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VRATE Call for Presentations 2021

We invite you to submit a proposal to present at the 2021 VRATE virtual (Zoom) conference for one 75 minute breakout session. Sessions will be scheduled throughout the day of Friday, November 19, 2021.  

This year’s theme: The Reflection of 25 Years Lights the Future

VRATE attendees are persons who are blind, visually impaired (BVI) or who have combined vision and hearing loss, their family members and people working within blindness support and service systems.  Abstracts should be submitted on one of the following conference themes or another closely related track:

  • Blindness advocacy, philosophy and culture

  • Assistive technologies in employment, education and leisure

  • Rehabilitation methods, principles, and policies

  • Best practices in education of persons who are blind

  • Successful transition from education to rehabilitation or Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) strategies and programs

  • Adjustment to blindness supports

  • Topic important and relevant to work in the field of visual impairment

  • Medical and therapeutic intervention


Presentation Types

For 2021, sessions will be pre-recorded, and the subject matter is limited to 60 minutes. Presenters are to be available for 15 minutes directly after their one-hour video presentation to answer audience questions and summarize key points on the information presented. Presenter(s) are responsible for recording, editing, and submitting the broadcast ready prerecorded portion of presentations to VRATE no later than October 15, 2021. Videos are to be in MOV or MP4 files

Note: Only the H.264 AVC codec for both MOV and MP4 videos is supported.


General Submission Guidelines

  • Proposals and presentations must be in English

  • Generally, VRATE does not pay per diem, honoraria, or expenses

  • No fees are required to submit a proposal

  • Proposals will be excluded if all steps of the proposal submission process are not completed

  • Individuals may submit a maximum of one proposal as the primary conference presenter, but can take part in additional sessions as panel participants

  • Commercially focused/vendor promotional/sales proposals will not be considered (Sponsors may have an opportunity to present their services and products in short break-out or demo sessions.)

  • All presentation proposals are due by September 17, 2021. Acceptance notifications will be provided on or before October 1, 2021.




Each lecture/speaker must have the following information:

  • Title of lecture

  • Brief description of the presentation

  • Speaker’s Name and credentials: The speakers must have the education and/or experience appropriate to the subject matter. Also, a speaker or presenter who has a financial interest in any of the items or services presented in the course must disclose this at the time of application and at the beginning of each program.

  • Learning objectives: A description of the program's learning goals and objectives must be included with each lecture. Objectives need to be specific and should state what the participant is expected to learn.




Title:   How to Manage your Neck Pain without Surgery


Presentation Description: Neck pain can occur for a variety of reasons. Most of them are best treated without surgery. These include neck arthritis, muscle spasms, whiplash from a car accident, and even stress, among many others. Most of these conditions can be managed.  We will discuss techniques or alternative methods used to relieve and manage neck pain.


Speaker:  Les Payne, MD

Dr. Payne is a nationally known specialist in pain management. He owns and practices at three clinics in Arizona. He is active in teaching his techniques to medical students at the University of Arizona as well as mentoring fellowships from around the nation. In addition to his practice and lectures, he writes a monthly column for the Journal of Pain Management. (CV attached)


Objectives: participants will

1.     Learn the basic anatomy of the neck

2.     Become familiar the four most common neck complains and causes of pain.

3.     Understand three nontraditional techniques or alternative methods used to relieve neck pain

4.     Examine three noninvasive techniques used for neck pain management

(60 minutes)

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