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Voices of Vision Leaders

Voices of Vision Leaders

By VisionServe Alliance
Tune in to Lee Nasehi and the staff of VisionServe Alliance as they speak with leaders in the field of blindness and visual impairment on a range of topics affecting the field such as networking and collaboration, public policy, accessibility technology, leadership development, and much more. We are joined by executives from around the country to hear what they are doing to improve the lives of people living with blindness and low vision.

Operated and supported by VisionServe Alliance
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Understanding the Cogswell Macy Act with Mark Richert, Dr. Bernadette Kappen, and Libby Murphy
The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act is a Bill that aims to strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to improve results for deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind children. On this episode of Voices of Vision Leaders, we are joined by the architect of the Bill, Mark Richert, as well as Dr. Bernadette Kappen and Libby Murphy to explain the importance of the Bill in the blind and visually impaired communities and what you can do to support it. To learn more about the Bill, visit
July 05, 2022
Recapping the Executive Leadership Conference with Lee Nasehi
If you were unable to attend this year’s Executive Leadership Conference, or want to relive it again, Lee Nasehi is here to recap of some of the Conference’s highlights in the newest episode of Voices of Vision Leaders!
April 14, 2022
Previewing the Big Data Project with Lee Nasehi
This episode, Lee Nasehi and several guests preview the initial findings of the Big Data Project. The Big Data Project is a collaborative effort with the Ohio State University to analyze data on people 65+ living with visual impairments. The findings will be released on April 4th at VisionServe Alliance's Executive Leadership Conference. Lee's guests on today's episode include: Lauren Branch - VisionServe Alliance Chairperson of the Board and President & CEO of New View Oklahoma. Dr. Dean VanNasdale - Associate Professor with The Ohio State University. Dr. John Crews - Visionary for the Big Data Project. Former Lead Scientist with the Disability and Health Team in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
March 31, 2022
Introducing the 2022 Executive Leadership Conference with Kevin O'Connor
We sit down with the leadership coach, consultant, and speaker, Kevin O'Connor, to discuss his life and career working within the visually impaired community. Additionally, we talk about what attendees can expect at VisionServe Alliance's 2022 Executive Leadership Conference, for which Kevin will present as the Master of Ceremonies. The Conference takes place on April 3-6, 2022.
March 29, 2022
The Intersection of Justice and Equity with Justice Shorter
We sit down with the National Disaster Protection Advisor for the National Disability Rights Network, Justice Shorter, to discuss her work as a Disability Justice Advocate, Black Disabled Lives Matter amplifier, and National Expert on disability inclusive disaster protections. Justice will be joining us at VisionServe Alliance's Executive Leadership Conference in April as a keynote speaker on "Power Moves: Transforming Leadership by Centering Marginalized Communities."
March 14, 2022
The Importance of Inclusion with John Samuel
We sit down with John Samuel, Co-Founder and CEO of Ablr 360, to discuss his life journey to creating more accessible workplaces for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. John will be joining us at VisionServe Alliance's Executive Leadership Conference in April as a keynote speaker on "The Idea of Belonging in a Diverse World." Register now at
March 01, 2022
Hall of Fame 2022 with Bill Weiner, Jim Deremeik, and Mark Richert
Voices of Vision Leaders is back with former and current board members of the Hall of Fame of Leaders and Legends in the Blindness Field. Bill Weiner, Jim Deremeik, and Mark Richert discuss the history and importance of the Hall of Fame, as well as how to nominate for this year's inductees.
February 28, 2022
Leadership and Doubt with Marc Pittman
We sit down with Writer, Speaker, and Executive Coach Marc Pittman, CSP, author of The Surprising Gift of Doubt: Use Uncertainty to Become the Exceptional Leader You Are Meant to Be. Marc opens our eyes to the diverse word of leader and how doubt plays a role in our management and leader of our organizations.
July 26, 2021
Critical Research with Penny and Kirk of AFB
Survey results, upcoming data, and what's to come from this important research with Penny Rosenblum, Director of Research,  and Kirk Adams, President, and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind.
