Affiliate News

Get Ready for the Next Generation of ACB!

The American Council of the Blind is about to gain a brand-new affiliate.  At the 2014 ACB conference and convention in Las Vegas, a group of young professionals came together to create ACB Next Generation (ACBNG). The purpose of this affiliate is to promote membership of young adults and professionals in the national organization; connect this demographic with resources and networking opportunities; help bridge the gap to existing affiliates, and to develop leadership skills for the next generation of ACB leaders.
Here is what we have accomplished thus far:

  • Elected a provisional board of directors:

    • President - Tiffany Jolliff – Virginia
    • First VP - Sara Conrad – Michigan
    • Secretary - Katie Frederick – Ohio
    • Director - Rebecca Bridges – Virginia
    • Director - Caitlin Mongillo – Connecticut
  • Created a Facebook page (
  •  Set up a Twitter account (@acb_next_gen).
  • Created our own ACB listserv.  To subscribe, please visit

To date, we have had two well-attended membership calls, and we have decided to hold all future calls on the first Thursday of every month at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.  To join our calls, dial (857) 232-0159 and use the access code, 361875.
The intent for these monthly calls is to be a time for the membership to come together and chat about the issues currently facing our age group. Some of our calls will include special guest presentations and others will be a time for purely socializing. We have also done some brainstorming within our group, and come up with ideas to keep our membership connected with each other and with ACB.
We invite you to join us or share our information with anyone you think may be interested in learning more about us. We also welcome your support and input on our e-mail lists and social media pages. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tiffany Jolliff at ACBNG is excited to cultivate the next generation of leaders in ACB and to contribute to the work of this great organization

New Affiliate for Those with Cerebral Palsy

Alexander Scott Kaiser is a young blind adult with cerebral palsy. He needs your help to start a special-interest affiliate for blind and visually impaired individuals who have cerebral palsy.  His goals in forming an affiliate are to provide socialization, support, education, fellowship, information, advice, mentoring, and legal advocacy. From problem-solving and rehabilitation training issues to civil rights challenges unique to those with physical impairments and blindness/visual impairment, this affiliate will provide support from others who understand.
Meetings will be held by conference call on the first Saturday of the month, starting Dec. 6, 2014, at 9:59 p.m. Eastern time. To access the conference, dial (567) 704-1512 and use access code 999999#. If you are interested in joining the affiliate, contact Alexander by postal mail at Alexander Scott Kaiser, 7 Arms Ct., Brick Township, NJ 08723; send an e-mail message to; or call him at (848) 205-0208. He would like to hold an in-person meeting at the 2015 conference and convention.

Minnesota’s Winter Wonderland

The ACB of Minnesota cordially invites you to experience our winter wonderland and join us for our state convention Jan. 23-25, 2015. The theme is “The Future Is in Our Hands.” It will be held at the Holiday Inn Bloomington Airport South, 1201 W. 94th St., Bloomington, MN 55431. Room rates are $89 plus tax per night for single or double occupancy. To make reservations, call (952) 277-0242 by Dec. 31, 2014, and be sure to mention that you are with ACBM.
Friday we’ll kick off the convention at 6 p.m. with a pizza party, a bagpipe demonstration and ACBM “technology corner” featuring technology basics and computer games. Want more fun? Meet old friends and make new ones at our hospitality suite, open after Friday and Saturday evening festivities.
Saturday sessions will feature a myriad of topics: library services, news from state services for the blind, Minnesota radio talking book network, options for seniors, computer users group, changes in paratransit, and updates from the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind. In addition, there will be panel discussions focusing on audible pedestrian signals and employment opportunities. 
The "Lunch and Leisure" segment will focus on recreational opportunities in the Twin Cities, such as bowling, darts, beep baseball, and walking/running groups, among others. ACB president Kim Charlson will enlighten us about upcoming changes to the braille code; she will also be the keynote speaker at Saturday evening’s banquet. The exhibit hall will be open from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and will showcase a variety of items, including jewelry, technology, homemade soaps, products for the home and other items of interest.
On Sunday, we will hold our quarterly membership meeting. The convention will conclude at 11:30 a.m. 
Convention registration is $60, which includes two breakfasts, lunch and the banquet. Registration must be received by Jan. 15, and can be done online or via mail. To register online, visit Payment can be made at our web site through PayPal. If registering by mail, send payment to ACBM, PO Box 7341, Minneapolis, MN 55407.
If you miss this winter gala, you will have another golden opportunity to visit our great city with the 2016 national convention! Hope to see you at both events!

Hello from the ACBDA Membership Committee!

It is that time of year – time to start thinking about renewing your membership. Or, if you are diabetic and have not joined us, we would love to have you join. If you know a diabetic or someone who is interested in knowing more about diabetes, how about paying for a year's membership for them? Dues are only $10 per year. Send your check or money order to Alice Ritchhart, 139 Altama Connector, Suite 188, Brunswick, GA 31525 by the end of December. It would really be great if each member would bring in a new member. We would double our membership. Remember, this affiliate is only as strong as you make it.
If you used to be a member and have dropped out, our president, Dee Clayton, is back again and would like to see you all come back and give us another chance to make you feel welcome. To receive a complimentary copy of our newsletter, send an e-mail to  Be sure to include your format choice in your message – e-mail, braille or large print.
Each month on the second Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific), we have a conference call. The number to call is (712) 432-3675; follow the instructions to room 0. Come join us and bring your ideas as to what you would like to hear about.
We know there are still a lot of diabetics out there, so let's all make an effort to make our great affiliate grow and become one of the best affiliates in ACB.
– Pierre Curry and Carol Edwards

Small Affiliate, Big Heart: ACB Human Service Professionals

The American Council of the Blind Human Service Professionals (ACBHSP) was created in 2006 and is here to provide a forum for the advancement of the understanding, knowledge and effectiveness of its members in relation to their respective vocations and professions through various affiliate activities.
Currently, our largest success reflecting this overreaching goal is the ACBHSP e-mail list. The list posts a steady flow of insightful articles related to the helping professions.  To subscribe, go to
ACBHSP is also working toward affiliate growth, and we invite anyone with knowledge and experience in the helping professions and human services to join us. Our members possess a wide variety of educational levels and experiences, including rehabilitation counselors, mental health counselors, life coaches, teachers, psychologists, social workers, family therapists, employment specialists and many others. Annual dues are only $10.
ACBHSP interacts with many of ACB’s groups both professionally and socially. It is our goal to support these groups within ACB by serving as a source of information and support. We will hold a conference call once every quarter; our first call was held in November. Each call will focus on a relevant sociological or psychoeducational topic, and will be posted on all available social media outlets.  
To learn more about ACBHSP, look us up on Facebook by searching for American Council of the Blind Human Service Professionals. The link is  For any other information, contact Annie Chiappetta, ACBHSP program chair, at or call (914) 393-6605.

News from GDUI

GDUI continues to grow in membership and to provide advocacy and support on behalf of guide dog users across the country.
Recently, GDUI adopted a policy statement regarding misrepresentation of pets as service animals, and members and affiliates expect to utilize the statement to educate the public, including businesses and chambers of commerce about the harm that can derive from misrepresentation of untrained dogs as service animals, and to advocate with state legislators for the passage of laws that make such misrepresentation a criminal offense. Other exciting news includes the availability of PawTracks in rich text format as well as narrated MP3 downloadable files for e-mail and 4-track audio cassette subscribers, an improved and updated web site at, fund-raising programs (including a silent auction and grand-prize drawing at next summer's convention in Dallas), and a GDUI Caribbean Cruise slated for December of 2015.