HBO Max Accessibility Enhancements
In a landmark agreement the American Council of the Blind and the Bay State Council of the Blind have obtained WarnerMedia’s pledge to increase the accessibility of HBO Max—the much-anticipated online streaming platform that was launched earlier this year. The agreement provides that WarnerMedia will provide audio description on at least 1,500 hours of new and existing programming on HBO Max by the end of March 2021, increasing to 3,000 hours by the end of March 2022, and doubling again to at least 6,000 hours in total by the end of March 2023. In addition, over the next year, accessibility of the HBO Max website, mobile applications, and applications for Internet-connected TVs will be improved for individuals who are blind and use screen-reading software to navigate and interact with digital content. Read the full press release at: https://acb.org/HBO-accessibility.
New York Accessible Pedestrian Signals
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York City has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not installing accessible pedestrian signals for the blind. The lawsuit, brought by the American Council of the Blind of New York in 2018, claims that of the city’s 13,000 pedestrian traffic signals, just over 2 percent convey information in a way that is accessible to blind pedestrians. Approximately 205,000 blind or otherwise visually-impaired people live in the city. Learn more by visiting: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/521900-court-rules-97-percent-of-new-york-city-traffic-signals-violate.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
In an article by Team USA, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, ACB Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs and Paralympian Clark Rachfal discusses how National Disability Employment Awareness Month calls attention to underrepresented workforces. Read the article by visiting: https://www.teamusa.org/News/2020/October/21/National-Disability-Employment-Awareness-Month-Calls-Attention-to-Underrepresented-Workforce
ACB Advocacy Update: Flattening the Inaccessibility Curve
This week on the ACB Advocacy Update, Claire Stanley and Clark Rachfal speak with Kirk Adams, the CEO and President of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), about the “Flattening the Inaccessibility Curve” research project. The study, which can be found at https://flatteninaccessibility.com, explores the experiences of adults who are blind or have low vision during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey covered areas of healthcare, transportation, employment, education, social experiences, access to meals, food, supplies, and voting. Listen online by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/y5ovh92g.
Halloween Films with Audio Description
Get in the Halloween spirit with ACB! ACB’s Audio Description Project Director, Joel Snyder, and VITAC collaborated on creating audio description and captions for public domain films that may inspire Halloween-suitable scares and screams. Below, you can find links to three of these films that are available online for free, as well as a link to “Fright To The Finish”, a 7-minute Popeye cartoon. Additionally, you can use the Audio Description Project’s website search function at www.acb.org/adp to find where all of your favorite Halloween movies are available with audio description!