish to teachers, was that COLLABORATION was the way to go.

Professional Learning Communities - Collaboration is the Key handout



Salon D

Creating Measurable Goals for Individuals with Visual Impairments

Mindy Miller, Micah Bormann

This session will help participants understand the compliance requirements and necessary components of measurable goals. It will provide examples of disability specific measurable goals and short-term objectives commonly used by TCVI’s as well as O&M Specialists. In addition, the presenters will discuss the need for data when creating measurable goals and will provide ideas and examples for how to find/create tools useful when writing goals and completing progress monitoring.

Creating Measurable Annual IEP Goals handout

Smart Goals Template handout

The Measureable Goals Requirement handout

Goals and Objectives: Abacus Goal handout

Goals and Objectives: O & M Goal Tips handout

Goals and Objectives: Self Advocacy Goal handout

Goals and Objectives: Tablet Goals handout

Abacus Skills Checklist handout

iPad Checklist handout

Rating Sclae Template handout







Vendor Presentations

Cutting edge services, products, technologies, & information will be shared in this new general session geared at bringing you the most current updates straight from the sources.




Lunch / MAER Annual Business Meeting







Salon B

Spatial Processing

Dr. Robert Hohendorf

This presentation is designed to help attendees understand the difference between vision and eyesight. We see with our brains through our eyes and to help attendees gain a positive outlook and attitude necessary for successful rehabilitation of eyesight and/or visual loss.

Spatial Processing handout



Salon C

 Issues in O&M

Join COMS from around the state to discuss current issues in the field.



Salon D

Transition for Students Earning a Certificate of Completion

Adam Danapilis

This session will cover current transition research and transition best practices that will support our students on making a seamless transition to post secondary.  Research shows that this only occurs when school, community, and family work collaboratively together.  I will show you what we are doing in Kalamazoo to make this happen.

Student Engagement Activities handout

Transition Resource handout








Salon A

Creating a Travel Instruction Training Program

Amanda English

Learn how an O&M instructor has developed a pilot Travel Instruction course in a district and implemented the program through training post secondary instructors for students with impairments other than visual impairment. Take a look at the Intersection Simulation Lab, assessments and curriculum the staff are using.

Get Going Guide handout

Travel Instruction Pilot Program handout

Travel Instruction Pilot Program handout

Facts Score Sheet handout

Facts Score Sheet handout



Salon B

State Assessments & VI Students

Jim Griffiths and Linda Howley

Staff from the Bureau of Assessment and Accountability within the Michigan Department of Education will provide an update on State Assessments in Michigan and discuss the performance of students on MEAP and MME and end with a question and answer session.

State Assessment Update handout


Salon C

Adult Learning

Jill Vani

This session is designed to give specific information about the core assumptions of adult learners as postulated by educational theorist Malcolm Knowles.  Participants will be encouraged to examine how their instructional style accommodates for these assumptions and will evaluate how to incorporate them into their teaching and interactions with clients.

Adult Learning handout



Salon D

Transition Resources and Tools for the Classroom & Community

Adam Danapilis

This session will be a crash course on looking at and exploring resources and tools that can be used immediately in the classroom so students can successfully beginworking on completing their transition goals and activities.  Almost 100% of the resources and tools shown are FREE!  I give you the tools to support students in preparing for post secondary.

Student Engagement Activities handout

Transition Resource handout



Salon A

MAER Conference


Hospitality Event


Featuring Ted Hull, author of


“The Wonder Years: My Years with Stevie Wonder“ 

Friday, April 26, 2013



Continental Breakfast        




Exhibitors – open all day




Igniting Your True Purpose and Passion

Robert Fried

Robert Michael Fried, New York Times Best Selling author of “Igniting Your True Passion” presents “A Cutting Edge Approach to Finding Your True Purpose Within Education”







Salon A

Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons

Leamon Jones

The Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons provides services to persons who are blind and visually impaired.  The Bureau has four programs within the Consumer Services Division: Vocational Rehabilitation, Independent Living, Deaf/Blind, Youth Low Vision and Transition.   There will be ample time for questions and answers. 



Salon B

Inherited Retinal Disease and Gene Therapy

Kari Branham

Significant strides have been made over the last several years to understand more about the genetic basis for inherited retinal dystrophies.  In this session, we will discuss information about the genetics of these conditions, how and why we do genetic testing for affected patients, and new advances that are being made for treating these conditions.

