Convention Attendees Find ‘The Real Deal’ in Las Vegas, by Sharon Lovering

This year, the convention resumed its normal schedule, with the opening session on Sunday night. Convention-goers found triple-digit heat awaiting them when they arrived at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. It got so hot that ScoopMasters put mats out on the sidewalks near the relief areas so the dogs wouldn’t burn their paws!

Sunday

ACB president Kim Charlson greeted everyone, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 53rd annual convention of the American Council of the Blind!”  Rick Kuhlmey, president of the Nevada Council of the Blind, welcomed everyone to Las Vegas. After all the welcomes, Charlson presented her report. (For the full text, see the September and October issues, as well as this issue.)
 
Charlson and Lane Waters then introduced this year’s new ACB life members: Shelia Towns of Tennessee; Gretha McLamb of North Carolina; Ray Campbell of Illinois; Sandra Edwards of Arkansas; Eldon Cox of Missouri; Albert Pietrolungo of Maryland; and Eugene Spurrier of Maryland. 
 
Charlson thought that was all the life members, until Waters interrupted. “It was brought to my attention earlier this afternoon that there’s been a serious omission and someone has been forgotten that is going to be receiving one of these awards tonight,” he said. Then Brian Charlson spoke. “On behalf of the Bay State Council of the Blind … [we] would like to honor [Kim Charlson],” Brian said.
 
Afterward, Kim Charlson called on Dan Spoone to introduce the ACB Angels Memorial Tribute program. “The idea of this program is to honor individuals and guide dogs who have been a member of our family,” Spoone said. (For details, see “Special Ceremony Introduces ACB Angels Memorial Tribute at Opening Session” in the September issue.) He then introduced Dan Dillon, who sang “On the Other Side” as a tribute to Brenda. Several people came forward to donate in memory of their loved ones, both human and canine.
 
Allen Casey introduced this year’s Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers: Carol McGhee of West Virginia and Steve Fiksdal of Washington.
 
Charlson next called on Jean Mann to give the first credentials report.  “Now I know what you all go through, because I’m the membership chair of New York,” Mann quipped. There were some problems with the recertification process, and two affiliates would not be seated: Delaware and ACB Human Service Professionals.  Neither had the required 13 members as of the March 15th deadline.
 
The session wrapped up with the roll call of affiliates.

Monday

Charlson called the session to order. The convention then adopted the standing rules, and Jean Mann gave the final credentials report. “This year around March 14th, 15th, I started getting these panicked phone calls,” Mann said. She recommended affiliates set a deadline for their chapters to get information in, and that affiliates work on their changes, deletions and additions as they come in. Mann also reminded the audience to double-check their lists, and to count their paid members and send the check in on time. The convention adopted the credentials report.
 
Afterward, John Huffman gave the first reading of a proposed constitutional amendment.
 
Charlson turned the podium over to Jeff Thom, who called on Chelle Hart to present the affiliate membership growth awards. This year’s winners were: ACB of Colorado for the largest percentage of increase (82.6 percent), and the California Council of the Blind for the largest number of new members (242 people).
 
Thom then introduced Denise Colley, chair of the board of publications, to present awards. Colley first tackled the Ned E. Freeman Writing Award; it went to the author of “How Braille Changed My Life” (April 2013), Jan Lavine of Stillwater, Okla.
 
 “We don’t normally do this, but we have an honorable mention this year for this award,” Colley said. It went to Sara Conrad for her article, “Brenda Dillon: Keeping Her Spirit Alive.”
 
Colley presented the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award to “The Houston Council of the Blind Beacon.” She then talked briefly about the Vernon Henley Media Award. “This one is also a surprise, and it took a little doing … to keep this a surprise,” Colley said. As she described the person, audience members looked around to find the winner. The winner was Joel Snyder.
 
Thom introduced Mark Hall-Patton, administrator for the Clark County Museum System, for a bit of Nevada history. “Some of you may be aware that this is the sesquicentennial of Nevada,” Hall-Patton stated.  But Las Vegas was not part of the state until 1867. Why did they change the state’s borders? “In the Civil War, the territory of Arizona leaned Confederate …” After the war ended, the government gave some of Arizona’s land to Nevada; Nevada took the land, but didn’t tell the residents of that area.
 
