Affiliate News

Mountain State Convention

The Mountain State Council of the Blind (MSCB) will hold its statewide convention the weekend of Sept. 20-22, 2013, in Martinsburg, W.Va. Hotel rates will be $89 nightly for single, double, or triple occupancy at the Holiday Inn.  To reserve your room, call the hotel at (304) 267-5500, and mention that you are with MSCB. 
On Friday, Sept. 20, students from Berkeley and Jefferson county public schools, along with invited students from the West Virginia School for the Blind, will experience a morning of riding, grooming, and getting to know therapy horses at Martinsburg's Horses with Hearts Program. After lunch, the students will participate in a student seminar providing information about career opportunities, resources, and a variety of information about strategies to successfully meet future life plans and objectives.
Convention activities include a sesquicentennial trivia contest on Friday night, and on Saturday, sessions of interest including emergency planning for visually impaired people, technology information exchange, and a panel sharing experiences and tips for independence focusing on travel, minor home repairs, gardening, and inside the home.
On Saturday afternoon, members will visit the Ferry Hill Plantation located about 3 miles from Antietam Battlefield. The plantation was built in the late 1800s, and a descendant of the original family served with General Lee and fought at Antietam. The National Park Service, along with describer Bill Patterson from Audio Services, developed a script to be used by rangers during the tours, making the plantation house come alive to those with vision loss. Our tour will test just how good the script is when a group of people with sight loss descend.
Saturday evening will feature the banquet and the always favorite auction.
For more information, contact Donna Brown at (304) 822-4679 or e-mail Please set this time aside and visit with us in the eastern panhandle of beautiful West Virginia.

ACBHSP Conference Call

The American Council of the Blind Human Service Professionals (HSP) will hold an information sharing/gathering conference call on Sunday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m. Pacific (6 p.m. Eastern).  The number is (218) 844-3388, and the access code is 222477 (ACB-HSP).
We will discuss topics for future conference calls and meeting programs, ask for input about the needs of human service professionals who are blind, list the benefits of membership in the organization, and plan our direction for the coming year. 
If you have questions or have input, contact Darian Slayton Fleming at (503) 522-3272 or at
ACB-HSP is a special-interest affiliate of the ACB and is made up of mental health professionals, psychologists, vocational rehabilitation counselors/teachers, human resource personnel, information/referral specialists, etc.  The group was founded to provide a forum for advancing the understanding, knowledge and effectiveness of its members in relation to their respective vocations and professions. It serves as a forum for discussing the views and concerns of people with vision impairments who are interested in issues facing those in the human service professions.  This includes providing information about publications that are produced in accessible formats and encouraging the production of such material.  The group strives to facilitate the free exchange of relevant ideas, opinions, and information through e-mail lists, conference calls and other forms of open communication.  The group may provide meeting facilitation, training, counseling, and other similar services to members and affiliates of the American Council of the Blind that are consistent and within standard national and state code of ethics guidelines.

ACB of Indiana Convention

ACB of Indiana will hold its 42nd annual convention Nov. 1-3, 2013, in the Canyon Inn at McCormick's Creek State Park, 451 McCormick's Creek Park Rd., Spencer, IN 47460.  To reserve your room, call the Indiana State Parks Inns call center at 1-877-563-4371 and give them the group code, 1101AM.
The theme of this year's convention is "Team ACBI: Building People Power, Creating Positive Change."
Friday's session will begin at 7 p.m. and will include an auction. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, with the business meeting starting at 9 a.m.; it will include various speakers and a talent share.  Sunday's activities begin at 9 a.m., with the convention adjourning at noon. Registration is only $25 per person for the weekend.
Scheduled speakers include: Dr. Shirin Hassan, Indiana University School of Optometry, Vision Rehab Services; Lise Pace, marketing manager, NIB Leadership & Employment Advocate, Bosma Enterprises; Nolan Crabb, president, American Council of the Blind of Ohio; and Ethan Crough, executive director of the Bartholomew County School Foundation.
Several vendors will be present on Saturday to demonstrate their products and share information.
For more information, visit our web site,, or contact president Mike Bowman at (317) 726-0745 or e-mail

RSVA Summer Convention Awards

At RSVA's annual awards luncheon, we presented a number of awards to deserving recipients. First, RSVA (R) acknowledged Eric Bridges in a resolution for his six years of dedicated service to ACB, especially his efforts on behalf of RSVA as the director of advocacy and governmental affairs. Some of his work for RSVA included the Presidential Memorandum and legislation affecting the Randolph-Sheppard program.
The first award given was the Don Cameron Advocacy Award, which is presented in memory of Don Cameron for his many years of service for blind vendors, especially in the areas of communication and legislation. Born in Greensboro, N.C., and educated at Virginia Commonwealth University, Ken Jessup has lived mostly in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and has always been self-employed. He worked for 25 years as a Randolph-Sheppard vendor, and has spent the last 18 years as a lobbyist representing organizations in the environment and disability fields.
Next was the Jennings Randolph Service Award, presented to someone outside of the Randolph-Sheppard program who has given his or her time and energy to Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, and for his or her service to blind vendors, but is not an active vendor. Sue Sippl has dedicated her life to her careers and her family.  She started out in the bookkeeping and accounting field.  As children arrived, she switched to the food service industry to accommodate her daughters' and husband's needs for transportation to and from school and work.  After her retirement from food service, she continued her bookkeeping and accounting for her husband's vending route. She continues to provide transportation for family, friends, and now grandchildren.
And then there's the Vendor of the Year Award.  This award is presented to an RSVA member who has been an active member for at least five years and has given his or her time and energy to Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, and for service to blind vendors. Marie Keane started her first shop at the post office in Cambridge, Mass. She has been working at her current snack shop, located in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, for six years.
Last but not least is the RSVA Distinguished Service Award, which is given periodically to members who have gone far beyond expectations, and are recognized because of their many years of service and dedication. This year, we are presenting two awards.
This winner entered the vending program in 1982. In 1985, he was the recipient of the Eva H. Smyth Award, presented by the Hawaii Association of the Blind to an individual who has made distinguished contributions to the welfare and well-being of the blind people of Hawaii. In 1986, the Hawaii Blind Vendors Association presented him with their very first Blind Vendor of the Year Award. He has always been involved in helping others. The Hawaii Association of the Blind was his brainchild. He was its first president, and has been its most dedicated member. Congratulations to Warren Toyama!
Our second winner has been in the Randolph-Sheppard Program in Louisiana for 34 years, having served as the state's elected committee chairman, treasurer for Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, and a past president of RSVA, Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of Louisiana, and Louisiana Council of the Blind.  While operating 6 locations and managing the Bingo hall, he is also the executive director for RSVL. We appreciate the many hours Terry Camardelle has invested in the Bingo operations and other efforts for RSVA.