Come Collect Nuggets of Wisdom in Reno!

by Janet Dickelman
 
As you read this article, plans will be well under way for the 2017 ACB conference and convention in Sparks, Nev. Convention dates are Friday, June 30th through Friday, July 7th. 
 
Opening general session will be held Saturday evening, July 1st. This is always an event you don’t want to miss! With opening local entertainment, the thrill of the color guard presenting the flag, a rousing rendition by a local vocalist of the Star-Spangled Banner and presentations by ACB’s president, Kim Charlson, the local president of the Nevada Council of the Blind, major sponsors, our Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers, angel memorial recipients and the affiliate roll call, where affiliates announce their donations to support ACB. Daily general sessions will continue mornings Sunday through Wednesday and all day Thursday (7/2 through 7/6).
 
We are working on obtaining a speaker for our banquet on Thursday evening; stay tuned for banquet details. The exhibit hall will open on Saturday, July 1st and will remain open through Wednesday, July 5th.  This is a must-visit spot filled with items of technology, health, daily living and recreation.  
 
Special-interest affiliates and committees will hold programs, seminars and workshops beginning Saturday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 5.
 
Career Development
 
If you are a first-time convention attendee, if you haven’t joined us in several years, or if you are a veteran conventioneer, here is some information to assist you in determining what activities might help with career development. This is just a sampling of what the convention has to offer.
 
During convention week you can attend approximately 200 workshops, seminars, programs and focus groups held by our affiliates, committees and business partners.
 
Every convention features unique opportunities to learn new skills, tips and techniques on a wide range of topics.  Seminars on diabetes, employment issues, rehabilitation, transportation and access to off-the-shelf technology are some examples.  Get instruction and tips on items such as iDevices, screen readers, braille notetakers, low-vision products, guide dogs and much more.
 
Learn about audio description by attending ACB film night. Find support from groups for women, multicultural concerns and the LGBT community.
 
ACB general sessions address education, rehabilitation, employment, access, health-related issues and much more.  The presentations by a talking book narrator, update on library services and our international guest are always popular segments.
 
Our exhibit hall will be filled with approximately 60 vendors featuring cutting-edge technology for blind and visually impaired users, items for daily living, recreation and personal items such as jewelry, candles, and so much more.
 
There are affiliates holding programs for teachers, students, families, attorneys and individuals who are losing their sight.  You can find a program for any special-interest group at the 2017 convention.  Discuss attending the convention with your employer and point out all the educational opportunities available; your employer may be able to assist with some of the convention costs.
 
Scheduling Events
 
In order to be listed on the registration form, information must be submitted to me by March 31, 2017.
 
When scheduling an event at the 2017 conference and convention, please keep the following times in mind. Breakfasts begin at 7:00; lunches begin at 12:15.
 
There are five convention session times:
Session one (1:15 to 2:30) is reserved for special-interest affiliates.
Sessions two (2:45 to 4:00) and three (4:15 to 5:30) are open to special-interest affiliates and ACB committees.
Sessions four (5:45 to 7:00) and five (7:15 to 8:30) are available to affiliates, committees and others not affiliated with ACB.
 
Anyone wishing to schedule programs or activities in Reno, including activities outside the hotel, or reserve meeting rooms, order food or audio-visual equipment, etc., must make those arrangements by contacting me directly.
 
Hotel Details
 
All rooms at the Nugget have refrigerators and safes. Room rates at the Nugget Casino Resort are $89 (single or double occupancy), with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room. Room tax is currently 13.5%. Effective June 2016 there is also a $2 per day tourism tax added to each room.  When you book your reservation, one night’s stay will be charged to your credit card.
 
Included in the room rate is the hotel resort fee, which covers:
·      Round-trip shuttle transportation to and from Reno-Tahoe International Airport
·      Complimentary wireless Internet in guestrooms
·      Daily complimentary bottled water, 2 bottles per room per day
·      Unlimited use of the year-round Atrium Pool
·      Unlimited use of the Fitness Center
·      Full-service concierge
·      Valet and self-parking in the secured covered parking structure
 
To make reservations via telephone, call 1-800-648-1177 and ask for group code GACB17. You may also make reservations online at www.acb.org and following the 2017 conference and convention link.
 
Staying in Touch
 
The convention announce list will be filled with information again this year! To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org. If you received updates for the 2016 convention, you do not need to subscribe again.
 
Convention Contacts
 
2017 exhibit information:  Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
 
2017 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
 
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059, or via e-mail, janet.dickelman@gmail.com