[tabi] Press Release: 5th Annual Florida Vision Summit Scheduled for Tuesday, 2/8/11, at State Capital

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:36:19 -0500


For Immediate Release
Contact: Skip Koch
December 1, 2010
(850) 510-1872

Fifth Annual Florida Vision Summit Scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 2011
at the State Capitol

(Tallahassee) State Representative Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) and Mr. Robert
Kelly, president of the nonprofit Florida Association of Agencies Serving
the Blind (FAASB), announced today that the annual Florida Vision Summit
will return to the State Capitol for a fifth consecutive year on Tuesday,
February 8, 2011.

The statewide Florida Vision Summit is organized and co-hosted by two
organizations: the Florida Legislature's Vision Caucus, which is a
bicameral, bipartisan Caucus of over 50 Senators and Representatives; and
FAASB, which is a statewide association of local nonprofit agencies that
provide direct support services to blind and visually impaired Floridians,
from blind babies and visually impaired school-aged children to low vision
workers and seniors with age-related vision loss.

 Representative Baxley was the founder of the Florida Legislature's Vision
Caucus in 2005. Mr. Kelly, of Daytona Beach, is the FAASB president and
Executive Director of the Florida Lions' Conklin Centers for the Blind.

FAASB President Robert Kelly said, "In all, about one million Floridians
live with low vision or blindness. Seniors with vision loss is the segment
that is growing the fastest. However, our State's blind babies program
continues to be one most critically underfunded. The Florida Vision Summit
will raise awareness of these issues."

Representative Baxley and his wife, Ginette, raised an adopted son, Jeffrey,
who became blind as an infant. "Ginette and I understand the critical
importance of early intervention when an infant losses his/her sight.
Without Florida's blind babies services, these small children can fall
behind in education, their mobility and social skills. They can lose their
chance at the 'American Dream' or to simply become a productive member of
our society," Representative Baxley said.

"Our son, Jeffrey, is a young adult now, blessed by God, focused on his
career, and on achieving his piece of the American Dream. Our Vision Caucus
members understand that funding blind services is a critical State service
and a great investment," Representative Baxley concluded.

The Fifth Annual Florida Vision Summit will begin at 7:30 AM, February 8
with a Legislative Breakfast on the 22nd floor of the State Capitol.
Beginning at 9:00 AM, a three-hour General Session will be held in the
Chambers of the Florida House of Representatives on the 4th floor of the
State Capitol. All Florida Vision Summit events are free and open to the

The list of speakers for the 2011 Florida Vision Summit will be released in

Previous Florida Vision Summit participants have included the Governor of
Florida, the Senate President, the House Speaker, legislators, Executive
Agency heads, Florida School for the Deaf and for the Blind, and higher
education leaders.

From the private sector, participants have included the leaders of
vision-related professional associations, including the Florida Optometric
Association, the Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the Professional
Opticians of Florida, the leaders of nonprofit organizations, including the
FAASB agencies, Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Blinded
Veterans' Association of Florida, Chatlos Foundation, Edyth Bush Charitable
Foundation, Florida Council of the Blind, Florida Deaf/Blind Association,
Florida Families of Children with Visual Impairment, Hope for Vision,
National Association for Parents of Children With Visual Impairments,
National Federation of the Blind of Florida, Prevent Blindness America,
Southeastern Guide Dogs, VisionServe Alliance, and the public.



Barbara L. Ross
Executive Director
Lighthouse of the Big Bend
"Guiding People Through Vision Loss"

3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 942-3658 x 201
Fax: (850) 943-4518

 <mailto:bross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> bross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Lighthouse of the Big Bend
“Guiding People Through Vision Loss”
3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 942-3658
Toll-free: 1 (888) 827-6033
Web: http://www.lighthousebigbend.org
Email: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lighthouse of the Big Bend
Guiding People Through Vision Loss
3071 Highland Oaks Terrace
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 942-3658

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