From the President

Dear Conference/Convention Attendees:

Let me welcome you to the 50th annual national conference and convention of the American Council of the Blind here in Reno, Nevada. This historic gathering of ACB members and friends is taking place at John Ascuaga's Nugget, a thoroughly modern facility with all the amenities one would expect from an up-to-date Nevada hotel and casino.

The theme of the 2011 conference and convention is "ACB in the Silver State: Golden Past, Diamond Future," a theme which highlights both our geographic location and the golden anniversary of the founding of the American Council of the Blind in July 1961. This is a part of the country I have enjoyed visiting on several occasions in previous years. From the narrated boat cruise on Lake Tahoe and leisurely stroll through Virginia City, to a long-ago trip to see hundreds of vintage cars at the automobile museum, this area has been one of my favorite places to explore. I urge you to take advantage of the wide variety of tours available this week and experience this fascinating part of the country.

This year's conference and convention will offer a variety of presentations, but as this is our 50th anniversary, I'd like to highlight two in particular. Thanks to the efforts of ACB's oral history project, you will hear by recording from six former ACB presidents - one each during plenary sessions beginning Sunday evening. Three panels will focus respectively on ACB's establishment and early years, our current accomplishments, and future direction as an organization.

Once again, the ACB Board of Directors wishes to acknowledge and thank our staff in the D.C. and Minneapolis area offices, as well as the scores of volunteers who work so tirelessly between conventions, not to mention their nonstop efforts during this week's celebration. Special recognition also goes to the members of the Convention Committee, Convention Program Committee, and Nevada Host Committee for their commitment and hard work during the past year.

I want to welcome those of you attending your first national conference and convention, or attending after being away for some time. Please feel free to approach any veteran convention-goer, myself included, if you have a question about anything going on that you don't understand. I hope everyone has an informative and entertaining week and please don't hesitate to come up and introduce yourself to Donna and me if you get the chance.

Mitch Pomerantz, President