Convention Week Sneak Preview, by Janet Dickelman

Are you anxious to learn what will be going on during the 54th conference and convention? Do you want advance information to plan your week of seminars, programs and meetings? Read on for a snapshot of what you have to look forward to in Dallas! It all begins on Friday, July 3rd; the fun will last through Saturday, July 11th.
Pre-registration will open on May 22nd and will run through June 25th. You can find additional registration details in the April issue.
Convention week is packed with outstanding workshops, seminars, exhibits, and programs. Whether you are a teacher or rehabilitation counselor; if you are looking for a new job; if you use technology; if you can use new tips and ideas to improve your professional or everyday life, the 2015 ACB conference and convention is where you want to be.
Begin planning your week with ACB. Below is an overview of the week's schedule. This is just an overview. There will be much, much more to come. Watch for convention previews on e-mail lists and ACB Radio.
To save space, most groups are mentioned only on their first day of programming. ACB affiliates and many committees hold events throughout the convention. ACB committees not mentioned in this list have program information that is not yet available.

Friday, July 3

  • ACB tours to AT&T Stadium and Mesquite Rodeo

Saturday, July 4

  • ACB pre-convention board meeting 
  • Tech user groups and product spotlights (through Wednesday)
  • Exhibits (open through Wednesday)
  • City bus tour
  • Zero Gravity thrill-seekers tour
  • Tour to the Fort Worth Stockyards
  • Welcome to Dallas Party (Sponsored by the Dallas host committee)
  • ACB Students’ welcome party

Sunday, July 5

  • ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk 
  • Programming begins for teachers, attorneys, blind vendors, information technology specialists, guide dog users and diabetics.
  • ACB board of publications meeting
  • Scholarship winners’ luncheon
  • Sports fanatics’ luncheon
  • Keys to the convention seminar
  • Mixers for government employees (ACBGE), people with low vision (CCLVI), Friends-in-Art (FIA), and BPI (Blind LGBT Pride)
  • City bus tours and a visit to Old Red Museum and Heritage Village
  • Sunday evening: ACB's opening keynote general session begins at 7 p.m.

Monday, July 6

  • Morning general sessions begin and run through Thursday and all day Friday.
  • Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE) breakfast and meeting
  • Multicultural affairs luncheon and program
  • Special meetings and activities for library users, Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss, women's concerns, rehab task force, sight and sound impaired committee, international relations
  • ACB Recreation Zone (features healthy and fun options including yogalates and water aerobics)  
  • Afternoon tours (different venues every day through Thursday) 

Tuesday, July 7

  • Special programming for braille users and supporters of braille, and sessions for consumers of audio description.

Wednesday, July 8

  • Legislative seminar (conducted by Eric Bridges, director of external relations and policy)
  • Seminar on navigating Social Security (sponsored by NELDS and the advocacy committee)

Thursday, July 9

  • ACB membership seminar and board of publications workshop 
  • Affiliate presidents' meeting 

Friday, July 10

  • ACB all-day business session

Saturday, July 11

  • Final ACB tours: South Fork Ranch and Riding Unlimited for horseback riding, hayrides and cookout

Evening Activities


  • ACB Families Bingo
  • CCLVI game night
  • RSVA comic and karaoke
  • FIA prose and poetry reading


  • FIA Performing Arts Showcase
  • Texas Rangers baseball gam


  • ACB auction
  • BPI movie night: “The Imitation Game”


  • ACB movie night: audio-described “Birdman”


  • Life members’ reception
  • ACB banquet

Kids’ Explorers Club

Kids’ Explorers Club will open Sunday evening, July 5th. Activities will run daily from 7 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, culminating with a final party Friday evening during the ACB banquet.

Assistance at the Airport

New this year! Are you flying to Dallas? Would you like assistance at the airport? Since there are two airports in Dallas, DFW and Love Field, to make sure that either airport personnel or ACB volunteers are available to assist convention attendees from the gate to baggage and ground transportation, we are asking you to provide the following information: your name, cell phone number, arrival airport, arrival date, airline, flight number and arrival time, departure airport, departure date, airline, flight number, and departure time. Please e-mail this information to Margarine Beaman at In the subject of the e-mail, please put “airline information for ACB convention.” If you do not have e-mail, you may call Margarine at (512) 921-1625. Please provide this information to Margarine prior to June 15th if possible.

Ordering Dog Food

Once again this year, Tim and Maria Stone of Scoop Masters will be handling the dog relief areas at the ACB conference and convention.
Don’t want to tote a huge bag of dog food through the airport?  Don’t worry! You can pre-order your dog food through Scoop Masters. Food will be delivered directly to your hotel room beginning July 2nd. Scoop Masters’ web site has a list of the most popular brands. If your dog's food is not shown on the list, don't worry; Tim will try to obtain it for you. Please make any special requests prior to June 15th. All other orders should be to Tim by Wednesday, June 24th.  Visit Tim online at, or call him at 1-800-787-7667. When placing your order, make sure to give Scoop Masters your cell phone number so they can contact you in Dallas.

Stay Connected

Once again this year the convention announce list will be filled with information about the convention. Subscribe to the list today by sending a blank e-mail to If you've been on the list in the past, you don’t need to subscribe again. Don't have e-mail? No problem! Convention updates will also be featured on ACB Radio and by telephone through Audio Now at (231) 460-1047.

Hotel Details

Room rates at the Sheraton Dallas are $89 single, double, triple or quad, plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13%) and tourism district fees (2%). For reservations by telephone, call 1-888-627-8191, and make sure to mention you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit and follow the 2015 convention link.

Convention Contacts

  • 2015 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740,
  • 2015 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625,
  • For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail,