By Cindy Hollis, ACB Membership Services Coordinator
When the pandemic hit in March and everyone all over the country was required to stay home, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) responded with 13 conference calls in those first two weeks, which morphed into 88 in April, 160 in May, and 223 in June. These conference calls became the community events as we know them today, and ACB Radio has dedicated a new channel, the community stream, to host live and replay recorded content. Access the stream on our website by visiting www.acbradio.org/community. You can enjoy many of our past community events available for download here: www.acbradio.org/acb-events.
More than 20,000 attendees have taken part in over 500 events held to date which have been social in nature, topic driven discussions, more formal presentations, and yes, even some fun with crafts and games. Young and old, members and non-members, from west to east and south to north, and even those outside of the U.S. have become regular participants in this virtual space where friendships are being made and the ACB community is growing and going strong.
Join our Community Events email list for a morning email with that day’s schedule by visiting http://acblists.org/mailman/listinfo/acb-community-events.
In a desire by community participants for ongoing relationship building, the ACB Community Facebook group was established in mid-June, allowing folks to continue connection outside of the virtual events. This is a great place to ask questions, engage in conversation, help one another, share thoughts and ideas, and support one another in a safe, respectful, and positive space. To become a member of our group, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/acbcommunity.
Our ACB community events and Facebook group are a wonderful way for those who are blind or low vision to experience personal growth, build new relationships, and make social connections, and all during a time when many feel isolated and out of sorts. Membership in ACB is absolutely not required. But we certainly hope those who currently aren’t members will decide to join with us either through one of our state or special-interest affiliates, as a member at large of ACB, or if not quite ready to become a member, as a friend of ACB. To learn more about becoming a member or friend of ACB, visit: http://www.acb.org/join-ACB.
Finally, if you’ve been taking part in our community, thank you. If you have not yet joined us, please do. We’d love to welcome you. All you need is a computer, smart phone, or regular phone and you too can join us in one of our Zoom rooms where no masks are required and there’s always an empty seat waiting just for you.
If you have questions or suggestions about community events, reach out to Cindy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.