ACB’s Stars Will Shine Bright in Dallas, by Janet Dickelman

As we set our sights on Dallas, I wanted to share information that will maximize your convention experience.

New This Year

Thanks to a generous donation from Macular Degeneration Support and their partner Macular Degeneration Foundation, if you have an i-device or Android phone, you can receive verbal confirmation as to your location in the Sheraton through indoor technology. The guidance system works by sending audible instructions and location descriptions to your mobile device. The information is electronically transmitted by beacons that will be placed at meeting rooms, restrooms, elevators, and other venues throughout the hotel. For more information, visit
http://www.mdsupport.org/audioguide.
 
The Sheraton features 3 sleeping room towers: north, center and south. Suites, where receptions will be held, are in the north tower. If you wish to have a room with a king bed, you would be in the south tower. The north and center towers are closer to the meeting rooms, so unless you prefer a king room, you will be in either the north or center tower.
 
Rooms at the Sheraton are not equipped with refrigerators. There are a limited number of refrigerators available if you need them for medications.

Convention Volunteers

Sally Benjamin, ACB volunteer coordinator, along with the Dallas host committee, is working on finding volunteers to assist attendees at the Sheraton and the airports. We all really appreciate the volunteer assistance. Here are a few reminders to make things run smoothly for convention attendees and volunteers.
 
Volunteers are happy to help you locate meeting rooms, the exhibit hall, your table in the ballroom, restaurants in the hotel, and the elevator bays. Volunteers cannot accompany you to the sleeping room floors or assist you in locating your room. If you need help getting to and from your hotel room, you will need to make arrangements with a friend or family member to assist you.
 
Volunteers or hotel staff cannot administer medications, or assist you with other health care needs. Volunteers and hotel staff can assist you in locating dog relief areas, but they are not expected to take your dog out for you. If you need assistance in these areas, please make arrangements prior to the convention for a friend or family member to help you.
 
If you use a wheelchair, ACB convention volunteers may not be physically able to push your chair. Please don’t count on ACB volunteers to be wheelchair pushers.
 
A limited number of volunteers will accompany each tour.  While they will help as much as possible, ACB volunteers are not personal guides or personal care attendants.  If you need individual help, plan to attend the tour with a friend who can act as your guide or PCA, push your wheelchair, etc.

Reasonable Accommodations

If you plan to attend the convention and need a support service provider or interpreter, please contact Lori Scharff, who will assist in making arrangements. Send an e-mail message to loris1@optonline.net with “interpreter for Dallas” in the subject line, or contact Lori via phone at
(516) 695-6370.
 
If you need a wheelchair or scooter, contact Janet Dickelman at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, janet.dickelman@gmail.com.

Transportation around Dallas

 A taxi from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) airport will cost approximately $50. Taxis from Love Field are $25.
 
Go Yellow Checker Shuttle is offering discount airport transportation (from either DFW or Love Field) for a round trip fare of $30. You can make shuttle reservations by phone at (214) 841-1900 or online at http://www.yellowcheckershuttle.com/acb.
 
Although you can take the shuttle without a reservation, the driver is not able to book a return ride for you, so it is important to make your reservations in advance. Make certain to mention you are with ACB and be prepared to provide the following information: name of airline, flight number, arrival date and time, departure date and time, and your cell phone number. Lift-equipped vans are available but need to be requested in advance.

Using Paratransit

To become certified with DARTS after June 15th, ask your provider to fax your certificate of eligibility to (214) 828-6642. To make sure you have been certified, call (214) 515-7272 and select option 5. DARTS stated you should wait at least two days for the certification to be processed.  Rides on DARTS are $3 each way and can be made 2 days prior to the day of trip by calling (214) 515-7272 and selecting option 3.

Dates to Remember

Conference and convention dates are July 3 through July 11th. The exhibit hall, open Saturday through Wednesday, features the latest and greatest in technology and items for home, work, and play!
 
ACB affiliates and committee programs, seminars and mixers, will be held Saturday, July 4 and run through Thursday, July 9.
 
Our opening general session is Sunday evening, July 5. Morning sessions run Monday through Thursday, and all day Friday. The Friday session will feature elections and ACB business, followed by our annual banquet.

Stay in Touch

Once again this year, the convention announce list will be filled with information about the convention. Subscribe to the list today by sending a blank e-mail to
acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org.  If you've been on the list in the past, you need not subscribe again. Don't have e-mail? No problem!  Convention updates will also be featured on ACB Radio and by telephone through Audio Now.

Hotel Details

Room rates at the Sheraton Dallas are $89 single, double, triple or quad, plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13%) and tourism district fees (2%). For reservations by telephone, call 1-888-627-8191, and be sure to mention you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2015 convention link.

Convention Contacts

2015 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
2015 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
 
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman at (651) 428-5059 or janet.dickelman@gmail.com.