2011 Resolutions

American Council of the Blind 2011 Resolutions

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Summary of 2011 Resolutions

Note: This publication reflects only those resolutions which were adopted by the convention. Resolutions which were referred to other ACB entities for further consideration, tabled or withdrawn are not included in this document.

Resolution 2011-01 confirms ACB's support for an international treaty on copyright exceptions and limitations that will allow producers of books for people with print reading disabilities to share them with individuals in other countries. It was sent to the World Blind Union to be distributed by them to such individuals and entities as may be appropriate to support their efforts on behalf of an international copyright treaty.

Resolution 2011-03 directs ACB's environmental access committee, with the assistance of ACB directors, officers and staff, to contact relevant public and private agencies, organizations and academic institutions with relevant expertise, jurisdiction or mission to convene meetings and hold discussions regarding the most appropriate means and methodologies for researching and compiling data concerning the environmental factors contributing to or causing the injury or death of blind and visually impaired pedestrians. ACB will work with the environmental access committee to develop and implement a strategy that will lead to achievement of the objectives of this resolution.

Resolution 2011-04 directs ACB and the Braille Revival League to request the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to provide a clear and unequivocal indication of where BANA stands with regard to the adoption of both of these codes in the United States to the board of directors by its mid-year meeting in Washington, DC in February of 2012.

Resolution 2011-05 directs ACB to work with all relevant federal agencies, most specifically, the Food and Drug Administration, to develop guidelines and implement regulations requiring the provision of braille labeling.

Resolution 2011-06 urges the Access Board to include in its proposed specifications for detectable warnings all of the following elements: 70 percent clear visual contrast from the adjoining walking surface, federal yellow, resiliency and/or sound difference on cane contact from the adjoining walking surface, the alignment of truncated domes on a square grid, and a depth of 36 inches of detectable warning surface in order to ensure detectability. It also directs ACB's environmental access committee to provide public comments on the guidelines once they are released which will clearly articulate the position outlined in this resolution.

Resolution 2011-07 calls upon all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 860, and requests that members of the U.S. Senate promptly introduce and pass companion legislation to H.R. 860 and work with the House of Representatives to get the legislation to the President's desk as soon as possible.

Resolution 2011-09 directs ACB staff to contact the Transportation Security Administration in writing to praise this effort and encourage continued education of airport personnel. It also instructs local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates, in collaboration with ACB's national office and GDUI, to work together to provide consultation to individual airports in addition to the aforementioned education as airports design and implement relief areas using the new TSA recommendations.

Resolution 2011-10 directs ACB to call upon the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use all regulatory and enforcement mechanisms at her disposal to ensure that electronic medical records, telehealth technologies, and health exchange and other related web sites are fully accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

Resolution 2011-11 instructs ACB to strongly encourage IDE developers to ensure programmers who are blind or visually impaired can access all portions of the development environment with the same rapidity and fluidity as their sighted peers. Officers, directors, and staff are directed to develop a list of resources which could be used to provide information on making IDEs fully accessible, as well as to consult with organizations or individuals involved in creating development environments to ensure that the final product is fully accessible to programmers who are blind or visually impaired at the same time as it is made available to the general market.

Resolution 2011-12 commits ACB to advocacy leading to the prompt enactment of federal legislation requiring pharmacies to offer, upon request, access to prescription drug labeling and accompanying information. Such legislation should mandate the promulgation of regulations describing the variety of means necessary to meet the non-visual and enhanced visual access needs of customers with vision loss.

Resolution 2011-13 puts ACB, along with the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), on record as reaffirming the historic significance of the Randolph-Sheppard Act. ACB will work toward the realization of the full potential of this program for the employment of blind and low-vision Americans.

Resolution 2011-14 instructs ACB to call upon U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to take all steps necessary to update and issue policy guidance concerning the education of students with vision loss, to publish such guidance in the Federal Register no later than the close of calendar year 2012, and to set the DoEd on a course to regularly update such guidance thereafter. It also directs the Department of Education to work with the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, and similar parties with whom these organizations may make common cause, to ensure that, at a minimum, future policy guidance thoroughly addresses: students' rights to accessible instructional materials and states' and schools' obligations to offer accessible materials and technologies; a clear statement of states' and schools' obligation to provide assistive technology and the services necessary to use it properly, and clarification that such technology may be used in the student's home or otherwise outside of the classroom; the enforcement and other means open to students, parents, teachers and other advocates to ensure that students with vision loss receive instruction in braille as appropriate; a straightforward description of the criteria that should be used to determine when the establishment of an individualized education program (IEP) or a so-called 504 plan is warranted for a given student with vision loss; a statement affirming the role of the teacher of students with visual impairments as the indispensable professional necessary to the appropriate receipt of special education for a student with vision loss; practical examples of draft goals which might be incorporated in IEPs to achieve specific outcomes; clarification that IDEA's so-called least restrictive environment expectation cannot be used to thwart the provision of services meeting the unique needs of students with vision loss simply because such appropriate services happen to be readily available at special schools or in center-based settings; and the full appropriate availability of educational placements along a continuum of options, including specialized schools.

Resolution 2011-15 directs ACB to advocate for the prompt enactment of federal legislation to vacate the CMS regulation barring coverage for all low-vision devices employing lenses and to establish clear coverage criteria for the fullest possible Medicare reimbursement for low-vision devices.

