by Sandra Sermons

ACB's international relations committee is on the move. This committee has a rather unique mission: to facilitate the contact of people who are blind and visually impaired in the United States and abroad. The committee is also responsible for promoting the exchange of information that will enhance the quality of life for people who are blind and visually impaired around the world.

To that end, I would like to discuss some of the things that this committee is doing, along with some of those which we are planning for the future. As many of you may know, for several years at the national convention, we have hosted Voices from Around the World. This reception gives ACB members an opportunity to meet our international guests. So far, there have been guests from such countries as South Africa, Vietnam, Australia, and Japan. The reception provides ACB members an opportunity to learn what life is like in a particular country for someone who is blind or visually impaired. It also facilitates the exchange of information by allowing the guests to learn about our organization, convention, and a brief glimpse of what it is like to live with blindness in this country. Plans are in the works to host Voices from Around the World in Phoenix.

Another project that was launched was our listserv. We would like to hear from you, the ACB community! If you have any suggestions, or would just like to communicate with the international relations committee, please send an e-mail to [email protected]. In the subject line, please include the word "subscribe."

While the previous two things are exciting, probably the most ambitious undertaking of the committee is our trip to Spain. The details are still sketchy, but we are in the process of planning a trip to Madrid, either in the fall of 2010 or spring of 2011. While the trip will not be committee-funded, it promises to be an incredible opportunity. We are working with ONCE (the Spanish national organization for people who are blind and visually impaired) to set up the itinerary. Keep your eyes out for news in future issues of the Forum!

The projects mentioned above are but a few of the projects that the international relations committee is working on. Please stay tuned. We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

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