SOMA 50th Anniversary O&M Conference
March 13-15, 2016
(Pre-Conference workshops March 12-13)
The Southeast O&M Association (SOMA) had its 50th Anniversary Conference March 13-15, 2016.
It was the biggest SOMA conference ever held, with more than 320 people from 43 states and Canada, and many people said it was the best conference they had ever attended!
PHOTOS are on our History Page, which will soon also have the history of SOMA posted.
Send any photos you'd like posted to Dona Sauerburger.
We also want to thank . . .
The Conference Committee would like to thank the presenters, RoundTable and panel facilitators and panelists, and Blindfold Walk organizers -- they were outstanding!
Everyone seemed to dig deep and bring out their best for SOMA.
"Great assortment of presenters!"
When asked what their favorite part of the conference was, one spoke for many people saying,
"all the great presenters. Everyone seemed so collegial. It was very inspiring and motivational."
"I enjoyed some fabulous speakers and learned a lot from many amazing presenters."
"I left motivated and inspired."
So to all you presenters -- THANK YOU!
And a huge thank you to our sponsors . . .
- Angel Gautreaux for assembling all the conference packets and putting in many hours of behind-the-scenes preparation;
- Lukas Franck of The Seeing Eye for coordinating the Guide Dog Mobility Instructor track, lending a projector, and helping presenters handle the AV equipment;
- Will Henry and Melinda Angstrom for helping to coordinate the GDMI track;
- Chris Tabb for uploading all the handouts, and helping take care of the AV equipment before, after, and during the sessions;
- Susan Austin for leading us in Chair Yoga during the general session to rejuvenate us, and organizing morning yoga sessions to help us start the day right;
- John Higgins of Invision for sponsoring the conference and lending us a projector;
- Karen Walker of Allied Instructional Instructional Services for lending several projectors.
. . . and to all the exhibitors for sharing such a rich variety of products and services! (See the Vendor Page for some great information)
- Leader Dogs for the Blind
The next SOMA conference will be in Florida in 2018 -- we hope to see you there! You can check for updates and information here, and if you'd like to get involved or get more information, contact Micky Damelio.
Meanwhile, if you enjoyed this conference (or wished you could come!), you'll want to check out the two big O&M conferences next year!
The International Mobility Conference will be in Dublin, Ireland June 27-30, 2017, and the AER O&M Division Conference will be in Pittsburgh July 19-22, 2017.
Photos above are from the 2016 SOMA in Chattanooga (all in History page):
(left to right): Exhibitors' Hall; Diane DeLange and Okono Okono on Blindfold Walk with street-crossing card;
Participants in session skyping with presenter in Japan; Innovations -- CoBi 7-person bike and Dakota Disk cane tip; Opening general session: SOMA Celebration