Resolution 2011-16 directs ACB's national staff to contact both the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Justice to emphasize the pressing need to revise the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design or take other actions to require installation of detectable warning surfaces at curb ramps, blended transitions, roadway medians, islands, and roundabout splitter islands and low-slope blended transitions to crossings and other components of pedestrian networks found at or within public accommodations and commercial facilities. It also requests that ACB's national staff and all ACB affiliates and members support this vital initiative by providing written public comment to the US Access Board in response to its Notice of Proposed Rule-Making on Public Rights-of-Way emphasizing the need for requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces in the public right of way as well as at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Resolution 2011-17 directs ACB to demand that Netflix take immediate steps to create accessible experiences for people who are blind or visually impaired on each of the platforms used by Netflix to distribute video content by following recognized guidelines for making interfaces accessible. It also demands that Netflix design and implement a system through which blind or visually impaired people can have access to commercially available video described content via all the distribution channels used by Netflix, and states that ACB's officers, directors, and staff will take all appropriate steps to work with Netflix's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution. ACB will make available the assistance of ACB's Information Access Committee to assist Netflix in meeting its obligations to provide equal accessibility to people who are blind or have low vision.

Resolution 2011-18 puts ACB on record as remaining committed to the promotion of privacy, verifiability, independence, and security as indispensable elements of any new voting system being considered. It requests that whatever new system is being considered for adoption in any jurisdiction be secure, verifiable, and must allow for independent voting in privacy. ACB encourages universities, vendors and other public entities to continue to seek innovative approaches that will create systems that meet all the criteria as set forth in this resolution.

Resolution 2011-19 strongly encourages Apple to take the following steps to give iOS app developers incentive to make their apps fully accessible: 1) Create a rating system that provides a consistent method of measuring the accessibility of apps which could be applied across all iOS apps; 2) Create a category of accessible apps in the iOS App Store that would make the discoverability of accessible apps easier and that would highlight app developers who have made concerted efforts to achieve accessibility; 3) Create a specific category for accessibility to be used when Apple awards app developers for "best of" design; and 4) Take additional steps to make available tools and documentation to developers whose apps are currently not accessible. It directs ACB to take all appropriate steps to work with Apple's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution, and to make available to Apple the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

Resolution 2011-20 directs ACB to urge Congress and the Rehabilitation Services Administration to work with states to ensure that rehabilitation services are provided to eligible citizen without delay. ACB's officers, directors, staff, and members will urge Congress to maintain enough funding to state rehabilitation programs so that disabled, and especially blind and visually impaired, citizens are fully prepared for jobs commensurate with their knowledge, education, and experience. It requests the officers, staff, and the rehabilitation issues task force to work with affiliates in advocating with their state legislatures to provide sufficient state funding to draw down all potentially available federal funds.

Resolution 2011-21 urges that conventional incandescent light bulbs of all wattages continue to be available while manufacturers and researchers work on producing a light source that uses less electricity while retaining the same lighting characteristics as incandescent bulbs. It also puts ACB on record as supporting legislation such as S. 395, and encourages that S. 395 be amended to specifically address the need for development of a lighting source that will meet both the needs of people who have low vision, and address general environmental concerns.

Resolution 2011-23 commends the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino for the services and accommodations it provided to ACB members during the conference and convention.

Resolution 2011-24 commends the local host committee and the Nevada Council of the Blind for their fine work.

Resolution 2011-25 thanks the volunteers who worked at the conference and convention for their assistance.

RESOLUTION 2011-01

Copyright Treaty

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-01

SUMMARY:

1. The officers, directors and members of this organization hereby confirm their support for an international treaty on copyright exceptions and limitations that will allow producers of books for people with print reading disabilities to share them with individuals in other countries.

2. This resolution shall be sent to the World Blind Union to be distributed by them to such individuals and entities as may be appropriate to support their efforts on behalf of an international copyright treaty.

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has a long history of advocacy in support of increased access to any and all books and other print materials in alternate formats that are accessible to people with print-reading disabilities; and

WHEREAS, there continues to be a worldwide shortage of books in formats that are accessible to people with visual impairments and other print-reading disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the World Blind Union has identified a “book famine” which adversely impacts many people, especially in developing countries, who have print-reading disabilities; and

WHEREAS, in an effort to address this deplorable lack of access, the World Blind Union has been working for some time to convince the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to endorse the creation of an international treaty on copyright law that would remove barriers to the sharing of books in accessible formats across borders; and

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has supported this effort since its inception and has sent representatives to meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Standing Committee on Copyright to assist the World Blind Union in its efforts to convince delegates of the need for this treaty;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 14th day of July, 2011, that the officers, directors and members of this organization hereby confirm their support for an international treaty on copyright exceptions and limitations that will allow producers of books for people with print-reading disabilities to share them with individuals in other countries; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall be sent to the World Blind Union to be distributed by them to such individuals and entities as may be appropriate to support their efforts on behalf of an international copyright treaty.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-03

Accident Data Gathering

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-03

SUMMARY:

1. ACB's Environmental Access Committee with the assistance of ACB directors, officers and staff, is directed to contact relevant public and private agencies, organizations and academic institutions with relevant expertise, jurisdiction or mission to convene meetings and hold discussions regarding the most appropriate means and methodologies for researching and compiling data concerning the environmental factors contributing to or causing the injury or death of blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

2. The American Council of the Blind is hereby instructed to work with the Environmental Access Committee to develop and implement a strategy that will lead to achievement of the objectives of this resolution.

