We began our first steps in reestablishing an ACB chapter last August, 2010. We scheduled and held our first organizational meeting at St. Marks Methodist Church at which several people were in attendance, including, in support of our efforts, Mike and Dolly Sowder, and Rita Kersh, 3 chapter members of the South Central Association of the Visually Impaired (SCAVI). It was a very positive beginning; and from that point on, we met on a monthly basis.
We began working on our constitution and bylaws in the fall, and after much consideration and deliberation, finished this work of art which was submitted to the ACBI Board of Directors at their April meeting. With the approval of the ACBI Board of Directors, we were officially on our way and recognized at the national convention in July as a new charter. The Heartland Association of ACB was established!
We’ve had a productive first year and had some fun along the way. We organized and held an accessibility awareness activity for children and presented it on a Saturday in April at the Monroe County Public Library. As a chapter, we educated ourselves regarding the available technologies for making prescription drugs information accessible for blind and visually impaired people and advocated with General Assembly for the passage of legislation that would require that prescription information, upon request, be made accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers. We also had some fun socializing, combined with a little business, at local restaurants and gathered several times to bowl at a local bowling alley.
At our July meeting, our plan is to elect our first slate of officers. Our nominees for office are: President Barbara Salisbury, Vice-President Jeff Busch, Secretary Ted Boardman and Treasurer Vince Ross.
Although our membership is small, we are committed. We have a diverse group, with IU students, retired seniors and active community members. We are looking forward to our second year, now as an official chapter, and are planning a membership outreach this fall.
We are the Heartland Association of ACB and eagerly moving forward as we begin our second year in August!