The board of publications is again hosting an Internet candidates' page on in 2009. The information from this page will be made available to members who do not have Internet access.

The candidates' page is a web page where people declaring candidacy for office present themselves to the ACB membership. This allows ACB chapters and affiliates to have more information at their disposal before they send delegates to the national convention. Many members have told us how much they appreciate the opportunity to participate more actively in ACB's democracy because of the early dissemination of this information.

Entries on this page do not constitute nomination for any office. Although people may campaign for office without submitting entries to the Candidates' Page, only those individuals who declare their candidacy on this page will be interviewed on ACB Radio in June.

In 2009, ACB members will elect the five officers: president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary, and treasurer. All candidates have the opportunity to respond to the same set of questions. These questions, developed by the BOP, are as follows.

1. What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

2. What have been your most worthwhile contributions to ACB and/or its affiliates?

3. What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the ACB national leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

4. In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for ACB?

5. What strategies should ACB implement to make its advocacy efforts most effective?

6. Identify the issues which you think are most important to the welfare of ACB and the blindness community as a whole.

7. In conclusion, please tell the membership anything else you think they should know when considering your candidacy.

Candidates must answer each question with a maximum of 300 words. Submit answers in hard copy print or braille, computer disk (in ASCII text, WordPerfect 5.1, or Microsoft Word), or via e-mail. Pasting the text into an e-mail message is preferable to sending attachments, but attachments in ASCII text, Microsoft Word or WordPerfect 5.1 will be accepted. Please do NOT send Word documents as .docx files. Submissions will not be accepted via telephone, voice mail, audiocassette, or in handwriting. Submissions will not be edited for spelling, grammar, or content. Submissions will be coded into HTML for placement on the web site. It is our webmaster's role to convert documents into HTML; therefore, submissions which have already been coded in this format will not be accepted.

Word counts are based on the total number of words in each answer, with each answer being a maximum of 300 words. Word counts will be determined through the use of MS Word's "word count" feature, in which every word contained in the answer enters into the total word count. Hard copy submissions will be converted into electronic format and then counted. Entries for each answer will terminate at the end of the sentence containing the 300th word.

When submitting answers electronically, candidates must place name, address, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses at the top of the body of the submission. When submitting information in hard copy, place this information at the top of the first page and name and a page number at the top of each subsequent page. Send completed submissions to the following address: American Council of the Blind Candidates' Page, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201. E-mail submissions to [email protected] with "candidates' page" in the subject line.

Time Lines

All submissions must arrive at the ACB national office no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, May 31, 2009. When we receive a declared candidate's materials, we will check the membership database to ensure that he or she is a member in good standing. The candidates' page will be available online at no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, June 5, and will remain available until the conclusion of convention. An announcement will go out to all ACB lists when the page is up and ready for viewing.

We encourage ACB members who have Internet access to share the contents of the candidates' page with members who do not. Anyone who does not have Internet access to the candidates' page may call the ACB national office and request that the information be read.

When official campaigns begin in earnest at the ACB national convention, declared candidates will present at formal and informal state and special-interest caucuses. In addition, the BOP will sponsor a live question-and-answer Candidates' Forum, which will be held on Thursday of convention week. We encourage all ACB members to submit written questions to be considered for this forum to the convention communications center. More details about this and other aspects of communications center operations will be included in the June issue.

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