WHEREAS, blind and visually impaired persons spend a greater percentage of their time as pedestrians than persons who drive motor vehicles; and

WHEREAS, according to Richard Wall, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Idaho, a pedestrian is 150 percent more likely to be injured by a vehicle than someone driving one; and

WHEREAS, there currently are no national or state databases containing adequate information regarding environmental factors which cause or contribute to motor vehicle accidents resulting in the injury or death of blind and visually impaired pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, pedestrians with and without vision are injured or killed because of poorly designed streets, highways, signalization, signage and similar inadequacies resulting from policies and practices favoring motor vehicle drivers over the safety needs of all pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, persons with vision can more easily overcome or avoid such general pedestrian hazards than can blind and visually impaired persons; and

WHEREAS, blind and visually impaired pedestrians experience additional environmental hazards not faced by sighted pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, such hazards cause or contribute to the injury or death of blind and visually impaired persons; and

WHEREAS, ACB believes it is imperative to identify environmental factors which specifically cause or contribute to the injury or death of blind and visually impaired pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, ACB believes the gathering of such data is needed in order to formulate laws and policies at all relevant levels of government to enhance and promote the safety of blind and visually impaired pedestrians;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that ACB's Environmental Access Committee, with the assistance of ACB directors, officers and staff, be directed to contact relevant public and private agencies, organizations and academic institutions with relevant expertise, jurisdiction or mission to convene meetings and hold discussions regarding the most appropriate means and methodologies for researching and compiling data concerning the environmental factors contributing to or causing the injury or death of blind and visually impaired pedestrians; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a result of the recommendations that come out of these meetings, the American Council of the Blind is hereby instructed to work with the Environmental Access Committee to develop and implement a strategy that will lead to achievement of the objectives of this resolution.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-04

BANA and Braille Codes

American Council of the Blind
RESOLUTION 2011-04

SUMMARY:

This organization and its affiliate, the Braille Revival League (BRL), hereby request the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to provide a clear and unequivocal indication of where BANA stands with regard to the adoption of both of these codes in the United States to the Board of Directors by its mid-year meeting in Washington, DC in February of 2012.

WHEREAS, many members of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) are avid braille readers; and

WHEREAS, many ACB members have followed with concern the debates which have occurred over the last decade regarding use of the Unified English Braille Code (UEB) and the Nemeth Unified Braille System (NUBS); and

WHEREAS, members of ACB are uncertain about the current situation or what can be expected in the immediate future with respect to adoption of UEB and/or NUBS;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization and its affiliate, the Braille Revival League (BRL), hereby request the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to provide a clear and unequivocal indication of where BANA stands with regard to the adoption of both of these codes in the United States to the Board of Directors of the ACB by its mid-year meeting in Washington, D.C. in February of 2012.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-05

Braille Labeling of Packages

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-05

SUMMARY:

ACB will work with all relevant federal agencies, most specifically, the Food and Drug Administration, to develop guidelines and implement regulations requiring the provision of braille labeling.

WHEREAS, braille is the most effective reading system for many people who are blind or have low vision; and

WHEREAS, braille labeling for purposes of identification on product packaging would be extremely valuable; and

WHEREAS, the European Union and many countries including Brazil have implemented braille package identification for consumer products, including over-the-counter medicines and other products, and non-perishable food items;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that the American Council of the Blind work with all relevant federal agencies, most specifically, the Food and Drug Administration, to develop guidelines and implement regulations requiring the provision of braille labeling.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-06

Detectable Warning Specifications

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-06

SUMMARY:

1. This organization urges the Access Board to include in its proposed specifications for detectable warnings all of the following elements: 70 percent clear visual contrast from the adjoining walking surface, federal yellow, resiliency and/or sound difference on cane contact from the adjoining walking surface, the alignment of truncated domes on a square grid, and a depth of 36 inches of detectable warning surface in order to ensure detectability.

2. The Environmental Access Committee of the American Council of the Blind is hereby directed to provide public comments on the guidelines once they are released which will clearly articulate the position outlined in this resolution.

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has long advocated for detectable warning surfaces on curb ramps, rail platforms and blended transitions; and

WHEREAS, reports and research studies sponsored by the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board), the U.S. Department of Transportation, Project ACTION and studies from Japan all agree that where a curb ramp or level curb pedestrian way exists, it is necessary to place a detectable warning strip immediately adjacent to the vehicular way in order to indicate the precise location of the danger for persons who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, this work demonstrates that a detectable warning should have the following characteristics: 70 percent clear visual contrast from the adjoining walking surface, federal yellow, resiliency and/or sound difference on cane contact from the adjoining walking surface, the alignment of truncated domes on a square grid, and a depth of 36 inches of detectable warning surface in order to ensure underfoot detection; and

WHEREAS, this summer the U.S. Access Board plans to release for public comment proposed guidelines for public rights-of-way which will address detectable warning surface requirements for curb ramps, curb cuts, track crossings, hazardous vehicular areas, and reflecting pools; and

WHEREAS, unless these guidelines contain the specific elements enumerated above, they will not provide sufficient protection for people who are blind or have low vision;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization urge the Access Board to include in its proposed specifications for detectable warnings all of the following elements: 70 percent clear visual contrast from the adjoining walking surface, federal yellow, resiliency and/or sound difference on cane contact from the adjoining walking surface, the alignment of truncated domes on a square grid, and a depth of 36 inches of detectable warning surface in order to ensure detectability; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Environmental Access Committee of the American Council of the Blind is hereby directed to provide public comments on the guidelines once they are released which will clearly articulate the position outlined in this resolution.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-07

Tax Credit for Donation of Vehicles to Charitable Causes

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-07

SUMMARY:

This organization calls upon all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 860, and requests that members of the U.S. Senate promptly introduce and pass companion legislation to H.R. 860 and work with the House of Representatives to get the legislation to the President's desk as soon as possible.

WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 provided a taxpayer income credit which allowed for the donation of vehicles for their fair market value to qualified charitable organizations; and

WHEREAS, until 2005, these donations served as a critical fund-raising resource for over 5,000 large and small non-profit service organizations including the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and many of its state affiliates; and

WHEREAS, because some donors and some third-party management contractors were charged with abusing the provision of the deductions allowed for fair market value of donated vehicles, Congress in 2003 enacted legislation that imposes overreaching restrictions on this part of the tax code which have severely restricted how these deductions can be taken; and

WHEREAS, Representatives David Reichert (R-WA) and John Larson (D-CT) are currently sponsoring legislation, H.R. 860, which strikes a balance between easing burdens on the use of the vehicle donation deduction with legitimate reporting and abuse concerns;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization call upon all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 860; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the U.S. Senate promptly introduce and pass companion legislation to H.R. 860 and work with the House of Representatives to get the legislation to the President's desk as soon as possible.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-09

Praising Transportation Safety Administration for Enforcing Service Dog Relief Areas within Airport Security

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-09

SUMMARY:

1. ACB staff is directed to contact the TSA in writing to praise this effort and encourage continued education of airport personnel.

2. Local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates, in collaboration with ACB's national office and GDUI, will work together to provide consultation to individual airports in addition to the aforementioned education as airports design and implement relief areas using the new TSA recommendations.

WHEREAS, people who use guide dogs and other service dogs (hereafter collectively called service dogs) use air travel; and

WHEREAS, air travel often requires connecting from one flight to another, with limited transfer time; and

WHEREAS, most dog relief areas are on the outside of security checkpoints in airports; and

WHEREAS, exiting the secured zone for the sole purpose of relieving a service dog followed by re-entry through a security checkpoint area are often impossible due to the limited time allowed by airline flight schedules; and

WHEREAS, this lack of time leaves handlers with disabilities no choice but to work with a dog forced to wait for many hours for relief, increasing the likelihood of negative consequences for the team; and

WHEREAS, guide dog handlers often are requested to wait for a person to assist them to find a relief area and back through security, adding even more time; and

WHEREAS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently sent notice to all major airports specifically noting the unreasonable hardship posed to service dog handlers if the only option for relieving such dogs exists outside of the secured zone; and

WHEREAS, the notice continued by saying that there is no security obstacle posed by service dog relief areas located within the secured zone; and

WHEREAS, this notice also presented guidelines for the implementation of such relief areas for the purpose of providing necessary and reasonable accommodation for travelers with disabilities who are service dog handlers;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that ACB staff be directed to contact the TSA in writing to praise this effort and encourage continued education of airport personnel; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's national office and Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) shall work with TSA Disability Coalition members in conjunction with local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates to provide this education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local ACB and GDUI chapters and affiliates, in collaboration with ACB's national office and GDUI, work together to provide consultation to individual airports in addition to the aforementioned education as airports design and implement relief areas using the new TSA recommendations.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-10

Health Information Accessibility

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-10

SUMMARY:

This organization calls upon the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use all regulatory and enforcement mechanisms at her disposal to ensure that electronic medical records, telehealth technologies, and health exchange and other related web sites are fully accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

WHEREAS, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or federal health care reform) calls for the establishment of state health care exchanges to provide information to consumers about available health insurance plans and options; and

WHEREAS, this legislation is merely the latest in a series of legislative and regulatory changes that are increasingly moving our nation's health care system into the virtual environment; and

WHEREAS, the growing use of largely inaccessible electronic health records is posing a significant barrier to people who are blind or visually impaired who cannot privately and independently make use of such records; and

WHEREAS, the increasing deployment of inaccessible telehealth technologies is leading to the creation of needless barriers to people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the web sites of state health exchanges and those of other health insurance providers must be accessible in order to ensure that people with disabilities can benefit from the provisions of health care reform;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization call upon the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use all regulatory and enforcement mechanisms at her disposal to ensure that electronic medical records, telehealth technologies, and health exchange and other related web sites are fully accessible to and useable by people with disabilities.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-11

Software Development Environments

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-11

SUMMARY:

1. ACB strongly encourages IDE developers to ensure programmers who are blind or visually impaired can access all portions of the development environment with the same rapidity and fluidity as their sighted peers.

2. The officers, directors, and staff are hereby directed to develop a list of resources which could be used to provide information on making IDEs fully accessible.

3. ACB’s officers, directors and staff are hereby directed to consult with organizations or individuals involved in creating development environments to ensure that the final product is fully accessible to programmers who are blind or visually impaired at the same time as it is made available to the general market.

WHEREAS, including accessibility features into software products has allowed people who are blind or visually impaired to engage in a variety of activities which enable them to be more productive members of society; and

WHEREAS, employment is an integral part of participating in society; and

WHEREAS, some people, in preparing for employment in the field of computer programming, use free tools such as "express" versions of full-fledged Microsoft products; and

WHEREAS, programmers who are blind or visually impaired have a long-standing history of being employed in computer programming; and

WHEREAS, companies including but not limited to Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle have created Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for rapidly creating computer software; and

WHEREAS, many of these IDEs contain entire feature sets which are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to use independently by programmers who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, these challenges in accessibility lead to an increase in the amount of time needed for programmers who are blind or visually impaired to develop applications; and

WHEREAS, both small and large enterprises make quick turn-around an important metric when creating computer programs; and

WHEREAS, we can infer that, being unable to develop software at the same speed as their sighted counterparts causes programmers who are blind or visually impaired to face unnecessary challenges;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that ACB strongly encourage IDE developers to ensure programmers who are blind or visually impaired can access all portions of the development environment with the same rapidity and fluidity as their sighted peers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors and staff are hereby directed to develop a list of resources which could be used to provide information on making IDEs fully accessible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's officers, directors and staff are hereby directed to consult with organizations or individuals involved in creating development environments to ensure that the final product is fully accessible to programmers who are blind or visually impaired at the same time as it is made available to the general market.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-12

Access to Prescription Drug Labeling

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-12

SUMMARY:

This organization commits to advocacy leading to the prompt enactment of federal legislation requiring pharmacies to offer, upon request, access to prescription drug labeling and accompanying information. Such legislation should mandate the promulgation of regulations describing the variety of means necessary to meet the non-visual and enhanced visual access needs of customers with vision loss.

