“Dots and Dashes” is a short newsletter featuring a variety of topics and ACB stories. This issue features information about the 2020 convention going virtual, the extension of the awards deadline, community conference calls, Advocacy Updates, and a request to take a survey on how the coronavirus has affected you.
2020 Convention Goes Virtual
For more information, read the press release at https://acb.org/acb-board-vote-convention-2020.
The American Council of the Blind board of directors voted unanimously to forego its annual conference and convention in Schaumburg, Ill., 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.
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.
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.
Awards Deadline Extended
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards committee has extended the deadline to April 15th. So get that nomination letter written and email it to Debbie Rozear, email@example.com, and Deb Trevino, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details about the various awards, visit https://acb.org/call-nominees-2020-acb-awards. One award was inadvertently left out of the article: the Margarine G. Beaman Volunteer Recognition Award honors individuals who have given tirelessly of their efforts, resources, expertise or time toward improving the quality of life in the blindness community. The achievements, accomplishments or service, on which the nominations are based, must reflect ACB’s vision and mission. This award may be given to a deserving individual or organization.
If you have any questions, please call Deb Trevino at (302) 286-7276, or Debbie Rozear at (610) 295-7929.
Community Conference Calls
At a time when our country is in a state of social distancing, your ACB family has opportunities for you to connect with others from the comfort of your home. ACB’s affiliates, committees and members are hosting a variety of community conference calls so you can stay in touch with your ACB community. To see the complete list, visit https://acb.org/ACB-community-conference-calls. The information is also recorded at extension 1017 in the ACB national office.
The April 9th edition of ACB’s Advocacy Update features the PBS Independent Lens series “Blind Love.” Clark and Claire discuss what is so attractive to producer Patty Zagarella about dating while blind, and we speak with Blind Lover Joni Martinez about her quest to find Mr. Right. Listen via your favorite podcast player, or online at http://acbradio.org/acb-advocacy-update-4-9-20. Blind Love is available with audio description on YouTube at https://youtu.be/eC7ZLLMHVvY.
On the April 2nd edition of the Advocacy Update, we hear from Marcie Roth, president and CEO of the World Institute on Disability. Marcie talks with Clark and Claire about what needs to be done to provide emergency services to people with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at http://acbradio.org/acb-advocacy-update-4-2-20. To learn more about the World Institute on Disability, visit: https://wid.org/.
Take the Survey
Make sure your voice is heard by participating in a study investigating experiences of adults who are blind or have low vision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Major community organizations and companies have joined forces to collect feedback on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the lives of adults with visual impairments and to identify solutions for these challenges. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences in the following areas:
- Social experiences
- Access to meals, food, and supplies
Take the survey at: https://flatteninaccessibility.com/. The survey closes on April 13 at 8 a.m. Eastern.