Because people thought their towns were still part of Arizona, that’s where they were sending their taxes.  A tax collector showed up in 1869, he said, “and he told the miners down in Eldorado Canyon, ‘Oh by the way, you’re in Nevada and you owe us three years of back taxes.’ And they said, ‘No we don’t, we’re in Arizona.’”  In 1870, the government finally sent surveyors to the area.
 
“It’s kind of hard to imagine just how far out in the middle of nowhere this area was in the 1860s, 1870s, 1880s,” Hall-Patton continued. “There was no way to get here except just going across the desert or coming up the river. … In the 1860s and 1870s and 1880s the river was actually navigable. You could take steamships all the way from Yuma … to where Hoover Dam is today.”
 
After the break, the convention got an update on accessible tactile currency from Dawn Haley, senior advisor to the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Haley reminded everyone that making changes to currency was a slow process. The bureau developed the iNote application to allow individuals to scan and hear the denominations of U.S. currency. The app is free and runs on all iPhones 3g and later, iPads, and iPods. Version 2.0 was released in December 2013 with a feature that automatically identifies the bill.  BEP also has available an app for Android-based mobile devices, the Ideal Currency Identifier, which can be downloaded from Google Play. For more information, go to www.bep.gov.
 
“Of course these currency reader apps are not in lieu of other methods to provide meaningful access,” Haley noted. The bureau will roll out the currency reader nationally on Jan. 2, 2015. But first, there would be a four-month pilot program beginning Sept. 2, where NLS patrons can pre-order a currency reader. Convention attendees who were current NLS patrons were able to pick them up in the exhibit hall. For more information, call 1-844-815-9388 or visit ourmeaningful.access.bep.gov.
 
Haley discussed the tactile feature issue. “Bank note redesign is an extremely complex and technical process, and while I don’t want to get too bogged down in the scientific or technical aspects … I do think it would be helpful for me to illustrate why it takes so long,” she said. The government plans bill designs as “families,” where all denominations that are redesigned are considered a “family.” The new family of bills is already in the planning stages, and the $10 is scheduled to be the first in the family to contain a tactile feature, she stated. “However, if there is a threat against a different denomination, then the $10 could be pushed aside for something else, but whatever note comes out next will have a tactile feature.”
 
Mark Richert then read a resolution dealing with paper currency, which was adopted.
 
The next speaker was Karen Keninger, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She listed the priorities for the year. First on her list was expanding the NLS collection. “NLS has traditionally done about 2,000 talking books a year and maybe up to 500 braille books a year,” she said. “But that’s not enough. So we’re doing more.” NLS is accepting recordings from network libraries, and has opened up BARD to locally produced materials. Today there are about 23 new audio titles available on BARD, with more in the works. NLS has also added about 1,200 locally produced braille titles to Web-Braille.
 
NLS has been working with local audio producers, too, she said. The library has agreements with four major audio publishers to get their recordings at no cost to NLS. It has also been converting its analog titles to digital, at a rate of about 4,000 to 5,000 a year, and hopes to finish the process in the next three to four years.  Another thing NLS is trying is putting multiple titles on a cartridge when those titles are part of a series.
 
Her next priority was to use technology to make more books available sooner. Last fall NLS released BARD Mobile for iOS devices. NLS is working on the newest version of that app, which will include a sleep timer and an improved braille portion, she noted.  An Android app is also in development.  The library is currently working on the requirements for the next digital talking book machine, and seeking new braille producers, Keninger added. If there are things you want to see in the new machine, let NLS know.
 
The convention moved on to access to QuickBooks. Albert Rizzi, founder and CEO of My Blind Spot, Inc., spoke first.  “What My Blind Spot has achieved could not have been realized without my having joined this family,” Rizzi said. “What we’ve accomplished through a simple dialogue … is why we are here today to talk about the accessibility and usability that was built back into a 20-year program ...”
 
Rizzi presented a plaque to Ted Drake of Intuit. Drake, who manages accessibility for Intuit products, stated that QuickBooks Desktop is the fully accessible version, and that the company is working to get the online version accessible, too.

Tuesday

Charlson called the session to order. Mike Godino presented the nominating committee report.  Board nominees were: Allan Peterson, Horace, N.D.; Patrick Sheehan, Silver Spring, Md.; David Trott, Talladega, Ala.; and Katie Frederick, Columbus, Ohio. For the board of publications, nominees were: Doug Powell, Falls Church, Va., and Judy Wilkinson, San Leandro, Calif.
 