WHEREAS, at least 25 million Americans experience significant vision loss affecting their ability to independently read prescription drug container labeling and accompanying package inserts; and

WHEREAS, this population is expected to grow exponentially in the future as baby boomers age; and

WHEREAS, no state has yet implemented laws that insure that prescription labeling is fully and reliably accessible to people with vision loss; and

WHEREAS, a mere handful of pharmacies are exploring methods for offering accessible labeling but are not doing so consistently; and

WHEREAS, as a part of the Medicare Modernization and Improvement Act of 2003, the U.S. Congress charged the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the problem of inaccessible drug labeling and to make recommendations; and

WHEREAS, the FDA's report thoroughly described the barriers faced by people with vision loss but utterly failed to craft meaningful policy recommendations or propose other solutions; and

WHEREAS, a consumer survey conducted by the American Foundation for the Blind, published at www.afb.org/labels, demonstrated that the failure to provide prescription drug labeling in accessible formats can lead to significant health risks;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in Convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011,, that this organization commit to advocacy leading to the prompt enactment of federal legislation requiring pharmacies to offer, upon request, access to prescription drug labeling and accompanying information. Such legislation should mandate the promulgation of regulations describing the variety of means necessary to meet the non-visual and enhanced visual access needs of customers with vision loss.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-13

75th Anniversary of Randolph-Sheppard Program

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-13

SUMMARY:

1. This organization, along with its affiliate the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), reaffirms the historic significance of the Randolph-Sheppard Act.

2. This organization will work toward the realization of the full potential of this program for the employment of blind and low-vision Americans.

WHEREAS, Senators E. Jennings Randolph and Morris Sheppard sponsored and championed the Randolph-Sheppard Act; and

WHEREAS, this act was passed by the United States Congress on June 20, 1936; and

WHEREAS, the Randolph-Sheppard Act has provided the priority for blind and visually impaired persons to manage vending stands and later food service facilities in federal buildings; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with subsequent amendments to the act sponsored by Senator Randolph, many states have adopted a comparable priority for the operation by blind persons of vending facilities on state property; and

WHEREAS, the Randolph-Sheppard program is among the largest employment program for blind and visually impaired persons in the nation; and

WHEREAS, 2011 is the 75th anniversary of the Randolph-Sheppard Act; and

WHEREAS, this program continues to be a valuable employment option;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 11th day of July, 2011, that this organization, along with its affiliate the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA), reaffirms the historic significance of the Randolph-Sheppard Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization work toward the realization of the full potential of this program for the employment of blind and low-vision Americans.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-14

Education Policy Guidance

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-14

SUMMARY:

1. This organization calls upon U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to take all steps necessary to update and issue policy guidance concerning the education of students with vision loss, to publish such guidance in the Federal Register no later than the close of calendar year 2012, and to set the DoEd on a course to regularly update such guidance thereafter.

2. The Department of Education will work with the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, and similar parties with whom these organizations may make common cause, to ensure that, at a minimum, future policy guidance thoroughly addresses: students' rights to accessible instructional materials and states' and schools' obligations to offer accessible materials and technologies; a clear statement of states' and schools' obligation to provide assistive technology and the services necessary to use it properly, and clarification that such technology may be used in the student's home or otherwise outside of the classroom; the enforcement and other means open to students, parents, teachers and other advocates to ensure that students with vision loss receive instruction in braille as appropriate; a straightforward description of the criteria that should be used to determine when the establishment of an individualized education program (IEP) or a so-called 504 plan is warranted for a given student with vision loss; a statement affirming the role of the teacher of students with visual impairments as the indispensable professional necessary to the appropriate receipt of special education for a student with vision loss; practical examples of draft goals which might be incorporated in IEPs to achieve specific outcomes; clarification that IDEA's so-called least restrictive environment expectation cannot be used to thwart the provision of services meeting the unique needs of students with vision loss simply because such appropriate services happen to be readily available at special schools or in center-based settings; and the full appropriate availability of educational placements along a continuum of options, including specialized schools.

WHEREAS, formal policy guidance issued by the United States Department of Education (DoEd) entitled "Educating Blind and Visually Impaired Students: Policy Guidance from OSERS" (65 FR 36586) has proven to be an invaluable awareness and advocacy tool for students with vision loss, their parents, teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs), and other advocates; and

WHEREAS, the DoEd's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) first issued such policy guidance on November 3, 1995 and last updated and reissued such policy guidance on June 8, 2000; and

WHEREAS, since the issuance of the policy guidance more than eleven years ago, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), its implementing regulations, and other laws affecting the education of students with disabilities, have undergone substantial change; and

WHEREAS, among other noteworthy improvements, such laws call for the provision of accessible instructional materials and technologies and create mechanisms for their delivery; and

WHEREAS, a host of matters, from the appropriate role of specialized schools, to the distinctions between orientation and mobility and travel training, to the widespread failure of students with vision loss to receive braille instruction, to the need for proper evaluation and assessment, to the provision of early intervention services in so-called natural environments, have also evolved, and in some instances devolved, in the eleven years since the policy guidance was last issued; and