July 14, 2021
Diversity and Inclusion with Tai Tomasi
We sit down with Tai Tomasi, Director, Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion at the America Printing House for the Blind (APH) to talk about her upcoming keynote at the VSA Executive Leadership Conference. Join us at the VSAELC 2021. Register now at
April 26, 2021
Belonging and Cooperation with Kevin O'Connor
We are joined by Kevin O'Connor, CSP, LCPC, LMFT, CCMHC, AAPL/ACHE, keynote speaker at our upcoming Executive Leadership Conference (VSAELC). Kevin gives us a peek into his keynote and to create belonging and togetherness, especially after this crazy year of being apart. Register to attend Kevin's session and so much more at 
April 19, 2021
NSITE by NIB with Jonathan Lucus
We speak with Jonathon Lucus, Senior Director of Workforce Development at NIB and the NIB National Social Business Enterprise, NSITE. This new initiative by the National Industries for the Blind (NSITE) provides a continuum of employment services that connect employers with talented, dedicated people who are blind, visually impaired, and/or veterans to meet their workforce needs. Check them out today at
February 14, 2021
Technology and Ophthalmologists with Dr. Cal Roberts
We sit down with Lighthouse Guild International President and CEO, Dr. Cal Roberts to discuss their new focus in technology and how to get ophthalmologists to refer their clients. Dr. Roberts shares about their upcoming new smart home and assistive technology center.
February 01, 2021
Welcoming Change as a Guest with Bob Kodzis
We are joined by Bob Kodzis, Flight of Ideas, a keynote speaker at the Executive Leadership Conference. Bob shares a deeper look at his session Ready For Anything with use. He focuses on how change should be an invited guest we welcome when it comes rather than an intruder that we attempt to fight off and delay. 
November 23, 2020
Delight and Wow Moments with Teri Yanovitch
We are joined by Teri Yanovitch, author and former Disney Institute speaker to talk about her upcoming keynote session at the Executive Leadership Conference (VSAELC). She shares how to delight your clients and add "wow" moments to your organization that keep people coming back, donating, and volunteering.
October 28, 2020
Your Story. Your Brand. with Mark Freid
We are joined by Mark Freid, founder of Think Creative Inc. to discuss the importance of sharing your story adn keeping your values at the center of your brand. Get a taste of Mark's upcoming keynote session at the Executive Leadership Conference (VSAELC). Register to attend today. 
October 22, 2020
The CHAT System with Claudia Virga
We are joined by the upcoming VSAELC keynote speaker, Claudia Virga, Founder of The CHAT System to talk about how this communication system can help leaders network and connect in an increasingly virtual world. Don't forget to register for the Executive Leadership Conference at
October 15, 2020
Blind & Beyond Radio Show with the Golders
We are joined by Michael and Lynne Golder of the Blind and Beyond Radio Show to talk about how their show is helping bridge the gap between the sighted and blindness communities. Listen to their radio show Sundays at 7 pm EST. Just say "Alex, play WOKB 1680".
August 24, 2020
NW Association for Blind Athletes with Billy Henry
We are joined by Billy Henry, President, and Founder of the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes. We talk to Billy about his story, how he came to found NWABA at 15 YEARS OLD, and how their organization has pivoted during the pandemic. Hear the good being done in the North West and how this young leader has grown his organization from a small start-up to providing across multiple states. 
