by Janet Dickelman
It is hard to believe that, as you read this, registration for the 2023 ACB conference and convention is just around the corner!
In-person/hybrid dates are June 30 through July 7, with Zoom-only sessions being held June 22 through 24. Don’t miss the virtual-only ACB summer auction on June 17th, which will be preceded by two days of appetizer auctions, and the official call to order via Zoom on June 19 with the reading of the convention standing rules and the first credentials report.
Registration will open for ACB members on May 18th at 7 a.m. Central time. The cost of registration will be $35. On May 25th, registration will open for non-ACB members. The cost will be $50. A non-member has the option of joining ACB as a member at large for $10, thus saving $5.
Registration will close on Friday, June 16 at 10:59 p.m. Central time. You may also register during the convention; prices will increase by $10. If you are attending the convention in person, you can pick up your registration materials starting Thursday evening, June 29th.
On the registration form you will select from two options: in-person or virtual attendance. If you are attending virtually and wish to receive the convention program in either braille or large print, it will be sent to your home address. If you will be joining us in Schaumburg, you will receive the program when you pick up your registration materials. All registrants will receive Zoom links for the Zoom-only events.
Planning to take a tour? Please read the tour descriptions very carefully. Many of our tours require a lot of walking and/or standing. If this is difficult for you to do, please consider not taking the tour. Your health and comfort are very important to us. If you can’t keep up with the group, there aren’t options to stop or rest. If you require the use of a wheelchair to attend a tour, you must bring someone with you who will push your chair. That person must also register for the tour. Our volunteers are not able to assist as wheelchair pushers. Also, if you are more comfortable having your own guide, you might consider attending the tour with a friend or family member. We generally have one volunteer to assist 10 to 15 attendees, so we cannot offer personal assistance.
Completing Convention Registration
You can register online at acbconvention.org, or by calling (651) 428-5059. If you receive voicemail, please leave your name, phone number including area code, time zone, and if you will be attending the convention in person or virtually. We will return your call as soon as possible. To register, you will be asked for your username and password. If you do not have this information, please call the above phone number prior to the opening of registration and we’ll look it up for you.
Requesting Reasonable Accommodations
If you plan to attend the convention and need a support service provider or interpreter, please contact Lori Scharff, who will assist in making arrangements. Send email to [email protected], with “interpreter for Schaumburg” in the subject line, or call her at (516) 695-6370. Lori must receive your request by June 16th.
If you need to rent a wheelchair or scooter, please reach out to me directly at the contact information shown at the end of this article.
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 ACB conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill.
Using Paratransit Service During the 2023 ACB Convention
To set up your service, call Pace Suburban Bus, Regional Visitor Eligibility, at (312) 341-8000, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ask for Visitor Eligibility. They will tell you what your local provider needs to do to send a copy of your eligibility to Pace. We suggest that you call them now to set this up. It is also recommended that you check back with them to make sure they have received your certification.
Setting Up Your Service During Convention
North Cook County Paratransit Operator, to schedule rides from the hotel: 1-800-554-7599, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
City of Chicago Zone 3 Paratransit Operator for Scheduling Rides into Chicago: 1-866-926-9633, option 1, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week.
Rides must be made at least 7 days in advance; however, Pace recommends you call now to set up your service. This is a zoned system. If you’re being picked up from Midway, Amtrak (Chicago Union Station) or Greyhound, there will be a transfer from a City of Chicago paratransit carrier to the North Cook County paratransit carrier. North Cook will pick up at O’Hare.
Make sure you tell the operator which airline you are traveling on. They will let you know where the pickup location will be and drop you off at the proper terminal. If your ride requires a transfer, the driver will stay with you until the vehicle arrives. You will have to schedule two rides. The operator will let you know what time to schedule your second ride from the transfer station. The cost of a ride is $3.50. Additional information regarding paratransit will be posted to the convention announce list and available at the information desk.
Staying in Touch
The conference and convention announce list will be chock-full of information. To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2022 convention, you do not need to subscribe to the list.
2023 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
2023 sponsorships: [email protected], or contact Dan Spoone or Clark Rachfal at (202) 467-5081.
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, [email protected].