Charlson turned the microphone over to second vice president Marlaina Lieberg, who introduced Michael Garrett, chairman of the scholarship committee, to present the scholarship winners.  (For more information, watch for “And the 2014-2015 Scholarship Winners Are …” in December’s E-Forum.)
 
After the break, the convention heard from Tom Wlodkowski, vice president of Comcast Accessibility.  “It’s really nice to be working on products that people are interested in. I think there’s some interest in video description around here, correct? How about braille and large-print channel line-ups? … Accessible program guides, maybe?” Attendees applauded loudly.
 
Wlodkowski said that Charlie Herrin, senior vice president of product design and development, gave the team the mission of building the smart home for everyone. “A couple of years ago he said, ‘You think we need an [accessible] remote control, like something that’s targeted at folks with disabilities?’ And of course I said, ‘No, we don’t need that, Charlie.’ … Two years later I walked back into his office and said, ‘Charlie, you know what I’m doing at this convention? Creating a focus group so that we can figure out what that remote will look like that you talked about two years ago.’”
 
Comcast customers can order braille and large-print channel guides by calling the customer service center for people with disabilities at 1-855-270-0379 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern, or sending e-mail to accessibility@comcast.com. For general information on Comcast’s accessibility efforts, visit www.comcast.com/accessibility.
 
The convention next heard from Rob Sinclair, chief accessibility officer of Microsoft Corporation. One of the new things at Microsoft is the CEO, Satya Nadella, who is “talking publicly about three things: … mobile, … cloud technologies, and … people-centric technologies. And that’s really where I think … accessibility directly aligns with where the company is heading.”
 
Microsoft is thinking about the economics of accessibility, Sinclair said, and mentioned the partnership with GW Micro and Microsoft Office. “That was directly in response to the feedback we’ve heard about the desire for having commercial-quality established screen readers at a different price point,” he added. Microsoft continues to work with other AT vendors, too, such as Freedom Scientific, Dolphin, and NVDA.
 
Microsoft is also working its own program, Windows Narrator. He asked for a show of hands of those who use an Apple product, and those who use Office, and got tremendous applause. “… We’re not just investing in technology. We’re also trying to think deeply about how do we raise awareness about accessibility and the power of technology to really be a benefit. Because there are still so many people today … that are amazed that somebody who’s blind can use a computer.”
 
Sinclair encouraged people to try the Disability Answer Desk; you can reach it by calling 1-800-936-5900.
 
After a tribute to Greg Brayton, one of the early DJs of ACB Radio, the convention heard an update on ACB’s Audio Description Project. Panelists were Dan Spoone and Joel Snyder. Spoone took his listeners back to 1999. He and Leslie had just married, and their state library was offering a program that users could join for $25, which would send subscribers one audio-described movie on VHS tape per month. “Look where we’ve come in 15 years! We now have over 1,000 parks and museums that are offering audio description tours. We have over 500 — soon to be thousands — of movie theaters offering audio description.”
 
Joel Snyder, director of the Audio Description Project, spoke next.  “I’m pleased that the Audio Description Project — and ACB — has been such a big part in all of those advancements,” he said. ADP created the audio-described tour of the White House, voiced by Ed Walker, with welcoming remarks from the First Lady. You can make a reservation for the tour through your Congressman.  For more information, visit www.acb.org/adp.

Wednesday

Wednesday was all about information access.  Charlson called on John Huffman for constitution and bylaws amendments. Huffman briefly described two proposed amendments that had been received and withdrawn. Following him was Mark Richert, chair of the resolutions committee. Richert read a resolution about fire codes and another about braille instruction; both were adopted.
 
Charlson turned the microphone over to Ray Campbell, the day’s presiding officer.  Campbell introduced Gabriella Cavallero, a narrator from Talking Book Publishing Company in Denver, Colo.  Cavallero reminisced about a night when her family went to a concert for children, and how the leading lady “led us … [in] a story that night, weaving it around all the instruments up on that stage, all those melodies, and I was totally mesmerized. And I thought, ‘Wow. That’s magic. I love how my worlds, music and words and stories, get to be woven together, how she does that. I want to do that!’”
 
She said that she had moved with her family to the United States when she was 8. “I had a nasal Puerto Rican accent, which I got rid of very fast because I got made fun of very badly,” she added. “But the feeling of being [on] a totally different planet was not as easily banished as losing my accent. I loved recording Julia Alvarez’s ‘How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents’ ...” She read a snippet from the book.
 
