Discover Ohio in 2013

by Janet Dickelman

It's a new year, and it's time to do some serious planning for discovering our new world in Columbus, Ohio.
Come early and stay late at the 52nd annual ACB conference and convention, July 4-12, 2013. Don't miss the exhibits, tours, workshops, presentations and other events that make conference week special.


A tour option on Thursday, July 4, will be Fort Ancient.  With its 18,000 feet of well-preserved earthen embankment walls dating back 5,000 years, Fort Ancient spotlights three distinct eras in the history of man - the gatherers, the tillers of the soil, and when worlds collide.  Explore the re-creation of a prehistoric garden and many touchable artifacts.  An indoor and outdoor excursion for the whole family.
A daytime option on Friday, July 5, is a unique opportunity to discover two major agencies that provide services and employment to people who are blind.  Travel to Cincinnati to tour both the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Cincinnati Association for the Blind.
Spend the day on Friday, July 12, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  Discover the history of flight during an exclusive white-glove tour of the famous museum; you'll be invited behind the barricades to touch biplanes, World War I and II aircraft, and modern planes.  Many other surprises will pack this family-friendly day of discovery and exploration.
Once again we will offer city tours, where you can learn about the history of Columbus without leaving the comfort of your tour bus!  Other tours may include a dairy, glass-blowing demonstrations, a whistle factory, and a candy company.  In the works are a baseball game, ziplining, and a visit to Slate Run Farm (a historical 1880s-style living farm).  Visit the Santa Maria, a to-scale replica of Christopher Columbus' flagship.  More tour details coming soon.


Expanded programming for kids and teens makes this conference the perfect place for a family vacation.  The Youth Activity Center, for kids 6 to 12, will feature games, contests, crafts and excursions; breakfast, lunch, and light snacks are included.  New this year will be special activities geared for teens and young adults; watch for details.


Corporations, organizations and agencies are invited to become 2013 ACB gems.  There's a sponsorship to fit every budget, from pearl ($1,000) to diamond ($20,000).  Many advertising opportunities are also available.  Visit for information and forms, or contact Margarine Beaman, advertising and sponsorship coordinator, at (512) 921-1625 or
Exhibit booths are now available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The exhibit hall will open Saturday, July 6 at 1 p.m.; it closes Wednesday, July 10 at 3 p.m.
There's something different each day in the ACB Marketplace, a great venue to sell CDs or books, crafts, cosmetics, toys, etc.  Affiliates, chapters and committees can use Marketplace to spotlight fundraisers (no food items allowed).
Visit for exhibit and Marketplace information, or contact Michael Smitherman, exhibits coordinator, at (601) 331-7740 or


Whether you assist with a tour, the FIA Showcase, the ACB auction or walk, registration, exhibits, or some other aspect of the conference, you need to register as a volunteer with Sally Benjamin, volunteer coordinator.  Visit for complete information, or contact Sally at 1-877-630-8399 or

Planning Events

Each ACB committee and affiliate holding events at the upcoming conference and convention has a representative on the convention-planning e-mail list.  Your participation on this list is imperative if you expect your event to go smoothly.  If you are unsure whether you have a representative on this list, contact Janet Dickelman immediately.


The home for ACB in 2013 is the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus.  Room rates are $89 plus tax for up to 4 people in a room.  Reserve your room online; visit, follow the 2013 conference and convention link, and choose the direct link to the Hyatt for online reservations.  Telephone reservations can be made by calling 1-800-648-1177; be sure to mention that you are with ACB so you receive the conference rate.
For more information, call the ACB national office at (202) 467-5081 or 1-800-424-8666, or contact Janet Dickelman, national conference and convention coordinator, at (651) 428-5059 or