by Janet Dickelman
The 2020 American Council of the Blind conference and convention will be held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill. Convention dates are Friday, July 3rd through Friday, July 10th. The exhibit hall, located in the Exploration ballroom (open Saturday, July 4th through Wednesday, July 8th), will feature the latest and greatest in technology and items for home, work and play!
ACB special-interest affiliates and committee programs, seminars and mixers, will be held Saturday, July 4th and run through Wednesday, July 8th. Tech sessions offered by our business partners will begin on Saturday, July 4th. Our opening general session is Saturday evening, July 4th in the Discovery Ballroom. What a great way to celebrate our country’s birthday!
Morning sessions Sunday through Wednesday and the all-day Thursday session will feature elections and ACB business. Don’t miss the annual banquet Thursday evening featuring the presentation of ACB awards, the ACB Braille Forum raffle drawing and our keynote speaker (to be announced).
Start Your Day with Breakfast
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) will host a breakfast Sunday morning, July 5th. National Industries for the Blind will hold a breakfast Tuesday morning. Both breakfasts will feature speakers who will share information about their work.
Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) offers breakfast on Monday for GDB graduates and others interested in learning about guide dogs.
If you plan to attend the convention and need a support service provider or interpreter, please contact Lori Scharff, who will assist in making arrangements. Send her an email with “interpreter for Schaumburg” in the subject line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you’d prefer, you can contact Lori via phone, (516) 695-6370.
If you need a wheelchair or scooter during the convention, Lang Home Medical is offering ACB weekly rates. Standard wheelchairs, depending on the size, are $45 to $80 per week. Scooters are $125 per week. There will be an additional $15 delivery fee. To reserve your wheelchair or scooter, call (847) 957-7443 and ask for Matt. You will be asked to provide a credit card for payment. You must reserve prior to June 15th. Once you have reserved your wheelchair, please let me know; I’ll be maintaining a master list for delivery purposes.
Sally Benjamin, ACB volunteer coordinator, and the Illinois host committee are working to obtain volunteers to assist convention attendees at the Renaissance and the airports. Here are a few reminders to make things run smoothly for convention attendees and volunteers.
Volunteers are happy to help you locate meeting rooms, the exhibit hall, your table in the ballroom, restaurants in the hotel and the elevator bays. Volunteers cannot accompany you to the sleeping room floors or assist you in locating your room. If you need help getting to and from your hotel room, you will need to make arrangements with a friend or family member to assist you.
Volunteers or hotel staff cannot administer medications or assist you with other health-care needs.
Volunteers and hotel staff can assist you in locating dog relief areas, but they are not expected to take your dog out for you.
If you use a wheelchair, ACB convention volunteers may not be physically able to push your chair. Please don’t count on ACB volunteers or hotel staff to be wheelchair pushers.
A limited number of volunteers will accompany each tour. Volunteers will help as much as possible; however, they are not personal guides or personal care attendants. If you need individual assistance, please plan to attend the tour with a friend who can act as your guide, PCA or wheelchair pusher.
Assistance at the Airport
To assist airline personnel and Margarine Beaman and her cadre of airport volunteers, if you would like assistance when you arrive at either O’Hare or Midway, please send Margarine the following information:
- Your name
- Airport name
- The name of the airline you will be arriving on
- Your departure city
- Arrival flight number
- Arrival date and time
- Departure airport
- Departure airline
- Departure date
- Departure time
- Your cell phone number
You can send Margarine an email with “airline information” in the subject line at email@example.com, or call her at (512) 921-1625.
Ordering Dog Food
Scoopmasters will provide and maintain our dog relief areas. If you would like to pre-order dog food to be delivered to your hotel room, call Tim Stone at 1-800-787-7667, or order online at
https://scoopmasters.com/acb. Food must be ordered by June 15th to ensure delivery.
Staying in Touch
The conference and convention announce list will be filled to the brim with information! To subscribe to the list, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you received updates for the 2019 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe.
Room rates at the Renaissance are $94 per night (for up to four people in a room), plus tax, which is currently 15%. For telephone reservations, call 1-800-468-3571. This is a central reservations number, so make sure you let them know you want a reservation at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel. Due to limited computer characters, the block is listed as AMERICN COUNCL BLIND. (American is missing the second “A” and Council doesn’t have an “I.”) Rooms must be reserved by June 10, 2020 to guarantee the convention rate.
2020 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, email@example.com
2020 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, firstname.lastname@example.org
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, (651) 428-5059 or via email, email@example.com.