Date: February 4, 2004
To: Chapter Presidents and Presidents-Elect, Division Chairs, Chairs-Elect
and Past Chairs (CDC), AER Past Presidents
From: Mark Richert
Subject: 2004 AER-Lift Conference
AER will convene the 2004 AER-Lift Conference at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel in
Alexandria, Virginia, April 24-27. We invite you to bring your enthusiasm and creativity as together
we strive to promote effective leadership.
Once again, this year’s AER-Lift will begin on Saturday afternoon beginning with registration at 3:00
p.m. on Saturday, April 24 and the meeting will conclude at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27. The
agenda features educational breakouts, advocacy strategies, targeted Hill issue topics and networking
opportunities. This year’s “hill visit” will be targeted to Hill activities that are appropriate for the
House and Senate in an election year. Preparation and training will be provided Monday morning,
April 26 at the breakfast session to equip AER-Lift attendees with information and tools for effective
visits with key policy makers. We hope you will consider scheduling your travel plans to allow you to
participate in these leadership development opportunities. It is a crowded agenda but I know we will
all return home with renewed energy, as we get ready for the July 2004 AER International
Conference being held in Orlando, FL.
Enclosed is the preliminary AER-Lift agenda, registration form, transportation/hotel information, AER
Lift financial policies outlining costs and payments. Please return the registration form to the AER
office prior to Friday, March 19, 2004.
If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Sherr, CMP, at (877) 492-2708 or
Enclosures cc: AER Board of Directors
2004 AER-Lift Conference
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel
April 24-27, 2004
Responsible Leaders: It’s Not Them, It’s Us
What I Wish I'd Known When Elected, What I Know Now,
and What I'd Still Like to Know
Gregory Goodrich, Chair
SATURDAY, APRIL 24
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Registration
6:00 pm Opening Banquet
o Welcome - President Elaine Sveen & Executive Director Mark Richert
o Keynote - The Opportunity and Challenges Created by Leadership - or –
The Dubious Art of Being Right 100% of the Time.
Opportunities are things that leaders have and opportunities are things
that leaders provide to members. This presentation will explore the
blessings and the burdens of leadership within AER and within our field.
SUNDAY, APRIL 25
7:45 am to Noon Plenary Sessions
7:45 am Plated Breakfast
8:30 am Session 1: Opportunity's Knocking--Developing AER's Continuing
Education Programs and Services
This session will allow AER leaders to share their experiences and ideas as
together we build and expand AER's role as a provider and promoter of
professional development. Special emphasis will be given to the
development of partnerships within AER and between/among
organizations in our field that have the potential to build membership in
AER, its chapters and divisions
9:30 am Break
9:45 am Session 2: Equal Opportunities--The Roles of Chapter/Division Officers
This session will focus on the duties of chapter and division leadership and
allow participants to explore best practices.
10:45 am Break
11:00 am Session 3: Golden Opportunities--The Golden Rules of Communication
This session will familiarize/reacquaint AER leaders with the tools and
channels of communication within AER. Effective means for
communicating our individual and collective messages (newsletters, web
sites, e-mail, etc.) will be explored, and strategies for respectful and
persuasive communication will be discussed.
Noon Break for box lunch
1:30 pm - 5:00 pm Charting our Course, Divining our Destiny--Chapter and Division Business
The Council of Chapter Presidents and the Council of Division Chairs will
hold their respective meetings at which AER elections business will be
conducted and council-specific "hot topics" will be discussed (see the
agendas of the CCP and CDC chairs for additional details).
6:15 pm Casual Dinner, entertainment
MONDAY APRIL 26
7:45 am - 9:45 am Breakfast of AER Champions
The congressional scene has changed considerably since AER-Lift last
stormed Capitol Hill. Last year's grass-roots push yielded successes--this
year's more targeted visits will help to "close the sale." During this plated
breakfast, AER leaders will prepare for issue-specific group meetings with
key congressional and administrative staff.
10:00 am Transportation to Key Visits
10:30 am - 5:00 pm Visits with key policymakers--lunch on your own.
