2017 Achromatopsia Convention July 21-22

Location: Medical College of Wisconsin, Health Research Center, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226

Presenters List:

Dr. Susanne Kohl 

Dr. Shannon Boye 

Dr. Christine Kay 

Dr. Joseph Carroll 

Dr. William Hauswirth 

Representative from Applied Genetic Technology Corporation (AGTC) 

Additional Sessions -more will be added as information becomes available-check back!

- Eva Goluza-Eva (age 16) is an active alpine skier who lives in Croatia. She has successfully competed in Europa and World Cups and she is already a confirmed candidate to race in March 2018 at the next Paralympic Games in South Korea. Eva will present details about her successful skiing experience. 

- John Gibson-Specialty Tints (CA)

John will discuss his unique process for hand-tinting (multiple darkness levels) disposable contact lenses and provide information for those interested. He will also be bringing several demo lenses for a first-hand look at them! This session will be part of a larger session (featuring multiple folks) focused on discussing creative solutions to frustrating problems with glasses, goggles, tints, contacts, etc. with the overall goal of providing useful information that you can incorporate into your repertoire of tools!

-Vision Forward Association

-Adult Panel: This moderated session will feature several adults with Achromatopsia in a question-answer format. The purpose of the panel is to provide a format for which to discuss questions/issues/solutionsin the areas of school, college, work, and life relevant to those affected with Achromatopsia. Featured panelists include:

Emma Chambers: Emma is a 19 year-old sophomore at Berry College. She is pursuing a double major in Exercise Science and Spanish with minors in Psychology and Chemistry. She hopes to become a physician's assistant with a concentration in pediatric neurology or orthopedics. Outside of school, Emma works in the press box of the Single A Atlanta Braves affiliate and is a teacher's assistant in a 3 year old classroom. She enjoys traveling, having spent two weeks in Australia last summer, and is looking forward to being a Resident Assistant in the fall. 

In March, Emma received her first guide dog, Jetta, a 2 year-old female Golden Retriever. Emma stated, “she has heavily impacted my life in the most positive manner! With Jetta, I have a stronger sense of security, a higher level of independence, and a strengthened feeling of confidence. I cannot imagine life without her as I take on new adventures and unfamiliar areas." 

Alison Lynch: Alison is a New York City-based attorney who works in the field of mental health law for the federally funded protection and advocacy system. She represents individuals in state psychiatric hospitals, jails and prisons, and works on systemic litigation for large groups of people in the state. Before attending law school, Alison studied neuroscience and psychology, and regularly travels around the country and internationally, speaking to attorneys, criminologists and psychiatrists about her research. Outside of work, Alison enjoys running, training in kickboxing and kravmaga, and competing in triathlons.

Lara Eppel: Lara was diagnosed with Achromatopsia at the age of 28. Her first job was with the National Park Service leading tours for crowds of up to 50 tourists through different areas of the Westward Expansion Museum. Lara received her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license at the age of 19. She was licensed as a Paramedic by the state of Missouri at the age of 21 and became a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) at the age of 28; Lara specialized in Oncology and she worked caring for cancer patients after she obtained her RN license. 

 Lara has been has been a paramedic with the Rock Township Ambulance District since October 1988.  Rock Township Ambulance District responds to approximately eight thousand calls a year. She is certified in CPR, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support.  “Having Achromatopsia posed many challenges during my training.  After I received the tinted contact lenses it made a tremendous impact on my ability to do my job.” Lara lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and children. 

Eric Pettit: Eric was born in Indiana in 1977; he has an older sister who is also affected with Achromatopsia. After graduating with his Associates degree, he went to a trade school for Audio and thereafter became employedfor a sound company where he was a ‘roadie’ for Metallica & Kid Rock for a summer. After about a year and a half of ‘gigging’ in Chicago, 9/11 happened and “pretty much overnight, tour schedules were cut in half or cancelled completely,” so he decided to pursue an education and a different career. He graduated from Indiana University in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in General Studies. While working as a manufacturer's sales rep, he decided that he wanted to get his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree, so he returned to Indiana University for a year to fill in some gaps in his education, and that is where he met hiswife. They moved to Nashville, TN in 2012; shortly thereafter, they moved to Tallahassee, FL where he attended FSU that same year. In 2014 he was offered a summer internship with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and subsequently a full-time position in the audio department. He finished his Master’s Degree in December of 2014 and worked at Cirque for 2 incredible years until they announced that they were closing their show. Currently, he and his wife are living in Chicago with their two beautiful children. Eric has also been a bioptic driver for many years.



***For the airport shuttle information (to and/or from the airport) we recommend GO Riteway:

The cost for a single person is about $24 each way. It is about $30 each way for 2 people traveling together, so about $6 increments per person for family traveling together after the first $24.


July 21-22

Convention Location: Medical College of Wisconsin, Health Research Center, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226

The room block is confirmed for July 20 - 23, 2017 at the following hotel: Radisson Milwaukee West 2303 North Mayfair Road Wauwatosa, WI 53226

To book directly with the hotel, please call 414-257-3400 and ask for the Reservation Department. Be sure to reference the block name “Achromatopsia Convention” to ensure you receive the group rate.

To book online, please visit our website at and use the promotional code “MRMC17” when entering your travel details.

The group rate of $105 is guaranteed until 6/30/2017. After the cut-off date all unreserved rooms will be released into the hotel’s general inventory and will no longer be available to reserve at the group rate.

Shuttle service to and from the convention location will be available at no cost to from the Radisson Milwaukee West both Friday and Saturday.

Additional hotels and area information can be found at: