by Janet Dickelman
An amazing array of tours awaits you in Schaumburg! Full tour descriptions, details and pricing will be posted to the ACB convention announce list, the convention website and on the conference and convention registration form.
Convention dates are July 3rd through 10th. Opening general session will be Saturday evening, July 4th. The exhibit hall will be open Saturday through Wednesday. Special-interest affiliates, ACB committees and our business partners will hold sessions beginning Saturday, July 4th through Wednesday, July 8th. Don’t miss our banquet Thursday evening, July 9th!
Friday, July 3rd
The Museum of Science and Industry: Travel down into a coal mine and see what life was like for miners. Perform a hands-on chemistry experiment and make slime! Visit “YOU! The Experience” and learn how the human body works. Find out what a heart really looks like by walking through a replica. Visit the U-505 submarine exhibit; we won’t be going into the submarine, but will be able to touch and feel the size of it, as well as touch many artifacts from the sub. Visit the model train exhibit, with many hands-on items. Learn the science behind taste, and all about sound waves. There’s so much to experience, plus an amazing gift shop!
Saturday, July 4th
- Shop with ACB: Volunteers will assist you in your visit to Woodfield Mall, three levels of stores and restaurants.
- Escape Room: Solve puzzles, walk through mazes, work with others to figure out how to escape!
Sunday, July 5th
- The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) collects, preserves and presents historic and contemporary radio and television content. It also educates, informs and entertains the public through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources. The Museum of Broadcast Communications was founded in 1982 by broadcaster Bruce DuMont. We don’t know yet what the featured exhibit will be, but this is a paradise for radio buffs!
- Detective Dinner: Enjoy a gourmet meal and then follow the clues to find out who committed the crime at this fun interactive evening.
Monday, July 6th
- Hot Air Ballooning: Weather permitting, join ACB and experience the thrill of floating over the countryside in a balloon! This tour will leave the hotel at 4:30 a.m.
- Pizza and Gangster Tour: Taste the flavors of Chicago and learn about the most notorious era the Windy City is known for — our city bus tour with a twist! You’ll get a chance to literally eat your way through Chicago by sampling slices of its world-famous pizza at three culturally significant pizzerias. Along the way we’ll educate the group about all things pizza, and since one of the pizzerias used to be an Al Capone controlled speakeasy, we'll discuss that history as well.
- Long Grove Confectioners: You’ve probably had these marvelous treats before. Long Grove Confections are sold under many other labels. Learn about how their candy is handmade, try some samples and do lots of shopping! They have everything from monster peanut butter cups to candied roasted pecans!
- RSVA Casino Tour: Join RSVA for a night of fun at a local casino. All are welcome.
Tuesday, July 7th
- Horizons for the Blind: A paradise for the blind! Everything is labeled in braille and large print, from the break room library and collection of dolls from around the world. See where material is embossed, documents produced and shop until you drop at Horizon’s store where every item includes directions in braille!
- Pizza and Gangster Tour II: Your second chance to attend this fun afternoon filled with pizza and Al Capone!
- Multicultural Tour: Visit 3 amazing venues that focus on the roles of African-Americans.
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (JAHHM) draws upon the legacy of international peace activist and feminist, Jane Addams, and other social reformers who lived and worked alongside their immigrant neighbors to create social change on the Near West Side of Chicago. The museum is located in two of the original buildings: the Hull Home (now a National Historic Landmark) and the Residents Dining Hall.
We’ll also visit the DuSable Museum of African-American History, which is dedicated to the study and conservation of African-American history, culture, and art. It was founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, her husband Charles Burroughs, Gerard Lew, Eugene Feldman, Marian M. Hadley, and others. The founders established the museum to celebrate black culture, at the time overlooked by most museums and academic establishments. The museum has an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution. Highlights of its collection include the desk of activist Ida B. Wells, the violin of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the Charles Dawson Papers. It also has a collection of 13,000 artifacts, books, photographs, art objects, and memorabilia. There is a wing named in honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington, the first African-American mayor of Chicago.
The last stop on the tour is the A. Philip Randolph Porter Pullman Museum. The permanent collection displays exhibits which are pertinent to the study of the African-American contribution to America’s labor history and includes but is not limited to: the Pullman Company, as it relates to the labor history of African-American railroad employees, A. Philip Randolph, the Pullman Porters, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the Great Migration, and the American Civil Rights Movement.
Each venue has a gift shop.
Wednesday, July 8th
- Hot Air Ballooning II: This tour will leave the hotel at 4:30 a.m.
- Sports Day: We are still working with the venues, but hoping to visit the home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field where the Chicago Bears play, and attend a game between the Cubs and White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Friday, July 10th
- The Sanfilippo “Place de la Musique” is known worldwide for its magnificent collections of beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world’s largest restored theatre pipe organ, the most spectacular European salon carousel in existence, street and tower clocks, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a breathtaking French Second Empire setting. You can ride the carousel and board the train cars.
- Odyssey Dinner Cruise: Take a gourmet dinner cruise on a high-end luxury yacht with the stunning skyline of Chicago serving as your backdrop. Climb aboard your recently renovated vessel, featuring a sumptuously appointed rooftop lounge and stylish interior design, for your cruise along Lake Michigan. Then sit down for a 3-course dinner. After dinner, enjoy coffee and tea, captivating views of Chicago landmarks like the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and Navy Pier, plus musical entertainment provided by the onboard DJ.
Staying in Touch
Want to keep up with all the latest convention-related announcements? The conference and convention announce list will be filled with information. To subscribe to the list, send a blank email to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2019 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe.
Room rates at the Renaissance are $94 per night (for up to four people in a room), plus tax, which is currently 15%. For telephone reservations, call 1-800-468-3571. This is a central reservations number, so be sure to indicate that you are with the American Council of the Blind 2020 conference and convention at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill. Rooms must be reserved by June 10, 2020 to guarantee the convention rate.
2020 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
2020 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, [email protected]
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via email, [email protected].