Welcome to Our Convention!

The Old Dominion Council of the Blind will hold its annual state convention at the Quality Inn Governor, located at 6650 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, Va. from Oct. 28-30. Friday will be dedicated to those recently experiencing vision loss and to senior citizens coping with sight loss. There will also be voting machines from local jurisdictions available for hands-on training.

Saturday will feature a full morning dedicated to panel discussions of finding, getting and keeping jobs, and getting promoted. The afternoon will feature the keynote address from ACB executive director Melanie Brunson as well as seminars on changes in Social Security and information on the drug card. There will be plenty of time to socialize at meals and at our Saturday banquet, which will include entertainment as well as a visit to the hospitality suite. We will hold our business meeting on Sunday at NIB's new headquarters, 1310 Braddock Place, Alexandria, Va.

Room rates are $75 for singles, $80 for doubles, $85 for triples and $90 for quads, plus 8.5 percent tax. All rooms except singles will contain two queen beds. Make your hotel reservations by calling 1-800-221-2222 or (703) 532-8900. Please mention that you are a member of the Council of the Blind to get the special rate.

For more information, call Debra Chandler at (703) 298-6299.

A Great Big Thanks to Chris Gray!

North Dakota Association of the Blind expresses its deep appreciation to ACB President Chris Gray for attending and participating in our 2005 state convention June 10-12! This year's convention was held at the Doublewood Best Western Hotel in Bismarck, N.D. Chris was one of our banquet speakers; his speech addressed issues and events that have happened recently that have had a significant effect on the lives of people who are blind. It was very informative and was well-received!

Other highlights at our convention included a presentation that portrayed the character of John Colter, who was a member of Lewis and Clark's Core of Discovery. For the purposes of his speech, the presenter entered into the character of John Colter to reflect on his experiences as a member of the team of the Lewis and Clark expedition and finished his presentation with a re-enactment of the paddle dance that the team often used for entertainment. Guest speakers also gave presentations on recent developments in diabetes research and diabetic retinopathy and other advances that have been made in the treatment of eye diseases. North Dakota Association of the Blind truly appreciates the continued involvement of ACB and its officers and leaders in our NDAB state conventions!

Louisiana Gains New Local Chapter

On Aug. 21, 2004, a group of interested people met to discuss the forming of a new local chapter of the Louisiana Council of the Blind. We elected officers on Oct. 9 and discussed various names for our chapter. We chose Acadiana Area Council of the Blind because we wanted to stress the Acadian heritage of many of our members and to reflect the fact that we were open to having members from Lafayette Parish and its surrounding parishes (counties) of southern Louisiana. We have decided to make our main project the establishment of a radio reading service to serve blind, visually impaired and print-challenged people in our area. David Faucheux, chapter president, attended the IAAIS conference that was held in Kansas in June to learn more about radio reading services. We are also trying to establish an online presence through the ACB web site.

Sweet Nothings: Diabetics in Action

ACB Diabetics in Action held its first meeting at the convention in Las Vegas. Officers are: Dee Clayton, president; Patricia Wolf, first vice president; Steve Heesen, second vice president; Alice Ritchhart, secretary; and Jeff Bishop, treasurer. Board members are: Carol Edwards, Steve Nakagawa, Shirley Roberts and Russ Dougherty.

After the meeting, we held a social, at which there was much talk about future meetings of ACBDA. Everyone is very excited about furthering the education of all diabetics. Proposed meeting topics include: finding a famous person who is a diabetic to speak to us and having some of the vendors of diabetic equipment come and show us their wares.

Each month we will hold a conference call concerning diabetic issues. To learn more, subscribe to the listserv, acb-diabetics- [email protected].

ACBDA's membership currently numbers 40; the organization encourages anyone to join. You don't need to be a diabetic. Dues are $10 a year. Send them to Jeff Bishop, Treasurer, 1631 W. Maplewood Dr., Tucson, AZ 85746.

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