2014 Resolutions

American Council of the Blind
2014 Resolutions

Note: This publication reflects the resolutions which were adopted by the convention.  Below are the links to the summaries of the 2014 resolutions as well as links to the full text of each.  You may also choose the "printer-friendly version" link at the bottom for a full document of all resolutions.

2014 Resolutions Summaries

For the full 2014 Resolutions you may go to http://acb.org/resolutions2014.

Resolution 2014-01 directs ACB’s elected and staff leadership to implement all appropriate strategies to address the widespread problem of the misrepresentation of untrained and inappropriate animals as service animals.
 
Resolution 2014-02 calls upon Lions Clubs International to adopt a replica straight cane as a more accurate and appropriate symbol of the cane currently in use by most individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
 
Resolution 2014-03 identifies a variety of limitations, inadequacies, and challenges with the current nationwide provision of orientation and mobility training to children and youth with vision loss; directs ACB to take responsive action through advocacy and educational outreach; and demands that the U.S. Department of Education take immediate monitoring and enforcement action.
 
Resolution 2014-04 identifies a variety of limitations, inadequacies, and challenges with the current nationwide provision of braille instruction to children and youth with vision loss; directs ACB to take responsive action through advocacy and educational outreach; and demands that the U.S. Department of Education take immediate monitoring and enforcement action.
 
Resolution 2014-05 directs the ACB elected and staff leadership to enter only into agreements with convention facilities (i.e., hotels, etc.) when such facilities are in compliance with all applicable fire safety codes, and bars ACB from entering into such agreements when facilities are not in compliance and/or where no applicable fire safety codes are in force.
 
Resolution 2014-06 expresses deep frustration with the U.S. government's failure to fulfill its judicially recognized obligation to provide accessible paper currency, and empowers ACB’s elected and staff leadership to explore all appropriate means for compelling immediate compliance.
 
Resolution 2014-07 calls upon Overdrive, Inc. to make its library access software fully accessible to library patrons who are blind or visually impaired, and calls upon all public and academic libraries to join in this effort.
 
Resolution 2014-08 expresses ACB's support for the development and ultimate establishment of a Humphreys Randolph-Sheppard Employment Institute for the purpose of expanding the Randolph-Sheppard vending program nationwide.
 
Resolution 2014-09 clarifies that the recommendations proposed by the National Council on Disability to replace current law's allowance of the payment of subminimum wages with a supported employment model do not satisfy ACB's expectations for any policy proposal aiming to eliminate the subminimum wage allowance.
 
Resolution 2014-10 calls upon the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to refrain from defending federal agencies in court when such agencies face claims of Section 508 violation and have not met the "good faith" criteria which ACB urges DOJ to adopt.
 
Resolution 2014-11 demands that the U.S. Secretary of Labor amend the recently promulgated revisions to the Section 503 regulations concerning the affirmative action obligations of federal contractors to address the failure of such revisions to adequately communicate the technology accessibility obligations of such contractors.
 
Resolution 2014-12 requests that BARD book listings include indicators of book availability via download and cartridge or download-only.
 
Resolution 2014-13 reiterates ACB’s long-standing demand that all Medicare-related notices and/or documents requiring attention be offered in accessible format.
 
Resolution 2014-14 describes ACB’s deep concern with so-called cluster postal mail delivery and expresses opposition to its implementation.
 
Resolution 2014-15 identifies attitudinal and other systemic barriers to the promotion of the Randolph-Sheppard vending program; calls upon the Rehabilitation Services Administration, as well as state and other public entities, to work to address these barriers, and enlists the help of ACB and its affiliates in marketing the vending program more effectively.
 
Resolution 2014-16 decries the widespread failure of the cable and satellite industries to develop and deploy set-top box and related equipment that is required to be accessible by law, and directs ACB’s elected and staff leadership to aggressively engage with the industry to compel accessibility.
 
Resolution 2014-17 expresses reservations about the nationwide emergence of so-called ride-share services, calls upon ACB’s Transportation Committee to develop a study and recommendations paper with input from Guide Dog Users, Inc., and requires the ACB president to report on the paper's recommendations and any implementation at the 2015 ACB conference and convention.
 
Resolution 2014-18 expresses thanks to the Riviera Hotel & Casino.
 
Resolution 2014-19 expresses deep appreciation to the 2014 conference and convention host committee and to the Nevada Council of the Blind.
 
