One of the largest annual events in the blind and visually impaired community will take place in Rochester this July. The 2019 American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention will be held in Rochester, N.Y. from Friday July 5 through Friday, July 12.

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is a national membership organization formed by people who are blind to promote the independence, dignity and advancement of people with blindness and visual impairment.  Members are blind, visually impaired or fully sighted people, from all walks of life, and ranging in age from teens to seniors. 

More than 1,200 attendees and their guests – including an estimated 300 guide dogs – will visit Rochester for ACB’s annual conference.

2019 American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention

The 2019 ACB Annual Conference and Convention will take place in Rochester, NY. During the conference attendees will learn about what is happening within the blindness community, develop strategies for advocating on behalf of people who are blind or visually impaired, explore new blindness and low vision technologies, products and services, experience what the convention surroundings have to offer on fun and informative tours. Most importantly, attendees to the conference in Rochester will connect with other blind and visually impaired friends and colleagues from across North America and throughout the world.

While in Rochester, ACB attendees will get out into the community through tours and unique experiences at a number of local museums, shops and attractions. Convention attendees will enjoy an interactive chocolate-making class at Laughing Gull Chocolates, visits to Genesee Country Village & Museum, Memorial Art Gallery, The Strong National Museum of Play, George Eastman Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass. Attendees will also be able to enjoy cruises on the Erie Canal on the Colonial Belle.

Preparing the Rochester Community to Welcome American Council of the Blind

Visit Rochester’s convention sales and event services team has closely worked with the American Council of the Blind, along with local and regional partners, to make the Rochester community as accessible as possible for convention attendees ahead of the annual conference.

Visit Rochester worked with multiple area restaurants to translate menus into braille, guests will receive welcome letters in braille and large print and connected with government and transportation agency officials to enhance technology on pedestrian street crossing signals near the convention center and downtown hotels. During the conference, Visit Rochester will provide volunteers to assist guests arriving via airplane at the Greater Rochester International Airport, as well as onsite assistance for guests at the convention center for the duration of the event.

In advance of the ACB conference, Visit Rochester also hosted multiple blind and visually impaired sensitivity trainings designed for the hospitality community in partnership with ABVI and the ACB. In total, more than 250 members of the local hospitality community participated in sensitivity training, including a training with all levels of staff for convention hotel partners (including bellmen, front desk, housekeeping, catering, and more). 

“We’re thrilled to welcome the American Council of the Blind to Rochester for the group’s annual conference,” said Don Jeffries, president & CEO, Visit Rochester. “I’m proud of the work that our team at Visit Rochester has done in advance of this group’s arrival to provide a warm welcome and a seamless visitor experience for ACB attendees.”  

Meetings and conventions held in Monroe County are critical to bringing visitors to the county and our community, and contribute to the tourism and hospitality industry’s overall economic impact. The economic impact of the tourism and hospitality industry in Monroe County is more than $1 Billion, and supports nearly 20,000 jobs.


Visit Rochester is the official tourism promotion agency for Greater Rochester and Monroe County. Visit Rochester is a membership organization with over 400 members representing, lodging, retail, restaurants, services, and community organizations. Working together with our members and partners, our mission is to sell and market Greater Rochester as a preferred destination in order to grow and maximize visitor spending and to enhance the economy. To learn more go to


#   #   #