Text reads: Learn, Engage, Advance, Deliver. The first letter from each word spells out the acronym L.E.A.D.

Thanks to generous support from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the 2019 AFBLC Leadership Track will provide attendees with fresh perspectives and the opportunity to learn new tactics for successful leadership from top speakers. The full program is now available online.


LS15: Network Leadership by Jane Wei-Skillern, Senior Fellow, Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. This session introduces a set of four counterintuitive principles that are critical to collaboration success and offers insights for how nonprofit leaders can ensure that their collaborations can have an impact that is dramatically greater than the sum of the individual parts.

LS25: Leadership Perspectives Across Sectors, moderated by Jane Wei-Skillern; presenters: Kirk Adams, President and CEO, American Foundation for the Blind; Tina Ballard, Executive Director, AbilityOne; Kathleen W-Evans, MPA, CRC, Director of Business Relations, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. Jane Wei-Skillern will moderate a panel of experienced leaders from across sectors, exploring the ways in which they embody the four principles of network leadership. Motivating and aligning networks, government, corporations, nonprofits, and individuals, proves the most effective way to achieve systemic social change.

LS35: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Implications for Employment Leaders, moderated by Stephanie Enyart, Chief Public Policy and Research Officer, American Foundation for the Blind; presenters: Rita Martin, Deputy Director, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation; Kathleen West-Evans, MPA, CRC, Director of Business Relations, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. This presentation by national experts on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will address misperceptions, realities, and outline tactics leaders can use to accomplish employment objectives in the current regulatory environment.

LS45: Ending Sight-Splaining: Discussing Systemic Barriers to Unemployment in the Blind Community, by Kristin Fleschner, Lawyer, Speaker, Para-Athlete. This session will cover the most commonly reported inclusion barriers of visually impaired and blind persons in the workplace. Kristin will discuss how her experiences working before and after vision loss shaped her approach to her career and advocacy. Ways to better catalyze attitudinal change—like how to better partner with other marginalized groups—and how, in the meantime, to build the needed resilience within our community to overcome the odds, will be addressed.


LS55: The Collaborative Leader, by Jeremy Grandstaff, Collaboration & Strategy Consultant, S&G Endeavors, Ltd. This interactive session focuses on convening conversations, growing capacity, and transforming your organization for success. It helps you discover the power of the collaborative leader and change agent. Learn new tools, explore virtual approaches, discover techniques, and transform your leadership style to take your work to the next level.

LS65: Team Sea to See, moderator: Jeremy Grandstaff; presenter: Jack Chen. On June 25, 2018, forty individuals made history by becoming the first team of all blind cyclists, along with their pilots and crew, to complete the 3,100-mile Race Across America from California to Maryland. This historical feat would not have been possible without the hard work, coordination and dedication of the award-winning crew. Come to learn what made this team so successful and how lessons learned apply to a broader context. After this session, attendees will be able to discuss the role of problem-solving and flexibility, explain the importance of focus, and describe how working with passionate individuals had an important impact on the success of this endeavor.

LS75: Building a Blind Leaders Development Program: What Is Needed for Success? Presenters: George Abbott, Chief Knowledge Advancement Officer, American Foundation for the Blind; and Megan Dodd, Director, Center on Vision Loss, American Foundation for the Blind. AFB is building a blind leaders development program to help professionals strengthen their skills and gain experiences that will help them achieve higher levels of influence. A framework for the program will be shared. Help AFB shape the program by giving your input on topics and activities to be included and determine the leadership curriculum to serve as the foundation of the program.

2019 AFB Leadership Conference

Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA

February 28-March 1

Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program Managers Meeting

February 27 (Open to all conference attendees, but seating is limited)

Early-bird rate until February 1: $399

Rate after February 1: $449 (includes on-site registrations)

To register online: http://www.cvent.com/d/wbq0kn/4W
To book your hotel room (the group rate expires February 4 or when rooms sell out; book early to avoid disappointment): Online reservations or call 888-236-2427 and reference our conference to get the group rate
To learn about sponsorship opportunities: 2019 Sponsorship menu.

And don't forget—we'll kick things off on February 27 with the 2019 Helen Keller Achievement Awards Gala! This black-tie event was established by AFB in 1994 to acknowledge Keller's extraordinary efforts and to promote the notable achievements of individuals and organizations that have improved the quality of life for people with disabilities. The gala, which will be emceed by athlete, adventurer, and author Erik Weihenmayer, includes a cocktail hour, silent auction, and formal dinner. The 2019 award recipients are Amazon, Northrop Grumman, and Washington State Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib. Tickets for this special event must be purchased separately. Purchase individual tickets, tables, or event sponsorships for the gala.

Special Thanks to Our 2019 Sponsors

Leadership Track Sponsor

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise



JPMorgan Chase & Co.


Delta Gamma Foundation



American Printing House for the Blind



Conference Sponsors


Charter Communications




Gala Sponsors


Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.