Affiliate News

AABT Teachers’ Features – What’s Going on in Dallas?

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost convention time again! As I write this, there is approximately a month and a half until we will be boarding buses, planes and trains for Texas! We hope that you will join the American Association of Blind Teachers (AABT) for all or part of our exciting convention line-up.
Our annual breakfast, program and business meeting will take place on Sunday, July 5th at 8 a.m.  This year, we are doing something a little different and very entertaining for our breakfast program.  The program title will be, “Eggs In Your Stomach and Egg On Your Face: Unforgettable Tales.” After feasting on scrambled eggs, pork sausage links, green onion hash browns and baked croissants, we invite you to share with the group stories about the times that you have had “egg on your face.” Come and tell your amusing tales about life’s little embarrassing moments that only a visual impairment can bring and be entertained by the stories of others.  I am sure that we will all have a lot of laughs, but the success of this program will depend on you.  This program will be followed by a short break and our annual business meeting and election of officers.
On Monday, July 6th, we will turn our attention to cyberspace.  We will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a workshop entitled “Accessible Distance Learning.” Our presenter will be Betsey Doane, professor emeritus of mathematics and computer science at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Conn. Come learn about the latest accessibility features in Blackboard Learn and MyMathLab™.  The “Teachers’ Round Table on Classroom Technology: Pros, Cons and Questions” will follow from 2:45-4 p.m.  The focus of this discussion will be the use of classroom technology by students and educators on all levels and the advantages and challenges that this technology brings to the educational process.  Some of our panelists will include Kate Crohan, a teacher of the visually impaired at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass.; Sue Mangis, a retired teacher of the visually impaired from Carmichael, Calif.; and Carla Hayes, a foreign language teacher of children and adults.
We will conclude our convention week offerings on Wednesday, July 8th from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. by co-sponsoring the Writers’ Workshop with Friends-In-Art.  The title of this year’s Writers’ Workshop is “From Family Lore to Life Story.” Join us in the casual atmosphere of the FIA Suite as we share activities that will help us transform our families’ oral stories into written memoirs.  Our presenter will be AABT’s own Susan Glass, an author and former college professor from Saratoga, Calif.  At the beginning of the week at our breakfast, many of you may share some funny family stories.  On Wednesday, come to the writers’ workshop and learn how you might transform your oral recollections into print and perhaps even get them published.
AABT has a lot to offer at this year’s convention.  We hope that you will come and laugh a lot and learn a lot with us!

ACB Diabetics in Action Looks Forward to Dallas

Are you ready for Dallas, Tex.? We hope you are saving time for ACBDA’s activities. We have a great lineup of speakers for the diabetes seminar on Sunday, July 5th. We have three speakers: one will discuss “Do You Know What Your Numbers Mean;” the next speaker will talk about “O and M for Diabetics,” and the third one will tell us about “New Things for Diabetes and New Technology.”
Our luncheon will be on Wednesday, July 8th with the general meeting following. The meal is: a farmer’s salad, dukkah chicken breast with a crust of nuts, and broccoli. Dessert is baked apple pie with strawberry drizzled on top, and whipped cream.
Our mixer will be on Thursday, July 9th. We will have a few different things for the mixer, including a small auction. If you have something to donate, let Sandy Feldman know at (515) 729-8427, or e-mail her at
We will also be at the marketplace a couple of times.
I am excited about everything we are planning this year, and I hope you are too! I hope we have the best turnout ever! See you in Dallas!

Git Along, Little Doggie: GDUI in Dallas

The Deep in the Hearts of Guide Dogs convention is coming, so grab your harness handle and join the guide dog round-up. GDUI will have a great convention program. Here are some of the highlights!
On Sunday, take part in a hotel orientation or a workshop on how to help you and your dog cope with convention stress.  Visit the GDUI Suite, where handlers and dogs can relax or meet up with other guide dog handlers or browse for dog-related toys and items.  Conventioneers can bid on auction items. There will also be a drawing with wonderful prizes. Maybe you can indulge in a doggie massage to help relieve your dog’s convention stress or participate in the canine massage workshop. 
The 2015 GDUI luncheon speaker is Dr. Amanda Florsheim DVM, who practices in the Dallas area and specializes in dog behavior.  Additionally, on July 6th at 7 p.m., the Guide Dog School Appreciation Reception will take place. Don’t forget to look for the GDUI program in the registration packet and come join us for a doggone good time.
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Join IVIE in Dallas for Convention 2015!

