by Janet Dickelman
An amazing array of tours awaits you in Schaumburg! Full tour descriptions, details and pricing will be posted to the convention list, the convention website and on the conference and convention registration form.
In-person convention dates are June 30th through July 7th. The opening general session will be Saturday evening, July 1st. Our exhibit hall will be open Saturday through Wednesday, with evening hours on Sunday, July 2nd. Don’t miss our banquet on Thursday evening, July 6th!
Friday, June 30
- The Museum of Science and Industry:
Go down into a coal mine and see what life was like for miners. Perform hands-on experiments, learn the science behind taste, learn about sound waves, and walk through a replica of a human heart. There’s so much to experience, plus lunch and an amazing gift shop!
- Detective Dinner:
Learn about the players, hear the clues and figure out whodunit while enjoying a great meal!
(Note: The tours on both Fridays are consecutive, so you can attend both tours.)
Saturday, July 1
- Beach Day:
Swim, sit on the beach, enjoy lunch and take a ride on a pontoon boat or play beach games. We’ll do it all at Bangs Lake. There will be lifeguards, and a gazebo for anyone who wishes to be out of the sun.
- Holocaust Museum:
None of us want to think about this horrendous but important time in history. This museum focuses on life in Poland and talks about not just the Jewish people who were persecuted, interned and murdered, but also those with disabilities and other ethnicities. Lunch from a local deli will be provided as part of this tour.
Sunday, July 2
- Tube down the river
Travel to Winamac, Ind., where you will spend 3 hours floating down the river. Several tubes will be joined together so that everyone will be safe. Life jackets will be provided. You must wear rubber-soled closed-toe shoes such as old tennis shoes or water shoes on the river. If you don’t have footwear, you will be required to rent water shoes from the venue for $15. Make sure to bring sunscreen! Lunch will be provided.
- Chicago History Museum
The Museum’s collection of more than 23 million objects, images, and documents records the evolution of Chicago, one of the nation’s most significant cities, from fur-trading outpost to modern metropolis.
Monday, July 3
- Pizza and Gangster tour
Taste the flavors of Chicago and learn about the most notorious era the Windy City is known for, Prohibition! Consider this a 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.
- National Museum of Mexican Art
Founded in 1982, we represent the Mexican community from our own point of view and our own voice. Our goal is to stimulate knowledge and appreciation of Mexican art and culture from both sides of the border through a significant permanent collection of Mexican art, rich visual and performing arts programs, high quality arts education programs and resources, and professional development of Mexican artists. The Museum welcomes all people and strives to foster a world where all are included. During this tour we will see some 3-D renderings of paintings, and our docents will describe the exhibits for us in vivid detail. We will also learn about the murals painted in the neighborhood. Lunch from a local Mexican restaurant will be included in this tour.
Tuesday, July 4
- Wine tasting:
Travel to Milton, Wis. to visit two wineries, one of which also includes beer tasting. Sit outside and sip, learn about wine production, purchase wine for shipping (if your home state allows), and visit great gift shops with numerous wine-related items. Lunch will be provided.
- Sports Day:
We are still working on this tour, but plan to have a tour of Soldier Field, and watch the White Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Wednesday, July 5
- Horizons for the Blind:
Everything in the building is labeled in large print and braille. Visit the production area, where everything from utility bills to menus are embossed, and Horizons’ phenomenal store, with numerous gadgets and braille books. Enjoy lunch with the Horizons staff and learn about their history.
- 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 hand-made, try some samples, and do lots of shopping! They have everything from monster peanut butter cups to candied roasted pecans!
- Museum of Broadcast Communications
We don’t know yet what exhibits will be at the museum when we visit, but this is a must for anyone interested in the history of radio and TV broadcasting.
Thursday, July 6
Attend an audio-described performance of “Tommy.” Prior to the performance, go onstage to meet the cast, see the costumes and scenery. (Note: You will leave after affiliate roll call and be back in time for the banquet.)
Friday, July 7
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. If you enjoy music, trains, or antiques, you don’t want to miss this tour!
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 three-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
The convention list will be filled with information. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2022 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe.
Room rates at the Renaissance are $98 per night double occupancy (with an additional $10 charge for up to four people), plus tax, which is currently 15%. To make reservations online, visit https://book.passkey.com/go/AmericanCounciloftheBlind2023.
For telephone reservations, call 1-800-468-3571. This is a central reservations number, so please indicate you are with the American Council of the Blind 2023 conference and convention at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill.
2023 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
2023 sponsorship opportunities: Eric Bridges, [email protected], or Clark Rachfal, [email protected], (202) 467-5081
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, [email protected].