Resolution 2014-20 expresses profound gratitude to all who offered volunteer assistance to attendees of the 2014 conference and convention.

Resolution 2014-01

Misrepresentation of Service Animals
 
Resolution 2014-01
 
Whereas, for many years, people who are blind or visually impaired have successfully made use of guide dogs as a means of improving their mobility; and
 
Whereas, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has long allowed the use of service animals to assist individuals with a wide array of disabilities to travel safely and live independently; and
 
Whereas, as implemented by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Transportation through regulations, the ADA provides that an individual's right to use a service animal may not be limited by a covered entity's imposition of any form of proof of identification or certification; and
 
Whereas, there have been numerous instances of exploitation of these long-standing rules by individuals who have misrepresented the animals they work with as bona fide service animals; and
 
Whereas, in spite of the federal ban on formal proof, there are groups which sell identification cards and other forms of so-called certification to create the impression that the untrained animals in question are qualified to accompany individuals anywhere even though such animals may be little better than pets; and
 
Whereas, untrained or improperly trained dogs or other animals may misbehave or even become dangerous, thereby undermining the public's trust and acceptance of service animals generally; and
 
Whereas, legislation has been proposed in several states, with mixed and inconsistent results, to refine and tighten the concept of service animals beyond that which is currently provided under the ADA;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization directs its officers, board and staff to explore and implement legislative, advocacy, public education, and all other appropriate strategies to address the circumstances and concerns described in this resolution.

Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-02

Lions Replica Canes
 
Resolution 2014-02
 
Whereas, the mission of Lions Clubs International (LCI) is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs and encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lionism, and its vision is to become the global leader in community and humanitarian service; and
 
Whereas, since LCI's founding in 1917, members have joined together from all walks of life to embrace the philosophy of Lions Clubs International as embodied in its motto: "we serve"; and
 
Whereas, hundreds of members who are blind and visually impaired have heeded the call to serve in their communities in an effort to share their talents by actively initiating and participating in community service projects; and
 
Whereas, many such members also serve in positions of leadership as club officers and directors, and at the district level as zone chairpersons and district governors; and
 
Whereas, since 1951, when the Monterey Park, California, club began the practice, LCI has used a small, plastic cane with a crook for the handle to symbolize its annual fundraising campaign on behalf of the blind; and
 
Whereas, the image of blind persons has changed significantly for the better since World War II when the crooked cane was the standard mobility tool for blind veterans; and
 
Whereas, the crooked cane, while still utilized for providing support for individuals with mobility and/or balance limitations, no longer accurately reflects the modern white cane used by a vast majority of blind persons throughout the world as a mobility tool — a cane which is straight and often lacks a red tip; and
 
Whereas, hundreds of thousands of LCI's crooked canes are placed in letters soliciting donations on behalf of the blind, thereby inadvertently misleading the public regarding the appearance of the modern white cane; and
 
Whereas, the American Council of Blind Lions — which will celebrate its 43rd anniversary this summer as a chartered affiliate of the American Council of the Blind — believes that the bulky, crooked handle cane reflects an inaccurate and outdated stereotype, the white cane as a fundraising symbol for LCI should accurately and positively represent the cane used by today's independent blind person;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that the American Council of the Blind, join with its special-interest affiliate, ACB Lions, in calling upon Lions Clubs International to update its white cane symbol by adopting a replica straight cane to accurately reflect the cane used by the vast majority of blind persons to safely and independently navigate worldwide; and
 
Be it further resolved that ACB Lions and LCI recognize the contribution of Ms. Agnes Douglass for her decades-long work producing these canes and offer assistance to her in changing over to the new straight cane; and
 
Be it further resolved that this resolution be transmitted to Scott Drumheller, Executive Administrator, Lions Clubs International and Noel Mason, Division Manager of Club Supplies, LCI.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-03

Appropriate O&M Instruction and Professional Preparation

Resolution 2014-03
 
Whereas, the safety of individuals who are blind or who have low vision while traveling in their communities depends on good orientation and mobility (O&M) skills; and
 
Whereas, success in the workforce requires being able to navigate city streets, public transit, and the work environment independently with a long white cane or guide dog; and
 
Whereas, while a few schools for the blind in America continue to provide highly competent training in O&M resulting in their graduates truly being able to travel effectively and independently, many students receiving O&M instruction in both public school and specialized school environments do not graduate as competent and independent travelers; and
 
Whereas, many blind children who are placed in public school programs receive limited O&M training and are not challenged adequately to develop independent travel skills; and
 
