2018 Convention Sneak Preview: Special-Interest Affiliates and Committees

by Janet Dickelman
ACB special-interest affiliates and committees are in the beginning stages of planning their workshops, seminars and meetings. The below listing is based on information shared on a convention planning call and is only a small snapshot of what you will find at the 2018 conference and convention in St. Louis, Mo. Convention dates are Friday, June 29th through Friday, July 6th.

Special-Interest Affiliates

American Association of Blind Teachers (AABT): The teachers are in the planning stages for a program on teacher preparedness to assist students embarking on college and other life-changing events.
American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys (AAVIA) will hold sessions Saturday through Tuesday, culminating with their luncheon and speaker on Tuesday. Also join AAVIA members on a tour of the old courthouse and a mock trial on the first Dredd Scott decision.
ACB Diabetics in Action (ACBDA) will host a seminar on Saturday, a mixer on Monday and luncheon on Tuesday.
ACB Families (ACBF): Tuesday is family day with a breakfast, the ever-popular Bingo night, and a potential seminar on charter schools.
ACB Government Employees (ACBGE) will hold one event, a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to determine the future of the affiliate.
ACB Lions (ACBL) will be roaring on Wednesday with a luncheon and speaker, plus Milly’s Place Pin Swap. 
Blind LGBT Pride International (BPI) will hold several wine tastings, as well as seminars on health and wellness focusing on alternative medicine. They plan to co-sponsor events with ACB Students. Their Tuesday night movie will be the Academy Award-nominated film “Call Me by Your Name.”
Braille Revival League (BRL) and Library Users of America (LUA) have several programs planned: a joint program Monday evening on reading using BARD, Bookshare and other platforms; and Tuesday’s session featuring talking book narrator Laura Giannarelli, a segment on reading and writing braille with your iPhone, plus a piece featuring a pertinent book. On Monday, BRL will host their international breakfast, afternoon programming and games with Ralph (braille word games); LUA will hold their program on Sunday.
Friends-in-Art of ACB (FIA): To audition for this year’s Showcase of the Performing Arts, contact Lynn Hedl via email, lynnsbrc@gmail.com, or via phone, (205) 283-7797. This year the Showcase will feature a band for accompaniment. FIA will host Prose and Poetry Sunday evening where writers can read their original works, a luncheon with speaker on Monday, and the round and harmony sing on Tuesday (great for teachers to learn rounds to take back to their classrooms). They will hold other workshops during convention week.
Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) will hold several days of programming, including sessions from a veterinarian, advocacy and legal issues, and they hope to do a workshop on Aira. They will also host the always popular guide dog school update and the GDUI luncheon.
Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs (IVIE) plans to hold their small business expo and other events.
Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA) is celebrating their 50th anniversary; watch for all their special programming!

ACB Committees

The Board of Publications (BOP) will hold a workshop on Wednesday on personal branding, and a town hall meeting Wednesday evening, where attendees can meet and hear from candidates for ACB board positions.
Durward K. McDaniel First-Timer (DKM) committee will host a First-Timers Reunion and 4th of July Blast Wednesday evening.
International Relations (IRC) will host the Voices from Around the World luncheon on Monday, where you’ll meet and hear from our international guests.
Multicultural Concerns will host a luncheon and program on Sunday and a mid-week social on Tuesday.
The Special Education Task Force will host a program titled Schools for the Blind as a Resource for Public School-Based Vision Programs.

Staying in Touch

Once again, this year the conference and convention announce list will be filled with information! To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org. If you received updates for the 2017 convention, you need not subscribe to the list again.

Hotel Details

Room rates at Union Station are $89 per night; this rate applies for up to 2 people in a king room and up to 4 guests in a room with two queen beds.  Room tax is currently 18.435%. Make telephone reservations by calling (314) 231-1234. Be sure to mention you are with the American Council of the Blind to obtain the conference and convention room rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2018 convention link for online reservations.

Convention Contacts

2018 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
2018 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, janet.dickelman@gmail.com.