(Attendees may wish to schedule their return travel for immediately after
the conclusion of the Monday advocacy activities. All visits should be
concluded by 5:00 pm. Please note that all AER-Lift attendees are
welcome to stay over Monday evening and join in an open forum
discussion breakfast on Tuesday, April 27, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. All
who do so are also welcome to join us Monday evening at our hospitality
suite. We hope that AER-Lift attendees will choose to participate in the
Monday Hill activities. However please your make travel arrangements as
you need to, and remember to indicate on the AER-Lift registration form
whether you will participate in the Monday advocacy activities. Thank
ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATION & REHABILITATION
OF THE BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED
April 24-27, 2003 – Alexandria, Virginia
Responsible Leaders: It’s Not Them, It’s Us
What I Wish I'd known When Elected,
What I Know Now, and What I'd Still Like to Know
AER-Lift General Information
Please note that AER staff will make all hotel reservations for AER-Lift.
Deadline for AER Lift reservation/registration is Friday, March 19, 2004. Please do not contact the
The 2004 AER-Lift will be held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, 5000 Seminary Road,
Alexandria, Virginia, 22311. The telephone number is 703-845-1010 and the FAX number is 703-845-
7662. For additional hotel information please feel free to visit their web site at
AER will pay the equivalent of a double room for attendees for Saturday, Sunday and Monday (April
24, 25 and 26) for 3 nights, meals will be provided. If you do not indicate a roommate or select a
single room on the enclosed registration form, AER will match you with a roommate according to
your arrival and departure dates. If you do not wish to share a double room, the add-on cost for a
single room for the three nights is $71.45 per night (which includes tax). If you plan on bringing a
guest (non-registered AER-Lift attendee), the add-on cost for the room is $71.45 per night for each
night. If you wish to extend your stay, the room charge will be $142.90 per night for single
Check-in time at the hotel is 3:00 p.m. and check-out is noon. Chances are your room will be
available if you arrive before 3:00 p.m., but if not you may check in and leave your luggage with the
Air Travel: All transportation costs are the responsibility of your chapter/division, and you must make
your own travel arrangements. If you do not have a travel agent, please feel free to use AER’s travel
agent, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and ask for Bob Bohan at 866 291-5066 or (973) 471-1500. Please
note that if you use Carlson Wagonlit Travel, you are still responsible for your own airfare. It cannot
be included on AER’s master account.
The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel is about 10 minutes from Ronald Reagan Washington
National Airport, 35 minutes from the Dulles International Airport and is 1 hour from the Baltimore –
Washington International Airport.
Please note: Airport check-in is required before proceeding to the security gate. Please be aware
that luggage is required to be unlocked, in order to be screened.
Train: Amtrak service is available from BWI International Airport to Union Station in Washington, DC.
Taxi: A ride from National Airport to the hotel costs between $12-18 and from Dulles around $40.
BWI is about 30 miles from VA and is approximately $45.
Shuttles: The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center provides free shuttle service from Reagan Washington
National Airport. Super Shuttle runs from all airports to the VA area, and operates on a shared ride-
on demand service. For information please call 1-800 BLUEVAN.
MetroRail: The hotel’s shuttle also provides guest pick up at Reagan Washington National Airport
and the Pentagon City metro station which provides service to the Blue and Yellow lines. Metro
Passes can be purchased at the station.
First Representative from each Chapter or Division $185.00
Additional Representative from Chapter or Division $235.00
Extra person/single room per night (includes hotel taxes/fees) $71.45
Registration fees and additional room fees should be paid for in advance. Checks should be made
payable to AER in U.S. funds.
Divisions that wish to transfer AER funds to offset the costs of their representatives must submit a
letter of approval from the Division’s Treasurer. Chapters or Divisions whose 2003 financial
statements reported less than $1,500 in unrestricted funds may request assistance with
transportation costs for one representative. These requests should be made in writing to AER and
submitted with the attendee’s AER-Lift registration form.
