Apple Siri Actions
Apple is working to reinstate some Siri Email and Phone actions, which were temporarily removed as part of updates to improve Siri. You will be able to ask Siri to write, send and check unread emails in the coming weeks. Reinstating Siri actions to check call history and voicemail will take a bit more time, and they will bring back this functionality in an upcoming iOS software update.
Planet Fitness Accessible Exercise Equipment
Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, and the American Council of the Blind, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and National Council on Independent Living (collectively “Coalition for Inclusive Fitness” or the “Coalition”) announced a commitment to expand access to accessible exercise equipment. Learn more by visiting: https://acb.org/planet-fitness.
Get Up & Get Moving Dance Party: Oct 15, 2021
Join us on ACB Media 4 Café for the Get up and Get Moving Dance Party on October 15th to celebrate White Cane Day. We will be playing the chart toppers to inspire you, starting with the 1960s with DJ Darrow at 2pm ET/11am PT. The fun will continue all through the afternoon until we reach today’s hits. Help us celebrate ACB’s 60th year as we celebrate the importance of White Cane Day, the ACB way!
Seinfeld Audio Description
Seinfeld is one of the most popular TV series of all time and is now available on Netflix with audio description! All 180 episodes have been voiced by Satauna Howery, an experienced voiceover artist who is a member of ACB’s Audio Description Project Media committee. To listen to the story behind the audio description recording, visit: http://ow.ly/i3lL50GktHT. Start watching Seinfeld with Audio Description on Netflix at: http://ow.ly/xuKb50GktHS.
Medicare Vision Coverage and Low Vision Devices Action Alert
ACB supports the Medicare Vision Act and urges congress to include it in the upcoming budget reconciliation package. We encourage all our members and friends to contact both their Senators and Representative in support of including H.R. 4187 in the budget reconciliation package. For more information and to learn how you can support H.R. 4187, visit: https://acb.org/call-to-action-HR4187.
All The Light We Cannot See Casting Call
Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller All The Light We Cannot See will become an epic four-part Netflix limited series produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment (Stranger Things, Free Guy, Shadow and Bone, Arrival) and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders). All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of Marie-Laure, a teenager who is blind, and Werner, a German soldier, whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Levy and producers are announcing a worldwide casting search for the lead role of teenage “Marie-Laure.” Actresses who are blind or low vision are especially encouraged to apply. Those interested can apply by emailing [email protected]. For more information, visit: https://acb.org/netflix-all-the-light-we-cannot-see.
The Role of Health and Wellness in Independence
Read Clark Rachfal’s Get Up and Get moving article on Modern Wellness The Role of Health and Wellness in Independence: https://www.modernwellnessguide.com/childhood-wellness/the-role-of-health-and-wellness-in-independence-for-the-blind-community/.
Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Air Carrier Access Act
Last week on the ACB Advocacy Update Clark and Swatha spoke with an old friend of ACB, Claire Stanley, Public Policy Analyst at National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and co-Chair of the ACB Transportation Committee, about air travel accessibility and the Air Carrier Access Act’s (ACAA) 35th anniversary. They discussed the law’s relevance in today’s post ADA world, what the law means for blind and visually impaired travelers, and successes and areas of improvement regarding airline accessibility, including the ACAA Amendments Act (H.R. 1696/S.642). Listen by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/y9ku78t6. If you are facing accessibility barriers or believe the airline is discriminating against you based on your disability, you may file a complaint with the Department of Transportation Office of Aviation Consumer Protection: https://tinyurl.com/356evm5y.
NY Alert Accessibility
People who are blind and use screen readers will now have independent access to life-saving information offered by “NY-Alert,” New York State’s Mass Notification System. Under a settlement agreement just reached between blind advocates and the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), the state agency will bring critical information on the NY-Alert website into compliance with web accessibility standards within six months, so that individuals who use screen readers can ensure they receive urgent emergency notifications, including time-sensitive alerts about dangers like hurricanes, floods, fires, and winter storms. The agreement resolves a 2020 complaint filed on behalf of an individual plaintiff, ACB Member Ann Chiappetta, and the American Council of the Blind of New York. Learn more by visiting: https://acb.org/NY-mass-notification-9-29-21.
Advocacy Grab Bag
On the ACB Advocacy Update, Clark and Swatha returned to the roots of the podcast and provided a myriad of advocacy updates relevant to ACB and our members. Topics they covered include Social Security, accessible voter registration, Discord, and Planet Fitness. Listen by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/advocacy-update-9-23-21.
Specialty Pharmacy NYT Article
Check out what both our longtime ACB member DeAnna Quietwater Noriega and ACB’s Executive Director Eric Bridges had to say in this New York Times article about the experiences with pharmacies people with disabilities encountered during the pandemic: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/21/health/blind-pharmacies-access.html .
Become a Member of Alliance On Aging And Vision Loss
Join or renew your membership in AAVL prior to February 1, 2022 and be entered into a drawing with the chance to win $100.00 in cold cash. There’ll actually be two drawings: one for current AAVL members who renew their membership for 2022, and a second drawing for all NEW members. Spread the word! AAVL cares about the well-being of older people who experience vision loss, and we want to double our membership in 2022. So join now, or renew your membership on our website at www.aavl-blind-seniors.org or by emailing Kathy Gerhardt, Treasurer at [email protected] or calling 304-283-7424.
Rite Aid on Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes users anywhere in the United States can now locate Rite Aid in the “Personal Health” category of the Specialized Help section of the Be My Eyes app, making getting assistance from Rite Aid’s support team seamless. Be My Eyes’ signature visual support tools will allow Rite Aid agents to see through a the user’s camera, operate their flashlight, and magnify and read small print labels. Learn more by visiting https://www.bemyeyes.com/blog/rite-aid.