VISIONS2018 | Sessions
VISIONS2018, the national conference of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Thursday, June 21, 2018 - Saturday, June 23, 2018, San Diego
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Sessions at VISIONS2018

The VISIONS2018 conference is designed to focus on pan-science issues and solutions and disease specific sessions. The schedule also offers many opportunities for audience interaction with the researchers/clinicians. As we finalize sessions, we’ll post them to this page along with a brief session description.

Science Programming Information

The Foundation Fighting Blindness VISIONS Conference brings together the world’s leading retinal science researchers and clinicians and people and families affected by inherited retinal diseases. The 2018 conference will include sessions on the year’s research breakthroughs and emerging technologies, including gene and cell therapies, optogenetics, prosthetics and genetic technologies. Science plenary sessions will also cover the topics of genetic testing, patient registries, and clinical trials. All sessions will reserve time for audience members to ask the experts questions.

Keynote Session

VISIONS attendees will have the opportunity to hear two keynote speakers, Jim Platzer and Dr. Emmett Cunningham. Jim Platzer is a motivational speaker and a former Fortune 500 company executive. Jim’s retinitis pigmentosa (RP) has changed the direction of his professional life but not his love of flying and his belief in the future. His presentation, “Think Outside Our Perceived Limitations,” will take place during the conference Friday luncheon.

Emmett Cunningham, Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, is an innovative leader in ophthalmology research and treatments development financing. Dr. Cunningham is the managing director at Clarus, a global investment firm dedicated to life sciences. His remarks will be part of the conference closing session.

Adapting and Thriving Sessions

Cooking Without Looking
Cooking is for everyone who likes to eat. Whether you have low vision or no vision, you probably still like to eat. Come and learn about resources, adaptations, products and devices as well as tips and tricks to cook everything from a brown bag lunch to a Thanksgiving dinner for 10. It’s easy when you have the right tools, know the techniques that work best for you and have the persistence to keep trying that recipe until it comes out just right.

Top 10 Must-Have Apps
This presentation will demonstrate how The Hadley School’s iFocus instructional video series teaches the vision accessibility features built into the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The iFocus videos are free and can be viewed from anywhere, at your convenience and on any device. We will also check out 10 “must have’ apps that you will wonder how you ever lived without. Hadley has now expanded our iFocus series to include video tutorials on using the Vision accessibility features on the Mac. We have also had the honor of being placed on Apple’s new accessibility website as an external resource. 

Is a Guide Dog Right for Me or My Child?
It will cover what a guide dog does and what a guide dog does not do and will explore pros and cons of guide dogs to help you make an informed decision.  There will also be a thorough explanation of what skills your child needs to be a successful guide dog user.  Lastly, the subject of what schools are looking for in a candidate and requirements for applying for a guide dog will be discussed.

Supporting Your Spouse or Other Family Member Who Has an IRD
Figuring out how to best support your loved one’s emotional well-being and Independence can be overwhelming. From coping with the diagnosis and changes in the family dynamics, to effective communication and interactions inside and outside the home. Finding the right balance between too much and too little support can be difficult. By learning some practical tips and techniques, you will be able to support your loved one's independence and well-being with confidence.

Stress Management and Self-Care for People with Degenerative Diseases        
Living with a degenerative disease is stressful. Common stress includes feeling misunderstood, isolated, scared or angry, all of which can often compound to manifest in anxiety, depression, miscommunication with family, and even additional health problems. In this session, attendees will gain a better understanding of what stress does to the body and mind, and will discover accessible ways to mindfully manage their stress and care for themselves, whether they are the individual with a condition or the loved one of.


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Foundation Fighting Blindness