Whereas, many professionals who are trained to work with people who are blind or visually impaired may have a functional knowledge of O&M skills, but unconsciously reflect the same myths and misconceptions as society as a whole, and so do not believe in the capabilities of blind individuals; and
 
Whereas, many state and local educational agencies are overly cautious in terms of the O&M training that they in fact allow to take place because of concerns about liability and safety of instructors and students, and thus  discourage proper O&M instruction by restricting access to important teaching environments and related travel skills; and
 
Whereas, it is indisputable that traveling in the built environment has become more complex than ever before for all pedestrians, thus requiring a higher degree of teaching competence than in the past by professionals teaching O&M to students;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 16th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization deplore the failure of many schools and districts to provide effective O&M instruction for students who are blind or who have low vision and calls upon the U.S. Department of Education and state and local educational agencies to develop and implement standards and monitoring procedures that will ensure that these students receive instruction which will enable them to travel competently and independently; and

Be it further resolved that this organization, through its Special Education Task Force, develop recommendations and tools to assist ACB state and special interest affiliates to more effectively advocate for proper, comprehensive, and effective O&M training by schools for the blind, public school special education programs, and state and local educational agencies generally; and

Be it further resolved that this organization call upon standard-setting bodies, including but not limited to the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB), and all university programs providing training to meet the standards of either of these certification entities, to strengthen their working relationship with the American Council of the Blind and its Special Education Task Force, as well as ACB affiliates in each state, in order to incorporate blind consumer perspectives in testing and standards and requirements for O&M professionals.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-04

Appropriate Braille Instruction and Professional Preparation

Resolution 2014-04
 
Whereas, the use of braille constitutes true literacy for people who are blind or visually impaired; and
 
Whereas, many students receiving braille instruction in both public school and specialized school environments do not graduate as competent and independent users of braille; and
 
Whereas, many teachers of students with visual impairments are not competent to teach braille; and

Whereas, many state and local educational agencies do not offer braille training on par with literacy training for fully sighted children; and
 
Whereas, students who are blind or who have low vision are not typically included in mainstream literacy programs; and

Whereas, advances in communications and digital technology make it more important than ever that students with vision loss become fully competent in the use of multiple braille codes;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 16th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization, through its Special Education Task Force in consultation with the Braille Revival League, develop recommendations and tools to help ACB state and special interest affiliates to more effectively advocate for proper, comprehensive, and effective braille training by schools for the blind, public school special education programs, and state and local educational agencies generally; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization call upon standard-setting bodies, including but not limited to the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB), the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and all university programs providing training for teachers of students with visual impairments, to strengthen their working relationship with the American Council of the Blind and its Special Education Task Force, as well as ACB affiliates in each State in order to incorporate blind consumer perspectives in testing, standards and requirements for braille instruction, and for those who offer it.

Adopted.

Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-05

Fire Codes
 
Resolution 2014-05

Whereas, some state and local governments do not have fire safety codes to protect their citizens and visitors; and
 
Whereas, the safety of ACB members, their families and friends while attending our national meetings is of the utmost importance;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 16th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that all future convention hotels and related facilities must be covered by fire safety codes and/or regulations; and
 
Be it further resolved that no future contracts for convention hotels or related facilities shall be entered into by ACB without written assurances that hotels and related facilities are in compliance with applicable fire codes and regulations.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-06

Accessible Currency
 
Resolution 2014-06
 
Whereas, American paper currency in its present form is not accessible to persons who are blind or visually impaired; and
 
Whereas, the failure of the United States government to create paper currency which is readily identifiable by persons who are blind or visually impaired has been determined by the federal courts to be a violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and
 
Whereas, people who are blind or visually impaired cannot be expected to make use of technologies to identify paper currency as a replacement for accessible paper currency; and
 
Whereas, people who are blind or visually impaired were incredulous to learn that the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing made its intentions known concerning accessible currency, ironically on the anniversary of Helen Keller's birth, June 27, 2013, when the Bureau published a White Paper Regarding Meaningful Access to U.S. Currency For Persons Who Are Blind Or Visually Impaired in which the Bureau stated that larger numerals and tactile features will not be added to U.S. paper currency until the year 2020 at the earliest;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 14th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization emphatically reaffirm its unwavering position that the government of the United States must move, without further delay, to produce paper currency that is fully accessible to and usable by people who are blind or visually impaired; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization unequivocally declare that the public distribution of an electronic money identifier by the government of the United States must not be allowed to delay, or in any way be deemed to be a satisfactory replacement for, the prompt development and implementation of accessible paper currency; and
 
