South King Council of the Blind seeking help


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Our friends at the South King Council of the Blind – which has a presence here in Burien – are requesting your help:

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SKB has the honor of co-hosting this year’s annual convention of the WA Council of the Blind, an event which will be held at the Seattle Airport Marriott and will draw more than 200 blind/low vision folks from around the state. The dates are Thursday, Nov. 3 through Sunday. Nov. 6.

As you can well imagine, finding one’s way around a completely unfamiliar facility, such as a hotel, can be pretty challenging if one is blind or visually impaired. Having volunteers who are willing to assist/guide participants to restrooms, the exhibit hall, restaurants, etc. makes a huge difference to convention attendees. Below is a list of times when volunteers are still needed, and an example of the sort of assistance for which you might be asked. The * sign represents a critical need.

Nov 3, *2 – 4: assist attendees from hotel front desk to the door of their room, the meet and greet, the restaurant, the guide dog relief area, etc. *4 – 7 PM.: assist attendees to restaurant, restrooms, and meeting room, etc.

Nov. 4 *7 – 10: assist attendees with guide dogs to the relieving area, to the restaurant/group breakfast rooms, to restrooms, meeting room or exhibits; *1 – 4, assist attendees from lunch to exhibits, meeting room, restrooms, guide dog relieving area, etc.; 4 – 7 PM., assist attendees from various meeting rooms to elevators/restrooms/restaurants, etc.;

Nov. 5 *10 – 1: assist attendees to and from meeting room, restrooms and luncheon rooms; *1 – 4, assist attendees to guide dog relieving area, restrooms, meeting rooms, etc.; *4 – 7:30 PM., assist attendees to meeting room, restrooms, various receptions, and describe items in silent auction.

*Nov. 6, 7 – noon (but probably will end before noon): assist attendees as they check out of hotel; this may also include riding airport shuttle to assist those flying out of SeaTac to their check-in locations at SeaTac; you will not have to go to the gate.

If you choose to help, we do require that you not offer to drive attendees anywhere, enter their hotel room, administer any medication or assist with personal care. Attendees can manage these things on their own, and can arrange for taxies to take them outside the hotel should they wish. Your parking will be paid for via a voucher you will be given when you arrive. More detailed info will be sent to those who help.

This is a fun and rewarding experience. Volunteers do not need to know anything about guiding; I will provide each volunteer with an email that will serve as a how-to handout. I ask that once volunteers read and understand the handout, they simply let me know by email.

If you are a person who loves to help, loves interacting with people you might not otherwise meet, loves to see ground-breaking technology which levels life’s playing field for those of us who are blind, then this is totally a great opportunity for you. Please feel free to contact me with your interest or further questions at [email protected]

Finally, if you know of someone, young or old, whom you think would benefit from attending, please share this information with them. This year’s convention will be especially interesting for blind youth, as we are sponsoring a youth summit; blind women, as we are dedicating an afternoon to issues faced by women who are blind; those seeking jobs, and those older persons whose age is causing them to lose their vision.

Thanks for considering sharing your sight for a few hours with some really great folks! You’ll make somebody’s day, and maybe even make a few new friends while you’re at it!

To help, please contact Marlaina and Guide Dog Nisha at [email protected]

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Comments

One Response to “South King Council of the Blind seeking help”
  1. Paul says:

    As a volunteer at the convention last year, I can tell you that I had a wonderful time. For the most part you are just walking with people from one location to another, and just providing some commentary to allow the person you are escorting to build a map of their surroundings. The atmosphere is similar to striking up a conversation with the person next to you at a football game or coffee shop. Plus there will be returning volunteeers like myself to help new volunteers get introduced to the convention site.

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