Dear Conference/Convention Attendees:
Let me welcome you to the 51st annual national conference and convention of the American Council of the Blind.
As we conclude the first year of ACB's second halfcentury, we've come back to a favorite gathering place, Louisville, Kentucky. This is ACB's fifth convention in the "River City," and it is always wonderful to return to the Galt House. This large, modern hotel has all the amenities anyone could ask for: a variety of restaurants, pool, and well-appointed, comfortable rooms and suites.
The theme of the 2012 conference and convention is "ACB: Full Steam Ahead," wholly appropriate given our proximity to the Ohio River. The state in which we are meeting is home to the nation's most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby; renowned for the distilling of bourbon; famous for its basketball championships; and where Daniel Boone first made a name for himself. Louisville itself is the home of the American Printing House for the Blind, the Louisville Slugger factory which manufactures bats for hundreds of Major League ballplayers, the home of Muhammad Ali, and the home of the Belle of Louisville, the oldest steamboat now operating on America's waterways.
With the scores of convention-related activities taking place during the week, and the numerous educational and entertaining tours available, I can't imagine any of you feeling as if you don't have enough to keep you completely occupied.
Once again, ACB will offer a wide range of interesting and relevant presentations: an update from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator on progress toward providing sound for quiet cars; a panel updating us on the development of regulations subsequent to passage of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act; a discussion from a representative of the Royal National Institute of Blind People about accessible TV within our reach; a visit from the new National Library Service chief; and much, much more.
The ACB Board of Directors again wants to recognize and thank our staff in the D.C. and Minneapolis area offices, along with the dozens of volunteers who work so hard between conventions and during convention week itself. We also want to acknowledge the efforts of the members of ACB's Convention Committee, led for the first time in 2012 by Janet Dickelman, as well as our Convention Program and Kentucky Host Committees for their commitment and dedication over this past year.
I want to welcome those of you attending your first national conference and convention, or attending after an absence of a few years. I hope you will feel free to stop any experienced convention-goer, myself included, if you have a question during your time with us.
Have a fantastic week in Louisville, and be sure to introduce yourself to Donna and me if you get the opportunity.
Mitch Pomerantz, President
American Council of the Blind