The following are brief summaries of the resolutions adopted by the ACB Board of Directors at its telephonic meeting on August 27, 2020. Two resolutions were withdrawn by their makers; those were Resolutions 2020-08 and 2020-09. They are not included in this compilation. Resolution 2020-13 was considered by the board, but did not pass. Please note that these summary statements are not the authoritative voice of the ACB board of directors; they are simply meant to capture the overall scope and intent of the resolutions. You can find the full text of resolutions at https://acb.org/2020-resolutions.
Resolution 2020-01 directs ACB to work with the advocacy steering committee to expand its advocacy efforts toward compliance with the ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended with respect to accessibility to website and other digital platforms, urges affiliates to engage in similar actions, and instructs ACB to lend its assistance to affiliates taking such advocacy efforts.
Resolution 2020-02 instructs ACB to advocate for the inclusion of specialized services, including the use of assistive technology, learning braille, orientation and mobility, cooking, cleaning and other activities of daily living, self-advocacy, and counseling for people with vision loss among the services reimbursable under the Older Americans Act, the Medicare and Medicaid programs and other appropriate programs, and urges ACB’s affiliates to seek funding sources in their states for non-vocational specialized services for people with vision loss.
Resolution 2020-03 directs ACB, in conjunction with Blind LGBT Pride International (BPI), to commend NLS for its quick response and its commitment to full and equal access to LGBTQ materials, and instructs ACB to urge the library to continue to expand the number of fiction and non-fiction titles in the LGBTQ topic area, as well as to collaborate with members of BPI and ACB to select quality titles of interest to, and that accurately represent, the LGBTQ community.
Resolution 2020-04 requests that ACB work in collaboration with the Braille Revival League and Library Users of America to urge the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) to contract to produce “Reader’s Digest” in braille, and to urge NLS to implement the decision as soon as possible so that the gap between the September 2020 issue and the first issue produced by NLS is as small as possible.
Resolution 2020-05 urges ACB to send letters to the head of the Administration on Community Living and the head of the Administration on Aging to express ACB’s concern over the growing number of seniors who are experiencing vision loss and the lack of adequate home- and community-based services available to this population. It also directs ACB to call upon these agencies to explore ways in which programs and services overseen by these entities can be better targeted to address the needs of the older blind population, and urges ACB’s state and local affiliates to advocate with public and private agencies serving seniors under the Older Americans Act for the inclusion of specialized services for persons with vision loss in their senior programs.
Resolution 2020-06 instructs ACB to demand that the United States Postal Service make all features of the USPS mobile app, including the Informed Delivery feature, accessible to people with disabilities including users of screen readers, and directs ACB to provide guidance and testing with regards to accessibility of Informed Delivery.
Resolution 2020-07 directs that ACB support the right of students with visual disabilities to use the notetaking method of their choice, including the right to record classroom instruction and small group discussions for personal use, in any situation in which a sighted student would take written notes, and urges state and local affiliates to advocate for the adoption of educational policies that ensure equal access to information for all students when working with school districts and special education entities.
Resolution 2020-10 directs that ACB, in consultation with the Multicultural Affairs Committee, work with its state, local and special-interest affiliates in advocating for meaningful and comprehensive explicit and implicit bias training for law enforcement agencies nationwide, including specific training in the areas of visual disabilities, deaf-blindness and people with cognitive disabilities who are also visually impaired. Also instructs ACB to support legislation that requires the tracking and reporting of law enforcement encounters with people with disabilities in general and people with vision loss in particular, and collaborate with its state, local and special-interest affiliates as they identify and engage with other organizations and state and local governing bodies to design and implement comprehensive explicit and implicit bias training in law enforcement.
Resolution 2020-11 directs ACB’s board of directors and staff, in consultation with the Multicultural Affairs Committee, to develop and implement a policy encouraging African-Americans and other people of color to become involved in the leadership of this organization. Also instructs ACB to develop a mentoring program designed to seek out and elevate African-Americans and other people of color into leadership positions, including a provision for recruitment of members from the population of African-Americans and other people of color who are blind or have low vision. Directs the Multicultural Affairs Committee to prepare a seminar to be presented at the 2021 D.C. Leadership Meetings on recruiting and mentoring of African-Americans and other people of color, along with an article to be published in “The ACB Braille Forum” on recruiting and mentoring African-Americans and other people of color who are blind or have low vision. Finally, this resolution instructs ACB to undertake an ACB census to better understand the diversity of this organization at all levels by February 1, 2021 and that collecting data on ACB’s diversity be incorporated into the membership certification process moving forward.
Resolution 2020-12 asks that ACB recognize the extreme importance of smartphone-based informational and wayfinding technologies which provide independent access to transportation systems, government services, and public accommodations, especially during periods of public emergency; directs the organization to encourage transit systems, government services, and public accommodations to supplement existing informational and wayfinding technologies through the deployment of technology-based accessibility tools and strategies as one means of providing access to the built environment for people who are blind or have low vision; instructs ACB to call upon these systems to take affirmative steps to ensure equal information and wayfinding access are provided to individuals who do not or cannot now make use of these technology solutions; and urges ACB to support long-term investments in the development, testing, deployment and maintenance of technology-based approaches that address informational and wayfinding access barriers while ensuring equity for those who do not or cannot make use of these technology solutions.