Nearly six months of planning are about to conclude as we officially begin our week-long virtual 2020 Professional Development Conference! Many of you are already registered, and by doing so you’ve helped contribute to a record setting year for us.

This is the first time we’ve ever even contemplated a virtual conference, so we’ve tried to think of everything. You can help make sure that this event is a success by being prepared and obtaining all the info you need in advance.

Here’s a few things to know about the conference next week.

Materials

Nearly every workshop has materials available to download in advance. To get any materials that are available, visit the Professional Development Conference page and scroll down to the expandable descriptions of each workshop.

There, located below the name of the presenter, you’ll find the materials that are available for that workshop.

(If no materials are listed, they aren’t available.)

Recordings

We’ve been asked a lot if we’ll be recording the sessions.

We will indeed be recording each session next week, but there is no plan yet for what will be done with those recordings. Planning for this conference has been all-consuming and we have yet to be able to find time to discuss what will happen after it’s over. It’s very likely that some, if not all, of the webinars will be made available for sale. More information on this topic will be made available in the weeks following the conference.

Since no decision has been made on this topic, we strongly recommend that if you want the training, that you attend live so that you don’t miss out.

Technology and Troubleshooting

Please note that some workshops have well over 300 people in them. Depending on the need, we may or may not be able to assist with technology issues that prevent you from joining. We will make every effort to assist if we can. During a session you can ask a question, or you can email our offices at nbaoffice@nationalbraille.org

We recommend that you connect with a strong internet connection, and test your device’s audio in advance. With the exception of the Monday evening Social Hour where this equipment is optional, you will not need a microphone or webcam for the workshop sessions. We also recommend that for the best quality possible, you shut off other devices that might be using your internet bandwidth, so that the device you connect with will have the strongest connection possible.

Thanks

We wanted to find a fun and unique way to celebrate our 75th anniversary this year. While we wouldn’t have planned a virtual conference without COVID-19 forcing our hands, we’ve put endless hours of planning and work into making this a special week.

Making registration available at no cost to attendees is one of the best ways we could think of to celebrate our 75th birthday. Our members and supporters over the years have been so generous and loyal that it only seemed right to celebrate by giving back.

But, there are still a lot of costs associated with producing the conference.

You’ll be hearing about businesses and organizations who have pledged funding to assist in its production. We are super grateful to have such a tremendous outpouring of financial support from these folks. Please help us in thanking them! You can visit the sponsors section of the Professional Development Conference page to see the list of supporters. Clicking the name of a sponsor will bring you directly to their website.

Like This?

We’ve already been getting feedback from people via email. We love emails, but we thought it’d be easier to set up a spot for you to tell NBA something that really pleased you about the conference.

On our Professional Development Conference page you’ll find an embedded Accolades form. If you liked something in particular about this conference, or just wanted to say thanks, we’d love for you to tell us about it there.

(For other types of feedback there will be post-workshop evaluations available after each session.)