Alexandria, VA (March 31, 2020) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Board of Directors voted unanimously to forego its annual conference and convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, amidst the growing concerns about the novel coronavirus crisis. During a special meeting convened by the board on March 30th, the elected leadership moved to explore ways in which members, partners, and stakeholders can continue to meet virtually through an engaging and enlightening experience.
“The health and safety of our members continue to be the leading voice that has guided us,” said ACB president Dan Spoone. “I’m proud of the thoughtful deliberation each board member gave to this difficult decision and the hard work our team in Alexandria and Minneapolis undertook to assure that the interests of those we serve remain paramount.”
Nonprofits around the country have faced similar challenges these recent weeks, and such difficult decisions have brought forward a wealth of resources and strategies about holding effective virtual conferences. ACB staff and volunteers are committed to assure the experience will pull from these best practices in a manner that is both innovative and accessible.
“While some official business will have to be put on hold, we’ll continue to virtually provide many of the valuable programs and break-out sessions that make the ACB conference and convention the greatest gathering in our country for Americans who are blind and visually impaired,” said ACB executive director Eric Bridges. “The support from our leaders and corporate stakeholders has been overwhelming, and we can’t wait to have them join us for what will be an event that will be forever etched into ACB’s history.”
According to ACB’s constitution and bylaws, official business must be held in person. This means elections and other official matters will be put on hold until the 2021 convention in Phoenix. However, ACB’s convention planning committee is already exploring ways to hold virtual programming, exhibits, special-interest meetings and even door prizes through a variety of innovative formats. For more information on this year’s convention, visit www.acbconvention.org.
The American Council of the Blind is a national grassroots consumer organization representing Americans who are blind and visually impaired. With 70 affiliates, ACB strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and to improve quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people. Together, we make a bright future. Learn more by visiting www.acb.org.
To listen to a recording of the March 30th board meeting, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/tnugghr