Affiliate News

ACB Diabetics in Action Convention Sneak Preview

It's hard to believe that summer is already approaching, and may have already begun in some areas of the country.  This is a great time to exercise, swim and take walks in the cooler morning and evenings.  It's also time to talk about our convention plans! 
Our luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. We will be having soup, chicken croissant sandwich, salad, and veggies, with sherbet for dessert, and, of course, tea and coffee.  Our business meeting will follow the luncheon, and wrap up around 4 p.m.  If anyone wants to join our group, the business meeting would be a great time to do that.
On Tuesday, July 9, at 1:45 p.m., we will hold the annual diabetes seminar.  It will end around 4 p.m.  Our first speaker is from the American Diabetes Association, and will talk about issues pertaining to health and education.  The second speaker will give us a quick review of the new Prodigy Voice.  Our final guest speakers will be a registered nurse who has many certifications in diabetes.  What a speaker!  Be sure to hang around to hear her talk about new treatments for diabetes.
Hope you all have a wonderful, not-too-hot summer, and hope to see many of you at the ACB convention and DIA doings!

Blind LGBT Pride International 2013 Convention

Join Blind LGBT Pride International (BPI) for a fun-filled 2013 convention program with lots of exciting activities and informative seminars/workshops. BPI's theme for its convention is "Exploring the True Vision of Equality," and we are excited to be collaborating with four other ACB affiliates that will allow us to provide some really great programming this year.
BPI will be starting its program off with a Welcome Party/Mixer on Friday, July 5th, where you can enjoy a nice glass of wine or a fun mixed drink and a light dinner.
On Saturday, July 6th, BPI will hold a caucus in the afternoon, and later that day, a joint seminar with ACB Students. Sunday, July 7th will feature an audio-described movie, complete with popcorn.
On Monday, July 8th, BPI will hold an employment diversity seminar with special guest speaker Kathy Martinez, which is co-sponsored by ACBGE. BPI will also hold an informative seminar on "The State of Equality for All" with Kim Welter from Equality Ohio.  Later that evening, we'll hold our business meeting.
Tuesday, July 9th will be a busy day, featuring a joint seminar with IVIE and Will Burley speaking on "Gaining a Strategic Edge with Social Media." BPI will join ACB Diabetics in Action for a great seminar called "Diabetes in Progress."  But the day isn't over yet! BPI will also hold a meet-and-greet with its board of directors that evening. We hope many of you can attend.
On Wednesday, July 10th, BPI will host a phone app workshop with special guest speaker Kevin Ratliff called "What's Appening." Another workshop, called "Exploring Your Passions," will feature Will Burley. BPI will wrap up the week with its Farewell Party Wednesday evening with a light dinner and drinks.
Yes, BPI will have a suite during the convention and it will be open throughout the week. BPI invites you to come visit us during the convention and take advantage of the many opportunities that our convention program has to offer.
For more information on any of BPI's convention activities or programming, visit us online at, or send an e-mail to Or you may contact me by phone directly at (323) 533-4395.
- Mark Hanohano

IVIE Convention Sneak Preview

he Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE) has an exciting convention program planned for 2013! Read on for more information.
The theme for our convention is, "Building Confidence and Competence." This year, we are collaborating with three other ACB affiliates to provide attendees unique opportunities for fellowship, education and inspiration. We kick things off Saturday evening, July 6th, when we have a combined mixer with RSVA. Meet and greet old and new friends and have a good time! Since all activities for this year are running a day earlier during convention week, our annual IVIE breakfast and business meeting will take place Sunday, July 7th from 7:00 to 8:15 a.m. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and help make important decisions for IVIE.
Tuesday, July 9th will be a very busy day for IVIE! We have invited BPI to join us for our luncheon and combined program, which will begin at 12:15 p.m. After a delicious lunch, we will start building our competence as we address two timely topics for business owners. Our first presentation, "Taking the Ice out of Cold Calling," will teach you valuable strategies for approaching new customers and clients. This will be followed by "Gaining A Strategic Edge with Social Media," a presentation on social networking for business owners. At 2:45 p.m., we will learn some strategies for building confidence and improving our public speaking skills when we join CCLVI for a Toastmasters presentation.
Our always popular IVIE Business Expo will take place on Wednesday, July 10th from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Blind and visually impaired business owners will showcase their products and services and answer questions. Would you like to have a booth at the IVIE Business Expo? The cost is $10 for IVIE members and $25 for non-members, with the option of $15 going toward IVIE dues. Of course, browsing the Expo is free. You can register for a booth at the Expo or pay your annual dues through the IVIE web site, There, you will find the IVIE membership form and other information about our affiliate. Alternatively, you can register for a booth and/or pay your annual IVIE dues by mail by sending your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, the name of your business (if you have one), your preferred format for receiving "The ACB Braille Forum," and your check to our treasurer, Sila Miller, at 2201 Limerick Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32309.
Please make your check payable to IVIE and designate whether it is payment for IVIE annual dues, an Expo booth, or for both dues and a booth. Our calendar year begins on July 1st. This means that it is almost time to pay your annual dues. If you pay your dues now, you will be an IVIE member through July 1, 2014.
As you can see, we have an exciting convention planned for you this year! I hope you will join us in Columbus! For more information, visit our web site,  If you have any questions, contact Carla Hayes at (724) 941-8184.
- Carla Hayes