Be it further resolved that the board of directors and staff of the American Council of the Blind are hereby instructed to immediately seek judicial redress for the failure of the Department of the Treasury to take any meaningful steps toward the design and introduction of accessible paper currency.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-07

Equal Access to Public Library Digital Collections
 
Resolution 2014-07
 
Whereas, the mobile computing environment has radically changed the information provision landscape for the nation’s public libraries; and
 
Whereas, Americans who are blind or visually impaired are embracing the mobile computing environment with much the same enthusiasm as their sighted peers; and
 
Whereas, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates equal access to programs and services offered by public entities, including public and university libraries; and
 
Whereas, more than 28,000 libraries, schools, and universities internationally rely on software provided by Overdrive, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio for distribution of digital and audio content to library patrons; and
 
Whereas, access to essential features and capabilities of the Overdrive iOS platform software is either nonexistent or extremely difficult to achieve by those who use VoiceOver, Apple, Inc.’s screen reader for the iOS platform; and
 
Whereas, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division entered into a private settlement agreement with the Sacramento Public Library Authority in 2011 which seeks to end the practice of providing unequal access to library materials; and
 
Whereas, the use of software provided by Overdrive that either works poorly or not at all with VoiceOver constitutes unlawful inaccessibility similar to that which the aforementioned Department of Justice settlement seeks to redress;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization strongly oppose the promulgation and use by public and university libraries of software that results in unlawful inaccessibility of digital and audio books and the distribution thereof; and
 
Be it further resolved that ACB encourage organizations such as the American Library Association, and other similar organizations of public and university libraries, to insist that Overdrive, Inc. modify its app, specifically in the iOS environment, to ensure that all features available to sighted library patrons are also available to users of VoiceOver; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization strongly urge state library agencies, local governments, and public and academic libraries to recognize that they have an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to assure that software programs and services implemented for use by library patrons are accessible to and usable by people who are blind or who have low vision; and

Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be provided to library umbrella organizations, such as the American Library Association, throughout the nation and that a copy be provided to Overdrive, Inc.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-08

RSVA Employment Institute Initiative
 
Resolution 2014-08
 
Whereas, for a variety of reasons, the number of Randolph-Sheppard program vending facilities is dramatically declining in many states; and
 
Whereas, this trend raises serious concerns about the future viability of this program; and
 
Whereas, Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, has developed an initiative to create, with the assistance of the federal government, the Humphreys Randolph-Sheppard Employment Institute; and
 
Whereas, the primary purpose for the Humphreys Randolph-Sheppard Employment Institute is to provide important and essential stimulus for a major expansion of the employment and advancement of blind managers under the Randolph-Sheppard Act and in collaboration with state licensing agencies; and
 
Whereas, under the leadership of the president of Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, the Rehabilitation Services Administration and its Commissioner have expressed support for the RSVA initiative; and
 
Whereas, RSVA is committed to aggressively pursuing the creation of the Institute in order to make a major impact on the lives of blind individuals for many years to come; and
 
Whereas, the American Council of the Blind strongly supports efforts to create employment opportunities for persons who are blind or who have low vision; and
 
Whereas, the expansion of the Randolph-Sheppard vending facility program, through the establishment and implementation of the Humphreys Randolph-Sheppard Employment Institute, has enormous potential to reduce unemployment among blind individuals;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 16th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization hereby endorse the creation and development of the Humphreys Randolph-Sheppard Employment Institute as proposed by Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America and pledge its full support for this initiative; and
 
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution shall be provided to the president of Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America.  

Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-09

Opposition to NCD's 14(c) Recommendations

Resolution 2014-09
 
Whereas, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) has long been committed to the principle that any worker who experiences blindness as their only disability should earn minimum wage or above; and
 
Whereas, ACB has also previously acknowledged that some blind workers who have significant additional disabilities may choose to hold employment by working under a 14(c) certificate, issued by the United States Department of Labor, thus allowing them to earn less than minimum wage; and
 
Whereas, Resolution 2013-13, adopted by ACB at its 2013 national convention, places ACB on record as committing to the repeal of Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act with the stipulation that any legislation include specific safeguards, such as a phase-in period for implementation, to protect those individuals working under 14(c) certificates from losing their jobs; and
 
