A State of the Science Virtual Conference on Rehabilitation Technology and Methods in Blindness and Low Vision


Event Date

Friday, October 23rd, 2020 – 8:30am to 3:30pm


The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute RERC


The goal of this conference is to identify needs for future research in rehabilitation technology, methods for the blind and visually impaired population, and those with dual sensory loss.

Schedule of Events

8:30-9 Tech and live caption setup (Please arrive before 9 am Pacific time, to get virtually settled into your seat)

9-9:15 Welcome and overview of the conference

9:15 Community Living 

  • Independent Travel. Panelists: Joshua Miele (lead), Nick Giudice, Robert Wall Emerson
  • Household Accessibility. Panelists: Erin Lauridsen (lead), Janet Pomerantz, Debbie Worstman, Sarah Farmer
  • Recreation and Entertainment. Panelists: Scott Blanks (lead), Jesse Anderson, Michael Arnowitt, Sile O’Modhrain
  • Challenges During COVID. Panelists: Nick Giudice (lead), Brandon Biggs

10:35-10:45 Break

10:45 Lifespan and Multiple Disabilities

  • Infant/Early Childhood. Panelists: Arvind Chandna (lead), Pam Chapin, Premjith Balakrishnan, William Good, Amanda Lueck
  • Elder Problems and Transitions. Panelists: Janet Pomerantz and Debbie Worstman (co-leads), Donald Fletcher, Tiffany Chan, William Seiple
  • Combined Vision and Hearing Impairments. Panelists: Harry Levitt (lead), Nai Damato, Taylor Smith, Helen Simon, Stephanie Garrett

12:00 Lunch Break

12:35 Employment

  • Maker Movement and Manufacturing. Panelists: Bernie Vinther (lead), Elmer Schuett, Joshua Miele, Dan Parker
  • Participation in High Tech. Panelists: Brandon Biggs (lead), Bryan Garaventa, Danna Gurari, Vinod Namboodiri
  • Problems faced by Blind and Visually Impaired Researchers. Panelists: Gordon Legge (lead), Sile O’Modhrain, Brandon Biggs

1:45-1:55 Break

1:55 Education and Training

  • Remote Learning. Panelists: Ting Siu (lead), Mina Sun, Jessica McDowell, Neal McKenzie, Sonja Biggs
  • STEM and Technical Training. Panelists: Sile O’Modhrain (lead), Joshua Miele, Bryson Goolsby, Hyun Woo Kim, Steve Landau, Chancey Fleet, Alexa Siu, Charity Pitcher-Cooper

1:55 (Parallel Session, hosted by Santani Teng) From Principles to Interventions and Back: What can Rehabilitation and Basic Science Learn From Each Other?

Core Panelists: Ione Fine, Marina Bedny, Daniel Kish, Mike May

Discussant Panelists: Santani Teng, Lora Likova, Lindsay Yazzolino 

  • Promise and Limitations of Neuroplasticity for Rehabilitation
  • Comparing and Combining Intervention Techniques
  • Lessons for Accessible Design 

3:00-3:10 Break

3:10 Parallel Session Reports

3:15 Other Topics 

3:30 Wrap up and Adjourn

Video Consent and Release form: The conference will have professional transcription, and be recorded. Please submit this electronic consent form