SUMMARY OF 2009 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 Resolutions which were referred to other ACB entities for further consideration, tabled or withdrawn are not included in this document.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 2009-01 instructs ACB to urge Congress and the President of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 734 and S. 841, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. It also instructs the officers, directors, and staff to contact their representatives as a matter of priority so as to advance the passage of this crucial legislation, and directs the affiliates and members of ACB to add their efforts to this critical endeavor immediately.

Resolution 2009-04 directs this organization to convey to Apple our appreciation of the work that has made the release of an accessible iPhone possible, and instructs ACB to work to provide the Apple Corporation with feedback concerning what works well and what does not work well in the current model and will work to help improve each subsequent release.

Resolution 2009-05 directs ACB to urge all manufacturers of insulin pumps to immediately develop and produce accessible (talking and tactile) insulin pumps. It also urges the manufacturers to seek input from ACB and its affiliate, Diabetics in Action, to assist them with this process.

Resolution 2009-06 directs ACB to call on Congress to incorporate language to eliminate the foregoing list of health care disparities in its proposed health care reform legislation, and states that a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and each member of the United States Congress.

Resolution 2009-07 expresses ACB's strong support of H.R. 571, sponsored by Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA), and will use its best efforts to secure its passage, and urges its affiliates to work for its passage.

Resolution 2009-08 instructs ACB officers, directors and staff to petition the U.S. Access Board for research to be undertaken into how people can wayfind successfully through a shared space with the removal of traffic separation elements and to integrate the findings into the upcoming Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines, and encourages affiliates of ACB and their local chapters, when working with local authorities, to remind these authorities of their obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act not to create town centers and streets that have barriers to the free and independent movement of disabled people, and to recognize the importance of providing a "safe space" for pedestrians in all street environments. It also calls upon all traffic planning entities to issue clear guidance to their designers, engineers and planners that, until issues concerning the safety of blind, visually impaired, and other disabled pedestrians can be resolved, the removal of clear lines of demarcation between pedestrian ways and vehicle ways is not to be permitted. And it directs the Environmental Access Committee to develop a white paper expressing concerns about the use of the shared space concept, and incorporates research findings referred to in this resolution.

Resolution 2009-09 expresses ACB's committment to the enactment of comprehensive federal telecommunications and video programming legislation meeting the needs of people with disabilities, especially the unique needs of people who are blind or visually impaired. To be truly comprehensive, such federal legislation must, at a minimum, expressly address the following public policy objectives: full accessibility of the user interfaces employed by telecommunications and video programming devices through navigable audible menu prompts and readily identifiable and manipulable user controls; accessibility of text messaging, e-mail, and Internet access services available through wireless and other telecommunications devices; restoration, and authority for dramatic expansion, of requirements for the description of video programming and access to emergency information; and wider availability of communications devices meeting the unique needs of people who are deaf-blind through equipment distribution made possible under the federal universal service fund. ACB expects of its coalition partners, as a condition of ACBs continued participation in such coalition, their unwavering commitment to the inclusion and retention of provisions accomplishing the objectives described above in any legislation, comprehensive or otherwise, that such coalition may propose or endorse.

Resolution 2009-11 directs ACB and its special-interest affiliate, Friends-in-Art, to request that Native Instruments, and where appropriate, other developers and manufacturers of music and sound-related software, work with blind and visually impaired musicians and audio engineers, including representatives of the American Council of the Blind, the information access committee and Friends-in-Art, to arrive at, and implement, a solution to ensure that blind and visually impaired musicians and audio engineers are able to fully and independently use software products to enhance their practice of the musical arts, and in order to maintain competitiveness in the ever-changing music business. It also instructs the ACB president to correspond with principals at Native Instruments, and subsequently other software providers as appropriate, to introduce the concerns expressed in this resolution, and offering assistance as outlined herein.

Resolution 2009-13 directs ACB to strongly urge the Director of the National Park Service to develop policy directives for dissemination to park superintendents to ensure that the access needs of people who are blind or visually impaired are met. It also instructs ACB to seek additional funding from the United States Congress to accomplish the goals set forth in this resolution.

