President's Corner

September 2020

Happy Fall! (My husband tells me that the meteorological fall began September 1st even though fall doesn’t begin until September 22nd on the calendar.) Let me introduce myself to those who may not know me. I am Becky Smallwood, IN – AER President. I have been working as a COMS for almost 28 years. I am a private contractor/self-employed; I work with the VA, VR, and (thus far this year) two school systems. I travel across the state - lots of miles some days! Things are slow right now due to COVID, so I am cutting grass with my husband as well. It can be fun – no paperwork (for me)! Yeah!! Ha ha! On a personal note, we just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary & our daughter is in her second year at BSU.


I would like to give a huge THANK YOU!!! to the past board members:

President: Char Maternowski-Paul

Past President: Krysti Hughes

Treasurer: Marsha Egan

Secretary: Tommie Roesch

At Large Members: Katrina Anderson

                                 Bianca Gerena-Perez

                                 Jill Pangle

                                 John Trueblood

President – Elect, Becky Deerr moved out of state. She tried to continue her Indiana membership long distance, but it was not conducive; she resigned. Thank you to her, as well for her time and efforts. Everyone did a great job during the past two years. Thank you again!


I would like to Welcome! the new board members:


Past President: Char Maternowski-Paul

President – Elect: Tommie Roesch 

Treasurer: Samantha Kixmiller

Secretary: Krysti Hughes

At Large Members: Kurt Deichman

                                 Jill Pangle

                                 Amy Planalp 

                                 John Trueblood


A special thank you to Jessica Hunt as well. She works hard behind the scenes running our website, setting up the Zoom meetings, is our technology guru and so much more! Thank you, Jessica!


The Board is already hard at work! It can be a bit overwhelming coming into a group that already has “irons in the fire” and trying to learn what is going on/what are you talking about? What is expected of me? Etc. Everyone is doing great! We are meeting via Zoom. Hopefully we will/are having some fun along the way as well! :} Feel free to contact any Board Member or leave a message on the website,, regarding your suggestions and/or concerns.


The Board has been busy preparing for the annual conference. It is being held October 26th & 27. th This year IN – AER is joining the PASS Project. We had hoped to meet at ISBVI, but now are going virtual. The good news is that the conference is now FREE! Yes, FREE! AND…we are still offering CEUs. All you & your coworkers must do is register and log-on. There will be two “tracts” – one more educational oriented and one for IN – AER. The choice is yours. The conference information may be found later in the newsletter as well as on the IN – AER website ( Don’t miss out!


The tentative agenda includes two keynote speakers: Daniel Kish & Mika Baugh. Also presenting will be Indiana’s own Deanna Austin (VA), Lenore Dillon (CVRT), and Dr. Hable (IU Low Vision Clinic). Marc Arneson will present from Hadley; Amy Schreiner from WMU, and Chris Tabb from Texas. It should be an interesting conference! Register now! At the end of the conference on the 27th, will be the IN – AER general membership meeting. We are going to propose a few changes to our By-Laws. It will be good for you to attend so that you will know on what you are voting.  


2020 has been full of changes. Hopefully as the holiday season draws nearer, you will be able to spend time with your family and friends – whether in person or via technology.

“See” you at the IN – AER Conference in October!


Becky Smallwood, COMS

IN – AER President