August 17, 2020
Accessible Voting with ACB and NFB
We are joined by Lou Ann Black Deputy Executive Director Blindness Initiatives at NFB and Clark Rachfal, at ACB to discuss voting with a disability. Guest host Paul Schroeder, Senior Public Policy Advocate at VisionServe Alliance. Election Assistance Commission round table discussion on accessible voting during the COVID: Blind Voter’s Guide, Blind Voter Registration Drive Guide, Accessible Vote-By-Mail Toolkit available, the blind voter experience video, and other resources:
August 11, 2020
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) with Jennifer Sheehy
We are joined by Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary leading the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), U.S. Department of Labor. The mission of ODEP is to develop policy that increases job opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. Staring guest Host Paul Schoeder. ODEP: SAW/RTW: RETAIN NILG: EARN: JAN: PEAT: ADA 30th Anniversary:
July 20, 2020
Fitness Programs with Mark Lucas
We sit down with Mark Lucas, Executive Directors of USABA to see how blind athletes and fitness programs are being affected during COVID 19. Are you a part of a fitness program as an individual with a visual impairment? Are you offering a fitness or health program at your organization? Share it with us at or on our social media pages: @VisionServeAlliance @VisionServeA . View resources on Blind fitness programs: 
July 18, 2020
Guide Dog Training with CUSDOGS
We are joined by Sandy Merrill, Chairmen of the Council of US Dog Guide Schools (CUSDOGS), and CEO of Guide Dogs of Texas as well as David Locklin, Director of Programs at Leader Dogs for the Blind. We speak about the difficulties of guide dog training during COVID, new initiatives for training users from a distance, and the latest priorities in the guide dog community. Share your voice. Request a topic or to join our show at 
June 30, 2020
Distance Learning with Virginia Jacko
We sit down with Miami Lighthouse for the Blind President & CEO, Virginia Jacko, and Director of Technology, Bill Rivera to talk about their distance learning platform and how they are adapting during the pandemic. We talk about the importance of accessible learning now more than ever while so many are learning from home. Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Send us a request at
June 23, 2020
Virtual Events
Executive Pathways Series: Navigating the Return to the Workplace: Spiel & Steal: State of Vision rehabilitation in the Age of COVID-19: 
June 08, 2020
Accreditation With Elly Du Pre
We are joined by Dr. Elly Du Pre, DPA, Consultant to AER, and Executive Director of Flordia Associations for the Blind (Florida ASB). We talk about the value of accreditation and living independently with a visual impairment. Dr. Dup Pre shares how she got started working in the blindness and low vision field. Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Send us request at
June 01, 2020
Early Intervention with Diane Nelson
Earl intervention, virtual teaching from home, providing in multiple states, and caring for children during COVID-19. We speak with Diane Nelson, Executive Director of Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) to hear how she is meeting the needs of her community in Kentucky and Indiana for children with visual impairments. If you are interested in donating to VIPS, you can text "vips" to 56651. VIPS Website: VIPS Virtual Gala & Auction: Line Lofts: Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Send us request at 
May 18, 2020
Laughs & Educational Content with Mark Richert
We are joined by Mark Richert, Interim Executive Director of AER. Mark shares the unique position of stepping into an executive role right before a global pandemic and how AER is trying to pivot and maintain in the new normal.  AER Website: Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Share your voice by sending us a request at
May 11, 2020
EOS: Built for the Crisis with Courtney Plotner
We are joined by Courtney Plotner, President & CEO of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired South Carolina (ABVISC). We talk about EOS, Entrepreneurial Operating System, and how it has prepared ABVISC to weather the storm of a crisis. We offer EOS implementation to all VSA members. Learn more and schedule a 90 min meeting to discuss your business on our website: EOS worldwide: Share your voice! Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Send us a request at
May 04, 2020
Vocational Training with Sharon Giovinazzo
We are joined by Sharon Giovinazzo, Executive Director of World Services for the Blind to hear what they doing to help train the workforce of tomorrow through their vocational training services. Hear how COVID-19 has affected their residential campus and how they are keeping it light amongst a pandemic.  World Services for the Blind: Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Share your voice by sending us a request at
April 27, 2020
Congressional Vision Caucus with Sara Brown
We are joined by Sara Brown, Director of Governmental Affairs at Prevent Blindness to hear what they doing to advocate for nonprofits serving people who are blind and visually impaired and their constituents. Hear about the Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC), a bipartisan coalition of Congressional Members dedicated to strengthening and stimulating a national dialogue and policy on vision-related problems and disabilities. Prevent Blindness was instrumental in the initial formation of the caucus and works closely with its members today. Congressional Vision Caucus: Prevent Blindness: Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Share your voice by sending us a request at
April 20, 2020
Education, Employment, & Digital Resources with Kirk Adams
We talk about blindness education, employment of people who are visually impaired, and digital resources during COIVD-19. We are joined by the American Foundation for the Blind President and CEO, Kirk Adams to hear what AFB is doing to provide support to the blindness field with their digital leadership conference. "[during trying times]... get centered on your values and set a daily intention around living your values. Our values are learning, collaboration, innovation, and excellence...and you don't do any of these things by yourself. " - Kirk Adams AFB COVID-19 Resources: AFB virtual Leadership Conference: Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Share your voice by sending us a request at
April 06, 2020
Working WITH the community, not just FOR it - Eric Bridges
We are joined by Eric Bridges of the American Council of the Blind to discuss working from home and working WITH the community, not FOR the community of people who are blind or visually impaired. We get a unique prescriptive from a membership organization on how COVID-19 has affected them proving services. To learn more about ACB, becoming a member, and to see how you can get involved, visit their website at  Have a topic you want to hear or discuss? Send us a request at
April 03, 2020
Leaders, Share Your Voice!
