Looking Ahead to 2020

Planning for the 2020 ACB Conference and Convention is already well underway and will be held in Schaumburg, IL, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, from Friday July 3rd through Friday July 10th. Schaumburg is a northwest suburb of Chicago; O’Hare International Airport is 17 miles east and Midway International Airport is 37 miles southeast of Schaumburg.

Opening general session will be Saturday evening, July 4th. Daily general sessions will be held Sunday through Wednesday mornings, and our final general session will be Thursday July 9th.

The exhibit hall will be open Saturday July 4th through Wednesday July 8th. We will have all-day tours on Friday July 3rd and Friday July 10th, with many other tours throughout the convention (specific tours have not yet been determined). Special interest affiliates, ACB committees and our business partners will hold sessions Saturday July 4th through Wednesday July 8th. Our banquet will be the evening of Thursday July 9th.


We are working hard to put together a fun and interesting group of tours for 2020.  Here is what we have so far:

  • Friday, July 3:
  • The Museum of Science and Industry: Travel down into a coal mine and see what life was like for miners. Perform hands on experiments, learn the science behind taste, learn about sound waves and walk through a replica of a human heart. So much to experience, plus an amazing gift shop!

Saturday, July 4:

  • Shop with ACB. Volunteers will assist you in your visit to Wood Field Mall, three levels of stores and restaurants.
  • Escape Room: Solve puzzles, walk through mazes, work with others to figure out how to escape!

Sunday, July 5:

  • The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) collects, preserves and presents historic and contemporary radio and television content. It also educates, informs and entertains the public through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources.  The Museum was founded in 1982 by broadcaster Bruce DuMont. We don't know yet what the featured exhibit will be but this is a paradise for radio buffs!
  • Detective Dinner. Enjoy a gourmet meal and then follow the clues to find out who committed the crime at this fun interactive evening.

Monday, July 6

  • Hot air ballooning. Weather permitting join ACB and experience the thrill of floating over the countryside in a balloon! This tour will leave the hotel at 4:30 AM.
  • Pizza and Gangster Tour, Taste the flavors of Chicago and learn about the most notorious era the Windy City is known for. Our city bus tour with a twist! You'll get a chance to literally eat your way through Chicago by sampling slices of its world-famous pizza at three culturally significant pizzerias. Along the way we'll educate the group about all things pizza and since one of the pizzerias used to be an Al Capone controlled speakeasy, we'll discuss that history as well.
  • Long Grove confectioners. You’ve probably had these marvelous treats before, Long Grove Confections are sold under many other labels. Learn about how their candy is handmade. Try some samples and do lots of shopping! They have everything from monster peanut butter cups to candied roasted pecans!
  • RSVA casino tour. Join RSVA for a night of fun at a local casino, all are welcome.

Tuesday, July 7

  • Pizza and Gangster Tour II. Your second chance to attend this fun afternoon filled with pizza and Al Capone!
  • Multicultural Tour. Visit two amazing venues, Hull House and DeSalbo Museum of African-American History. Jane Adams Hull-House Museum (JAHHM) draws upon the legacy of international peace activist and feminist, Jane Adams, and other social reformers who lived and worked alongside their immigrant neighbors to create social change on the Near West Side of Chicago. The Museum is located in two of the original buildings: The Hull Home (now a National Historic Landmark) and the Residents Dining Hall. DeSalbo Museum of African-American History is dedicated to the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and art. It was founded in 1961 by Dr.  Margaret Taylor-Burroughs  , her husband Charles Burroughs, Gerard Lew, Eugene Feldman,  Marian M. Hadley , and others. The founders established the  museum to celebrate black culture, at the time overlooked by most museums and academic establishments. The museum has an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution. Highlights of its collection include the desk of activist  Ida B. Wells, the  violin of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the Charles Dawson Papers.  The museum has a collection of 13,000 artifacts, books, photographs, art objects, and memorabilia. There is a wing  named in honor of the late Mayor Harold Washington  the first African-American mayor of  

Wednesday, July 8

  • Hot air ballooning II. This tour will leave the hotel at 4:30 AM.
  • Horizons for the Blind. A paradise for the blind! Everything is labeled in braille and large print from the break room library and collection of dolls from around the world. See where material is embossed, documents produced and shop until you drop at Horizon's store where every item includes directions in Braille!    
  • Sports day. Attend a night game between the Cubs and White Sox at Guaranteed Rate field. We are working with Wrigley Field to set up an afternoon tour of this iconic home of the Chicago Cubs.

Friday July 10

  • The Sanfilippo "Place de la Musique" is known worldwide for its magnificent collections of beautifully restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world's largest restored theatre pipe organ, the most spectacular European salon carousel in existence, street and tower clocks, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a breathtaking French Second Empire setting." You can ride the carousel and board the train cars.
  • Odyssey dinner cruise. Take a gourmet dinner cruise on a high-end luxury yacht with the stunning skyline of Chicago serving as your backdrop. Climb aboard your recently renovated vessel, featuring a sumptuously-appointed rooftop lounge and stylish interior design, for your cruise along Lake Michigan. Then sit down for a 3-course dinner. After dinner, enjoy coffee and tea, captivating views of Chicago landmarks like the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and Navy Pier, plus musical entertainment provided by the onboard DJ.


Staying In Touch:

Once again this year the conference and convention announce list will be filled with information. To subscribe to the list send a blank e-mail to: acbconvention-subscribe@acblists.org. If you received updates for the 2020 convention you do not need to subscribe to the list.


Hotel Details:

  • Room rates at the Renaissance are $94.00 per night (for up to four people in a room), plus tax which is currently 15.00%.
  • To make reservations at the Renaissance visit https://book.passkey.com/go/AmerCouncilBlindConfandConv. For telephone reservations call (800) 468-3571, this is a central reservations number so please indicate you are with the American Council of the Blind 2020 conference and convention at the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg IL.
  • Rooms must be reserved by June 10 2020 to guarantee the convention rate.


Convention Contacts

  • 2020 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, amduo@bellsouth.net
  • 2020 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, oleo50@hotmail.com
  • For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, dickelman@gmail.com.

Hope to see you in Schaumburg!