by Carla Ruschival
It's June, and it will only be a short time until everyone starts arriving at the finish line in Louisville, ready to step into the winner's circle with ACB at its 47th annual national convention.
Convention activities begin with tours to Maker's Mark Distillery and to the Stephen Foster musical on Friday, July 4, and end on Saturday, July 12, with tours to Squire Boone Caverns and a barbecue followed by a Belle of Louisville dance cruise. Hundreds of workshops, seminars, programs, tours, exhibits, and parties are jammed into convention week. Pre-registration opened in late May, and will remain open until June 27. You can pre-register on the paper form or online at www.acb.org. You save money by pre-registering; the basic fee is $20 in advance, $30 if you wait until you get to convention to sign up.
Yes, you're right! The registration fee is less than it was last year. Thanks to the generosity of our individual and corporate convention sponsors, the ACB board was able to roll back the pre-registration and registration fees by a full $5. Banquet tickets are only $29 pre-registration, down from a high of $38 in 2006. In fact, you will discover that many ticket prices are lower this year. Lower prices mean more people can afford to come to convention.
Reserve assistive listening devices (ALD's) by paying a $20 deposit when you pre-register. Receive your refund when you return the ALD to registration as you leave the convention. The ALD will come with a fresh battery; you are responsible for supplying additional batteries during the week.
Notify us of your need for a lift-equipped bus on ACB tours when you pre-register. Remember that tour volunteers cannot act as personal assistants on tours. If you need someone to push your wheelchair or you want a personal guide, plan to take the tour with a friend who is willing to give you his or her undivided attention.
If you are deaf-blind and you need an interpreter, please notify us, either by pre-registering or by e-mailing Carla Ruschival at [email protected], NO LATER THAN June 15. Tell us the type of interpreter you need and the session(s) or event(s) you wish to attend. Be sure to include details on how we can contact you for more information.
If you require other reasonable accommodations, it is absolutely imperative that we know of your needs by June 15. We will make every effort to fill requests received by that date.
The American Council of the Blind is not required under the ADA to provide personal care assistants or round-the-clock services of any kind. ACB, hotel staff and volunteers cannot administer medications or provide transportation.
Gas prices have risen since the last issue of "The Braille Forum." A taxi from the airport to the Galt House is now $19.55, but could change without notice.
Sandollar Shuttle is available from the airport to the hotel for $10. To use the shuttle, call (502) 561-4022 with your flight number, time of arrival, and cell number where you can be reached upon arrival.
The bus station is about 8 blocks from the hotel, and the fare is approximately $8. Louisville is not served by rail.
To use TARC-3 services while you are in Louisville, fax documentation of your eligibility for paratransit services to Steve Tharpe at (502) 213-3243.
For more information about public transportation in Louisville, call the 24-hour TARC information line at (502) 585-1234.
EXHIBITS, ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIPS: Some last-minute exhibit, advertising and sponsorship opportunities may still be available. Don't miss this chance to target your products and services to blind and visually impaired people from across the country and around the world. For more information, visit our web site at www.acb.org/convention, or contact Michael Smitherman (exhibits) at (601) 968-4164, or Brenda Dillon (advertising and sponsorships) at (615) 874-1223.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS: To make a reservation at the Galt House, call (502) 589-5200. Standard rooms are $85/night; executive suites (fridge included) are $105/night. Rates are single/double, and do not include tax; add $10 per night for each additional person in the room.
CONVENTION INFORMATION: Join the acbconvention e-mail list by sending a blank message to [email protected]. For convention questions or special concerns, contact Carla Ruschival, convention committee chair, at (502) 897-1472 or by e-mail at [email protected]; or call the ACB national office at 1-800-424-8666.