Whereas, to protect jobs of blind workers who have significant additional disabilities who may choose to work under a 14(c) certificate, the “specific safeguards” stipulation established by ACB must be interpreted and applied rigorously to fully protect the right of every individual with a disability to exercise informed choice; and
 
Whereas, the National Council on Disability (NCD) has recently published recommendations for what it calls the transformation of the 14(c) Program; and
 
Whereas, the NCD recommendations offer supported employment in so-called integrated settings as the only concrete suggestion for the phase-out of 14(c) certificates, and NCD's report implies that Congress should in fact adopt supported employment in integrated settings as a replacement for 14(c) certificates; and
 
Whereas, the United States Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) definition of integrated setting would mean that in implementing the NCD recommendations, a part-time job in a fast-food restaurant at minimum wage, with no benefits, would be an acceptable transition from 14(c), while a job at above minimum wage, with full health coverage, retirement, vacation, and other employee benefits, but which requires the worker to work in the presence of other blind or disabled employees, would not be considered an acceptable transition; and
 
Whereas, the supported employment model has not proven a successful placement or ongoing employment model for all persons who have multiple disabilities and would severely restrict informed consumer choice if it were to be the only option to replace 14(c) certificates;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization declare that the NCD recommendations concerning 14(c) do not satisfy the requirements of ACB Resolution 2013-13 and its stipulation concerning specific safeguards to protect individuals currently working under 14(c) certificates from losing their jobs; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization continue its support for repeal of 14(c), as declared in ACB Resolution 2013-13, but shall refrain from participating, either through written statements or joint advocacy activities, with other organizations advocating the repeal and replacement of 14(c) through the implementation of the NCD recommendations described herein.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-10

Section 508 Responsibilities of the
U.S. Department of Justice

Resolution 2014-10
 
Whereas, during the past year, the U.S. Solicitor General's office, through its refusal to defend the constitutionality of certain federal statutes in the Supreme Court, has established the principle that the government need not automatically defend the validity of all and any federal statutes; and
 
Whereas, even prior to these recent cases, the government has a long history of not defending agency actions in court in those instances where the agencies' actions are illegal or improper; and
 
Whereas, in addition to failing to defend agency actions through intervention, Statements of Interest (SOI's) or amicus participation, numerous precedents exist in which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has declined to provide legal representation to agencies at all when agency actions are unconscionable or illegal; and
 
Whereas, recent reports by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the DOJ have documented and quantified widespread failure by federal agencies to comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in connection with accessibility of their information and communications technology (ICT), including their public-facing websites; and
 
Whereas, both DOJ and OMB have made detailed and specific best-practices recommendations as to what procedural steps, accountability structures and outcome measures are needed in order to create a reasonable level and likelihood of compliance; and
 
Whereas, utilizing these benchmarks, together with those set forth by the U.S. Access Board in its Sec.  508 standards, it is possible to distinguish agencies that have made serious efforts to comply with Section 508 from those which have not;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization urge the Attorney General of the United States to ensure the following:

  1.  That the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ establish a list of criteria that it will use in assessing good faith 508 compliance efforts by federal agencies; and
  2.  That DOJ notify all federal agencies, for whom DOJ's representation in court falls within DOJ's scope of responsibility, that suits alleging violation of Section 508, suits alleging violation of Section 504 by reason of 508-related actions or inactions, or suits alleging violation of Section 501 on the same basis, will not be defended by DOJ if the agency has not met the standards for good faith compliance efforts established by DOJ.

Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-11

Amending the New Section 503 Affirmative Action Regulations

Resolution 2014-11
 
Whereas, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, provides for both a disability non-discrimination obligation and an affirmative action obligation on federal contractors and subcontractors in the employment of persons with disabilities; and
 
Whereas, it is estimated that 25 percent of all jobs in America are, in one way or another, related to federal contracting, a percentage that is expected to continue to grow; and
 
Whereas, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), in its exercise of oversight responsibility for the implementation of Section 503, published new rules in September 2013 updating and modernizing the affirmative action provisions applicable to workers with disabilities; and
 
Whereas, these new rules contain many positive and laudable provisions; and
 
Whereas, there is nevertheless a provision in the new rules that may deprive many persons who are blind or visually impaired from benefitting from the new rules themselves and that will seriously undermine the ability of such persons to perform their jobs once hired; and
 
Whereas, this adverse provision is embodied in the new rule's express exemption of technology accessibility from the requirements of either non-discrimination or affirmative action under Section 503; and
 
