Our Mission

The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.

Taxicab Companies Refuse to Pick Up Blind Passengers with Service Animals

Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, American Council of the Blind and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP File Lawsuit Against D.C. Taxicab Companies for Refusing to Pick Up Blind Passengers with Service Animals.  Download full press release or read at http://acb.org/cab-PR

Save the Date for Free, Totally Accessible Webinar

March 28, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

Are you the parent of a blind child, teacher, advocate, or someone who cares about making sure that blind children receive the best education possible? The American Council of the Blind Special Education Task Force and Advocacy Committee are proud to present a free, totally accessible webinar designed with you in mind. This event brings presentations from a nationally recognized panel whose expertise covers the spectrum of the important and diverse components of the education of children who are blind and visually impaired.  Read more at www.acb.org/webinar
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Where Taxpayers With Disabilities Can Find Online Help from the IRS

Below are helpful audio described video and web links from the IRS including braille, text, PDF, large print and HTML tax forms, instructions and publications. Read more at www.acb.org/IRS

Press Release on Low Vision Aids coverage under Medicare H.R.729

American Council of the Blind Praises U.S. House of Representatives for Reintroducing Legislation to Cover Low Vision Aids under Medicare

Arlington, Va., Feb. 5, 2015 – Late yesterday afternoon Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) re-introduced H.R. 729, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2015. This bill seeks to right a wrong that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have perpetrated for many years through the denial of coverage of low-vision devices for Medicare recipients.  Read more at www.acb.org/LVaids

CVS Caremark Press Release

CVS Health Offers Talking, Braille and Large Print Prescription Labels Through its Mail Service Pharmacy for Individuals with Vision Impairments

New service expands CVS Health’s offerings to the blind community  Read more at http://www.acb.org/cvs.

ACB Establishes the Legacy Society

In an effort to be more proactive, ACB created The Legacy Society to honor and recognize individuals who have included ACB in their Estate Plans via a bequest or another type of Planned Gift and have communicated their intentions to ACB.  For more information, please contact Tom Tobin, Director of Development at ttobin@acb.org or read more here. photo of young girl sweetly touching the face of her father lovingly holding her. The word legacy is etched below

GDUI Position Statement on Misrepresentation of Service Animals

The organization’s statement is a direct response to the growing epidemic of members of the public passing their pets off as service animals, impeding on the civil rights of those who are blind and rely on legitimate service animals to gain access to public venues. Read more.

Walgreens Launches Nationwide Program Offering Talking Prescription Devices for Customers with Visual Impairments

Initiative adds to Walgreens other accessible prescription information services; leadership of blindness organizations praise company’s program Read more.

GW Micro and Microsoft Collaborate on a Global Initiative

GW Micro, Inc. (www.gwmicro.com) is proud to make a revolutionary announcement. GW Micro and Microsoft Corp. have partnered to make Window-Eyes available to users of Microsoft Office at no cost. Window-Eyes is a screen reader that enables people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled to have full access to Windows PCs and makes the computer accessible via speech and/or braille.  Please read more here.

ACB Joins Class Action Suit Against GSA Over Inaccessible Web Site

General Services Administration requires federal contractors to register and annually renew their registration on a GSA website, SAM.gov.  The complaint alleges that SAM.gov is incompatible with screen reading software that many blind individuals, including the individual plaintiffs in this case, rely on to navigate the Internet. Read more here.

Software Leaves Blind and Visually Impaired in the Dark

On April 14th a story ran on the Washington DC CBS affiliate profiling the struggles that a blind woman in the Maryland suburbs is having with Intuit’s Quicken software. The 2014 release is inaccessible. Channel 9 reached out to ACB and we were able to provide our perspective on accessibility.  Below is the transcript of that story with the link to the video below.
Eric   Read the news story here.

ACB Launches Annual Giving Societies

In an effort to better honor and recognize our generous donors, The American Council of the Blind has created four new Annual Giving Societies. Donors will be enrolled in one of them based on the amount of their annual contributions to ACB. Please read more here.

CVS/pharmacy Now Offers “Talking” Prescription Labels for Individuals with Vision Impairments Through its Online Pharmacy

New service on CVS.com is the result of a collaboration with state and national organizations for the blind.  Read more.

RSS feed symbol with headphonesNew RSS feed for ACB Braille Forum

A big thank you to Larry Turnbull!  The new ACB Braille Forum RSS podcast feed is now available on ACB Radio.  You can link to them from our ACB Braille Forum page or directly by going to http://acbradio.org/acb-braille-forum-podcast.xml ACB Reports is available at http://acbradio.org/acb-reports.xml.

ACB Lauds House for Introduction of Landmark Special Education Legislation

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 12, 2014 –  Today, Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) and Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) introduced H.R. 4040, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act. H.R. 4040 will improve the delivery of appropriate special education and related services to all students who are blind or visually impaired as well as students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Read more
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ACB Condemns Discrimination by Airlines Against People Who Use Guide Dogs, Urges Better Training of Personnel Who Interact with Passengers with Disabilities

Arlington, VA, December 30, 2013 - Albert Rizzi, a guide dog user, was ejected from a U.S. Airways flight on November 13, 2013 because he was not able to put his guide dog far enough under the seat of the person sitting next to him, which did not please the flight attendant. Please read more here..
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U.S. Dept of Ed Announces New App to Identify U.S. Currency

U.S. Treasurer Applauds Department of Education’s Accessibility Effort
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Education announced the launch of the “IDEAL Currency Identifier,” a free downloadable application (app) to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired to denominate U.S. currency on some mobile devices. Please read more here.
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Press Release

American Council of the Blind Commends U.S. House of Representatives for Introducing Legislation to Cover Low Vision Aids under Medicare

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 16, 2013 – Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) have introduced H.R. 3749, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013.  Please continue reading here.