Convention time will be here before you know it! As you make your convention plans, make sure that you allow time for IVIE in your schedule.  The Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE) has a variety of fun and informative activities in store for you in Dallas.  Read on to find out more!
We begin our convention week Sunday evening, July 5th, immediately following the opening general session as we join our friends from Randolph-Sheppard Vendors for the RSVA/IVIE mixer.  Come share some refreshments and catch up with friends!
The annual IVIE breakfast and business meeting will take place on Monday, July 6th from 7:00 to 8:15 a.m.  After enjoying a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, herb-roasted red bliss potatoes, applewood smoked bacon strips and blueberry muffins, we will introduce breakfast attendees, elect officers and conduct other IVIE business.  We hope that many of you will come and help us to make very important decisions and plans for our affiliate.
Our next convention event is the annual IVIE luncheon and program, which will take place on Wednesday, July 8th from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m.  I am especially excited about this year's program.  The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) will present a workshop entitled, “Pitching Your Products and Selling Your Services.” No matter what the nature of your business is, you must constantly convince potential customers and clients that your particular product(s) or service(s) will suit their needs.  How do you make an effective sales pitch? What techniques can you use to sell yourself as a potential service provider? Come and learn about sales strategies that work.
Our final event of the week will be the IVIE Business Expo. This year, it will take place on Thursday, July 9th.  Blind and visually impaired business owners will showcase their products and services and answer your questions.  Since ACB exhibits will be closed, we hope you will come and shop at the Business Expo and support entrepreneurs who are blind or visually impaired.  Browsing is free; no ticket necessary.  However, if you would like to have a booth at the IVIE Business Expo, you must reserve it in advance.  The cost will be $10 for IVIE members and $25 for non-members with the option of joining IVIE and applying $15 of this cost toward annual IVIE dues. Since IVIE’s calendar year runs from July 1st to June 30th, this would be an excellent time to pay your dues. You can reserve your expo booth and/or pay your annual dues online by visiting IVIE’s secure web site, If you are not comfortable with paying online, you can make a check payable to IVIE and send it to Ardis Bazyn, 2121 Scott Rd., Apt. 105, Burbank, CA 91504.  Please designate whether your check is for annual dues, an expo booth, or both. If you are submitting your dues, be sure to fill out and include the IVIE membership form, available on the web site mentioned above.
This year’s IVIE convention will give you many opportunities to connect with colleagues and friends, learn new skills and promote your products and services.  We hope to see many of you in Dallas.  If you have any questions about IVIE or our convention program, contact Carla Hayes by phone at (724) 941-8184, or by e-mail at You can also visit IVIE's web site,

Georgia Council Conference in Cartersville

Mark your calendars for July 31st and Aug. 1, 2015! The Georgia Council of the Blind will host its 2015 conference in beautiful Cartersville at the Clarion Hotel.  On July 31st, we will have a fun-filled day riding horses, enjoying a picnic, visiting a local museum, and music featuring our own artists with vision loss. If you have a spare moment, you might take a swim in the fabulous outdoor pool!
On Aug. 1st, we will have our conference, which will be loaded with valuable information for all ages and interests. The luncheon speaker will be inspiring.  You will have the opportunity to learn and be refreshed to face new opportunities throughout the day. The weekend is sure to bring smiles and encouragement that life can be rich and full, regardless of any obstacles that may enter our path.
Room rates are $69 plus tax, which includes complimentary breakfast. You can book your rooms now by calling the Clarion at (770) 386-0830, or by visiting the web site, The Clarion is located at 2336 Hwy. 411 NE, White, GA 30184. Be sure to tell the reservation agent that you are with the Georgia Council of the Blind. If you have any questions, contact Marsha Farrow at (706) 859-2624, or via e-mail at