ACB Conference and Convention -- A Week of Discovery by Janet Dickelman

ACB's 52nd annual conference and convention will be one of the best ever.  Make plans now to be in Columbus, Ohio, July 4-12 for an incredible week of special activities, information, exhibits, fun and friends.
 
Often people ask if there are activities that can help them in their careers.  They want to know about information available on important issues, and how they can learn more about new adaptive technology.  Here's a sampling of these outstanding opportunities; share them with your employer and explore the possibility of using at least part of your time in Columbus as professional development.  Perhaps your employer will even assist with part of your expenses or give you a few days of professional development time.

Exhibits

Compare and contrast the latest products for blind and visually impaired people.  Discover which video magnifier, scanner, braille display, notetaker or speech program best meets your needs or the needs of your students or clients.  Examine an endless variety of products for work, school and daily living.  Collect materials to take home to others in your office or organization.  You will want to spend hours and hours browsing the exhibit hall; it opens on Saturday, July 6, at 1:00 and closes on Wednesday, July 10, at 3:00.

Workshops and Focus Groups

Every conference and convention features unique opportunities to learn new skills, tips and techniques on a wide range of topics.  Seminars on diabetes, employment issues, rehabilitation, transportation and access to off-the-shelf technology are some examples.  Get instruction and tips on technologies such as iDevices, screen readers, braille notetakers, low vision products, and much more

Programs and Discussions

ACB general sessions (Saturday evening, Sunday-Wednesday 8:30 a.m.-noon, and all day Thursday) address education, rehabilitation, employment, access, health-related issues and much more.  The presentation by a talking book narrator and update on library services are always popular.  While the 2013 program is not yet complete, you can be assured that it will be exciting and information-packed.
 
ACB committees, special-interest affiliates and others sponsor an endless variety of break-out sessions and small-group discussions.  Look for informative programming for teachers, government employees, blind vendors and entrepreneurs, attorneys, human service professionals, and information technology specialists.  Students can explore careers and meet people working in their areas of interest.  Parents of children with visual impairments can gather tips on how to advocate for their children and learn what to expect from the years ahead.  Special programming targets issues related to low vision, guide dogs, deaf-blind concerns, braille, etc.

Networking

It is often said that networking with others with similar interests is as important as education and training, and that it greatly enhances the job-seeking process and long-term success in any career path.  Whether you are a teacher or student, rehabilitation counselor or administrator, parent or caregiver, employer or job-seeker, you will be able to network with others in your field.

Exhibits, Marketplace, Advertising and Sponsorships

The 2013 ACB conference and convention gives businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals a chance to let people from all over the country and around the world know about their products and services.  Exhibit booth space, Marketplace tables, advertising, and sponsorships are now available.  Exhibitors who register early and who purchase advertising can take advantage of discounted rates.  There's something to fit every budget.
 
Back by popular demand - Take advantage of our registration bag special!  We'll stuff one brochure or other item of your choice FREE in our registration bags (a $250 value) for each premium booth space you reserve in the exhibit hall.  This is your chance to reach every attendee and drive traffic to your booth.
 
Visit www.acb.org to explore all of our 2013 exhibit, advertising and sponsorship opportunities.  You may also contact Michael Smitherman (exhibits) at (601) 331-7740 or amduo@bellsouth.net, or Margarine Beaman (advertising and sponsorships) at (512) 921-1625 or oleo50@hotmail.com.

Details

Special-interest groups, ACB committees, and others wishing to sponsor programs or activities at the conference should submit all information for the pre-registration form by April 15.  Program details need to be submitted by May 1.  Remember that ALL arrangements related to conference events (reserving meeting and event space, ordering food or A/V equipment, etc.) must be made through Janet Dickelman.

Reservations

The home for ACB in 2013 is the Hyatt Regency  Hotel in downtown Columbus.  Room rates are $89 plus tax for up to four people in a room.  Rooms come complete with refrigerators.  Reserve your room online; visit www.acb.org, follow the 2013 conference and convention link, and choose the direct link to the Hyatt for online reservations.  Telephone reservations can be made by calling (888) 421-1442; be sure to mention that you are with ACB in order to receive the conference rate.
 
For more information, call the ACB national office at (202) 467-5081 or 1-800-424-8666, or contact Janet Dickelman, chair, ACB national conference and convention committee, at (651) 428-5059 or janet.dickelman@gmail.com.