Assistance from the international budget is limited to 50% of transportation or $400, whichever is
less, and waiver of one registration fee ($185). Please note that if a chapter has not submitted a
year-end financial report to the AER Office as required, that chapter will not be eligible for AER-Lift
financial support. In addition, any division that has elected not to charge dues will not be eligible for
Capitol Hill Visit
If you are attending the Capitol Hill visit on Monday, April 26, please be sure that your registration
form indicate your intentions. AER Staff will have target group information on site when
appointments are made for your visit to Capitol Hill.
On Saturday night, April 24 during the dinner, we would like you to think of your favorite leader (past
or present) who you think was or is an important role model and tell us why in one sentence, as a
way of introducing yourselves to the AER Board of Directors, AER-Lift Attendees and invited guests.
Meeting Dress Code
During the AER-Lift meeting, the dress code is comfortable casual clothes at the hotel. Please bring a
sweater or light jacket since hotel meeting rooms can be chilly! We encourage business attire for the
Capitol Hill visits. The weather in VA/DC can vary at that time of year and the temperature can range
from 36-52 degrees, so please bring an appropriate wrap or coat for Monday, April 26th for your Capitol
About Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, DC
For more information about the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, please visit the website:
www.hilton.com. The Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC areas are one of the most accessible cities in
the world, for information on accessibility, please log on to www.disabilityguide.org. For Amtrak
information the web site is www.amtrak.com. For additional information on Alexandria, Virginia visit
website: http://www.funside.com and the Washington, DC area, please log on to www.washington.org
or to www.wmata.com for MetroRail schedules.
2003 AER-Lift Registration Form
Please complete and return this form before Friday, March 19, 2004, to AER-Lift, 1703 North Beauregard Street, Suite 440,
Alexandria, VA 22311-1717; or fax to (703) 671-6391. Please make checks payable to AER, in U.S. funds. If you have any
questions, please call Barbara Sherr at (877) 492-2708 or (703) 671-4500, ext. 201.
Attendee Information: A separate form is required for each registrant. Please legibly print or type all information.
Name: _______________________________________ Member ID #: ____________
(As it is to appear on your nametag)
Daytime Telephone/Fax/E-mail address: _______________________________________ (required)
I will be representing the: _________________________ Chapter or Division __________________
Arrival Date/Time: __________________ Departure Date/Time: ________________
My roommate will be: _________________________________________________________________
If you do not indicate a roommate or select a single room, AER will match you with a roommate according to
your arrival and departure dates.
Please check the following if applicable:
Special needs: __ Wheelchair __ Dog Guide __ American Sign Language
Hotel requests: __ Smoking __ Non-smoking __ Accessible room
Special menu needs: __ Semi vegetarians __ Lacto vegetarian __ Lacto-ovo vegetarians __ Vegans __ Low sodium __
Dairy free __ Low fat __ Low Carbohydrate __ Kosher (please describe if different __________________)
__ Other (please describe _________________________________)
Please check here if you would like to receive the program material in an alternate format:
__ Braille __ Large Print __ Computer Disk
Please check to confirm your attendance for the following meetings:
__ Monday, April 26 Capitol Hill Visit
__ Tuesday, April 27 Breakfast and Debriefing Session
__ I am the first representative from this Chapter or Division-$185 $_______
__ I am the second representative from this Chapter/Division-$235 $_______
__ I am the third representative from this Chapter/Division-$235 $_______
Hotel Reservation Fees:
__ I would like a single room. I will pay an additional charge of
$71.45 per night x _____ # of nights $_______
__ I plan on bringing a guest. I will pay for a non-AER-Lift attendee
to share a room at an additional charge of $71.45 per night x _____ # of nights $_______
__ I am staying extra nights. Enclosed is $142.90 per night x _____ # nights $_______
Total Enclosed $_______
__ Please transfer the funds from the Division’s Treasury. A letter authorizing the transfer is attached.
__ Our chapter/division requests financial support because our 2002 financial statement reported less than $1,500 in
Cancellation Policy: Cancellation notices received no later than three weeks prior to the conference will receive registration
refunds minus a 25% administrative fee. No refunds will be given if notification is received within the three-week period before
the conference date.