How has your organization been affected by COVID-19? How are you adjusting to a "new normal"? Share your voice with the Voices of Vision Leaders podcast. Do you have a topic your dying to hear about? Do you want to come on the show as a guest? We want to know whats on your mind and share it with our listeners. Send us a request at 
April 01, 2020
Providing Virtual Services with Mike McGowan
We speak with NOAH Executive Director, Mike McGowan on how he is providing electronic & virtual services to his community throughout the Unites States. We discuss the International efforts NOAH is taking to bring communities from around the world together to improve the lives of people living albinism and hypo-pigmentation . See how you can get involved with NOAH at  We want to hear from you! Want to hear on a particular topic? Want to join as a guest speaker? Send us a request at
March 30, 2020
Serving Veterans with Visual Impairment with Joe Bogart
We speak with Joe Bogart, Executive Director of the Blinded Veterans Association on how he is serving people with visual impairments that have served out country. We speak on a number of legislative bills, and how the COVID-19 Virus is effecting veterans in the blindness community. #VVL #VoicesOfVisionLeaders We want to hear from you! Want to hear on a particular topic? Want to join as a guest speaker? Send us a request at
March 27, 2020
Paul Schroeder: Senior Policy Advocate
Lee is joined by Paul Schroeder, VisionServe Alliances newest team member. We learn about Paul's background in advocacy, how he got into the game, and why public policy is so important to him. As VSA begins to take a larger role in public policy issues, we start to examine what is a priority for people living with blindness and visual impairment. #VVL #VoicesOfVisionLeaders We want to hear from you! Want to hear on a particular topic? Want to join as a guest speaker? Send us a request at 
March 23, 2020
Special Edition: Event Cancellation & Contingency Planning
Many of you have had fundraising events and conferences that have been canceled or are under the threat of being canceled. We too have been dealing with these new circumstances with the CEO Summit in April. We all have questions about how to handle event planning in light of COVID-19. Listen now to the special edition of Voices of Vision Leaders Podcast to help address some of these concerns. We are joined by Patty Richbourg, Senior Director of Global Accounts and Jill Slater, Managing Director with HelmsBriscoe, a professional event planning consulting firm. Together between them they have decades of experience working in the hospitality and meetings industry. They share their experiences as event coordinators during this public health threat and answer your questions on event cancellation and contingency planning. Digital Forum: Crisis Management Guide:  Emergency Plan Template:  Surviving a Crisis for the Nonprofit (Book): Have a topic you want to hear about? Want to join us as a guest speaker?. Send us a request at
March 20, 2020
Trailer: Event Cancellation and Contingency Planning
I'm sure many of you have questions about how to handle event planning in light of COVID-19.  Tune in Friday 3/20 for a special podcast on Event Cancellation and Contingency Planning. We will be joined by Patty Richbourg, Senior Director of Global Accounts and Jill Slater, Managing Director with Helmsbirscoe, a professional event planning consulting firm. Together between them they have decades of experience working in the hospitality and meetings industry. They will share their experience as event coordinators during this public health threat and answer your questions on event cancellation and contingency planning.
March 18, 2020
Networking Leadership with Jane Wei-Skillern
Listen to VisionServe Alliance's first podcast as we speak with Jane Wei-Skillern, Senior Fellow at The Center for Social Sector Leadership, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Lee Nasehi sits down to discuss "Network Leadership" with Jane and how collaboration helps grow the mission, not just the organization. Want to hear more on networking leadership? Jane will be a keynote speaker at our CEO Summit April 26-29 in Albuquerque, NM. Register now!
March 06, 2020