by Janet Dickelman
As you read this, convention pre-registration will be up and running. Most information regarding affiliate and committee programming and all ACB tours will be listed on the registration form. You can register online at www.acbconvention.org. You can also register by telephone, 1-800-866-3242. For additional registration information, review my article in the May issue.
Convention dates are June 29th through July 6th. Join ACB at Union Station Hotel in St. Louis. Below is an overview of some extras the convention has to offer!
Calling All Kids!
If you plan to bring a child age 5 to age 13 to this year’s convention, we have some really great trips planned. Kids’ Club will be open Saturday evening from 6:30 to 9 p.m.; Sunday through Thursday, it will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday evening during the banquet. Each day includes breakfast, lunch, crafts, swimming and a daily field trip. For additional information, check the convention registration form.
Microsoft comes to St. Louis! A huge thank you to Microsoft, a corporate sponsor at the double diamond level. Microsoft will present four sessions for convention attendees.
Microsoft: Narrator, Ease of Access, Office Hours and More
Microsoft’s first session will be held Saturday, June 30th, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. In this session, Microsoft staffers will demonstrate how to use Narrator and other Microsoft Ease of Access features to collaborate with friends and colleagues in Office apps like Forms and OneNote. Bring your questions about accessibility!
Microsoft will also hold its Accessibility Office Hours from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
On Sunday, July 1 from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., they will host a session titled Accessibility in Windows, and on Monday from 4:15 to 7 p.m., you can attend Microsoft Soundscape Training.
JPMorgan Chase: Testing the Mobile Banking App
JPMorgan Chase, an emerald sponsor, is holding sessions on Monday the 2nd and Tuesday the 3rd. Members of their digital team will show you how we make digital products accessible and usable by all. They would like your input on their mobile banking app. If you use the iPhone VoiceOver feature, they need you! In these one-to-one user testing sessions, they will ask you to complete common banking tasks on the Chase app using test devices to get your feedback. Sessions are expected to last approximately one hour. If you are interested in participating, contact Marc Kwok at Marc.Kwok@chase.com.
HumanWare: BrailleNote Touch, Brailliant, Victor Reader Trek & Stream
HumanWare, a ruby sponsor, will hold two sessions in St. Louis.
Sunday, July 1
5:45 – 7 p.m.
HumanWare BrailleNote Touch/Brailliant BI14
The BrailleNote Touch is the first and only Google-certified braille tablet which blends powerful and intuitive apps for managing, accessing and creating information from KeySoft with millions of apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Join us as we review new features such as full QWERTY support, the ability to directly emboss graphics, as well as the implementation of one-handed operation, in addition to many new and exciting features. We will also have the opportunity to discuss the much anticipated Brailliant BI14, which is now shipping. There will be time for questions and feedback.
Monday, July 2
5:45 – 7 p.m.
What is new with Victor? A Trek/Stream discussion
Success of the Victor Reader Trek and Stream marches on into 2018! Join the HumanWare team at the annual Stream User Forum. Share stories and tips on downloading and playing back books and periodicals from favorite websites. Learn what is new with both the Stream and Trek. There will be time set aside for live demonstrations of new exciting features, as well as for your questions.
VFO: JAWS and ZoomText
On Saturday, June 30 from 9 to 11 a.m., VFO, a ruby sponsor, will hold a users’ group meeting for JAWS and ZoomText customers from the past, present, and future. Join Eric Damery and Scott Moore for this two-hour session to discuss all the special Home Use pricing opportunities for ACB members. There will be demonstrations of significant feature changes and interesting options in JAWS and ZoomText to improve your day-to-day access on the Internet, email, and applications from Office 365 and Google Docs.
HIMS: The Future of Braille Displays
Also on Saturday, HIMS will hold a session from 10 to 11 a.m. titled “Finally, Something New in a Braille Display!” Join HIMS for a comprehensive review of braille technology: “What Is the Future of Braille Displays? — and the Braille Display of the future?"
APH: Orbit Reader 20, Graphiti, Matt Connect
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) will hold a session on Saturday, June 30th at 11 a.m. that will highlight a number of their most popular products, including the latest on the Orbit Reader 20, the first truly affordable braille display. Staffers will demonstrate some of the coolest features of the Graphiti, our multi-line graphing braille display, and our talking graphing calculator, the Orion TI-84. You’ll also get to see the Matt Connect, developed through our partnership with HumanWare, and APH’s handheld video magnifier, the Video Mag HD, developed with our partners at VFO. There will be plenty of opportunities for questions and answers.
Second Sight: Developments in Artificial Vision
Join Second Sight on Saturday, June 30th, from 9 to 11 a.m. to learn about the latest developments in artificial vision, and get the chance to speak to company representatives and users of the technology. Find out how the Argus 2 Retinal Prosthesis System has helped hundreds of blind people. Second Sight will also be available in the exhibit hall to answer questions.
Accessible Prescription Labels
On Monday, July 2nd from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., join En-Vision America’s Amanda Tolson for a session called “Accessible Prescriptions Labels - Past, Present and Future.” She will discuss the history of accessible prescription labels and where it is headed. Joining her will be Jamie Revelle from Express Scripts Pharmacy to discuss the importance of pharmacies offering accessible prescriptions labels.
Want more accessible prescription information? Stick around for the 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. session titled “Express Scripts: On a Journey to Inclusivity.” Jamie Revelle will describe how a focus on the belief that good accessibility is better usability for all is shaping Express Scripts’ journey to improved inclusivity.
Still craving more information? Check out the 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. session, “Talking Bar Codes — Why an App Just Doesn’t Cut It.” En-Vision America’s Amanda Tolson will explore why phone apps are not always the answer to quality information from bar codes. Learn how data is important and the bar code is just a means to the information.
On Tuesday, July 3rd, there will be several sessions on accessible prescription laws and advocacy. The first session is from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., and it features Nevada president Rick Kuhlmey, who has issued a challenge to all state and special-interest affiliate presidents to get laws passed in your states regarding accessible prescriptions. He will talk about what was involved in making accessible prescriptions the law in Nevada. Come away from the national convention with a plan and even get a jump start on writing your state’s resolution.
Interested in advocating for accessible prescriptions? The second session, from 5:30 to 6 p.m., is for you! Are you passionate about helping yourself or other people? Have you always wanted to demo accessible prescription labels? Join En-Vision America’s Sharla Glass to get set up as a ScripTalk Ambassador, apply for a demonstration kit, and take your advocacy efforts to the next level.
Do you use ScripTalk, ScriptView, or braille prescription labels? Would you be willing to share your experiences with accessible prescription labels in a new En-Vision America video? Schedule a 10-minute videotaped interview session with us. You must sign a release waiver. You will receive a $10 Visa gift card. Call June Robbins at (941) 348-5925 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited; interviews will be scheduled on Monday and Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Bookshare’s Office Hours
On Tuesday, July 3rd, Bookshare will hold its office hours from 5:45 to 7 p.m. for Bookshare members. Stop by to say hello, meet other members, enjoy light refreshments, hear about the latest Bookshare updates, and get answers to your Bookshare-related questions.
Google, a double diamond sponsor, plans to hold two sessions during the convention. At press time, the session topics, times and dates were not yet available. Watch the convention email list for updated information on these and other sessions.
Staying in Touch
The convention announce list will be filled with information on tech sessions and more! If you received updates for the 2017 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe.
Room rates at Union Station are $89; this rate applies for up to 2 people in a king room and up to 4 guests in a room with two queen beds. Room tax is currently 18.435%. Make telephone reservations by calling (314) 231-1234, and be sure to mention you are with the American Council of the Blind to get the convention room rate. To make reservations online, visit www.acb.org and follow the 2018 convention link.
2018 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, email@example.com
2018 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, firstname.lastname@example.org
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, email@example.com.