Whereas, this exemption is embodied in the statement that accessibility of information and communications technology is a “best practice” but is not “indispensable” and is not required by the law; and
 
Whereas, employees who are blind or visually impaired must frequently and substantially utilize information and communications technology in order to perform their jobs; and
 
Whereas, the inaccessibility of such equipment will significantly burden, if not entirely thwart, the ability of employees who are blind or visually impaired to achieve  successful job performance and upward mobility in the technology-dependent office environment of our day; and
 
Whereas, the purported exemption for technology accessibility could lead to the denial of reasonable accommodation requests or court decisions that federal contractors have no accessibility obligations under Section  503; and
 
Whereas, the OFCCP's treatment of accessibility may well be in violation of other employment anti-discrimination laws that apply to federal contractors but that are not administered by OFCCP, including Title I of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and, in the case of certain federal contracts, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 17th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization formally petition the U.S. Secretary of Labor to take action to review and amend the new 503 regulations to address the concerns discussed in this resolution; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization use all appropriate available opportunities to raise the profile of the limitations contained within the new regulation both within and outside the disability community; and
 
Be it further resolved that should the U.S. Department of Labor fail to amend its 503 regulations to fully account for federal contractors’ technology accessibility obligations, the officers, directors and staff of this organization are empowered to explore additional advocacy efforts, including litigation if appropriate, to protect the employment and advancement of employees who are blind or visually impaired.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-12

Identification of Download-Only BARD Books
 
Resolution 2014-12
 
Whereas, the American Council of the Blind wishes to acknowledge a whole host of positive developments that have occurred since the arrival of the current director of the National Library Service (NLS); and
 
Whereas, these include but are not limited to the sponsorship of the Braille Summit, the launch of BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Downloads) Mobile, an increase in the number of BARD books produced each year, and a significant effort to explore new roles that NLS might play within the blindness community; and
 
Whereas, BARD continues to evolve in many positive ways; and
 
Whereas, many books which are being reissued from earlier cassette versions are only available for download and are not being made available on cartridge; and
 
Whereas, there is no specific information on BARD that differentiates between those that are available on cartridge and those that are only available for download; and
 
Whereas, it may be possible to infer from the book number which titles can only be downloaded;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization request that NLS include a separate element for each title which indicates whether it is available on cartridge or only available for download; and
 
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Karen Keninger, Director of the National Library Service at the Library of Congress.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-13

Medicare Information Access
 
Resolution 2014-13
 
Whereas, the American Council of the Blind has passed resolutions that clearly require programs  such as Medicare to provide information to those they serve in accessible formats when requested; and
 
Whereas, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not provide in accessible formats, among other communications, materials related to provider payments and those forms which can be used by recipients to obtain reimbursement from Medicare;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization call upon Medicare to immediately implement interim strategies that recognize their obligation to provide information in accessible formats; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization reiterate its longstanding demand that CMS develop and implement a comprehensive policy concerning the provision of accessible information to its Medicare customers who are blind or who have low vision.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-14

Postal Service Cluster Mailbox Delivery
 
Resolution 2014-14
 
Whereas, the United States Postal Service has recommended that service delivery to individual residences be discontinued and, instead, that the USPS provide mail delivery through so-called cluster mailboxes, subject to exceptions for persons with disabilities through an as yet undetermined process; and
 
Whereas, some members of Congress have endorsed this plan and are pushing for its eventual adoption; and
 
Whereas, it has been reported that some post offices are already attempting to enforce this policy; and
 
Whereas, if implemented, this policy will result in serious mail retrieval problems for persons who are blind or who have low vision, frail seniors, and others with disabilities; and
 
Whereas, cluster delivery will also result in severe mail retrieval issues for items such as braille and recorded books;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization condemn the actions of those postal authorities seeking to commence cluster mailbox delivery; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization advocate against all efforts to establish the use of cluster mailbox delivery by the United States Postal Service; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization believes it is crucial to create and implement approaches that will preclude individual post offices from arbitrarily and inappropriately implementing policies that have not yet been adopted; and
 
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the United States Postmaster General.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-15

Marketing the Vending Program
 
Resolution 2014-15
 
Whereas, for a variety of reasons, the number of individuals being trained under the Randolph-Sheppard vending program and the number of vending facility locations are dramatically declining in many states; and
 
Whereas, this trend raises serious concerns about the future viability of this program; and
 