Cavallero said she always felt like an outsider, until she discovered theater. “I got a BA in theater … Then my MFA in acting in a conservatory in beautiful Denver, Colorado, led me to be a part of … the Denver Center Theater Company, and to find a home at Talking Book Publishers … Who would’ve thought that after that woman on stage with the great voice planting that seed, I would indeed become a narrator … for the National Library Service? Total dream come true!”
 
Cavallero has played a variety of parts, from queens to ladies of the court to ladies of the evening. The studio was abuzz when she recorded “Fifty Shades of Gray.” “I had quite an adventure for the next three weeks,” she said. “All the monitors seemed to want to at least have one shift with me to see why … these books were flying off the shelves and making billions.”  She wrapped up with a collage of some of her favorite writings.
 
The convention next heard about cell phone technology with a panel moderated by Brian Charlson. “It used to be that what we talked about in the blindness community was ‘We need choice,’” Charlson stated. “And then it started happening to us. And then we had to start to figure out, ‘So which one do I choose?’”
 
Charlson then introduced the panelists. Dr. Stephen McCormack of Visus Technologies spoke first.  “The iPhone is a wonderful tool, and it’s opened up a world of difference for people,” McCormack said. “Throughout the course of really working within the field I noted that there were some very gigantic gaps in the ability of the individuals to do a number of things. The three that came paramount to me were: the independence first and foremost, the ability to communicate with loved ones … and then, more broadly, the social networking that’s taking place right now …”
 
McCormack mentioned that he’d worked with students at the Carroll Center. “We were asking them point-blank, ‘OK, what is it that you want? What do you need? …’” He introduced the Velasense system, which connects an Android phone or tablet with a computer system that includes Cloud computing, social media, and much more.
 
Next was Jennifer Crutchfield from Sprint. Crutchfield informed the audience that Sprint began its journey into accessibility about four years ago, when Eric Bridges asked what Sprint was doing about it. The company realized that choice was important, and one device wasn’t enough. She asked her listeners to continue to send feedback.
 
The final panel member, Joseph Martini, director of assistive technology at Perkins Products, discussed the Odin VI phone. He said the phone had been introduced in the U.S. within the last six to eight months, and that it fits in the palm of your hand. The phone can make calls, send texts, and manage your contacts.
 
After the break, the convention heard about access to prescription medications. Melanie Brunson asked how many people took prescription medications, and how many had ever gotten their medications mixed up. The applause levels were about the same for both questions. She called on Mitch Pomerantz to discuss the best practices that were developed.
 
Pomerantz described how legislation mandated the creation of a working group composed of members of the blind community and the senior community, along with representatives from pharmacies. That group worked hard to craft a best practices document that included how braille, large print, and audio material should be provided. The document was adopted by the working group, then approved by the U.S. Access Board around convention time last year.
 
The next step was to involve the National Council on Disability, which was to develop an outreach and education campaign, he continued. NCD “really has not done its job. They’ve fallen flat on their prescription.”  Pomerantz asked attendees to get a copy of the best practices document off the ACB web site and take it to their pharmacies.
 
Brunson introduced Lainey Feingold, an attorney who has been working with pharmacies on structured negotiations; she joined the panel via phone. Feingold thanked ACB for its leadership on access to prescription information; CVS, Walgreens and Walmart for working through structured negotiations to be the first in the U.S. to offer accessible prescription information to their blind customers; and Rite-Aid, Caremark, Humana’s mail order pharmacy, and ExpressScripts.  Visit www.lflegal.com/2014/07/talking-prescription-labels/ for more information.
 
The next segment involved demonstrations of various devices, beginning with Walgreens’ Talking Pill Reminder.  Brunson purchased one at her local Walgreens; the device is round, about the same diameter as a pill bottle, comes with some adhesive tape, and affixes to the bottom of the bottle.  She played a recording of the device.
 
David Raistrick, vice president of En-Vision America, demonstrated the ScripTalk. He said his company began this kind of work in 2002 with the Veterans Administration. “It’s taken all this time to get pharmacies … to act upon that issue,” he added.
 
Then the convention heard about AccessaMed’s Digital Audio Label, demonstrated by Chad Hazen, director of community outreach. Hazen said the company started on the Digital Audio Label project about two and a half years ago. He invited people to check out the device at the exhibit booth and to visit www.accessamed.com for more information.
 
