RESOLUTION 2010-08

ADA Anniversary
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2010-08

SUMMARY:

1. This organization joins with its colleagues and friends throughout the diverse community of people with disabilities in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

2. This organization encourages its state and local affiliates and all ACB members to participate in ADA 20th anniversary festivities.

3. This organization continue to press all relevant federal ADA enforcement agencies to address the current disparity in civil rights protections experienced by people with vision loss.

4. This organization recommit itself to supporting its members and affiliates, as appropriate and as resources allow, in the filing of ADA-related federal complaints, structured negotiation activities, and advocacy through mediation and litigation, to take maximum advantage of the means currently available to make the ADA as relevant as it should be for people who are blind or visually impaired.

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, and will therefore reach its milestone twentieth anniversary this year; and

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) in partnership with other major national organizations of and for the blind was instrumental in the negotiation and ultimate enactment of the ADA; and

WHEREAS, ACB remains committed to the aggressive enforcement of the ADA through strategic advocacy; and

WHEREAS, in several key areas, the ADA, through such advocacy, has yielded significant civil rights protections for people who are blind or visually impaired, including but not limited to, talking automated teller machines (ATMs), appropriate detectible warnings and other pedestrian safety features, broader availability of paratransit services, and civic participation through jury service and similar involvement in public life; and

WHEREAS, in spite of this advocacy, profound civil rights inequities remain either completely unresolved or under-addressed; and

WHEREAS, on occasion, the reluctance, if not the open rejection, of the ADA’s applicability to the unique civil rights challenges confronted by people with vision loss by organizations outside the vision loss community and federal agencies charged with ADA enforcement has impeded and impaired the ADA’s relevance to the vision loss community; and

WHEREAS, issues such as accessibility of goods and services offered via the Internet, audio description in theaters, meaningful access to public accommodations such as sports stadia, and access to an ever widening array of free-standing and fixed electronic equipment requiring consumer interaction at hotels, airports, government facilities, and the like, demonstrate the degree to which the promise of the ADA has yet to be realized for people who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, notwithstanding the unrealized promise of the ADA, recent developments this year in the contexts of web access and audio description in movie theaters demonstrate that, with the active and cooperative recognition by federal ADA enforcement agencies of the unique civil rights challenges confronting people with vision loss, the ADA can evolve into what it should be, the emancipation proclamation for all people with disabilities;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on the 16th day of July, 2010, that this organization join with our colleagues and friends throughout the diverse community of people with disabilities in commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization encourage its state and local affiliates and all ACB members to participate in ADA 20th anniversary festivities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization continue to press all relevant federal ADA enforcement agencies to redress the current disparity in civil rights protections experienced by people with vision loss; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization recommit itself to supporting its members and affiliates, as appropriate and as resources allow, in the filing of ADA-related federal complaints, structured negotiation activities, and advocacy through mediation and litigation, to take maximum advantage of the means currently available to make the ADA as relevant as it should be for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary