The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is hosting its 58th annual conference and convention in the Flower City.
ACB is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives, independence and equal opportunity for people who are visually impaired. Thousands from around the country are expected be in attendance of this year’s initiative at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
The weeklong conference includes educational workshops and an exhibit hall full of vendors eager to show what's new and trending in the accessibility space.
Clark Rachfal, director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs for ACB, says this event has an everlasting impact on attendees.
“A convention like this is really important,” said Rachfal. “To bring people together and let them know that they’re not the only one living in their circumstances. So they can meet other successful individuals; they can share their highest of high achievements and their lowest of low moments.”
Jenine Stanley of Columbus, OH has attended ACB’s conventions for decades and shares what keeps her coming back.
"I've been coming here for 30 years, and I have friendships that go back that far,” said Stanley. “Just walking around and seeing people that I've seen forever at conventions, we talk online; we correspond in different ways; but this is the one time we actually get to be together.”
Edwin Rumsey of Houston, TX says he enjoys traveling for ACB’s annual conventions and progressing as a person.
“We try to show that we are more than just a blind person,” said Rumsey. “We are a person who happens to be blind, and so we want to participate in all facets of life and our community."
ACB’s convention will come to a close on July 12.