12 State is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization holding an annual blind and low vision conference, Vision Midwest, built on the following premises:

  1. Vision Midwest conferences are not about one or more medical conditions – they’re about living life and changing it for the better.
  2. Guests should be informed, have fun and be comfortable to the greatest extent possible.
  3. Guests and their families and friends should be treated holistically.

Mission Statement of the Organization

12 State seeks to advance educational opportunities and accessibility in all phases of life for blind and low vision individuals, provide for greater public awareness of blind and low vision issues, and raise money for blind and low vision organizations in the Midwest. To serve this mission we will:

  • Provide the best Blind and Low Vision event experience anywhere for attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and the public;
  • Build a wide coalition of professionals, community partners and volunteers working together to create the Vision Midwest conference;
  • Generate regional public interest to ensure high conference attendance and to promote Vision Midwest as a popular annual event;
  • Leverage Vision Midwest’s positive economic impact to foster greater changing vision awareness and promote positive action on blind and low vision issues; and
  • Seek, identify and promote sponsorship and support from businesses, government, charitable organizations and individuals.

Target Audience

Blind and visually impaired individuals and professionals serving the blind and low vision population initially focused on the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, but also including the other Midwestern states of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota.


October 21 thru 24, 2010

October 21 is a one-day pre-conference medical symposia on Diabetes (including Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema) and a same-day separate symposium on Retinitis Pigmentosa.


The Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI USA (main) with other locations (primarily bowling alleys and theaters) in Madison and adjoining municipalities.

Main Conference Elements

  • Educational Presentations (professional- and consumer-oriented)
  • Vendor/Service Provider Exhibition Hall, Sports (blind bowling and possibly including beep baseball, goalball, CAT Skiing, canoeing/kayaking and tandem cycling)
  • Cultural Amenities (including audio described theater and possibly a music concert)