Blinded Veterans Association
69th National Convention
August 18-21, 2014
Register | Hotel | Schedule | Travel
Registration Package: Word | PDF
Registration Form: Word | PDF
Exhibitor & Sponsor Information Package: PDF
VSO / Field Service 2 Day workshop: PDF
69th National Convention Schedule of Events and FY 2014 Annual Report: MP3
Convention Dates: August 18-21, 2014
Exhibit Hall Dates: August 18-19, 2014. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities.
Convention Hotel: John Asuaga’s Nugget
1100 Nugget Avenue
Sparks, Nevada 89431
Please call 1-800-648-1177 and use Group Code GBVA in making reservations. The BVA room block rate of $55 per night applies Sunday–Thursday. The rate is $79.00 for Friday-Saturday at single/double occupancy. There is a 13.5 percent tax and a $7.00 resort fee that includes: transportation to and from the Reno-Tahoe international airport, Wi-Fi Internet access throughout the hotel, and two bottles of water per day, access to the pool and fitness center, full-service concierge, and valet/self-parking in the parking structure. Upgrades are also available starting at $10.00 additional per night. Restrictions may apply.
The hotel will honor the group rate three days before and three days after the conference dates, pending availability. Locking in your room reservation will make for a more leisurely stay before, during, and after the convention.
In accordance with the BVA Bylaws, the official convention announcement will be sent out in early May to all current members of the organization. Simply contact the BVA Membership Department at 202-371-8880, Ext. 3315, to confirm that your dues are up to date and that your email address or address of record is correct.
Ground Transportation:The hotel offers a complimentary hotel shuttle from airport to hotel.
Once you make travel arrangements, please contact Margarine Beaman at email@example.com or at 512-921-1625 to coordinate for a BVA volunteer to meet you at your gate.
Airfare:Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO) welcomes all the major carriers from around the U.S. each day, with many non-stops and arrival times to select from.
Convention attendees who would like to talk to a live person when making their reservations can call Brenda McDaniel at 915-204-0101, 9:00am-5:00pm Mountain Time zone. Brenda is the daughter of a BVA member and an independent Travel Consultant. She will be happy to assist those wishing to make reservations at no charge. Brenda is also identifying airlines that offer group discounts. Once those group rates have been identified, we will post them here.
TSA Helpline for Travelers with Disabilities
Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.
TSA provides additional expedited screening benefits for Wounded Warriors.
To be eligible for this service, a Wounded Warrior or traveling companion should email the Military Severely Injured Joint Services Operations Center, MSIJSOC@dhs.gov, or call 1-888-262-2396 with itinerary information for the traveling party. Traveling companions will receive standard screening.
Draft Schedule of Major Events
Sunday, August 17
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Board of Directors
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Field Service Training
12:30 pm – 6:00 pm Registration
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm Sessions
Monday, August 18
8:30 am – 10:00 am Board of Directors
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Field Service Training
9:30 am – 6:00 pm Registration & Information
10:00 am – 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm BVA Welcome and Orientation
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Rules Committee Meeting
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Credentials Committee Meeting
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BVA President's Welcome Reception
Tuesday, August 19
8:00 am – 9:30 am Welcome Session
9:45 am – 11:30 am Opening Business Meeting
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Field Service
10:00 am – 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Lunch and Learn (sponsorship available)
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentations
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Bylaws & Resolutions Meeting
Wednesday, August 20
8:15 am – 12:00 pm BVA Forum
8:30 am – 12:00 pm BVAA Silent Auction - last chance & pick up
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm Father Carroll Lunch
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Officer Candidate Speeches
2:30 pm – 5:00 pm Field Service and Volunteer Training
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm District Caucus Meetings
Thursday, August 21
8:30 am – 12:00 am Closing Business Meeting
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Field Service Program Update
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Leadership Training
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm Awards Banquet
Friday, August 22
8:30 am – 12:30 pm Tour to be determined. Check out the Reno/Tahoe convention and visitors bureau http://www.visitrenotahoe.com
Remember These Dates
IRVING DIENER AWARD - Nominations due mid-April
The Diener Award is presented to the veteran who contributes in an outstanding way to the BVA as an organization rather than for personal achievement in rehabilitation and in the field of employment. The focus should be on the candidate’s regional group.
