Dots and Dashes from Washington 3/22/19

“Dots and Dashes” is a short newsletter featuring a variety of topics and ACB stories. This issue features a job opening in ACB’s Minnesota office, awards deadlines, a convention tour preview, information about a Section 503 study, Advocacy Updates, and more.


ACB Seeks Membership Services Coordinator

The American Council of the Blind has a position opening for a Membership Services Coordinator, located in ACB’s Brooklyn Center, Minnesota office. This individual will work forty hours per week and will report to the ACB Executive Director. For details about the position, visit


Awards Deadlines Loom

The deadlines for awards to be presented at this year’s ACB convention are looming! The deadline for the Board of Publications awards – the Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award, Vernon Henley Media Award, and the Hollis Liggett Braille Free Press Award – is April 1. The deadline for the Robert S. Bray, George Card, Durward K. McDaniel Ambassador Award, James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Award, Affiliate Outreach and Affiliate Growth Awards is April 5.

For further details about the awards, visit and

Please submit your nominations right away! Late submissions will not be considered. Nominations for the Freeman, Henley and Liggett Awards should be sent to Sharon Lovering,, by 11:59 p.m. Eastern April 1, 2019. Email nomination letters for the Bray, Card, DKM, Olsen, and Affiliate Outreach Awards to Debra Trevino,, and Debbie Rozear,, by 11:59 p.m. Eastern April 5, 2019.


Convention Tour Preview

Below is a summary of the 2019 tours in Rochester, N.Y. during the Conference and Convention of the American Council of the Blind. For more complete tour information, including prices per person, visit

On Friday, July 5th, tours include a trip to the Genesee Country Village, a city bus tour, and a dinner cruise on the Colonial Belle. The Genesee Country Village is not wheelchair-accessible.

Saturday’s tours include a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame (lots of walking in crowded conditions) and two city bus tours (no stops, no walking).

Sunday’s tour is a trip to Leroy, N.Y. to visit the Jell-O Gallery, Leroy House and the Museum of Transportation. Portions of this tour are not wheelchair-accessible; it involves a considerable amount of walking.

Monday’s tours include a trip to the Corning Museum of Glass and Cugini Café (lots of walking), one to the Strong Museum of Play (lots of walking), the sweet tooth tour to Laughing Gull Chocolates, and a trip to Batavia Downs Casino.

Tuesday’s tours include an adult beverage tour (bring your ID), the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum (not wheelchair-accessible), and the Memorial Art Gallery.

Wednesday’s tours include a trip to the New York School for the Blind, George Eastman House, and a repeat of the sweet tooth tour. 

The post-convention tour on Friday, July 12th, is to Niagara Falls. It’s an all-day tour with a lot of walking (approximately 2 miles), steps, and slippery surfaces. There are no seats on the Maid of the Mist boat; you must have good balance for this tour.


Section 503 Study

ACB received a request from Marco Tarantino, NIB’s Policy and Employment Fellow working out of the Envision Research Institute in Wichita, Kansas.  His fellowship project is focused on the Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503) regulatory changes that took effect in 2014 and understanding how they have affected employment outcomes for blind and low vision individuals. He is recruiting blind or low-vision participants for unstructured interviews conducted through telephone, over video call, or in person, lasting approximately 45 minutes. Interview questions will pertain to the various situations that blind and low vision applicants/employees face in the employment cycle related to Section 503.  All information discussed regarding an individual will be deidentified and used solely for the purpose of research. To participate, contact him by phone at (316) 440-1524, or visit


Advocacy Updates

In the March 15th Advocacy Update, special guest Cory Kadlik joins Claire Stanley and Clark Rachfal. Cory was a JPMorgan fellowship recipient for our 2019 Leadership Meetings and is a member of the Next Generation committee. The three discuss Cory’s experience attending the leadership meetings in February. Listen via your favorite podcast player, or hear it online at

The March 6th Advocacy Update features Claire Stanley, Clark Rachfal, and guest board member Katie Frederick discussing the three imperatives ACB will focus on this year. The podcast also features Matt Handley’s phenomenal presentation from the Legislative Seminar. Tune in via your favorite podcast player, or listen online at


Have You Had Problems with U World?

Are you familiar with, or have you used a test prep program call U World? It prepares users to take the SAT, ACT, MCAT, and so forth. If you have, or know someone who has had problems with U World or other test prep companies, contact Claire Stanley, (202) 467-5081 or


Open Call with ACB’s Advocacy Committee

In recent months, ACB staff has made available podcasts on a variety of issues to inform the membership on some of our activities. The Advocacy Committee, in a further effort to make you aware of the issues facing our community and to hear from you on your concerns, will be holding an open call on April 3, 2019, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Eastern, or 5 to 6:30 p.m. Pacific. The call will be held using a Zoom platform; the information is contained below. For those unfamiliar with Zoom, you can use a landline, cell phone, or a computer. You will hear about some of the most important issues in which ACB is involved, and have the opportunity to ask about those issues as well as bring up other items that you feel require our involvement.

ACB Advocacy Committee call (open to all)
Date: Wednesday, April 3
Time: 8 p.m. Eastern
Call-in number: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 646576098

When prompted for a participant code, press the pound key. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at