WHEREAS, the DoEd's failure to keep such policy guidance up to date denies students, parents, TVIs and other advocates a current, clear and convincing Department Of Education-endorsed statement concerning the rights of, and public education system responsibilities to serve, students with vision loss; and

WHEREAS, as of this writing, the pending re-authorization of IDEA and the subsequent process for issuing related implementing regulations is expected to require at least four additional years.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization call upon U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to take all steps necessary to update and issue policy guidance concerning the education of students with vision loss, to publish such guidance in the Federal Register no later than the close of calendar year 2012, and to set the DoEd on a course to regularly update such guidance thereafter; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DoEd work with the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, and similar parties with whom these organizations may make common cause, to ensure that, at a minimum, future policy guidance thoroughly addresses:

* Students' rights to accessible instructional materials and states' and schools' obligations to offer accessible materials and technologies;

* A clear statement of states' and schools' obligation to provide assistive technology and the services necessary to use it properly, and clarification that such technology may be used in the student's home or otherwise outside of the classroom;

* The enforcement and other means open to students, parents, teachers and other advocates to ensure that students with vision loss receive instruction in braille as appropriate;

* A straightforward description of the criteria that should be used to determine when the establishment of an individualized education program (IEP) or a so-called 504 plan is warranted for a given student with vision loss;

* A statement affirming the role of the teacher of students with visual impairments as the indispensable professional necessary to the appropriate receipt of special education for a student with vision loss;

* Practical examples of draft goals which might be incorporated in IEPs to achieve specific outcomes;

* Clarification that IDEA's so-called least restrictive environment expectation cannot be used to thwart the provision of services meeting the unique needs of students with vision loss simply because such appropriate services happen to be readily available at special schools or in center-based settings; and

* The full appropriate availability of educational placements along a continuum of options, including specialized schools.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-15

Revoke the Medicare Low-Vision Device Exclusion Rule

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-15

SUMMARY:

This organization advocates for the prompt enactment of federal legislation to vacate the CMS regulation barring coverage for all low-vision devices employing lenses and to establish clear coverage criteria for the fullest possible Medicare reimbursement for low-vision devices.

WHEREAS, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule in November 2008, which unreasonably applies the Medicare statute's exclusion of coverage for eyeglasses and contact lenses to prohibit coverage for all low-vision devices; and

WHEREAS, this unacceptable regulation specifically provides that all devices, irrespective of their size, form or technological features, that use one or more lenses to aid vision are to be excluded from coverage under Medicare; and

WHEREAS, this interpretation of the so-called eyeglass exclusion prevents Medicare beneficiaries with vision loss from benefiting from the use of medically necessary low-vision devices which would have allowed them to read prescriptions and other materials containing content vital to their personal health and safety; and

WHEREAS, people on fixed incomes, including many seniors and people with disabilities, often find the cost of low-vision devices prohibitive and are therefore not able to purchase them; and

WHEREAS, the expansion of the statutory eyeglass exclusion to bar any technology that uses one or more lenses for the primary purpose of aiding vision is discriminatory and unwarranted public policy which will serve as a disincentive to researchers and innovators in the development of new and progressive technologies that maximize the use of residual vision; and

WHEREAS, prior to the issuance of the regulation, it was clearly demonstrated that a small number of consumers who went through a lengthy appeals process could occasionally be approved for a CCTV magnifier or similar device; and

WHEREAS, given the small number of durable medical equipment appeals that were approved, the adoption of this new interpretation of the regulation is capricious, arbitrary, and unjust;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization advocate for the prompt enactment of federal legislation to vacate the CMS regulation barring coverage for all low-vision devices employing lenses and to establish clear coverage criteria for the fullest possible Medicare reimbursement for low-vision devices.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-16

Support for Detectable Warnings to be Installed in the Public Right of Way as well as at or within Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-16

SUMMARY:

1. ACB's national staff is directed to contact both the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Justice to emphasize the pressing need to revise the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design or take other actions to require installation of detectable warning surfaces at curb ramps, blended transitions, roadway medians, islands, and roundabout splitter islands and low-slope blended transitions to crossings and other components of pedestrian networks found at or within public accommodations and commercial facilities.

2. ACB's national staff and all ACB affiliates and members are requested to support this vital initiative by providing written public comment to the U.S. Access Board in response to its Notice of Proposed Rule-Making on Public Rights-of-Way emphasizing the need for requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces in the public right of way as well as at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

WHEREAS, detectable warning surfaces are an important and valuable aid to navigation for blind and visually impaired pedestrians, alerting them when they are approaching an intersection, a hazardous vehicular area, or the edge of rail platforms; and

WHEREAS, the features of complex intersections are not easily identified with the use of a white cane through tactile contact; and

WHEREAS, current Access Board regulations do not provide protection for people who are blind or have low vision because they do not recognize the need for detectable warnings in vehicular ways; and

WHEREAS, except for certain transportation facilities, current ADA Standards for Accessible Design do not require installation of detectable warning surfaces in either public rights-of-way or in private public accommodations and commercial facilities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Access Board is scheduled to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking this Summer regarding a Public Rights-of-Way Guideline which is expected to propose requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces; and

WHEREAS, it will take years for the U.S. Access Board to issue a final Public Rights-of-Way Guideline which will still have to be reviewed and adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice as an enforceable ADA Accessibility Design Standard; and

WHEREAS, even if detectable warning surfaces are required to be installed in the public rights-of-way years from now, detectable warnings will still not be required at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities; and

WHEREAS, having inconsistent ADA accessibility standards for detectable warnings in similar contexts is poor public policy and may call into question and ultimately undermine the legitimacy of requiring detectable warnings in public rights-of-ways

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July 2011 that ACB's national staff are directed to contact both the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Justice to emphasize the pressing need to revise the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design or take other actions to require installation of detectable warning surfaces at curb ramps, blended transitions, roadway medians, islands, and roundabout splitter islands and low-slope blended transitions to crossings and other components of pedestrian networks found at or within public accommodations and commercial facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's national staff and all ACB affiliates and members are requested to support this vital initiative by providing written public comment to the U.S. Access Board in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Public Rights-of-Way emphasizing the need for requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces in the public right of way as well as at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-17

Netflix Accessibility and Described Video Content

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-17

SUMMARY:

1. This organization demands that Netflix take immediate steps that will create accessible experiences for people who are blind or visually impaired on each of the platforms used by Netflix to distribute video content by following recognized guidelines for making interfaces accessible.