Each nomination must include detailed written justification concerning the contributions the veteran has made and the service rendered to his or her regional group. Additionally, the nomination must include a biographical sketch of the blind veteran, including data about his or her military service, education, job status, family life, community service and contributions, hobbies and pastimes. Please ensure that the nomination is accompanied by a nomination cover letter signed by an officer of the regional group or by the individual submitting the nomination.
MELVIN J. MAAS AWARD - Nominations due mid-April
The Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award is presented annually to the veteran with service-connected blindness who has proven himself/herself outstanding in his/her field of employment and in his/her adjustment to daily living. The veteran nominated must have legal blindness rated as service-connected by the Department of Veterans Affairs or by the service in which the veteran served.
Major General Melvin J. Maas was a Marine General who was an early president of the Blinded Veterans Association.
From the beginning, presentation of the award has contributed to the enhancement of a positive image of blind people and to the elimination of the concept of helplessness.
THE DAVID L. SCHNAIR VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD WINNERS - Nominations due mid-April
The David L. Schnair Award honors and recognizes outstanding contributions of volunteers. David L. Schnair was one of the earlier members of the Blinded Veterans Association; he was BVA's Director of District I for many years and was an outstanding volunteer.
During his over 40-year tenure as a VA accredited Volunteer National Service Officer (VNSO), Mr. Schnair managed the New York Regional Group VNSO Office in the Manhattan VA Regional Office, where he constantly sought to inform Blinded Veterans of their VA benefits. He had a strong involvement with his community and in strengthening regional groups. As a result of his leadership, the Field Service Program was extremely successful in reaching out to Blinded Veterans. Mr. Schnair’s efforts to enhance the lives of Blinded Veterans were recognized by the VA, other organizations serving the blind, and the New York state government. He was a true role model and a totally dedicated volunteer. In view of his total commitment, a volunteer award bearing his name is certainly fitting.
The guidelines for the David L. Schnair Award are as follows:
The award may be given to a BVA volunteer office, a member, or an Auxiliary member, working in a BVA Volunteer Office who has provided at least one year of consistent and outstanding service as a BVA volunteer.
The volunteer candidate should have a good understanding of the VA system and should be an asset to the BVA Volunteer Office and Blinded Veterans. The volunteer should also be involved with community activities, including representing BVA as a spokesperson.
It is necessary for the Volunteer Office or individual working in a Volunteer Office to have a good regional group and volunteer service affiliation, and to be consistent in submitting monthly reports. Activities conducted at the medical center, regional office, or within the community should also be taken into consideration.
May: Registration Forms will be available online and requests for Printed Registration package may be submitted. Call 1800 669 7079
June 18: Early registration deadline. Attendees who register with the hotel and submit their BVA convention registration by this date will be entered to win a complimentary four-night stay during the convention. Announcement of the winner will be made during the Awards Banquet
July 18: Deadline for mailing in registration form and payment to BVA National Headquarters. After July 18, the late registration fee of $20 per person will automatically be added to a registration, resulting in a $120 per person charge. July 18 is also the deadline for members and regional groups to submit a convention program announcement/ad page. Contact Christina Hitchcock at 800-669-7079 for additional information on placing announcements or ads in the convention program. July 18 is also the last day to obtain the special room rate, if indeed availability still exits at that time.
July 28: Deadline for receipt of the completed Regional Group Official Delegate Credentials Form and Proxy Form for non-attending members (Proxy Form must be requested from Administrative Director Brigitte Jones). The official National Headquarters Proxy Form and Credentials Form shall be the only forms recognized at the National Convention.
Courtesy of Serotalk, listen to the BVA 67th National Convention Opening Business Session and interviews with several convention exhibitors who demonstrated the latest in technology for the blind and visually impaired.