ACB Diabetics in Action began in 2005 under the steadfast leadership of the late Dee Clayton. We are a dynamic affiliate with multiple committees, and monthly board meetings that are open to the membership. Our annual dues are a bargain at $10, and aren’t due until March 1st. We provide an email newsletter, and our ACBDA email list is a very active one.
Many of our members are Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics. But we also advocate for and assist family members or spouses who care for diabetics. Our workshops during national convention are structured to provide more in-depth guidance in the management and education about this disease, which has reached epidemic levels.
On the second Wednesday of each month, we present topics of interest via Zoom and by phone. Before community calls were introduced, we had monthly Wednesday information sessions by telephone. Speakers have included representatives from podiatry, exercise and physical therapy, nutrition services, and vendors of products unique to diabetes. On the third Saturday of each month, at 5 p.m. Eastern, we sponsor a community social chat.
We are currently collaborating with CNIB and NFB to ensure that Congress understands the need for accessible durable medical equipment, not only for insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, but for such basics as oximeters, thermometers, and pacemakers. We must have the option and ability to test, monitor and manage our diabetes independently via these devices, just as sighted people do.
Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and vision loss. As of this writing, a standing Peer Mentor Relations committee is being created to provide support on an individual level. Navigating a new or changing diagnosis can be less onerous if we learn from another who has successfully dealt with the combined hassles of vision loss and diabetes.
Since the form of diabetes, degree of vision loss, and treatment regimen vary throughout our community, a new or existing affiliate member can be paired with a mentor who shares similar characteristics or circumstances. For example, a Type 2 diabetic being treated with oral medication has specific needs, contrasted with a Type 1 diabetic who uses an insulin pump. Monitoring and treatment products on the market are not created equal, so the level of blindness or low vision also will factor in when pairing a current user of these products with someone new to the method. Obstacles and barriers are frustrating, so linking up with a peer-to-peer mentor can be beneficial.
To learn more, or to become a member, email us at [email protected].