2. The American Council of the Blind demands that Netflix design and implement a system through which blind or visually impaired people can have access to commercially available video described content via all the distribution channels used by Netflix.

3. The officers, directors, and staff of this organization take all appropriate steps to work with Netflix's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution.

4. This organization will make available the assistance of ACB's Information Access Committee to assist Netflix in meeting its obligations to provide equal accessibility to people who are blind or have low vision.

WHEREAS, watching described and non-described video programming is an important activity for people who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, watching digital video programming is no longer limited to television sets since it is distributed through a variety of media including web sites, mobile apps, digital video recorders (DVRs), and DVDs; and

WHEREAS, Netflix is one of the largest digital video programming distributors who carry a diverse and growing selection of films and television shows; and

WHEREAS, when distributing digital videos, Netflix does not provide a consistently accessible experience for people who are blind and visually impaired as evidenced by the recent update to the online interface for playing back videos which rendered it completely inaccessible; and

WHEREAS, when distributing digital programming, Netflix makes no effort to identify, physically distribute, or stream described video content;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization demand that Netflix take immediate steps that will create accessible experiences for people who are blind or visually impaired on each of the platforms that is used by Netflix to distribute video content by following recognized guidelines for making interfaces accessible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Council of the Blind demand that Netflix design and implement a system through which blind or visually impaired people can have access to commercially available video described content via all the distribution channels used by Netflix; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization take all appropriate steps to work with Netflix's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization make available the assistance of ACB's Information Access Committee to assist Netflix in meeting its obligations to provide equal accessibility to people who are blind or have low vision.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-18

Innovative Voting System Accessibility

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-18

SUMMARY:

1. The American Council of the Blind remains absolutely committed to the promotion of privacy, verifiability, independence, and security as indispensable elements of any new system being considered.

2. Whatever new system is being considered for adoption in any jurisdiction must be secure, verifiable, and must allow for independent voting in privacy.

3. This organization encourages universities, vendors and other public entities to continue to seek innovative approaches that will create systems that meet all the criteria as set forth in this resolution.

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has passed resolutions affirming the right of people who are blind or have low vision to vote privately, verifiably and independently; and

WHEREAS, the ACB is also on record clearly and categorically asserting the right of people who are blind or visually impaired to vote securely; and

WHEREAS, considerable work is currently being done using innovative voting system options;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011 that the American Council of the Blind remains absolutely committed to the promotion of privacy, verifiability, independence, and security as indispensable elements of any new system being considered; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that whatever new system is being considered for adoption in any jurisdiction must be secure, verifiable, and must allow for independent voting in privacy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization encourage universities, vendors and other public entities to continue to seek innovative approaches that will create systems that meet all the criteria as set forth in this resolution.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-19

Apple iOS Application Accessibility

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-19

SUMMARY:

1. This organization strongly encourages Apple to take the following steps that would incentivize iOS app developers to make their apps fully accessible: 1) Create a rating system that provides a consistent method of measuring the accessibility of apps which could be applied across all iOS apps; 2) Create a category of accessible apps in the iOS App Store that would make the discoverability of accessible apps easier and that would highlight app developers who have made concerted efforts to achieve accessibility; 3) Create a specific category for accessibility to be used when Apple awards app developers for "best of" design; and 4) Take additional steps to make available tools and documentation to developers whose apps are currently not accessible.

2. This organization will take all appropriate steps to work with Apple's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution.

3. This organization will make available to Apple the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

WHEREAS, through the implementation of the iOS operating system, Apple has created a successful ecosystem of hundreds of thousands of apps that fall in categories such as navigation, productivity, entertainment, education, news, and social networking; and

WHEREAS, many of the apps in the iOS ecosystem have the capacity to increase the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired by providing information about their environments that has not been readily available until now; and

WHEREAS, a majority of the apps in the iOS ecosystem are not currently accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired who must rely on assistive technologies; and

WHEREAS, Apple has made available human interface design guidelines and testing tools that could make many of the apps accessible and usable by people who are blind or visually impaired who use built-in accessibility features like Voiceover and Zoom; and

WHEREAS, ways must be found to encourage more iOS app developers to follow these guidelines;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization strongly encourage Apple to take the following steps that would incentivize iOS app developers to make their apps fully accessible:

1. Create a rating system that provides a consistent method of measuring the accessibility of apps which could be applied across all iOS apps;

2. Create a category of accessible apps in the iOS App Store that would make the discoverability of accessible apps easier and that would highlight app developers who have made concerted efforts to achieve accessibility;

3. Create a specific category for accessibility to be used when Apple awards app developers for "best of" design;

4. Take additional steps to make available tools and documentation to developers whose apps are currently not accessible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization take all appropriate steps to work with Apple's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization make available to Apple the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-20

Full Funding of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
for the Blind and Visually Impaired

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-20

SUMMARY:

1. This organization urges Congress and the Rehabilitation Services Administration to work with states to ensure that rehabilitation services are provided to eligible citizen without delay.

