2022 Family & Friends Day
October 3, 2022


2022 Family & Friends Day

What If This Actually Works?

When:            Saturday, October 15th, 2022

Time:             9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

This event is ideal for students between the ages of 14 and 21 but is open to anyone who is blind or vision impaired and their family and friends.

Where:          Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired

401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, VA  23227

Have you ever wondered how you’re going to do things in life as a blind person? Like entertaining friends and cooking for your family? Using technology in college and at work?  Or traveling independently in an unfamiliar environment? Or reading a book? Or getting a job? What would your life be like if you had alternative skills that ACTUALLY WORKED TO INCREASE YOUR INDEPENDENCE?

Come join us at VRCBVI’s Family and Friend’s Day where you can learn tips and tricks about how to complete these tasks and more. Meet other blind people who use these skills successfully each day and learn how you can develop those skills too.


9:00 – 9:30 – Registration

9:30 – 10:00 – Welcome and Keynote Speaker

10:00 – 11:00 – Concurrent Session A

11:00 – 12:00 – Concurrent Session B

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 – Conversation about Blindness and door prizes! (You must be present to win!)

Keynote Speaker: DBVI Commissioner, Richard Mitchell, CRC

Dr. Richard Mitchell, (Rick) is presently the Commissioner of the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. Before his appointment as Commissioner in May 2022, he served as the Deputy Commissioner for Services with DBVI for a total of nine years. He provided supervision and direction to senior staff members that direct the various Programs within the Services Division. He began his career with DBVI as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Roanoke and served as a Regional Manager in Bristol. Rick received his B.S. in Broadcast Management and M.A. in Counseling from Liberty University. He received his Doctorate in Counseling from Bethany Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Andersonville Theological Seminary. He is a certified rehabilitation counselor, a licensed temperament counselor, and a licensed and ordained minister. Rick and his wife, Melinda, of over 40 years, have two daughters and four grandchildren that they adore and are very proud of. They enjoy traveling and spending time in their RV.

Concurrent Session Descriptions – Session A (10:00 – 11:00) and Session B (11:00 – 12:00)

Oh the Places You Can Go

Session 1: Cane Travel

What truly makes a confident, efficient, and effective blind or vision-impaired traveler? The Orientation & Mobility Department at VRCBVI has the answer! Come join us for an enlightening and lively conversation centered on the power of the cane, independence, and freedom. From debunking the many myths and misconceptions on blindness and cane travel to learning about what VRCBVI has to offer, we are ready for you! The Orientation and Mobility team will provide you with the keys to success in traveling in a new city, or a new or unfamiliar environment and get you thinking about all of the possibilities that lie ahead! We have the answers, you have the tools! 

It’s Okay Everyone. I Know What I’m Doing!

Session 2: Personal Home Management

For many blind or visually impaired individuals and their families, the kitchen can be a source of anxiety. Often the majority of those anxieties relate to safety. We all want to feel safe and secure in our home kitchens. So, how can someone with significant vision loss work effectively and confidently in a kitchen, especially with regard to working with sharp blades and heat sources? How can a blind person safely fry a food item on a stovetop? How does a blind person safely remove a dish from a hot oven? Can someone who is blind safely cut a potato with a sharp knife? You are invited to meet with Personal and Home Management Instructor, Dave Fuller, for a one-hour session on some non-visual techniques, tools, and tricks that can be utilized for the blind or vision-impaired cook.      

Oh, Man- I Can’t Find My Phone …”

Session 3: Personal Home Management

Where is your smartphone? Where is your tablet charger? Have you ever asked yourself these questions or similar ones? Would you like to learn about organizational skills blind people use every day to keep their items organized? This one-hour seminar will explore various strategies blind people use daily to keep their bedrooms, living rooms, backpacks, hardcopy papers, etc. organized.

Getting What I Need to be Successful in School and Work

Session 4: Technology

What is a reasonable accommodation? Who is in control of my success? How do I work with my VR counselor to get technology for school or work? Why aren’t I getting the same tech as my peers? If you’ve ever asked these questions, this is the session for you. Come along as we teach you how to request accommodations, determine what technology you will need, and how it will be used at school and at work.

Oh, The Things You Can Do – With Braille!

Session 5: Braille

Is braille all it’s cracked up to be? Are people even using braille anymore? Do I still need braille if I have a little bit of vision? Join us as we discuss how braille is used in a world that is increasingly tech-based. In this seminar, you’ll learn about new braille technology as well as learn some tried and true tips for enhancing your braille skills. 

Conversation about Blindness (1:00 – 2:00)

Oh, what is the “THIS” VRCBVI keeps referring to? And how does “this” actually work? What would “this” look like in your life? The Director of VRCBVI, Melody Roane, will lead an interactive and lively conversation regarding how “this” does work and how you can achieve success in your life.

Register quickly! The deadline to register is Wednesday, October 12, 2022.

Click on this link to register:  https://www.formrouter.net/forms@VRCB/FamilyandFriendsDay2022Reg.html

NOTE: If your submission was received, you will see a blue, “Thank you Your form has been submitted” screen and a confirmation email. If you do not receive both of these please resubmit and double check the email you provided under Participant 1 in the above link. 

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