by Janet Dickelman
Happy 2016! I hope one of your resolutions this year is to attend the 2016 ACB conference and convention. It is a resolution you don’t want to break! The theme of this year’s convention is ACB: Land of 10,000 Dreams, based on Minnesota’s motto land of 10,000 lakes.
Online registration will be available at www.acb.org by the end of the month for sponsors, advertisers, exhibitors and volunteers.
Tours are being planned by Rhonda Trott, some of which will involve some of those Minnesota lakes! As one of her information desk coordinator duties, Vicky Prahin walked the Hyatt numerous times during the convention committee visit and is working on the hotel description. There have been many changes to the Hyatt; we plan to make the hotel description available prior to the convention. During our visit to Minneapolis in October, several staff members at the Hyatt remembered our group, and they are anxious to have us back in July.
If you have never attended an ACB conference and convention, if it has been a number of years, or if you want to know what activities might help with career development, here is a sampling of what the convention has to offer. During convention week you can attend approximately 200 workshops, seminars, programs and focus groups held by our affiliates, committees and business partners. Every conference and convention features unique opportunities to learn new skills, tips and techniques on a wide range of topics. Seminars on diabetes, employment issues, rehabilitation, transportation, and access to off-the-shelf technology are some examples. Get instruction and tips on items such as iDevices, screen readers, braille notetakers, low-vision products, guide dogs and much more.
ACB general sessions are held Sunday evening, July 3rd, Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-noon, and all day Friday; they address education, rehabilitation, employment, access, health-related issues and much more. The presentations by a talking book narrator, update on library services and our international guest are always popular segments.
Our exhibit hall, which will be open from Saturday, July 2nd through Wednesday, July 6th, will be filled with approximately 60 vendors featuring cutting-edge technology for blind and visually impaired users, items for daily living, recreation, and personal items such as jewelry, candles and so much more.
There are affiliates holding programs for teachers, students, families, attorneys and individuals who are losing their sight. You can find a program for any special-interest group at the 2016 ACB convention.
Learn about audio description by attending ACB film night. Find support from groups for women, multicultural concerns and the LGBT community.
We have approximately 20 tours during convention week. Tours are still being organized; as soon as the schedule is finalized, information will be sent out to e-mail lists and posted in “The ACB Braille Forum.”
Once again this year the convention announcement list will be filled with information about the convention. Subscribe to the list today by sending a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you’ve been on the list in the past, you need not subscribe again. Don’t have e-mail? No problem! Convention updates will also be featured on ACB Radio; listen using your computer, or download ACB Link to your iDevice, or call (605) 475-8130.
Room rates at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis are $89 single or double. There is an additional $10 per night charge per person for up to four people in a room. Applicable state and local taxes are currently 13.4%. For reservations by telephone, call Central Reservations at 1-888-421-1442, and be sure to mention you are attending the ACB convention in order to obtain our room rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2016 convention link.
2016 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740,[email protected]
2016 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625,[email protected]
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, [email protected].