Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Memory Stones, Indeed!
Erin, you nailed it. The item I purchased in bulk at the dollar store was a bag of semi-polished rocks. They're small, they come in different shapes and colors, they're pretty, and it's unlikely that anyone would already have one in his/her pocket.
The convention was excellent. The highlight for me (aside from doling out rocks and talking with lots of people) is the business meeting on Saturday. The democratic process is alive and well in the American Council of the Blind, and it's cool to experience it. I'm blessed with an abstract-random learning style, so it amazes me that there are folks who know Robert's Rules of Order inside and out. I was relieved to hear that, at the national conventions, ACB hires a parliamentarian consultant to keep things in order.
At the business meeting, the really cool thing is the voting method. Accessible ballots at their finest! Each member is given a few slips of paper and a nail. When a vote is to be taken, the names of candidates are announced in alphabetical order. A vote for the first candidate is noted by punching a single hole through a piece of paper. The second name would require two holes, and so on. All you have to do is use the nail to make visible, tactile holes in your ballot. Sighted guests (not voting members) are designated to collect and count the votes and report to the president. Even though this is a beautifully simple process, there were still a number of invalid ballots. Hanging chads are okay, however!
In the photo above, I displayed my notebook (anti-dozing aid), reading glasses, a few of my rocks, and the voting materials. Mementos of a weekend well spent.
In another post, I'll tell you about the perils of making plans for other people, and how close we were to having a stampede and riot to get off the bus.