Brunson introduced AudibleRx.com, which gives consumers access to the printed information that comes with prescriptions, and Dr. Steve Leuck, the owner and president of the company. The information comes in digital audio form. “We like to call it medication information you listen to,” Leuck quipped. The information on the web site is also available via Android app and iTunes.
 
Following the panel, John Huffman gave the first reading of a proposed amendment.  Mark Richert then read two resolutions, one regarding orientation and mobility instruction and one dealing with Randolph-Sheppard vending facilities; both passed.

Thursday

Charlson called on Mark Richert for resolutions.  Richert read one that dealt with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and another that dealt with Section 508 and the U.S. Department of Justice; both passed. Afterward, John Huffman gave the second reading of a proposed constitutional amendment regarding non-discrimination, which passed.
 
Charlson then turned the microphone over to Carla Ruschival, who called on Melanie Brunson to give her report. Brunson read the “best of times, worst of times” passage from Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” to introduce her report. “As I reflected on the past year for ACB and for our community in general, it occurred to me that this passage pretty accurately describes the situation we face. As we have heard presentations throughout this past week, it’s been clear that ACB and the disability community in general face many challenges ... But we also have many opportunities to make a huge difference.”
 
Brunson’s example of a challenge was this year’s convention. “The number of companies that are represented here is incredible,” she noted. The other thing that impressed her was the sheer numbers of people those companies had brought with them; Google had 13 people, Amazon had quite a few, and Sprint had 10 people. She commended the companies for their involvement. “This is the result of work begun by your director of external relations and policy Eric Bridges … We have come a long way, and I believe that we have every reason to believe that we can continue to move forward with efforts to enhance accessibility to our society at all levels because of the reputation that ACB has achieved.”
 
It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened because ACB stuck to its guns and continued to work on the issues, she added. “… Sometimes advocacy work, whether it be advocacy with industry or government or other entities, begins with the behind-the-scenes work, work that sometimes seems routine and insignificant, but it is valuable work, and without it, the job doesn’t get done.” Such work involves people at all levels, including administrative and management staff from the office, and volunteers. She thanked the staff of both offices for all their work, as well as Larry Turnbull, Annette Carter, Tom Tobin, Jo Steigerwald, and Joel Snyder.
 
Next on the agenda was Janet Dickelman with the conference and convention report.  “For those of you who’ve heard my convention reports in the past, I’ve started out equating the convention to having a baby: pregnancy, labor, childbirth,” Dickelman said. “This year I’m kind of thinking our convention is a toddler, and anyone who’s a parent or grandparent or takes care of children knows all about toddlers and two-year-olds …” She thanked the host committee, the telephone registration crew, the convention committee members, the volunteers, the Minnesota office, and the Riviera staff.
 
The 2015 convention will be held July 3-11 in Dallas, Tex., at the Sheraton Downtown; the 2016 convention will be at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, Minn., July 1-9. Room rates for Dallas and Minneapolis are $89 per night plus tax.
 
After the break, conventioneers heard a report on the walk and auction. Dan Spoone thanked all the affiliates for their contributions this year, and for their continued support of the MMS program. He said that ACB received $11,000 during the roll call, and $5,000 in donations to the Angels program Sunday night. The auction raised more than $20,000 for ACB. Dan Dillon said the walk had raised $33,738 as of July 17.  The top team was the Brenda Dillon Mall Walkers from Tennessee, which raised more than $3,600.
 
The next speaker was Michael Garrett, presenting the ACB Enterprises and Services report. ACBES operates five thrift stores across the country. “The thrift store business — and the key word in that phrase is ‘business’ — is a competitive and challenging business subject to the same challenges that any other business faces,” Garrett said. “Our mission at ACBES is to provide financial contributions to ACB to sustain its mission and its goals.”
 
Ruschival then presented her report. She gave the figures from the first 5 months of 2014. The total support and revenue budgeted for 2014 is $772,669. “When you divide that by 12 and multiply by 5 … the part of the budget that you would expect to have received by this time would be $321,945,” she stated. On the expense side, total budgeted $1,109,746 for 2014; through May, the amount actually expended was just $424,633.
 
ACB was very fortunate to receive a six-figure bequest in the spring, she said. “I want to caution you that in listening to these numbers, the bequest makes things look pretty good. … We need to remember that … we cannot depend on bequests, especially $400,000 bequests, just kind of happening all the time ...” Because of the bequest, ACB has a surplus at this point of $382,195. The board has put most of the bequest money into reserves.
 
