Dots and Dashes 7/19/19

“Dots and Dashes” is a short newsletter featuring a variety of topics and ACB stories. This issue features information about ACB’s new officers, Facebook Live with Dan Spoone, ACB and OrCam’s cooperative agreement, Advocacy Updates, and this year’s Audio Description Awards winners.


Introducing ACB’s New Slate of Officers

The American Council of the Blind elected new officers, a new board member, and a new member of the board of publications during its 2019 annual conference and convention. We thought you’d like to learn more about them.

  • President Dan Spoone, of Orlando, Fla. is retired; he formerly worked as a senior project manager for Siemens.
  • First Vice President Mark Richert, of Arlington, Va. is the Director of Public Policy for the National Disability Institute and the founding President of Excelsis, LLC, a public policy consultancy.
  • Second Vice President Ray Campbell, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., is a Senior Accessibility Analyst for United Airlines.
  • Secretary Denise Colley of Lacey, Wash., is a retired Disability Program Coordinator for the state of Washington. She also serves as president of the Washington Council of the Blind.
  • Treasurer David Trott, of Talladega, Ala., is retired; he formerly worked for Alabama Industries for the Blind, dealing with contracts, budgets, employees and supervising daily operations of various programs in his area of responsibility.
  • Newly elected board member Donna Brown, of Romney, W.Va., is a Technology Integration Specialist at the West Virginia School for the Blind.
  • Newly appointed chair of the board of publications Deb Lewis, of Clarkston, Wash. worked as a Technical Assistance Coordinator at the Center on Technology and Disability Studies, University of Washington.
  • Newly elected board of publications member Zelda Gebhard, of Edgeley, N.D., is an administrative assistant at Wright Insurance Agency. She also serves as president of the North Dakota Association of the Blind.


Picture the Future with Dan Spoone

During convention, ACB’s executive director, Eric Bridges, met with newly elected ACB president Dan Spoone on Facebook Live! No stranger to the ACB membership, we are excited to introduce Dan and learn how he “Pictures the Future” of ACB. To view the video, go to


ACB and OrCam Technologies Announce Cooperative Agreement

To read the entire announcement online, visit

Rochester, N.Y. (July 7, 2019) – The American Council of the Blind and OrCam Technologies jointly announced a cooperative agreement at ACB's 58th annual conference and convention that will help empower blind and low-vision Americans to achieve increased independence.

The cooperation between the ACB and OrCam will raise awareness of OrCam's assistive technology among ACB members in the United States to support uses in education, employment and quality of life for blind and low-vision Americans. OrCam devices will be available for sale to ACB members with a special ACB discount. Wireless, lightweight and compact, the OrCam MyEye 2 artificial vision device discreetly reads printed and digital text aloud – from any surface – in real time. Newspapers, books, computer and smartphone screens, restaurant menus, labels on supermarket products and street signs become immediately accessible. Additional features of OrCam MyEye 2 include instant face recognition and identification of consumer products, colors and money notes. 

The OrCam MyEye2 is available in 25 languages and in 48 countries.


Advocacy Updates

In the July 10th episode of ACB Advocacy Updates, Claire Stanley and Clark Rachfal held a conversation with Minh Ha, President of ACB Students. During this podcast we learn a little about Minh, how she became involved with ACB, what’s new with ACB Students, and what Minh and ACB Students planned for the ACB convention in Rochester this week! Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at

To learn more about ACB Students, visit or follow @ACBStudents on social media.

In the July 2nd edition of Advocacy Updates, join Claire Stanley and Clark Rachfal as they meet with ACB’s new Membership Services Coordinator, Cindy Van Winkle. Claire and Clark get to know more about who she is, where she comes from, and what she hopes to bring to ACB. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at:

Got an idea for a future podcast? Send it to


American Council of the Blind Announces Audio Description Awards

To read this announcement online, go to

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2019 — The American Council of the Blind announces the 2019 Achievement Awards in Audio Description, an initiative of the Council’s Audio Description Project (ADP). The awards included:

  • Achievement in Audio Description – Performing Arts: Hunter Gullickson of The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Special Recognition Achievement in Audio Description — Performing Arts: Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.
  • Achievement in Audio Description – Media: Microsoft/Xbox
  • Achievement in Audio Description – Visual Art/Museums/Visitor Centers: Hannah Goodwin/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass.
  • Achievement in Audio Description – International: Vera Arma, The Artis-Project Group, Italy
  • Dr. Margaret R. Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award in Audio Description – Research and Development: Dr. Brett Oppegaard, Manoa, Hawaii.
  • Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description: Jon P. Skaalen, Minnesota VSA, Minneapolis, Minn.

Additional information about ACB’s Audio Description Project is available at