Staying Connected in Sparks

by Janet Dickelman
 
Many of you will be reading this article as you are packing for Nevada. This year’s convention will definitely live up to the theme ACB Sparks Success.  We have so many things to be proud of as an organization; come and hear about all our successes during our general sessions, Saturday, July 1, from 7 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to noon, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
Tech Sessions Offered by ACB Sponsors
 
The following sessions had not yet been scheduled when I wrote the article featuring tech sessions in the June ACB E-Forum.
 
Sunday, July 2nd through Tuesday, July 4th, 4:15 to 8 p.m.
 
Charter Communications will be present at the conference, and seeks participants to evaluate the accessibility of Spectrum web, TV and mobile products. Please join us for a 30-minute usability session to try out our products and share your experiences, so we can continue improving our accessibility efforts. To reserve a spot, email john.sweet@charter.com.
 
Tuesday, July 4th
2:45 to 5:30 p.m.
 
Microsoft will conduct a usability study to evaluate the accessibility of Office 365 products. Please participate in this session to help us better understand your needs, wants and pain points to improve Microsoft technology.  For questions or to reserve a spot, email accevent@microsoft.com. Walk-ins are welcome.
 
Also on Tuesday from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., Sprint workshop: iPhone and Android tips and tricks.
 
Wednesday, July 5th and Thursday, July 6th from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., JPMorgan Chase & Co. will conduct focus groups. JPMorgan Chase & Co.is committed to meeting the banking and financial services needs of all our customers. Members of our digital team will be on site to show you how we make digital products accessible and usable by all.  We would like your input on changes that we’re making to our online banking site. In these sessions of 1-2 participants, we will ask you to complete common banking tasks on the Chase website to get your feedback.  Sessions are expected to last approximately one hour. To attend one of the sessions, please contact Marc Kwok at marc.kwok@chase.com. You will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement in advance of the session.
 
For those of you who are still thinking about attending the convention, it isn’t too late! Don’t miss out on the outstanding general sessions, informative seminars and programming, the fabulous tours and the excitement of the exhibit hall!  You can still book a room at the Nugget Casino and Resort, the home of the 56th annual conference and convention. Reservation details are shown at the end of this article. Convention dates are June 30th through July 7th. Read on for more information.
 
For those of you who are still thinking about attending the convention, on-site registration is just $25. If you are in the Reno area and plan to come for just one day, you can purchase a one-day pass for $5.
 
Staying in Touch from Home
 
If you are unable to attend this year, there are many ways to be a part of the excitement! ACB Radio lets you stay connected with everything that is going on from the comfort of your home or office. Note: All times shown are Pacific time.
 
Be a part of the excitement of opening session, listen to all the speakers and follow ACB business and elections. General sessions begin Saturday evening, July 1, at 7 p.m., and run Sunday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. until noon, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
 
Also on ACB Radio, hear what the candidates for ACB office have to say as they answer questions at the Candidates’ Forum Tuesday, July 4th at 5:45 p.m. Hear all the great performances from the Friends-in-Art Showcase on Tuesday evening at 7:30.  Listen to ACB’s banquet, including the banquet speaker, Norma Jean Wick, the 2016 summer Olympics audio describer; presentation of awards; and announcement of “The ACB Braille Forum” raffle winners on Thursday, July 6th at 7 p.m.
 
Once again this year, ACB Radio will be broadcasting one afternoon session as a live broadcast. All live broadcasts will be on ACB Radio Mainstream.
 
Other ACB committee sessions will be recorded and broadcast later in the day on ACB Radio Live Event.
 
No computer? No problem!  You can listen to ACB Radio over the telephone by calling (605) 475-8130. Please keep in mind that long-distance charges apply.
 
Convention Announce Email List
 
To subscribe to the convention announce list, just send a blank email to acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org.
 
Convention Newspaper
 
Keep up with what’s going on at the convention with “The Reno Roundup,” our convention newspaper published Saturday, July 1 through Thursday, July 6. The newspaper will be posted to the convention announce list.
 
Social Media
 
Follow the latest goings-on at the convention on Facebook and Twitter! To follow us on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/acbnational. Or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanCounciloftheBlindOfficial.
 
Follow the convention via ACB Link on your iPhone; download and install ACB Link from the iOS app store. We will be sending out information and updates pertaining to the convention (for example: room changes). In addition, direct access to the ACB convention calendar can be obtained from within ACB Link. Streaming coverage of the convention can also be heard via ACB Link for those who are not at convention or who are working in areas other than the convention ballroom.
 
Coming to Sparks
 
For those of you who will be attending the convention, make sure to visit the ACB Information Desk where you will find material in braille, large print and computer downloads. Hotel orientation, local business information, and the convention newspaper are just some of the items that will be waiting for you. All information will be available in large print, braille and downloadable formats.
 
Whether you are in Sparks or staying connected with us from home, I hope you have a wonderful convention experience.  Feel free to contact me any time during the convention. You can either leave a message for me in my room at the Nugget or call my cell phone, (651) 428-5059.  I look forward to seeing you in Sparks.
 
Hotel Details
 
All rooms at the Nugget have refrigerators and safes. Room rates are $89 (single or double occupancy) with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room. Room tax is currently 13.5%. There is also a $2 per day tourism tax added to each room.  When you book your reservation, one night’s stay will be charged to your credit card.
 
Included in the room rate is the hotel resort fee, which includes:
·        Round-trip shuttle transportation to and from Reno-Tahoe International Airport;
·        Complimentary wireless Internet in guestrooms;
·        Daily complimentary bottled water, 2 bottles per room per day;
·        Unlimited use of the year-round Atrium Pool;
·        Unlimited use of the Fitness Center;
·        Full service concierge; and
·        Valet and self-parking in the secure, covered parking structure.
 
To make reservations via telephone, call 1-800-648-1177 and ask for group code GACB17. You may also make reservations online by visiting www.acb.org and following the 2017 conference and convention link.
 
Convention Contacts
 
2017 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
 
2017 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
 
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059, or via email, janet.dickelman@gmail.com.