by Janet Dickelman
What an exciting time to be involved with the American Council of the Blind! Our 61st annual conference and convention is fast approaching!
In-person convention dates are July 1st through 8th. Join us in person in Omaha, Neb. During the in-person portion of the conference, many of our sessions will be hybrid; they will be available via Zoom and broadcast on ACB Media.
This year, in addition to the eight days of our in-person convention, there is so much more! Don’t miss the ACB virtual summer auction on Saturday, June 18th at 6 p.m. Central time, preceded by two days of sneak-a-peek appetizer auction items. The convention will officially open virtually on ACB Media and the Zoom platform on June 22nd with the reading of the convention standing rules and the first credentials report. Beginning on June 23rd, we will offer 3 days of Zoom-only sessions. These sessions will be part of the convention and will be listed on the convention registration form, in the convention program and announced via telephone and on ACB media.
The Zoom-only sessions will also be broadcast on ACB Media. Some special-interest affiliates will hold business meetings during this time. We will also host Zoom-only sessions (broadcast on ACB Media), the evenings of July 11th through 13th for discussion and voting on resolutions and bylaws not approved during the in-person portion of the convention.
Attention state and special-interest affiliates! Nominating committee will be held virtually the evening of June 23rd. Stay tuned for details.
On Thursday, July 7th, don’t miss our fantastic banquet with our can’t-miss speaker Judy Heumann. Judy has been involved in the disability rights movement since the early 1970s. She was instrumental in establishing the independent living movement, and was a key player in fighting for the passage of the landmark Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She is considered the mother of disability rights, and because of her ongoing and tireless efforts, she is an internationally recognized disability advocate.
She served as the highest official for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the Department of Education under President Bill Clinton, and served under Barack Obama as the senior official for International Disability Rights at the State Department.
In 2020, she published her memoir “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.”
As a true advocate and civil rights activist, she is well familiar with the needs of people with all disabilities, including those who are blind and low vision. She is making a difference for all of us in the 21st century.
ACB committees have been submitting their program information. Here is a glimpse at what has been scheduled thus far. Please keep in mind that other sessions will be added to this list. All times listed are Central time. Note: many sessions are co-sponsored. To save space in this article, only the submitting committee will be listed. Full information will be shown in the convention program and on the registration form.
ACB Women will host the always popular Sister Power Happy Hour on Friday, June 24th. They will also hold yoga and cardio sessions, hosted by Leslie Spoone, on the 23rd and 25th.
Audio Description Project (ADP)
Thursday, June 23: Audio Description, “Nothing About Us Without Us”: Blind Consultants Involvement in Creating AD
Friday, June 24: Best of the 2021 Audio Description Gala
Saturday, June 25: Self-Description: Too Much or Just Enough — Blind Community Perspectives
Tuesday, July 5: Potential Employment Opportunities with the National Parks Service Utilizing Audio Description
Wednesday, July 6: Get to Know More About the 2022 Audio Description Project Award Winners. Also join ADP for their primetime event the evening of July 5: Entertainment Industry Update.
Berl Colley Leadership Committee
Will present Diversity and Inclusion Training on Saturday, July 2nd.
Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers (DKM)
Come and welcome the 2020, 2021, and 2022 DKM recipients on Wednesday evening, July 6th.
Join the committee for two sessions on Saturday, June 25th: “Navigating Employment in an Increasingly Virtual World” and “Don’t Let Social Security Impact Your Career.”
Information Access Committee (IAC)
On Thursday, June 23rd, IAC will hold a Zoom-only primetime evening session, “Living in the Digital Age.” On Saturday, July 2nd, they will host the always informative 411 from the IAC with all the latest technology news!
International Relations Committee (IRC)
On Thursday, June 23rd, IRC will hold a Zoom-only session featuring a panel of international programs of U.S. organizations for the blind.
Sunday, July 3rd, join IRC and MCAC for an up close and personal session with our international guest Marc Workman, Executive Director, World Blind Union.
On Monday, July 4th, join IRC for Voices from Around the World luncheon and presentation featuring a panel of individuals who came here as immigrant students and are now gainfully employed.
The 2022 membership seminar will be held on Wednesday, July 6th.
Multicultural Affairs Committee
MCAC is planning a luncheon and afternoon speaker on Wednesday, July 6th, and an in-person-only mixer the afternoon of July 5th. They will also join in on Sunday with IRC to welcome our international guests.
Pedestrian Environmental Access & Transportation
The Pedestrian Environmental Access and Transportation committees will hold “From Mobility and Beyond” sessions on July 3rd and 4th.
Rehab Issues Task Force
The Rehab Issues Task Force will hold a session on Monday, July 4th, titled “Unraveling Advocacy for Non-Vocational Rehabilitation Services through OIB and Medicaid.”
Resource Development Committee
The RDC is planning a session for the afternoon of Wednesday, July 6th.
Sight and Sound Impaired (SASI)
On Sunday, July 3rd, SASI will hold an in-person social, and a session on Monday on over-the-counter hearing aids.
Grab your water bottle and join us on Saturday, July 2nd at 6 p.m. for “Walking Everywhere” prior to opening general session.
Committee on Mental Health and Well-Being
This newly minted committee will host sessions on Monday, July 4th and Tuesday, July 5th.
Keep Up to Date with the Convention List
The conference and convention announce list will be chock-full of information. To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2021 convention, you do not need to subscribe to the list.
To make reservations online, go to https://book.passkey.com/event/50221160/owner/22518/home. When asked to select guest type on the main screen, select attendee. For those who wish to call in and make their reservation, call 1-800-HILTONS (that’s 1-800-445-8667) and reference the name of the group block, American Council of the Blind. The group code, if needed for those calling in, is ACB.
Room rates at the Hilton are $96 (single or double occupancy), with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room. Room tax is currently 18.16%. One night’s stay will be charged to your credit card when you book your reservation.
2022 Exhibit Information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
2022 Advertising and Sponsorships: Anthony Stephens, (202) 559-2045, [email protected]
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059, or by e-mail, [email protected].