Register Early to Get the Extras in Dallas! by Janet Dickelman

As you read this, convention pre-registration will be up and running. You will have all the information regarding affiliate and committee programming.  You can register online at www.acb.org; follow the link for the 2015 convention registration. You may also register via telephone by calling 1-800-866-3242.
 
On the registration form you can register for conference and convention events, tours, the 2015 ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, and order the 2015 ACB commemorative pin and the 2015 T-shirt.
 
In this article you'll find an overview of some extras the convention has to offer. Convention dates are July 3-11!

Directional Beacons to Guide Your Way

Do you have an Apple iOS device that has Bluetooth 4 capability? If so, thanks to Macular Degeneration Support and their partner, Macular Degeneration Foundation, for their donation of indoor navigation technology to ACB’s 2015 conference and convention. The guidance system works by sending audible instructions and location descriptions to Apple iOS devices with Bluetooth capability. The information is electronically transmitted by beacons that will be placed near meeting rooms, restrooms, elevators and other venues.

Calling All Kids!

Kids’ Explorers Club has two amazing leaders, Jennifer and Bart. They are both teachers and very enthusiastic about our upcoming program. If you plan to bring a child ages 6 to 13 to this year’s convention, we have some really great trips planned. Kids’ Club will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Each day includes breakfast, lunch, crafts, swimming and a daily field trip.

  • Visit the Dallas Zoo on Monday;
  • Go ice-skating indoors on Tuesday;
  • See a movie and have lunch at Studio Grill on Wednesday;
  • Visit the Perot Museum of Science and Nature on Thursday; and
  • End the week with arcade games and bowling on Friday.

Kids’ Explorers Club will also be open Sunday evening during opening general session and Friday during the ACB banquet.

Breakfast, Anyone?

On Monday, July 6, join the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for its annual breakfast meeting. AFB staff, including president Carl Augusto, will share with attendees what’s new at AFB and answer questions.
 
Tuesday, July 7 features the Guide Dogs for the Blind breakfast. GDB alumni connect with friends and staff; GDB alumni and those considering the guide dog lifestyle are welcome.
 
On Wednesday, July 8, National Industries for the blind will host its annual breakfast.

Technology

Google will hold sessions Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Topics include: All about Android Lollipop; Docs & Drive for Power Users; Google Chrome & Chrome OS; and an open house with demos of Google’s latest hardware and software. ACB sends out a very big thank-you to Google, a corporate sponsor for the 2015 conference and convention at the diamond level.
 
HumanWare, a conference and convention ruby sponsor, will host two seminars. On Monday, the topic will be “Why I love my Victor Reader Stream.” Tuesday’s seminar will feature the HumanWare Breeze+ talking GPS system.
 
HIMS will hold a couple of seminars on Sunday: one on HIMS braille products and E-bot, the other on tablets and video magnifiers.
 
Ai Squared will hold the following sessions on Sunday:

  • Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office and the paid-for version of Window-Eyes
  • Spoiler alert!  ZoomText & Window-Eyes are getting married!
  • ZoomText, ZoomText Mac, Image Reader, and CamReader
  • ZoomText University and the Window-Eyes Training Class

New this year is Fedora Outlier, LLC. Fedora will hold hands-on workshops on iOS for the iPhone/iPad and sessions on the Mac on Saturday and Monday.
 
BookShare will host a members-only event on Tuesday.

Stay Connected

Once again this year, the convention announcement list will be filled with information about the convention. Subscribe to the list today by sending a blank e-mail to acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org. If you’ve been on the list in the past, you don’t need to subscribe again. Don’t have e-mail? No problem! New this year, 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 for single through quadruple occupancy, plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 13%) and tourism district fees (2%). For reservations by telephone, call 1-888-627-8191, and be sure to mention that you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2015 convention link.

Convention Contacts

2015 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
2015 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
 
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or janet.dickelman@gmail.com.