by Janet Dickelman
As you prepare for your visit to Rochester, N.Y. for ACB’s 2019 conference and convention, I’ve dug up some fun facts about our convention city. Rochester is the third largest city in New York. It was voted the most livable city in the U.S. in 2007. If you are from Rochester, you are a Rochesterian.
Rochester is the birthplace of Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox Corporation and Bausch & Lomb. French’s Mustard, granola and Jell-O all originated in Rochester. Today, Rochester is known as both “Flour City” and the “Flower City.” These nicknames arose in the early to mid-1800s, when the town boasted both a thriving mill industry and profitable seed trade. Scenes from several Hollywood movies have been filmed in Rochester, including “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The Natural,” and “Spider-Man 2.”
And the 2019 ACB Banquet Speaker Is …
Songwriter and performer Ginny Owens will be speaking and entertaining ACB during our banquet on Thursday evening, July 11th. Ginny is a multiple award-winning and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter; she became a household name when she was named the Gospel Music Association’s “New Artist of the Year” in 2000. Her career includes 10 full-length recordings, three EPs, a popular Christmas album, number one radio singles, and numerous film and television placements. A degenerative eye condition left Ginny completely blind at age three.
She has performed at the Sundance Film Festival, Lilith Fair and the White House. In November 2016, Owens launched the Love Be the Loudest campaign, an initiative in which a portion of album sales are donated to increasing the work of non-profit organizations whose mission is to bring hope to the world.
In 2017, the sought-after songstress was commissioned to write the song, “Fly Away,” for the independent film “Trafficked” – a song that found itself among the selections considered for the Academy Awards ballot for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture earlier this year. Ginny is also an author, co-writing “Transcending Mysteries,” published by HarperCollins in 2015. The multi-faceted performer also hosts a popular video blog entitled, “How I See It,” in which Owens helps viewers understand the ins and outs of living day-to-day life as a blind person.
Dates and Details
Convention dates are Friday, July 5th through Friday, July 12th. The opening general session will be held Saturday evening, July 6th. Featuring local entertainment, the color guard ceremony and singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” plus welcomes by ACB president Kim Charlson and the president of ACB of New York. This is your opportunity to hear from some of our major corporate sponsors and be introduced to the 2019 Durward K. McDaniel First-Timers and the Leadership Fellows recipients.
Daily general sessions will continue mornings Sunday through Wednesday and all day Thursday (July 7th through 11th). Plans are still under way for these sessions. You will definitely hear from our talking book narrator, our international guest, learn the latest updates on advocacy and hear the always inspiring stories from our scholarship recipients.
The exhibit hall will open on Saturday, July 6th and will remain open through Wednesday, July 10th. There will be approximately 60 vendors featuring cutting-edge technology for blind and visually impaired users, items for daily living, recreation, guide dogs, jewelry and so much more!
Special-interest affiliates and committees will hold programs, seminars and workshops beginning Saturday, July 6th through Wednesday, July 10th. Teachers, students, families, attorney, entrepreneurs, the LGBT community and individuals who are losing their sight will hold approximately 200 sessions during convention week.
In addition, many of our sponsors and business partners will present programs, workshops and focus groups during the convention.
If you are a first-time convention attendee, if you haven’t joined us in several years, or if you are a veteran conventioneer, visit www.acb.org and review the 2018 conference and convention program. Every convention features unique opportunities to learn new skills, tips and techniques on a wide range of topics; reviewing last year’s program will give you an idea of what you can expect.
Continuing Education Units
In conjunction with ACVREP, ACB will once again offer CEUs for many of our convention sessions. Stay tuned to future issues of “The ACB Braille Forum” for more information.
Staying in Touch
Can’t get enough convention information? Check out the convention announce list; it will be filled with information! To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2018 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe.
Room rates at the Hyatt and the Riverside are $89 per night (single or double occupancy, with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room). This room rate does not include tax, which is currently 14%. To make your reservation, call the Riverside at (585) 546-6400, or the Hyatt at 1-800-233-1234. Make sure to mention you are with the American Council of the Blind 2019. Book your room by June 7, 2019 to guarantee the convention rate. To make reservations online, go to https://acbconvention.org/ and look for the hotel reservation link.
2019 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
2019 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, [email protected]
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman at (651) 428-5059 or via email, [email protected].