Touch the Universe with NABT

The theme for the 2013 National Association of Blind Teachers convention to be held in conjunction with the ACB National Conference and Convention in Columbus, Ohio will be "Touching The Universe." I am sure that you will find our convention agenda to be "out of this world!" Read on for more information.
Because this year's convention schedule is being moved forward a day, our annual breakfast, business meeting and program is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, at 8 a.m. We will begin with a delicious breakfast and time to mingle with friends. This will be followed by our program which will be titled, "Old and New Ways of Touching the Universe." Come and participate in a discussion of old and new methods of teaching science to blind and visually impaired students. After our program and a short break, we will hold our business meeting and elections. During this time, you will have the opportunity to help us elect new officers and make important decisions for NABT.
Monday, July 8 will be STEM Day for NABT. In case you don't know, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, all of which are crucial subjects for the student of the 21st century. During this exciting STEM Day program, which will take place from 1:15 to 4 p.m., participants will learn about and have hands-on experience with cutting-edge products which can greatly enhance the teaching of the STEM subjects to students who are blind or visually impaired. One of our presenters will be Dr. Marjorie Darrah, the CEO of ETouch Sciences, Grafton, W.Va. ETouch Sciences has developed the low-cost Novint Falcon, a rugged, reliable and market-proven haptic device which can be used in conjunction with several innovative computer apps to create an interactive 3-D virtual world to enhance the teaching of life, physical, earth and space sciences as well as mathematics. The apps incorporate sound, touch, high-contrast graphics and embedded assesments, and you will be truly amazed when you experience it! A representative from the American Printing House for the Blind will also give a presentation on the Talking Graphic Calculator and other STEM-related APH products. This will be a day that you will never forget!
Tuesday, July 9th, will also be a very busy day for NABT. First, we will combine with LUA for a joint session from 1:15 to 4 p.m. The first part of this program will feature a presentation  by a talking book narrator  Then, we will learn about Benetech's Literacy Project and how Bookshare can produce graphs and other STEM materials. We lighten up later on Tuesday afternoon at 5:45 when we join FIA for a musical session, "Singing Around the Universe." In keeping with our theme, we will learn and sing songs about the moon, stars and other heavenly things!
We have an exciting convention planned for this year! We may not be blasting off into space, but we will be having a blast! Why not come and touch the universe with us?
- Carla Hayes

RSVA Convention Preview

The 2013 RSVA summer convention will be July 5th-8th. On Saturday morning, the RSVA board of directors meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon. On Saturday afternoon, RSVA will have a panel of vendors from the BEP program as well as representatives from the Ohio BEP staff speaking about their programs.  We plan to have someone from the Social Security Administration speak about current regulations which affect vendors now and in retirement. We will then have a presentation on the importance of PR followed by a presentation on advocating for the Randolph-Sheppard Program in your state and in Congress, led by the RSVA legislative committee. After the programming, the nominating committee will meet.  On Saturday night after the ACB opening session, RSVA will hold its open hospitality with IVIE.
On Sunday, we will hold our annual awards luncheon; we have invited the new RSA commissioner to speak. The luncheon will be followed by awards presentations and business. On Sunday evening, RSVA will hold its annual auction and karaoke night.
On Monday, RSVA affiliate presidents and the board of directors will meet for lunch. From 2:45 until 5:30, the ACB Rehabilitation Task Force will have a session on getting rehab to work better with students, seniors, and the Randolph-Sheppard program, so vendors are encouraged to attend. On Monday evening, RSVA will hold its casino night.
Watch the RSVA web site for more updates on the RSVA conference segments. See you in Columbus!

Illinois Summer Fest

Are you going to be in Chicago in early August?  If so, the Illinois Council of the Blind invites you to join us on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 4-9 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park, Ill. for the first annual Illinois Council of the Blind (ICB) Summer Fest featuring the rockin' tunes of Blind Reflexx as part of their Start Me Up tour.  Admission also includes a buffet dinner, draft beer (Budweiser and Bud Light), wine and soft drinks.  There will also be a silent auction, raffles and fun.  Children are welcome.
Advance tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Kids 5 and under are free.  Tickets purchased at the door will be $40 for adults and $20 for children.  Funds raised will help ICB provide scholarships for students who are blind, reading materials for children who are blind through our Dots for Tots program and other things.  Food, fun and great music await you at ICB's Summer Fest.  Please contact our office at (217) 523-4967, e-mail, or go to to purchase tickets or get more information.