Past President's Corner

Char Maternowski-Paul

March 2020

Your IN-AER has been very busy since our annual conference. The biggest development involves our next conference. We have been discussing how to improve the conference and increase attendance. Our discussions have centered on why there are two conferences each year, sponsored by different organizations, that seek to attract Vision Professionals. This Fall we approached Project PASS of Indiana State University about the possibility of offering one joint conference. After months of discussion IN-AER and Project PASS have agreed to cosponsor a joint Vision Conference. The IN-AER board is very excited about this opportunity. The conference will be held at I.S.B.V.I. on October 26 and 27, 2020.  This conference will retain the features of our conference that our members are accustomed to such as the awards, keynote speaker, vendors, the opportunity to network with Vision professionals from across the state, outstanding sessions on a variety of topics and the ability to earn CEUs from ACVREP. IN-AER will be offering a track of speakers of interest to O&M Specialists, Rehabilitation Teachers, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Low Vision Specialists. Project PASS will offer sessions of interest to Teachers of Students who are Blind or have Low Vision. More information will follow as the details are finalized.   

If you would like to be a part of our Program Committee, please contact Char Maternowski-Paul at The Program committee meets regularly since it is responsible for organizing and hosting the conference. If you have a suggestion for a topic or speaker for the upcoming conference, please contact any Board member. We hope to finalize our lineup of speakers before the summer.    

We are reviewing our By -Laws and have found some areas that need to be updated. If you are willing to serve on the By-Laws Committee, please contact Krysti Hughes at   

This Spring we will have an election to fill all the positions on the Board. The Nominations Committee will be sending a Survey Monkey on April 4, 2020 for members to nominate officers and board members. If you know someone who would be willing to join the Board or if you are willing to serve our chapter as an officer or board member, you can offer your services by completing the survey monkey. The Nominating Committee will contact all nominees to confirm they are willing to be placed on the Ballot. The Survey Monkey Election Ballot will be sent to members in mid-April. Please take the time to complete these surveys. The Board meets once a month as a full board and most committees meet as needed, about three times per year.   
Board News: Becky Deerr, our President-Elect, informed the Board that she was resigning her position, effective immediately in early December and would not assume Presidency in July 2020. Becky has relocated out of state. She served our chapter as the Secretary and most recently as President-Elect. Her primary responsibility as President-Elect was to chair the Program Committee and the Board especially appreciates her efforts in this endeavor.    

Finally, I hope this finds you and your family in good health. This Spring isn’t what we   planned, but I hope you are able to make the best of it and find some joy in each passing day.  


Take care,

Char Maternowski-Paul

July 2019

On behalf of the Board and the Program Committee, I would like to thank all our members and guests who attend our 2019 Conference. Your participation helped to make our conference a success. We hope you will join us again next year. If you have not already done so, please complete the Survey Monkey Conference Evaluation which was emailed to you earlier this month. Your feedback is vital as we begin to plan for next year.


We are grateful to the vendors who participated in the conference, especially the Silver Sponsors, LS&S and ISU’s PASS Project, for the tasty treats we enjoyed during the conference.


The speakers were outstanding and offered new insights. They challenged us to find new ways to assist our students/clients. ACVREP’s support of our conference by providing the Keynote Speaker, Jack Chen, as well as presenter Kathleen Zeider was fantastic.


We could not have had a more welcoming venue than BOSMA. The administration and staff members were so gracious and hospitable.


Finally, as President, I want to thank the Program Committee and the Board for your dedication and service to IN-AER. You did a wonderful job on the conference.


I hope you have had a chance to enjoy the summer with family and friends.


Take care,

Char Maternowski-Paul

President, IN-AER


April 2019​

Think Spring my friends, it’s only a week or two away! The weather has certainly been a challenge this winter. Fortunately, as vision professionals we are familiar with overcoming challenges. In fact, we “Gear Up for Success” every day, which is the theme of the upcoming IN-AER annual conference. The Board and Program Committee have redesigned the conference. This year it will be held on June 19 -20, 2019 at BOSMA Industries in Indianapolis. In cooperation with ACVREP, Jack Chen who completed the 2018 Race Across America, referred to as the “world’s toughest bicycle race” will be our keynote speaker. Please join us in June for our newly revamped conference. More details about the conference and registration and lodging information will be available soon, so please check the website in the near future.

We are looking for presenters, so if you have a presentation that you would like to do, please contact either Becky Deer or myself. If you know of a speaker or topic that might be of interest to our membership, please let us know. We appreciate your input as we continue planning our conference.

Although you will notice several changes with the conference, the most important components remain the same. We hope to provide a high-quality professional development opportunity for our members, while welcoming other vision professionals. We look forward to attendees meeting new colleagues and/or reconnecting with old friends and exchanging ideas. We hope our keynote speaker will both inspire and challenge you. Finally, we will continue to recognize outstanding individuals in our field.

Please plan to attend the IN-AER conference in June and “Gear Up for Success.”

I hope you enjoy the coming Spring.

Best Wishes,
Char Maternowski-Paul
President, IN-AER


November 2018​

As we look forward to November and celebrating Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to say “thank you” to everyone who worked to make our annual conference a success. Thanks to all who attended the conference. In addition, we owe our award winners, Lou Moneymaker and Don Koors, our gratitude for their many years of service to our field. Finally, thank you to the many vendors who supported our conference and provided the wonderful door prizes.


The Board and Program Committee are already planning our 2019 conference. The upcoming conference will have several exciting changes. We hope these changes will revitalize interest in participating in the conference. Our membership Committee is active and exploring ways to attract new members and reach out to students in the field. The Finance Committee is getting organized and will prepare a budget to present at the next General Membership Meeting. Thank you to all the members who volunteered to serve on these committees. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please contact me.


On behalf of the In-AER Board, thank you for your continued support of IN-AER. Most importantly thank you for all you do to promote, develop, and improve all phases of education and rehabilitation of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.


Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.

With gratitude,

Char Maternowski-Paul,

President, IN-AER

July 2018

This month we welcome several members to the IN-AER Board. New to the Board are Tommie Roesch, Jill Pangle, Bianca Gerena-Perez, Marsha Egan, and Katrina Anderson. John Trueblood is a returning member of the Board. Our officers are: Char Maternowski-Paul - President; Becky Deerr - President Elect; Tommie Roesch - Secretary; Marsha Egan - Treasurer; and Krysti Hughes - Past President. On behalf of our membership, I offer our thanks and best wishes to departing Board members Becky Smallwood, Jim Powell, Don Koors, and Shelly Meyer Ragains. Thank you for your many years of service to IN-AER and our profession. Your IN-AER Board has been very busy planning our conference. The theme is IN-AER Navigating Life Together. We chose this theme because it highlights the need for all of us to work together to serve our students/clients. Regardless of our profession, we hope to help those we serve successfully navigate life’s challenges. Please join us at McCormick Creek on September 13 and 14. We have a diverse group of presenters and our keynote speaker will inspire you to new heights. We are adding a new and exciting opportunity to share ideas this year. You are invited to create a poster board to share with your colleagues during the Vendor session on Thursday. We hope to expand our Silent Auction. If you wish to donate an item, please turn it in when you arrive at the conference. We have been discussing some issues and we would appreciate your input. We would like to explore some ways to increase our membership, particularly with professionals new to the field. Do you have any ideas to increase attendance at the conference? Finally, we would appreciate some ideas of how IN-AER can make high school students aware of the opportunities in our field. We will hold a brief general membership meeting at the end of the conference to discuss these issues. Best wishes for a safe summer. Take care and I look forward to seeing you in September.


Char Maternowski-Paul