2. ACB's officers, directors, staff, and members urge Congress to maintain enough funding to state rehabilitation programs so that disabled, and especially blind and visually impaired, citizens are fully prepared for jobs commensurate with their knowledge, education, and experience.

3. ACB's officers, staff, and the Rehabilitation Issues Task Force are hereby requested to work with affiliates in advocating with their state legislatures to provide sufficient state funding to draw down all potentially available federal funds.

WHEREAS, states across the United States are experiencing historic downturns in revenue, and are finding it necessary to cut expenses wherever possible; and

WHEREAS, the federal government is seeking to reduce the deficit by slashing levels of funding and Sometimes, whole programs; and

WHEREAS, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding dollars which were being used in many states for funding some rehabilitation services will be ending this year; and

WHEREAS, roughly 80 percent of the dollars available for vocational rehabilitation come from federal sources, while states provide roughly 20 percent and must provide their full share in order to "draw down" all available federal dollars; and

WHEREAS, this combination of increasing demand and decreased funding results in many qualified people with disabilities being forced to wait months before receiving any services;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the15th day of July, 2011, that this organization urge Congress and the Rehabilitation Services Administration to work with states to ensure that rehabilitation services are provided to eligible citizen without delay; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's officers, directors, staff, and members urge Congress to maintain enough funding to state rehabilitation programs so that disabled, and especially blind and visually impaired, citizens are fully prepared for jobs commensurate with their knowledge, education, and experience; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's officers, staff, and the Rehabilitation Issues Task Force are hereby requested to work with affiliates in advocating with their state legislatures to provide sufficient state funding to draw down all potentially available federal funds.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-21

Incandescent Light Bulbs

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-21

SUMMARY:

1. This organization urges that conventional incandescent light bulbs of all wattages continue to be available while manufacturers and researchers work on producing a light source that uses less electricity while retaining the same lighting characteristics as incandescent bulbs.

2. This organization supports legislation such as S. 395.

3. This organization strongly encourages that S. 395 be amended to specifically address the need for development of a lighting source that will meet both the needs of people who have low vision, and address general environmental concerns.

WHEREAS, President George W. Bush signed into law the National Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (NEIS) for the purpose of reducing the dependence of the United States on foreign and unsustainable energy sources and the risks of climate change; and

WHEREAS, Section 321 of this act restricts the sale of regular incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent lights starting in 2012; and

WHEREAS, this section requires the initiation of a rulemaking procedure to determine whether even more restrictive standards on the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs should be adopted by 2014 to address environmental considerations; and

WHEREAS, this section of NEIS imposes, by providing for additional restrictions on the sale of incandescent light bulbs, significant limitations on the independence and functioning of people with low vision, and diminishes their ability to fully participate in society; and

WHEREAS, persons with low vision require appropriate illumination in order to have optimal visual function; and

WHEREAS, since the eyes of each person with low vision respond differently to various light sources, such as fluorescent, halogen, light-emitting diodes and incandescent lighting, it is essential that such persons continue to have available the broadest possible array of choices in lighting options; and

WHEREAS, incandescent lighting works best for many people with low vision to read, cook, sew, and perform other daily tasks, while the wrong lighting frequently causes headaches, eye strain, and glare, thus reducing the ability to independently function optimally at home and in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, the NEIS will likely lead to the discontinued sale of the conventional incandescent light bulbs; and

WHEREAS, Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), has introduced S. 395, which would repeal Section 321 of the NEIS albeit for reasons other than concerns about accommodations for people who have low vision; and

WHEREAS, it is essential to the well-being of people who have low vision that the restrictions on the sale of incandescent light bulbs be delayed until such time as a suitable alternative lighting source can be found that both meets the needs of this population and addresses environmental concerns;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization urge that conventional incandescent light bulbs of all wattages continue to be available while manufacturers and researchers work on producing a light source that uses less electricity while retaining the same lighting characteristics as incandescent bulbs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization support legislation such as S. 395; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization strongly encourage that S. 395 be amended to specifically address the need for development of a lighting source that will meet both the needs of people who have low vision and address general environmental concerns.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-23

Commendation of Convention Hotel

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-23

WHEREAS, the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., has provided essential services and important accommodations to the members of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) attending its 2011 convention; and

WHEREAS, the staff of the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino has been friendly and helpful; and

WHEREAS, the success of a convention is dependent upon the quality of the services provided by the hotel;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization express its thanks and appreciation for the services and accommodations provided to its members by the John Ascuaga Resort and Casino and its staff.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-24

Commending Nevada Council of the Blind

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-24

WHEREAS, the handling of local arrangements for an American Council of the Blind (ACB) National Convention is a mammoth undertaking; and

WHEREAS, the host committee and ACB members in the state of Nevada have met every challenge in hosting the 2011 ACB National Convention in Sparks, Nevada and have welcomed and assisted ACB members in a friendly, helpful, and grand fashion;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the15th day of July, 2011, that this organization wholeheartedly thank and commend the host committee and the Nevada Council of the Blind for their fine work.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary

RESOLUTION 2011-25

Commending Volunteers

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-25

WHEREAS, volunteers, under the most able stewardship of volunteer coordinator Sally Benjamin, have provided superb services in all ways to attendees of the 2011 American Council of the Blind (ACB) convention;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev., on the 15th day of July, 2011, that this organization warmly and most sincerely express its appreciation to all volunteers who worked to assist the attendees of the 2011 ACB convention; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization request yet one more accommodation from Ms. Benjamin that being to assist in communicating this resolution, or its sense, to all volunteers.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary