by Dan Spoone
It is the time of year when our thoughts and memories remind us of June weddings, the beginning of warm summer breezes and the final few weeks leading up to another annual ACB conference and convention. A chance to rekindle relationships with old friends, enjoy the excitement of finding new acquaintances and explore fresh unforeseen adventures.
The theme for ACB’s 2020 convention is “A Path to the Future.” How appropriate! The excitement of newlyweds exploring their path to the future with unbridled optimism and a little bit of trepidation is how many of us feel headed into our third month of life with the coronavirus. We are all dealing with a new family lifestyle. It’s like an extended honeymoon, only without the travel destinations and with the children and other family members in the honeymoon suite.
It’s been an opportunity to explore new hairstyles, reassess the meaning of work-life balance and embrace that new exercise routine that you have been putting off for the last five years. Seriously, these unique times have brought out the best in our ACB family.
I am so proud of how we have all come together as an organization. The community chats have energized our membership. Special thanks to Cindy Van Winkle for coordinating over 100 special town hall get-togethers where our ACB members and friends have an opportunity to share their feelings in a safe social environment, learn about the latest assistive technologies, gather new recipes, practice relaxing yoga poses, discuss advocacy issues, share sports stories, enjoy art and music, ask questions of audio description experts, and learn tips and tricks to improve your daily lives during this pandemic.
The ACB Radio team is doing an outstanding job working with the convention committee to plan the 2020 convention. There will be five simultaneous radio broadcasts over eight days with over 100 Zoom sessions. One channel will be dedicated to the exhibit hall. Another channel will feature audio-described tours, and the other three channels will feature general sessions, prime time evening events and countless breakout sessions. The opening session will be on Sunday evening, July 5 at 7 p.m. Eastern time, and the Monday through Friday morning general sessions will start at 10 a.m. Eastern to include the west coast. Sorry to all my friends in Hawaii, but we will replay each day’s events for your listening pleasure.
This is a tremendous undertaking for our organization. I know that with our excellent ACB staff and wonderful member volunteers, this virtual convention will be a tremendous success, but we need your help. We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and willingness to go the extra mile.
Here’s how you can make a difference. This convention will offer all ACB affiliates, committees and members a chance to participate in an ACB convention without leaving the comfort of their living rooms. Please register and invite a friend, participate in the ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, join the Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) program, bid at the Easy Chair Auction and support ACB during the affiliate roll call. This is a challenging financial time for our organization. Together we can create a bright future for our community. Show your love for ACB and enjoy this honeymoon adventure cruising down a path to the future! I can’t wait!