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.
In a first-of-its-kind settlement, advocates for people who are blind have reached an agreement with Netflix to make accessible the movies and videos offered through the Netflix video streaming and DVD rental subscriptions. The settlement provides that Netflix will make its video content accessible by adding a new technology called “audio description” as a feature that blind customers can activate so they can more fully understand and enjoy the movie and video experience. Read more at http://www.acb.org/netflix.
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) continues to advocate for U.S. ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty, commonly referred to as the Marrakesh Treaty. Recently, ACB has signed onto a joint statement of stakeholders calling for ratification, and ACB continues to engage congressional staff and committees toward passage of this important treaty. Read more at www.acb.org/marrakesh.
Attention sponsors, advertisers and exhibitors: www.acbconvention.org is up and running for the 2016 ACB Conference and Convention in Minneapolis, MN, July 1 - July 9, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Sponsors, advertisers and exhibitors may now browse the site and place their orders. A new secure login procedure has been created, so users will need to create a new login and password - logins and passwords used in previous years will no longer work. Please read more at http://acb.org/2016convention
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Camp Hill, Pa. (February 18, 2016) – Rite Aid announced today the nationwide availability of talking prescription devices to assist customers with visual impairments. The device will be provided at no cost to customers who are blind or who are visually impaired. Please read more at http://www.acb.org/rite-aid-talking-Rx-devices.
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ALEXANDRIA, VA (MAY 4, 2016) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is deeply concerned by the lack of urgency the Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken toward making the Internet accessible, and urges DOJ to move swiftly toward full and equal inclusion for all. “The DOJ appears to be using the rationale that because the web has changed over the past six years, during which they have been delaying these regulations, that there is a need to start over,” said Eric Bridges, Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind. Read more at www.acb.org/PR-DOJWebAccess.
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With the 2016 ACB Conference and Convention fast approaching, if you or someone you know is interested in the track to leadership, this article from the February 2016 ACB E-Forum will be extremely helpful. Paths to Leadership: The Traditional and the New, by Allen Casey.
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WASHINGTON — I am very pleased to announce that the American Council of the Blind has appointed Anthony “Tony” Stephens as our Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs. Tony brings a wealth of experience advocating on issues encompassing people who are blind or visually impaired. Please read more.
Eric Bridges, Executive Director
American Council of the Blind
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Upgraded platforms offer enhanced accessibility and functionality for all users. Read more.
REDMOND, Wash and ARLINGTON, Va – Dec. 16, 2015 – Microsoft Corp. and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) on Wednesday announced they will partner on efforts to advance the accessibility of information technologies. Through the partnership, the ACB and Microsoft will work together to enable planned updates to various Microsoft products to better meet the needs of persons with visual impairments. Read more.
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WASHINGTON — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Bridges as the organization’s new executive director effective Nov. 1, 2015. Please read more at http://acb.org/ED-Eric-Bridges.
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) announced today that its iPhone app, ACB Link, is now available. This app will assist ACB staff, members and friends to readily communicate news of relevance to the blind community. For more information about ACB Link, go to http://link.acb.org or read more at http://acb.org/ACB-Link
WASHINGTON (November 10, 2015) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that the firm, in conjunction with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, has reached a settlement with the General Services Administration (GSA) on behalf of three blind federal contractors and the American Council of the Blind (ACB). The settlement will benefit all blind federal contractors. Read more at http://acb.org/WLC-settlement.
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Read this press release at:
You can reach ACB Radio on the phone by dialing 605-475-8130.
And you can reach the ACB Braille Forum, E Forum and ACB Reports by dialing 605-475-8154.
Please spread the word as the ACB office has been receiving many calls from people not being able to access these services.
In 2014, ACB successfully implemented an Annual Giving Society program – a proven development strategy to move donors up the Giving Pyramid in a focused and donor centric manner. The Cumulative Giving Society rationale will serve to complement ACB’s Annual Giving Society program. As these are cumulative, a donor’s annual giving would accrue year-over-year, driven by the Annual Giving Societies. Read more at www.acb.org/cumulative-GS.
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Blind People Take in the Mesquite Championship Rodeo in the Mesquite News by Kenny Green
Caption: Texas resident and American Council of the Blind tour participant Patrick Sturdivant tries out the mechanical bull at Mesquite Arena.
A group from the American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference in Dallas made the journey to Mesquite to experience their first rodeo. The trip was organized as one of the tours offered to the weeklong conference attendees. View more photos and read full article here.
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Thanks to Larry Turnbull and his very apt team, audio files of the 2015 ACB Conference and Convention are available at the following link for either listening online, or downloading. If you don't see something, there may be more added shortly. http://acbradio.org/acbconvention2015
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This video was created by the American Council of the Blind to highlight the abilities of blind individuals. It can be used as an educational tool for hiring managers, HR professionals, or anyone interested in diversifying their workforce. The video is available with audio description as well as closed captioning.
from the Dallas Morning News By Marc Ramirez:
Read article at Canine Massage Therapist Helps Guide Dogs Unwind at Dallas Conference.
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Read ACB's Comments for WIOA NPRM
34 CFR Parts 361, 363, and 397
[Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-OOO1]
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ACB joins an amazing network, as Legacy.com collaborates with more than 1,500 newspapers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Europe to provide ways for readers to express condolences and share remembrances of loved ones, which will broaden ACB's visibility and exposure both nationally and internationally.
For more information about this powerful new partnership, please contact Tom Tobin, Director of Development at email@example.com or visit www.acb.org/legacy-acb.
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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
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
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or read more here.
In an effort to honor and recognize our generous donors, in 2014 The American Council of the Blind 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.
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.
Initiative adds to Walgreens other accessible prescription information services; leadership of blindness organizations praise company’s program Read more.
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.
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.
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.
New service on CVS.com is the result of a collaboration with state and national organizations for the blind. Read more.
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.
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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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. 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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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.
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 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.
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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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.
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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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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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, 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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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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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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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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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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