American Council of the Blind 57th Annual Conference & Convention

American Council of the Blind 57th Annual Conference & Convention

The 57th ACB Conference and Convention will take place Friday, June 29, 2018 to Friday, July 6, 2018, at the Union Station Hotel, 1820 Market Street, St Louis, Missouri, 63103. Approximately 1,000 blind and visually impaired people are expected to attend this conference from across the United States and from many foreign countries. Countless others will listen to selected broadcasts from the conference on ACB’s internet radio service. Still others will read the conference program and newspaper from the ACB website and on ACB email lists. Included among these participants will be blind entrepreneurs, students, teachers, rehabilitation professionals, attorneys, musicians, parents and grandparents. There will be people looking for work and people who use all kinds of adaptive technology; people who are interested in large print, recorded, digital and braille products; elderly people who are just learning to live with vision loss; and young people attending college and just starting new careers.

Exhibiting, advertising, and sponsoring events and programs at an ACB conference and convention are great ways to showcase your products and services to potential customers. Explore the Exhibitor, Advertising, and Sponsor links to learn how to exhibit in the busy exhibit hall, advertise in the official conference program and newspaper, sponsor events and services, and place product samples and literature in our registration bags. Use these opportunities to showcase your products and services to a broad cross-section of blind and visually impaired people across the nation and around the world.

Hotel Information:

Room rates at the Union Station Hotel are $89 (single or double) with an additional $10.00 per person for up to four guests per room. Room tax (currently 18.4 percent) will be added to your room charge. When you make your reservation one night’s stay will be charged to your credit card.

The hotel features a swimming pool, fitness center and restaurants for all price ranges.

Make telephone reservations by calling (314) 231-1234; make sure to mention you are with American Council of the Blind to obtain the conference and convention room rate.

ID: Gateway arch over a blue sky with ACB logo in the center.
ID: Gateway arch over a blue sky with ACB logo in the center.


There are several options for traveling to St Louis for the 2018 ACB Conference and Convention. St Louis is served by Lambert Airport, code STL.

Many airlines fly to St. Louis:

  • Air Canada
  • Air Choice One
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • XTRAirways

Go Best Express shuttle is offering ACB a rate of $38.25 round trip from the airport.

Reservations can be made by calling 314-222-5300 ask for discount code: ACB2018

St. Louis is also served by Amtrak, Greyhound and Mega bus; all 3 stop at the Gateway Transportation Center at 430 South 15th Street, five blocks from the hotel.

Using Paratransit:

To be certified for Paratransit, contact (314) 652-3617.

Other Information:

General Session:

  • Opening general session Saturday, June 30, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 4, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Thursday, July 5, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Exhibit Hall:

  • Open Saturday, June 30, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday through Tuesday, July 1 through 3, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday, July 4, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM


Pre-Convention Tours, Friday, June 29th

The St. Louis Gateway Arch is probably the best-known landmark in Missouri. You’ll take a tram to the top of the arch and spend time in the newly renovated arch museum. The tour also includes a narrated cruise down the Mississippi River while enjoying lunch. This tour is not wheelchair or walker accessible. If you plan to attend the Cardinals game Friday evening, you can do both tours.

Take me out to the ball game! The St. Louis Cardinals will play the Atlanta Braves Friday evening at Busch Stadium. If you love baseball, this is your chance to see the 11-time World Series champions, the Cardinals!

Saturday, June 30th

One of today’s tours goes to Busch Stadium and the Cardinals Museum. If you didn’t get to attend the baseball game, you might enjoy this tour! You’ll hear about the rich history of the team, including the press box and the luxury clubs. At the museum, try your hand at being an announcer and try on a World Series ring. There will be a number of opportunities for souvenir shopping.

If you’ve been to a convention before, chances are you’ve been on a city bus tour. Well, St. Louis has a better way: trolleys! Instead of a bus, you’ll ride in a trolley as your guide describes the city of St. Louis. What a great way to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the city! The trolley seats are wooden, and you will feel some bumps as you ride along, but this tour is well worth it! The trolley tour repeats on Sunday.

Sunday, July 1

Do you enjoy music and/or history? If so, you’ll love the tour to the Blues Museum! This museum has music and memorabilia from the 1920s to the present, and docents who love to talk about all the museum has to offer. After touring the museum, we’ll enjoy a St. Louis style barbecue meal while attending a blues concert.

Monday, July 2

Monday features four tours to appeal to all the senses: the St. Louis Botanical Gardens, the Missouri School for the Blind, The Muny, and a trip to a casino. Enjoy the statuary and all the scents the Botanical Gardens has to offer: the Middle Eastern garden, Japanese garden, and more. The Missouri School for the Blind offers a variety of hands-on experiences. At the Muny, you’ll enjoy a backstage touch tour and dinner before attending an audio-described performance of “Singin’ in the Rain” at an outdoor amphitheater. And if you enjoy gambling, join RSVA for an evening of fun at a local casino.

Tuesday, July 3

By this time in convention week, most folks either crave sweets or a drink (or two). ACB’s tour coordinator is currently working on a sweet tooth tour; more information will follow. If you’re craving a drink, take the tour to Busch Gardens – no, not the theme park. You’ll learn about the history of Busch beer, and have several tasting opportunities; you’ll also get to meet the Clydesdales and pet them and take photos. If you enjoy “Law and Order,” check out the historic courthouse tour! Built in 1849, this courthouse still has the original judge’s bench and tables for the plaintiff and defendant. You’ll be able to participate in a mock trial.

Wednesday, July 4

The city trolley tour makes a comeback on Wednesday. Forget the bus tour – ride through the city in a trolley while your guide describes the area! Be prepared to feel some bumps along the way.

You’ll also get a chance to tour the hotel, the former Union Station. It is full of history and railroad memorabilia. Walk through the hotel and listen to a historian describe it – it’s a train lover’s paradise!

Post-Convention Tours, Friday, July 6

We saved the best two tours for after convention this year. English teachers and Mark Twain fans alike will enjoy a visit to Hannibal, Mo., to Mark Twain’s birthplace and museum, and take a luncheon riverboat cruise. You’ll even get the chance to walk through the labyrinth cave featured in many of Twain’s books! Not a fan of Twain? Take the dinner and haunted history tour, featuring a meal at Morgan’s Pub. Dave, our guide, will regale us with anecdotes about haunted locations in St. Louis.

Affiliate Activities, Workshops and Seminars:

Affiliates are currently planning their events. Information will be posted as it becomes available.

For More Information:

Subscribe to the convention announce list by sending a blank email to [email protected]

Exhibits – email Michael Smitherman at [email protected] or call him at (601) 331-7740.

Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities – email Margarine Beaman at [email protected] or call her at (512) 921-1625.

Volunteers – email Sally Benjamin at [email protected] or call her at (866) 846-7380.

General conference information or scheduling events – email Janet Dickelman at [email protected] or call her at (651) 428-5059.

Editor’s Note:  Holly Bonner, Creator of Blind Motherhood,  is a member of the New York City Chapter of ACB.  Portions of this post were taken directly from the ACB’s Convention Home Page.  Click HERE for more information.