Ruschival called on Richert for a few resolutions. He tackled a resolution dealing with 14(c) certificates, and another that dealt with the misrepresentation of service animals; both passed after discussion.

Friday

Mark Richert first read a resolution dealing with Lions replica canes, which passed.  He then tackled resolutions dealing with access to Medicare information, technology and library access, and identification of download-only BARD books; all passed. John Huffman then gave the second reading of the affiliate relations amendment, which passed after much discussion.
 
Before elections began, Mike Godino reviewed the nominating committee’s slate. Peterson, Sheehan, Trott and Frederick were elected by acclamation. Charlson called for nominations from the floor for the final seat. Martin Kuhn nominated George Holliday; Debra Wells nominated Kim Hebert.  While the voting crew distributed ballots, Richert read resolutions dealing with mail delivery and the vending stand program; both passed.
 
Following the roll call, Richert read a resolution dealing with taxis and ride-share companies, which passed. Charlson then announced that Holliday had won the election, 773 votes (90.15 percent) to 84.5 (9.85 percent).
 
Next up were elections for the board of publications.  Doug Powell and Judy Wilkinson were elected by acclamation.  Charlson then called for nominations from the floor for the remaining seat. Kathy Devin nominated Tom Mitchell. With no other nominations, Mitchell too was elected by acclamation.
 
After a few door prizes, Richert read the remaining resolutions, dealing with accessible set-top boxes and TV, plus expressions of thanks to the hotel, host committee and Nevada Council of the Blind, and the volunteers.  All passed.
 
After announcements, the convention adjourned.

Captions

Kim Charlson begins the life membership presentations. She is standing on stage speaking into a podium microphone, wearing a black-and-green-printed dress and dark sunglasses.
 
Dan Spoone talks about the ACB Angels Memorial Tribute program. He is wearing a red plaid shirt and speaking into the podium microphone. Dan Dillon is seated behind him, wearing a dark green shirt and holding a guitar.
 
Donna Pomerantz accepts the Affiliate Growth Award for California from Chelle Hart.  California had 242 new members in 2014. Donna is standing on stage behind the podium microphone, wearing a black shirt and a gold necklace. Chelle is standing beside her on the left, wearing a white knit vest over a dark dress.
 
Denise Colley, left, presents the Hollis K. Liggett Braille Free Press Award to “The Houston Council of the Blind Beacon.” Peggy Garrett, standing on the right behind the podium microphone, accepts on behalf of the newsletter editor.
 
Dawn Haley discusses the process of making currency accessible. She stands on stage behind the podium microphone; the podium has the word “Riviera” on the front. She is wearing an army green blouse under a golden-brown sweater, tortoiseshell glasses, gold hoop earrings, and a long gold necklace.
 
Karen Keninger discusses what’s new at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She’s standing on stage behind the podium, speaking into the microphone. She’s wearing a beige blouse, green suit jacket, and gold necklace with polished stones.
 
Tom Wlodkowski tells the audience about Comcast’s accessibility team, video description, braille and large-print channel guides, and the new customer support center for people with disabilities. He’s standing behind the podium microphone on stage, wearing a white pinstriped shirt and navy blue tie. Behind him, just visible, is the American Council of the Blind banner.
 
Gabriella Cavallero tells the audience how her dream of becoming a talking book narrator came true. She is standing behind the Riviera podium microphone, wearing a deep red sleeveless V-neck dress and a silver necklace.
 
David Raistrick, right, of En-Vision America demonstrates the ScripTalk device. He is wearing a white polo shirt, and speaking into a microphone at the head table on stage. On the left is Dr. Steve Leuck, wearing a dark shirt, paisley tie, and dark horn-rimmed glasses.
 
ACB’s executive director, Melanie Brunson, reads from “A Tale of Two Cities” at the start of her report. She is standing behind the podium microphone, wearing a periwinkle suit jacket, gray shirt, pearl necklace, and dark sunglasses.
 
The ACB board and officers. Top row: David Trott, John McCann, George Holliday, Michael Garrett, Dan Spoone, Ray Campbell, Jeff Thom, Allan Peterson, Berl Colley, Mitch Pomerantz and Pat Sheehan. Bottom row: Sara Conrad, Katie Frederick, Kim Charlson, Marlaina Lieberg, Melanie Brunson, Denise Colley and Carla Ruschival.