by Janet Dickelman
As you read this, we will be in the midst of conference registration. Although you can register on site, pre-registration saves time and money. There is still plenty of time; pre-registration will remain open until June 23rd. To pre-register, visit www.acb.org or call 1-800-866-3242.
Convention dates are July 5th through July 12th.
Make sure to read the conference gems section of the 2019 program and learn of all the generous sponsorships. I’d like to acknowledge three sponsors whose generous gifts directly impact your convention costs.
Reduced Hotel Rates
Please don’t contact the hotels about this exciting news. This will all be handled internally! Aira is a crown jewel sponsor at this year’s convention. They are not only providing reduced hotel room rates, but free access to Aira for everyone!
Aira Looks Forward to Welcoming You to the 2019 American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention in Rochester!
As you know, the 2019 American Council of the Blind conference and convention will be held in Rochester, N.Y. from Friday, July 5th through Friday, July 12th. What you may not know is that this year’s reduced room rates come courtesy of Aira. ACB members attending the conference can enjoy a reduced hotel rate of $82 per night. This is applicable for ACB members only.
Aira will also be providing free service during the event, meaning you can explore and experience everything the convention has to offer with Aira at no cost to you – from the moment you get to Rochester Airport, to entering your reduced rate hotel room, to visiting exhibit booths and reading menus while at dinner with friends.
Aira and ACB look forward to meeting you at this year’s conference and convention. Come say “hi” to the Aira team at their booth and attend their interactive talks. You can find all the details about Aira convention happenings at aira.io/acb.
Reduced Tour Costs
Thanks to a diamond sponsorship from JPMorgan Chase for off-site ACB educational and recreational events, many of our tour costs have been reduced. Some of the tours impacted by this sponsorship are our visit to Niagara Falls, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Eastman House, Susan B. Anthony and Strong Museum of Play. This new pricing will be reflected on the registration form.
Google, also a diamond sponsor, is sponsoring our banquet, which has greatly reduced the cost of our banquet tickets. Have a great meal, enjoy a wonderful performance by our special guest Ginny Owens and take home a banquet favor, all courtesy of Google!
More News about Focus Groups and Studies
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is committed to meeting the banking and financial services needs of all our customers. Members of JPMC’s digital team will be on site to show you how they make digital products accessible and usable by all.
We would like your input on our Chase mobile checkout app. For this study, we are seeking iPhone VoiceOver users who are also small business owners or have a side business where they accept card payments. In these sessions of 1-1 user testing, we will ask you to complete common tasks using a test device to get your feedback. The study will not require you to log into your personal phone. Your personal information will remain protected.
Sessions are expected to last approximately one hour.
To attend one of the sessions, please contact [email protected].
Sessions will be held on Monday, July 8th and Tuesday, July 9th. Session times are (two sessions available per timeslot):
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
UNAR Labs is seeking individuals to test new digital information products using multisensory feedback on smartphones and tablets. UNAR’s team is motivated by the mission of making all aspects of digital media accessible to everyone beyond their sensory limitations. We are building new technology to enable multisensory access to digital media information and to bridge the gap between disability and opportunity. We want to understand the current needs and problems of blind and visually impaired users in supporting your educational, social, and vocational training as well as in everyday life activities. We invite all interested people to take a brief 20-30 minutes of your time during the conference to talk with us about your experiences and perspective of accessibility problems related to information access. We also want to show you some of our new access products and get your input on where we are going. UNAR Labs team members will be available all day July 8th, 9th and 10th; see the convention newspaper for the room number. All participants will be entered into a raffle; four lucky winners will be selected on July 10th. Each winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card. For more information, and to sign up, send email to [email protected].
Microsoft will be hosting three sessions. As of this writing, dates and times have not yet been finalized. Featured sessions will be “What’s New in Narrator,” “Magnifier and Low Vision Improvements within Windows 10,” and “Adventures with Microsoft Soundscape.”
Staying in Touch
Convention previews are sent out to the convention email list. They will also be aired on ACB Radio for those who don’t have e-mail access. Previews provide details regarding programming, tours, hotel materials and menus as well as information about the Rochester area. If you received updates for the 2018 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe.
If you have not been on the convention announce list, send a blank e-mail to
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%. For telephone reservations, 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. Rooms must be booked by June 7, 2019 to guarantee the convention rate.
To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2019 convention 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, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, (651) 428-5059 or via email, [email protected].