by Carla Ruschival

Every ACB national convention is brimming with information, technology, and new ideas. Exhibits, workshops, seminars, and programs pack convention week, from start to finish, with the latest news and information that you can use in your career, at school, or in your everyday life.

But convention isn't all work. There's lots of fun, fun, fun for the young and young-at-heart. Here's just a sampling of what's waiting for you at the 2008 ACB convention July 5-12 in Louisville.

Tours and More Tours

Within three blocks of the hotel are the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum (home of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat), the Muhammad Ali Museum (a special tour just for ACB-ers is in the works), the Frazier Arms Museum (a fantastic "blind-friendly" tour lets you touch armor worn by knights in the Middle Ages and much more), and Glassworks (a hand-blown glass factory with lots of shimmering and colorful souvenirs).

More tours are a short 5- to 15-minute ride away, such as the Thomas Edison House, candy factories (what an incredible "sweet tooth" tour!), and more. Find out how braille and large print books are produced and how Talking Books and recorded magazines come to be at the American Printing House; APH's Callahan Museum is an unbelievable hands-on storehouse of historical artifacts related to the blind.

But wait! There's more! There's Churchill Downs, Maker's Mark Distillery, the Stephen Foster drama in historic Bardstown, cave country, and Abraham Lincoln's birthplace.

Tours get under way on Friday, July 4, with lots of choices every day through July 12 EXCEPT for July 11.

For Kids and Teens

The ACB convention gets more and more kid-friendly every year. Bring the entire family for a great week of education, information and fun. The Youth Activity Center (YAC) will once again offer tours and activities for the under-18s. Check the next issue of the "Forum" for announcements of expanded programs for kids and teens.

Convention Planners List

Attention, all groups planning to host meetings, workshops, focus groups, socials and other events. A special e-mail list has been created to assist you. A representative from your special-interest group, ACB committee, or company should be subscribed to this list so you will receive all announcements regarding convention rules, catering, meeting room reservations, audiovisual services, etc. To request that your representative be added to the list, send an e-mail containing the individual's name, the group or company name, telephone number and e-mail address to Carla Ruschival at [email protected].

Exhibits, Advertising and Sponsorships

Information will be in the mail and on the ACB web site by mid-February. Exhibitors should reserve booth space early for best placement; early-bird discounts are available. When registering for a sponsorship, be sure to check available selections; they're going fast!

Hotel Reservations

Rates at the Galt House are $85 single/double for standard rooms on the west side (the Rivue tower), and $105 single/double in the east tower (one-bedroom suites). Add $10 for each additional person in a room; limit four people per room. Rates are quoted per night, and do not include tax. For reservations, call (502) 589-5200.

Convention Contacts

Have questions or concerns? Here's who to call:

Carla Ruschival, national convention committee chair (all event scheduling, catering, audiovisual, meeting room assignments) -- (502) 897-1472; [email protected]

Michael Smitherman (Exhibits) -- (601) 968-4164; [email protected]

Brenda Dillon (Advertising and Sponsorships) -- (615) 874-1223; [email protected]

Patti Cox (Youth Activity Center) - (502) 893-1750; [email protected]

Stay in the Know

Get the latest convention information by subscribing to the ACB convention e-mail list. The list is available for sign-ups now. Even if you were subscribed last year, you must re-subscribe for 2008. To join the list, send a blank e-mail to [email protected]; be sure to reply to the confirmation message.

Watch next month's "Braille Forum" for more convention information.

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