Resolution 2009-14 directs ACB to urge colleges and universities to make accessibility a primary consideration when making decisions about which software to purchase to manage distance learning. It also urges all colleges and universities who are currently utilizing Blackboard Learning Management Systems which are inaccessible to replace this software with distance learning tools which will work with screen readers and screen magnification, and directs that copies of correspondence sent to universities, including a copy of this resolution, shall be forwarded to the developers of Blackboard Learning Management Systems.

Resolution 2009-15 directs ACB to strongly urge the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to commit to responding to complaints, at a maximum within one year of their receipt. It also instructs the president of this organization to try to arrange a meeting with officials at the Department of Justice, and to convey this resolution to the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder.

Resolution 2009-16 affirms ACB's membership in the Reading Rights Coalition, and states that ACB regards this issue as of paramount importance. It directs that the membership be kept fully informed about developments in this matter as they occur, and requests a full report on progress that is being made to be provided at the mid-year presidents' meeting and at next year's convention. It notes that ACB expects representatives of the Reading Rights Coalition be invited to speak to the whole convention next year if this matter is not entirely settled.

Resolution 2009-18 directs ACB to call upon the board of directors to work in collaboration with the Audio Description Project to develop and implement a plan that will address these and other problems that are limiting the acceptance and effective utilization of this technology. It requests that WGBH personnel who initially developed this technology and leaders of movie chains who have agreed to deploy it be actively involved in the process of implementing this plan to make MoPix more effective and valued. It directs all parties to work to assure that the transition to digital systems in theaters continues to encourage and expand the availability of audio description for movies that are to be shown in theaters. It also instructs ACB to commit to collaborate with elements of the government, movie producers and distributors, and developers of digital technology in an ongoing effort to assure that the movies being described for use in theaters can be made available on DVD discs or via download for people who are blind but cannot access movies in theaters.

Resolution 2009-19 directs that ACB reject absolutely all of the specious assertions that are brought forward to justify the destruction of schools for the blind which are vital to the capacity of this country to continue to offer blind children an appropriate, free, public education. It instructs ACB to work cooperatively with the Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), and the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) to create a set of specific recommendations which all of the organizations will commit to implementing. These shall include strategies for publicizing the value of schools for the blind, the creation of state caucuses of legislators focused specifically on issues of relevance to people who are blind and visually impaired, training programs that can be utilized to educate stakeholders as advocates, and such other approaches as this coalition of organizations may deem appropriate.

Resolution 2009-20 conveys ACB's deep appreciation for the many thousands of talking books that have been produced over the years, and requests that the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Library Service work to see if there is any opportunity that can allow a talking book program to continue to operate in New York City or its environs even after AFB closes its talking book department.

Resolution 2009-21 expresses that ACB deeply regrets the decision taken by Florida State University and other colleges and universities to eliminate progams or parts of programs intended to provide specialized training which is now becoming more and more difficult to find. It instructs the organization to ask the Department of Education to work cooperatively with colleges and universities throughout the country to create or expand programs that will assure that teachers who must work with blind and visually impaired children can receive the specialized training they need to provide effective instruction in orientation and mobility, braille, listening skills, home and personal management and access technology, without which such children will not be able to access a free and appropriate public education. It also encourages ACB to work with the American Foundation for the Blind and the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired to develop and implement specific proposals which shall be submitted to appropriate authorities. At a minimum, such proposals shall include the development of priority funding for teacher preparation, stipends that will support students training as vision teachers, and the strengthening of regulations at the federal and state levels which will preclude the retention of out-of-field teachers who do not receive specialized credentialing within three years of the date they are hired.

Resolution 2009-22 thanks the Rosen Center Hotel for the services and accommodations it provided to ACB members and staff during convention week.

Resolution 2009-23 thanks and commends the host committee for all its work on the convention.

Resolution 2009-24 thanks all the volunteers who worked to assist ACB convention attendees.


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