Whereas, one of the primary reasons for the decline in the program is a culture within state licensing agencies and the blindness community itself that devalues the  Randolph-Sheppard vending program as a worthy employment goal for people who are blind; and
 
Whereas, the Commissioner of the United States Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Janet LaBreck, has recognized this problem by her public statements concerning the need for a marketing initiative for the Randolph-Sheppard vending program;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization urge RSA to encourage state licensing agencies to give priority to each of the following:

  1. The retention of existing vending facility locations and the establishment of new ones, and
  2. Training new vending facility operators; and

Be it further resolved that this organization urge its state affiliates to work with their legislatures, governors, and state licensing agencies to bring about this change; and
 
Be it further resolved that the ACB public relations committee offer its assistance to the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America and state affiliates to design marketing strategies to change the negative attitudes concerning the worthiness of employment in the Randolph-Sheppard vending program. 
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-16

Digital TV and Set-Top Box Access
 
Resolution 2014-16
 
Whereas, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act clearly requires that set-top boxes become accessible to people with disabilities; and
 
Whereas, regulations indicate that in 2015 and 2016, companies producing set-top boxes must build accessibility into their products; and
 
Whereas, Comcast has demonstrated such components as channel guides, the ability to turn audio description on and off, and a range of other controls that are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or who have low vision; and
 
Whereas, Comcast should be commended not only for its actual progress but for its efforts to reach out to the community of persons who are blind or have low vision both for ideas and testing; and
 
Whereas, virtually none of the other companies delivering digital television signals to the U.S. market appear to be involving our community in any initiatives to be ready to comply with the law;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization express its extreme displeasure at the degree to which evidence suggests that the industry will not be ready to meet its obligation under the law; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization affirm the following principles:

  1.  Access to television can only be achieved if all modes of signal delivery and throughput are accessible including, but not limited to, signals delivered by broadcast, cable and satellite, and those originating on the Internet.
  2.  Individuals who are blind or who have low vision should be able to access all components of systems with the same ease and at the same speed as is available to persons who have no need for accessible set-top boxes.
  3.  Standards are to be developed that will clearly define the expectations that providers must meet; and

Be it further resolved that ACB make its concerns known in writing to those companies which have heretofore demonstrated commitment or progress toward compliance with the law.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-17

Ride-Share Services
 
Resolution 2014-17
 
Whereas, ride-share companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar constitute new transit options which are increasingly being used by people who are blind or who have low vision; and
 
Whereas, such services may well represent options that will constitute effective transit opportunities; and
 
Whereas, on the other hand, issues have emerged with regard to whether the right to transport guide dogs and their handlers is adequately guaranteed by such companies and concerning the accessibility of applications used to summon such vehicles; and
 
Whereas, because of the complete absence of regulation, there is also a question of whether these companies will provide sufficient protection to individuals choosing to utilize such companies;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization believes that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the emergence of these new transit options deserves to be carefully studied by the American Council of the Blind; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization instruct its transportation committee to work in conjunction with Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) to prepare a paper with specific recommendations concerning the pros and cons of such ride-share companies which shall be presented to the board of directors by January of 2015; and
 
Be it further resolved that the ACB president is hereby instructed to report back to the convention next year such recommendations as the transportation committee and GDUI may make.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-18

Commending the Riviera Hotel
 
Resolution 2014-18
 
Whereas, it is appropriate that this conference and convention express its thanks and appreciation to our host hotel;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization communicate its deep gratitude to the management and staff of the Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, for their warm welcome, thorough service, and reliable professionalism.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-19

Congratulating the Convention Host Committee and the NCB
 
Resolution 2014-19
 
Whereas, the strength of the American Council of the Blind lies in each of its individual members and in each of its state and special-interest affiliates;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization express its heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the convention host committee and the women and men of the Nevada Council of the Blind for their enthusiastic welcome, the untold hours of planning and hard work, and the tremendous privilege of bringing our national conference and convention to their home state, which has truly been The Real Deal!
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary

Resolution 2014-20

Appreciation for Convention Volunteers
 
Resolution 2014-20
 
Whereas, there is no greater gift to give than service to others freely given with a generous heart;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 18th day of July, 2014, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, that this organization warmly embrace and most sincerely thank each and every individual volunteer who so selflessly and graciously gave of their time and energy to offer assistance to the attendees of this year's national conference and convention, which truly helped this year's convention to be a success.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary