by Dan Spoone
Thank you, thank you, thank you for a wonderful convention. Our ACB staff, members, affiliates, volunteers, partners and friends all came together to deliver a tremendous Happy Birthday celebration for ACB on our 60th anniversary. The annual business meeting was highlighted by 13 candidate positions up for election. For the first time in our organization’s history, every member had an opportunity to vote, and participation in elections was up over 100%. It was so exciting to see all our members vote remotely. The affiliate roll call vote got better with every iteration.
A special motion to extend the annual business meeting to consider aligning ACB’s constitution and bylaws with the D.C. Non-profit Code passed with a 99.2 percent approval. The proposed amendments were considered on Aug. 15 and my hope is that the constitution was updated to allow remote voting for all of our members at future annual business meetings.
ACB Media Network was launched with 10 unique channels, and the audio-described tour channel featured over 20 parks, museums and special venues with impactful views of historical landmarks and memorable accomplishments for our nation.
There were over 160 breakout sessions from our committees, affiliates and sponsors. We had a prime time show each night with the Friends-in-Art Showcase and an audio description streaming panel with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, HBO and Comcast. The banquet featured a spectacular speech from Peter Sagal, host of “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” and the final night of the convention featured a stirring pre-Olympics show with NBC engineers, former Olympian Marla Runyan and current Paralympian Lex Gillette. The convention finale was the NBC simulcast of the Opening Ceremonies of the 32nd Olympiad with audio description (AD). ACB, we did it!
I’m so proud of everyone’s efforts. Please take this opportunity to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment. We will be reaching out to all of our members to encourage them to get involved in the 38 ACB committees. If your interest is in advocacy, scholarships and awards, peer support, communications, audio description, membership services, convention planning or fundraising, ACB needs your time, talent and treasure. Please be on the lookout for future announcements on how to join a committee. We look forward to our “Get Up and Get Moving” campaign featuring health and fitness in the areas of accessible exercise equipment, accessible durable medical equipment and a push for better personal health. The theme of this year’s convention was “Better Together Wherever We Are.” ACB members and friends are living this theme each day. Let’s keep the momentum going into 2022 and beyond. ACB, we did it!