by Janet Dickelman
Spring is just around the corner. ACB’s special-interest affiliates and committees are busy planning their workshops, seminars and meetings for the 2019 national conference and convention. The below listing is based on information shared on a convention planning call and is only a small snapshot of what you will find at this year’s convention.
Convention dates are Friday, July 5th through Friday, July 12th.
American Association of Blind Teachers (AABT): Teachers will hold their breakfast on Saturday, July 6th, including a fun game show “Out of Sight Jeopardy” with blindness-related categories. Other programming is still in the planning stage.
Alliance on Aging and Vision Loss (AAVL) will host a luncheon and program on the older independent blind programs under 55.
American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys (AAVIA) will hold sessions Saturday, Sunday and their luncheon and speaker on Tuesday.
ACB Families (ACBF): Monday is family day with a breakfast, and the ever-popular Families Bingo!
ACB Government Employees (ACBGE) will host a mixer on Tuesday, a luncheon on Wednesday, and two sessions on resume writing.
ACB Lions (ACBL) will be roaring on Wednesday, July 10th with a luncheon and speaker plus Milly’s Place Pin Swap.
ACB Radio Amateurs (ACBRA) will hold their program on Wednesday with a speaker on ham radio operators and emergencies. They will also give away a handheld radio to a licensed ham operator.
ACB Students (ACBS) will have a kickoff event Friday evening, host the scholarship luncheon and business meeting on Saturday, speed networking Sunday, and several other programs, including joint sessions with other affiliates and comedy night on Wednesday.
Blind Information Technology (BITS) will hold programming on Saturday and Sunday and a big birthday bash Sunday evening.
Blind LGBT Pride International (BPI) will hold six wine tastings; seminars on discussing intimate relations with your partner; mind-body workshops; two movie events and a joint session with the rehabilitation issues task force on small business funding through vocational rehabilitation.
Braille Revival League (BRL) will hold braille orienteering on Saturday, which is a scavenger hunt with braille clues and prizes. On Monday join BRL for their breakfast, an afternoon program on braille display comparison, and games with Ralph (a chance to play games using braille). On Tuesday, they will hold a joint program with Library Users of America.
The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) is turning 40 this year! In addition to their mixer on Saturday, they will hold an evening birthday bash and game night on Sunday. They are planning a session with the newly formed Next Generation committee on smart houses. Other programming is still in the planning stage.
Friends-in-Art of ACB (FIA) will hold their mixer on Saturday, a drum circle, and prose and poetry reading on Sunday. On Monday FIA will hold a luncheon in conjunction with Visually Impaired Veterans of America (VIVA) featuring Marty Klein, a blind veteran and author who recently produced and directed the movie “Why Can’t We Serve.” The movie addresses the growing rate of suicide among veterans who feel they no longer can contribute to society. He portrays many who have remained in service despite blindness and other major injuries, and questions why other veterans who wish to continue to serve are not allowed to do so. After his presentation the film will be shown. Also on Monday, FIA will host a writers’ workshop and the Showcase of the Performing Arts. This year it will feature unplugged acoustic performances and storytelling.
Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE): Join IVIE for its Marketplace day on Saturday. Their luncheon and a session on taxes will be held on Tuesday, as will their small business expo.
Durward K. McDaniel First-Timer (DKM) committee will host a mixer on Wednesday, July 10th.
International Relations (IRC) will host the Voices from Around the World luncheon on Monday, where you will meet and hear from our international guests. They are planning a program on cross-cultural communications and avoiding cultural faux pas.
Multicultural Affairs will host a luncheon and program on Sunday and a mid-week social on Tuesday.
Next Generation will hold several events, plus a trivia night, and an event on Wednesday prior to ACBS comedy night.
Sight and Sound Impaired Committee (SASI) will hold their mixer on Sunday and a program on Monday.
Women’s Concerns (WCC) will hold Yogalates on Sunday and their Sister Power breakfast on Wednesday.
Convention Registration Update
This year we are offering an exclusive opportunity for ACB members to register early. Convention pre-registration from May 22nd through 26th will be only for ACB members. This will enable our membership to have first choice to register for tours and other sessions.
To become a member at large, visit www.acb.org/user/register. The cost is $10 per year. Don’t have computer access? Not a problem! Contact the Minneapolis office at (612) 332-3242.
Staying in Touch
Craving more information than you get in the Forum? Check out the convention announce list; it will be filled with updated information on tours, seminars, workshops, exhibits, and more! To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2018 convention, you don’t need to subscribe again.
Room rates at the Hyatt and the Riverside are $89 per night (single or double occupancy, with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room). This room rate does not include tax, which is currently 14%. To reserve a room at the Riverside, call (585) 546-6400; for the Hyatt, call 1-800-233-1234. Be sure to mention that you are with the American Council of the Blind. Book by June 7, 2019 to guarantee the convention rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2019 convention link.
2019 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
2019 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, [email protected]
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman at (651) 428-5059 or via email, [email protected].