by Dan Spoone
The theme of the 2021 ACB conference and convention is “Better Together Wherever We Are.” We embrace this spirit of sharing our combined knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. Together, we welcome a week-long celebration of our accomplishments in advocacy and member engagement. We congratulate 21 scholarship winners and remember ACB Angels that have given so much to our community.
Now, this is really cool! Thanks to NBC Comcast, ACB will live stream with video and audio description the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics. How amazing is this? The finale of the convention on Friday evening, July 23, will be a live simulcast of the opening ceremony of the 32nd Summer Olympiad. There will be a pre-show with interviews from the audio describers and back screen guests from NBC producers. Special thanks to the ADP Committee, chaired by Kim Charlson and Carl Richardson, for all their efforts in organizing the broadcast.
This year’s convention will feature over 130 breakout sessions, an exhibit hall, an audio description tour channel, a prime time show each evening and an informative general session each morning. We will hold our first remote elections with 13 contests. There will be 5 officers, 5 board positions and 3 BOP positions on the ballot. The elections will take place starting on Monday, July 19 and running through the end of the convention on Friday, July 23. There are plans for a contingency day on Saturday, if we cannot finish all the elections by Friday.
We are excited to welcome Peter Segal, host of “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!,” at Thursday night’s banquet to share his story of being a sighted guide for a blind runner during the Boston Marathon bombing. Peter is a wonderful storyteller, and we look forward to his inspirational thoughts. The auction will be on Tuesday, July 20 with 72 spectacular items up for bid. Friends-in-Art will host the FIA Showcase on Friday, July 16 to kick off the festivities.
Monday evening, July 19 will feature an Audio Description (AD) panel discussion with 8 leaders from the major broadcast streaming services including Apple, Amazon, Disney and Netflix. The Best Picture Oscar Winner, “Nomadland,” will be presented on Friday night. Wednesday night’s prime-time show will feature smart financial and banking applications for managing your money.
The entire eight days of the convention will be broadcast on ACB Radio with six separate breakout channels, an exhibit hall channel and an audio description tour channel. All general sessions, prime time shows, the banquet and the Olympics’ opening ceremony will all be video live streamed on YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.
The 13th ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk will be held on Sunday night, July 18 immediately preceding the opening session. The ACB Mini Mall will be open during the entire convention featuring unique convention collectibles. The Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) program will be offering a $500 prize to a lucky winner that signs up with a new pledge of $10 per month or increasing their amount by $5 per month. You can become an individual sponsor of the convention or purchase a lucky Braille Forum drawing ticket to win a grand prize of $5,000. There are so many ways to participate and show your love for the American Council of the Blind.
Please come join us for the 60th annual ACB conference and convention. It’s not too late to register. Let’s make this the largest virtual audience ever. All registered convention-goers will receive a program in their choice of braille, large print or digital format. You will receive Zoom links for each session and be eligible for door prizes. Together, we can create an environment that celebrates our independence and embraces our support for each other. ACB is always “Better Together Wherever We Are!”