Discord & ACB Announce Digital Accessibility Initiative
Discord, working with the American Council of the Blind, announced a comprehensive initiative to enhance Discord’s voice, video and text communication app to make it more accessible for Discord users who are blind or have other vision impairments. Learn more by visiting: https://acb.org/discord-accessibility.
ACB Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
On last week's episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, Clark and Swatha spoke with Guillermo Robles from ACB’s Multicultural Affairs Committee, and Gabriel Lopez Kafati from ACB’s International Relations Committee, about the month-long celebration of Hispanic heritage. Guillermo and Gabriel shared what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them and their community, advocacy issues important to the blind Hispanic community, and ways ACB may be more inclusive of the Hispanic community and lift up their voices within the organization. More information about the Spanish language community calls can be accessed by emailing [email protected]. Listen to this episode by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/acb-advocacy-update-9-16-21.
Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act
The Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act (H.R. 4853) aims to make home use medical equipment and devices accessible to blind and visually impaired Americans. The majority of home use medical devices and out-patient equipment utilize digital display interfaces that are inaccessible to blind and visually impaired users. Devices such as glucose monitors, blood pressure readers, and at-home chemotherapy treatments do not have nonvisual accessibility features, such as text to speech output, tactile markings, or audible tones. As a result, it is very difficult for blind and visually impaired individuals to use medical devices properly and safely, making it difficult for these individuals to manage their health independently. The passage of this bill would ensure that product manufacturers incorporate accessible design in the beginning stages of development. We encourage all ACB members and friends to contact their Representatives and urge them to cosponsor and support the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act (H.R. 4853). To learn more about how to contact your representatives about this issue, visit: https://acb.org/call-to-action-HR4853.
McDonalds Partners With Vispero On Accessible Kiosks
Vispero, an assistive technology supplier for the blind and visually impaired, has been selected by McDonald’s to assist in providing customers with an accessible kiosk experience. Vispero’s product, JAWS Kiosk, has been deployed to select McDonald’s US company owned restaurants, as well as newly deployed kiosks in US franchise locations. McDonald’s is in the process of deploying this solution to corporate owned stores and select franchise locations across the US. Learn more by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/2wdzrxhx.
Low Vision Devices Legislative Update
On the ACB Advocacy Update, Clark and Swatha met with Joe Nahra, Director of Government Relations at Powers Law, and co-Coordinator of the ITEM Coalition, to discuss legislative action surrounding Medicare Coverage of low vision devices. They revisited ACB’s Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act legislative imperative, discuss H.R. 4187, the Medicare Vision Act, and discussed current efforts to add low vision device coverage in the budget reconciliation package. ACB urges all our members and friends to contact their elected officials in support of including the Medicare Vision Act, H.R. 4187, in the budget reconciliation package. Listen by visiting https://tinyurl.com/acb-advocacy-update-9-9-21.
The School That Created a City for the Blind
Marburg proudly calls itself a "Blindenstadt", a city for blind and visually impaired people, due to its long history as a hub for accessibility. A ground-breaking educational institute for the blind, the Blindenstudienanstalt (or Blista) in German, was founded here during World War One, to provide opportunities for young men blinded in the war. The institute has spawned countless inventions for blind people since then, including a tactile mathematical font. It has also profoundly shaped the town around it, turning it into a place where, as Portz puts it, "everything is ideal for blind people". Learn more about Marburg and the innovations that have made it so accessible by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/tut4k7t9.
ACB Holiday Auction
The ACB Media Holiday Auction will be held on Sunday, November 28 at 7:00pm EST. There will be a Sneak a Peak Appetizer Auction on Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27. The deadline for auction item descriptions and pictures is Friday, October 1. Please send your items to Leslie Spoone by Monday, October 18, or you can hold the item for direct shipment to the winner. We look forward to everyone participating in The ACB Media holiday Auction this year. Let’s celebrate ACB and the holidays in style! If you have any questions, please reach out to Leslie Spoone at [email protected] or call 407 678-4163. Happy bidding!
Candice Alustiza Casting is searching for a blind/low vision actor for the role of a south Asian male fluent in Hindi character for an anthology series on a major streaming service. The character’s name is Pete, age range 20’s – 40’s. This character is portrayed as Male, South Asian (episode is set in India), and is quick-witted, short-tempered, and extremely resourceful. He is a former soldier who has had special forces training. Pete’s time in the military and subsequent injury re-enforced the determination and resourcefulness he brings to his current life. This is a lead role. To apply for the role, email: [email protected] and include your full name, 2 photos of yourself, one close-up and one full length, as well as your country, city and state of residence. This production has reached a mandated vaccine policy agreement with SAG for this production. All hires must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical and religious exemptions as provided by federal, state or local law (i.e., disability, religious belief, etc.). Type: SAG-AFTRA. Current shoot dates: 10/15 – 10/28/21. Shoot location: NYC.
Aira Plans for ACB Members
Aira is a service that connects blind and low vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents. Through an app on your smartphone, Aira delivers instant access to visual information at the touch of a button – enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence. Aira offers two special pricing plans for ACB members. The Intro Power Plan includes 30 minutes per month for $20.00, and the Standard Power Plan includes 140 minutes per month for $99.00. These plans are available for ACB members in good standing who sign up through December 31, 2021. Please contact Customer Care at (800) 835-1934 for more information and to confirm your status to purchase a plan.
Letter to GSA
On September 16, 2021, ACB and other organizations sent a sign on letter to the General Services Administration urging them to make the voter registration information on the www.vote.gov website accessible. Read the letter by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/xzzzsdcf.