ALERT! Low Vision Device Coverage Bill Introduced in House

I am excited to announce  that one of ACB’s legislative imperatives for 2013 has been introduced!  ... a  bill to allow for Medicare to cover certain low vision devices has been introduced in the House of Representatives; H.R. 3749.  Please continue reading here.

ACB Radio is a Beacon for Blind People Around the World

“ACB radio is a great outlet for sharing feelings about being blind. I am incredibly touched and inspired when I hear programs that deal with how blind people meet and beat life’s challenges. Please continue reading here.

ACB Radio Now On Your Phone

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2013 — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is proud to announce that its Internet radio service, ACB Radio, is now fully available by phone.   "This is a fabulous way for anyone to listen to the great offerings on ACB Radio, anytime from just about anywhere, and does not require using a computer," says ACB president Kim Charlson.  To listen to ACB Radio by phone, dial (231) 460-1047.  Note: long-distance phone charges may apply. Please read more here.
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Information on the Affordable Health Care Act

A major component of the Affordable Health Care Act went into effect on October 1, 2013. Individuals will be able to explore and compare options of health care plans that are available and enroll in those plans. Here you will find links Read more here.
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Kim Charlson Interviewed on "Exceptional Women" Program

On Sunday, October 13, WMJX Magic 106.7 FM in Boston aired Candy O'Terry's interview with Kim Charlson on the acclaimed "Exceptional Women" program.  Kim was invited on the show after being elected first woman president of the American Council of the Blind.  The interview is available as a podcast at this link.

US Access Board Releases Guidance on Access to Prescription Drug Container Labels

photo of prescription bottle on side with pills spilling out
New guidance is now available from the Access Board on how to make prescription drug container labels accessible to people with vision impairments or who are elderly.  The important information labeling prescription medications, including dosage and other instructions, side effects, and expiration dates, is often inaccessible to those unable to read print or small type. Read more here.
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ACB Congratulates World Intellectual Property Organization on Treaty

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2013 - The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is pleased to congratulate the World Intellectual Property Organization for the adoption of a comprehensive treaty at its diplomatic conference currently being held in Marrakech, Morocco. Please read more here.
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Weight Watchers Announces Accessibility Initiative for Blind and Visually Impaired Members

Broad-based Initiative Praised by Blind Community Leaders

NEW YORK, NY (June 27, 2013) – Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) today announced its ongoing initiative to make its websites, mobile applications and print information more accessible and inclusive for its members and subscribers with visual impairments. Please read more here.
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Testimony of Brian Charlson on HELP on ADA and Entertainment Technologies

Testimony of Brian Charlson, Director of Technology, Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton, MA, Chairman, Information Access Committee, American Council of the Blind on behalf of the American Council of the Blind before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) on the ADA and Entertainment Technologies
May 14, 2013

Caption: Photo in the HELP Committee Hearing room just after the hearing ended from left to right are Brian Charlson, Senator Harkin and Eric Bridges Please read more here.
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Undercover Investigation Documents Taxis Stranding Disabled Passengers on the Curbs of DC Streets

Melanie Brunson and Eric Bridges participated in an undercover taxi discrimination story that the local CBS affiliate was conducting.  The link to the story and video is below. This was a well done story that shows the continuing challenges that guide dog users face in Washington but also across the country.
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It's here! The all-new ACB Virtual Mini Mall!

man and woman with laptops and credit cards shopping
The place for useful, fun, and unusual products for home, school and work.  Whether you are shopping for the kids, mom or dad, the boss or neighbor, or the senior set, you'll find the perfect product for every occasion.

The ACB Treasures Shop is the first store to open in the ACB Virtual Mini Mall.  The ACB Treasures collection is an all-new line of products, introduced at the 2012 ACB Conference and Convention in Louisville. It includes an expanded line of ACB logo merchandise and special lines of products commemorating ACB events.  Departments in the ACB Treasures Shop include the Case Place, the Clothes Rack, the 4 Paws Boutique and many more.

To get in on the fun and download the Mall catalog click here.
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ACB Comments on NHTSA’s Minimum Sound Requirements

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is pleased to provide comment on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) published on January 14, 2013 concerning minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles.  Continue reading here.
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Walmart Expands Program to Provide Talking Prescription Containers

Need information about how to order Talking Prescription Containers for prescription medication obtained from Walmart? You’ll find everything you need in this post. In June, 2012, Walmart became the first national pharmacy retailer to offer Talking Prescription Containers free of charge to persons with visual impairments. Continue reading here.

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Copyright © 2013 American Council of the Blind
All content created initially for use by ACB in publications, in any media on any web site domains administered by ACB, or as a broadcast or podcast on ACB Radio, archived or not, is considered to be the property of the American Council of the Blind. Creative content that appears elsewhere originally remains the property of the original copyright holder. Those responsible for creative content submitted initially to ACB are free to permit their materials to appear elsewhere with proper attribution and prior notification to the ACB national office.