Genetics of Inherited Retinal Dystrophies



Salon C



Working with an individual with a cortical visual impairment (CVI) can be confusing and overwhelming.  During the presentation we will discuss what CVI is, what characteristics to look for, how to provide specialized interventions and how an individual with CVI can increase visual function.  Because CVI is the leading cause of visual impairment, the presenters are working closely with Dr. Christine Roman to bring more knowledge about CVI to Michigan through the CVI mentoring project.

Cortical Vision Impairment handout

iPad Apps handout

RED FLAGS-CVI presentation handout



Salon D

Accessibility for the iPad /iPhone

Sarah Stargardt and Jessica Kusku

The iPad and iPhone include built-in, innovative accessibility features that make this technology “out-of-the-box ready” for users who are blind or have impaired vision. This workshop will provide an overview of these accessibility features, including Zoom and VoiceOver. Presenters will also highlight apps that are optimal for accessibility.  Bring your apple device!

iPad Accessibility Settings/Features PDF handout

iPad Accessibility Settings/Features Word handout

iPad Apps for the Visually Impaired Student handout

iPad Apps for the Teacher handout







Salon B

iOS VoiceOver Training Tips

Helen Lee and Brian Celusnak

Although iOS devices with VoiceOver capability made its debut three years ago, pedagogical materials for the iPad/ iPhone is practically non-existent. Dr. Lee and


Salon B


WMU graduate students are developing a teaching manual for the devices. Session participants will receive a “sneak peak” of the manual-in-progress.



Salon C

Issues in the VRT Field

Join VRTs from around the state to discuss current issues in the field.



Salon D

Goals with a Musical Twist

Patty Killey and Kendra Booth

Many students with visual impairments need a little more hands-on approach when learning goals and objectives. Music Therapy offers unique strategies to compliment goals, and can help increase incentive, attention and behavior in sessions. Presenters will describe what music therapy is, how it can assist in teaching skills to students with visual impairments, and what to do when there is no music therapist available in a district.

Goals with a Musical Twist



Lunch / MAER Awards Luncheon







Salon B

Artificial Vision

Dr. Phillip Hessburg

The day will come when many persons now blind will recover some level of useful vision with an electronic device in the eye or the brain. We will discuss types of artificial vision devices, anatomical sites for their implantation, status of USFDA device review, and possible implant candidates.

Neurotechnology Devices as of 2013


Salon C

Issues in the TCVI Field

Join TCVIs from around the state to discuss current issues in the field.



Salon D

Adaptive PE

Julie Kushman

Do your students need support with self discipline, activities to reduce stress, strengthening peer relationships, improved self-confidence/self-esteem, and goal setting? These are just a few benefits of a well-planned physical education curriculum. The physical education teachers cannot create an individualized curriculum for visually impaired students by themselves; they need our expertise to provide resources, accommodations, education on eye conditions, and supplies. Your collaboration with the physical education teachers will help to provide cohesive, practical physical education programs for your students based on their needs. 

How to Increase Physical Education in P.E. handout







Salon B

Dealing with Depression in the Elderly and Disabled Population

Dr. Peter Lichtenberg

The population as a whole is living longer and with that comes different mechanisms that trigger depression within the elderly population and persons who have disabilities.  Learn what techniques can be used to detect depression, treat depression, and how to be compassionate to the circumstances surrounding the depression. 

Integrating Depression Detector and Treatment handout



Salon C

MDE-LIO Technology Team Panel:

What You Need To Know

Ann McKay-Bacon, Catherine McAdam, Julie Lutz

This panel will outline the process for trainings and assessments, review the types of training including iOS workshops, preview the VI Technology Curriculum, brainstorm technology needs for future training, and discuss the value of  brainstorm technology needs for future training, and discuss the value of participation on the listserv. Come, hear and participate in this informative panel presentation.




Salon D

The Role of the Adult Service Provider in the IEP Process for Students with Visual Impairments

Dawn Anderson and Elysse Connors

We wish to gather adult and student service providers to tackle the topic of transition.  How do we as vision staff partner to ensure that students, their families and the rest of the team are aware of the resources available to transition age students with visual impairment in MI?  




Please be sure to turn in your evaluations and


Save the date for next year’s annual conference on

May 1 & 2, 2014

at the Livonia Marriott at Laurel Park Place.