2016 Resolutions Summaries
Two resolutions were referred to ACB bodies: 2016-20 to the information access committee, and 2016-22 to the board of directors. They are not included in this compilation.
Resolution 2016-01 urges the Federal Communications Commission to substantially expand the number of hours of audio-described TV programming required per calendar quarter; increase the number of networks required to offer described programming and the designated markets in which audio description must be provided; propose and issue regulations requiring the designation of a dedicated digital audio stream only for audio description; and exercise all appropriate authority to foster the creation of, set standards for, and monitor the quality of a centralized described TV programming listing to ensure that information about audio-described programming is on par with information about captioned TV.
Resolution 2016-02 directs ACB to urge the U.S. Congress and state legislatures to protect the integrity of assessments conducted by teachers of the visually impaired by rejecting calls which expressly or impliedly require the use of the National Reading Media Assessment (NRMA) or any other single specific assessment tool or technique to determine the learning or literacy needs of all students who are blind or visually impaired; encourage state chapters and affiliates of this organization to advocate for appropriate assessments that honor students’ unique needs for reasonable accommodations and which recognize the diversity of learning and literacy characteristics inherent in the heterogeneous population of students with vision loss; and call upon the U.S. Congress to promptly enact the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act.
Resolution 2016-03 directs ACB to repudiate any effort to alter or modify the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s existing braille provisions that would in any way impair IDEA’s currently uncompromising approach to the provision of braille, and reaffirm its unwavering commitment to see low-vision services and devices get their due recognition in federal special education law so that all students who should benefit from such services and devices can finally receive them.
Resolution 2016-04 expresses ACB’s deep concern over the division of the United States into two codes for mathematical teaching, and directs the organization to urge every state to make clear in their policies and procedures that there will be provisions to protect access to mathematical instruction in the code to which the student is accustomed, even if that code is not the one in use in that state. It also encourages the Braille Authority of North America to monitor the effectiveness of both codes over the next five years so that BANA may be able to make a definitive decision about which code appears to offer the most effective approach to teaching and learning mathematics.
Resolution 2016-05 expresses ACB’s profound frustration and disappointment with the Obama Administration for its failure to be responsive to Americans with vision loss who, for more than a decade, have been calling for much-needed regulatory clarification of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s application to online-only places of public accommodation, and directs ACB to reach out to the major party candidates for President of the United States to communicate our demand that, within the first six months of the new presidency, issuance of regulations clarifying that online-only places of public accommodation are nevertheless ADA-covered entities with Internet accessibility obligations must be achieved.
Resolution 2016-06 expresses ACB’s support for any and all efforts to allow the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to provide equipment to patrons for use with each of the formats produced by NLS; and urges Congress to promptly enact H.R. 5227, pending legislation to authorize NLS to offer digital braille reading equipment enabling all NLS patrons to have access to free library service in braille.
Resolution 2016-07 directs ACB to take all appropriate steps to persuade and/or compel the Social Security Administration, and agencies of the federal government generally, to ensure the availability of accessible in-person information and benefits kiosks or computerized systems that comply with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
Resolution 2016-08 directs ACB to contact each of the commissioners and the principal staff of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and demand that the Commission include in its reasonable accommodations document complete and appropriate guidance on assistive technology accommodations for federal employees who are blind or who have low vision.
Resolution 2016-09 expresses ACB’s belief that the residents of southern California who are blind or visually impaired deserve to enjoy the same access to PBS television as their sighted neighbors and friends, and urges PBS So-Cal to purchase the necessary equipment to fulfill its public interest obligation to provide audio description.
Resolution 2016-10 directs ACB to pursue any and all appropriate legal remedies to address the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ inaccessible communications (letters, statements, applications, eligibility determinations, etc.).
Resolution 2016-11 expresses support for teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs) with vision loss who frequently face disability discrimination in hiring and advancement, and directs ACB to call upon state and/or local education agencies to provide driver assistance to TVIs with vision loss for whom such a reasonable accommodation is appropriate.
Resolution 2016-12 directs ACB to promote, through the public policy process, the availability and fiscal health of existing and new assistive technology low-interest loan programs; and consider and collaborate, as appropriate, with other strategic partners to achieve means for building or strengthening private sector commercial or nonprofit low-interest loan programs for people with disabilities.
Resolution 2016-13 directs ACB, in partnership with like-minded organizations of and for people with vision loss, to develop and execute a public policy agenda, including but not limited to model legislation, executive actions, and industry stakeholder negotiations, with the goal of making sure that no personal medical device remains inaccessible and unusable by people who are blind or visually impaired.
Resolution 2016-14 directs ACB’s officers, board of directors and staff to pursue all appropriate strategies to achieve harmonization of the United States Department of Transportation’s service animal regulations with those of the United States Department of Justice.
Resolution 2016-15 directs ACB to urge its individual members, chapters and affiliates to be aware of national, state, and local ballot races and initiatives, and to reach out to candidates to discuss the policy priorities that are important to each of us.
Resolution 2016-16 directs ACB to ensure that all contracts entered into by this organization with hotels reflect the hotel’s compliance with braille signage requirements, and take such additional steps as are necessary to make signage usable and comprehensible by people who are blind or visually impaired participating in meetings of this organization.
Resolution 2016-17 expresses ACB’s belief that there is a need for additional research concerning best practices in the design and utilization of audible countdown features, and that, in the absence of additional credible research to the contrary, ACB supports the provision of audible countdown information, and encourages that research focused on this subject be directed toward determining the most effective ways to efficiently convey countdown information, rather than whether audible countdown should be eliminated.
Resolution 2016-18 expresses ACB’s belief that it is urgent to immediately challenge the Freestyle vending machine technology to include accessibility elements; both the touch-screen kiosk and the app should be independently usable by people who are blind or have low vision. It also instructs ACB’s leadership to make contact with these companies and with associations in the food industry so that standards may be developed and implemented as this new generation of automated kiosks is rolled out.
Resolution 2016-19 directs ACB to ask Facebook to refine its automated picture description mechanism to create descriptions which contain specific details of pictorial elements, and to develop a mechanism to prompt Facebook members who post pictures and other visual media to attach accompanying descriptions.
Resolution 2016-21 directs ACB to establish a high-level committee, in consultation with industry and utilizing the relationships that ACB has assiduously and productively built up over the years, to explore the feasibility of creating an intensive training academy designed to train suitable people with limited or no vision for mainstream technology careers.
Resolution 2016-23 thanks the management and staff of the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis for their first-class hospitality.
Resolution 2016-24 thanks the Minnesota host committee and the members of ACB of Minnesota for their hard work and warm welcome to Minneapolis.
Resolution 2016-25 thanks all volunteers who worked to assist the attendees of the 2016 ACB convention.