Affiliate News

ACBDA Brings Back an Old Favorite

ACB Diabetics in Action is bringing back its monthly conference calls.  The first one will be on Wednesday, Dec. 11th at 9 p.m. Eastern time (6 p.m. Pacific). The conference is opened to anyone interested in diabetes.  If you have a relative, friend or know someone who is diabetic or interested in diabetes, please tell them about the conference.  The dial-in number is (712) 432-3675; follow the instructions to room 0.  President Dee Clayton will preside over the conference this month.  The topic will be "Sharing Ideas about How to Make It through the Holidays without Busting Your Diet."  People are encouraged to bring their ideas and recipes that they have incorporated into their holiday meals. 
If you are not on our listserv, we invite you to join by sending a blank e-mail message to
It's time to start thinking about renewing your membership for 2014.  If you are not already a member, please think about joining us.  You will receive a quarterly newsletter in the format of your choice: e-mail, braille, large print or cassette.  When you send your dues of $10 in, please give your name, address, phone number and e-mail address; be sure to mention whether you are blind, legally blind, partially sighted, fully sighted, or visually impaired, and which format you would like to receive "The ACB Braille Forum" and DIA newsletter.  If you join between Dec. 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014, you will receive a small gift from ACBDA.  Send your dues to Alice Ritchhart, 139 Altama Connector, Suite 188, Brunswick, GA 31525, and make checks or money orders payable to ACBDA. 
At the ACB conference/convention each year we hold our business meeting and a seminar with interesting speakers.  We have had luncheons, a breakfast and mixers in the past, but we always make sure to have time for fellowship. 
We hold our board meetings on the first Wednesday of each month.  Anyone is welcome to join the meeting at (712) 432-3675 and go to room 0.  Only members are able to vote.  Our president always announces the meeting date and time, along with the agenda, on our listserv. 
Have a great and safe holiday!

GDUI Calls for National Service Animal Protection Law

Guide Dog Users, Inc. members from across the country are reporting a frightening and increasingly frequent incidence of attacks on their guide dogs by uncontrolled dogs they encounter on their routes through neighborhoods and city streets. Their guide dog's work has all too frequently been intentionally obstructed, stated GDUI president Laurie Mehta. She explains inadequate and inconsistent laws, far too often, prevent local law enforcement agencies from exercising the authority to view and treat these violent attacks as criminal acts. That is why the organization announced it will seek a national Service Animal Protection Law as a key component of its 2013 legislative agenda.
When GDUI conducted a survey of its members, 89 percent of the 119 respondents reported having experienced interference with their dogs, and 42 percent reported experiencing a full-blown attack against their guide dogs. Of those experiencing interference, nearly 51 percent were interfered with by the same dog more than once, 47 percent planned alternate routes to avoid known problem dogs, and almost 4 percent of the guide dogs who had been attacked had to retire from working altogether as a result of the trauma they experienced during an attack. Each guide dog, specially trained for this unique job, costs approximately $50,000.
GDUI's legislative committee chairman, Don Brown, stated the organization's intent is to have legislation with criminal penalties enacted, so pet owners will be motivated to exercise additional care to control their dogs when in public. For more information, contact Don Brown at (510) 484-8282 or e-mail

North Carolina Welcomes Mark Richert, Elects Officers

At its 2013 annual convention Sept. 27-29 in Greensboro, the North Carolina Council of the Blind welcomed keynote speaker and national guest Mark Richert, Esq., director of public policy, American Foundation for the Blind.  In his remarks to the convention, Mark reviewed the evolution of regulations and legislation relating to people with disabilities.  He emphasized the importance of persistence and patience, recognizing the need to pursue goals and objectives relentlessly and acknowledging the time necessary to effect change.
Other convention speakers represented the Governor Morehead School for the Blind; North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind; North Carolina Library for the Blind; Summit Credit Union; North Carolina Lions-Camp Dogwood; Industries of the Blind-Greensboro; International Civil Rights Center and Museum; and Vanda Pharmaceuticals. 
Additionally, Iris Blackwell, NCCB's initial first-timer delegate to the ACB conference and convention, shared her experiences in Columbus.
Several officers completed their constitutional terms.  So the members elected a new slate of officers: president, Tamika Polk of Greensboro; first vice president, Terry Lewis of Durham; second vice president, Gretha McLamb of Greensboro; secretary, Iris Blackwell of Durham; treasurer, Jane Ferrita of Burlington; members at large, James Snell of Granite Falls and Tim Snyder of Mount Olive.  Outgoing president Allen Casey of Graham will remain on the board as immediate past president.