ACB Advocacy Update

Catching Up With ACB's Interim President & Convention News

May 9, 2023

Episode Description

Join us for this week’s two-part episode of the ACB Advocacy Update! First, we meet with ACB’s Interim President, Deb Cook Lewis, to discuss her new role. Up next, ACB’s Convention Coordinator, Janet Dickelman, provides exciting updates about ACB's 2023 Conference and Convention in Schaumburg, IL. Learn more about this year’s convention at www.acbconvention.org. Convention registration for ACB members opens next week! If you need assistance in registering, you may contact Janet Dickelman at either [email protected] or (651) 428-5059. You may also call the ACB MN Office at (612) 332-3242.

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Accessible Pedestrian Signals in the City of Chicago – Part 1

May 4, 2023

Episode Notes

On this episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, Clark and Swatha speak with Madeleine Reichman, an attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, on a recent federal court case and ruling regarding Chicago’s failure to install accessible pedestrian signals (APSs) for its blind and low vision residents and visitors at its more than 2800 signalized intersections. The case involved both DRA and the American Council of the Blind of Metropolitan Chicago, a chapter of the Illinois Council of the Blind. We discuss how the case came about, what the decision ruling Chicago is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act means for the city and other cities across the country, and what comes next for DRA and the city of Chicago. 

If you need legal assistance from Disability Rights Advocates, you may email [email protected] or call (510) 665-8644.

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From our DC Leadership Conference - Remote Accessible Voting. Part 2.

April 27, 2023

* Remote Accessible Voting

Aaron Wilson, Enhanced Voting CEO, Jacksonville, FL Douglas George Town, Access Ready CEO, Pinellas Park FL

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From our DC Leadership Conference - Remote Accessible Voting. Part 1.

April 20, 2023

* Remote Accessible Voting

o Karyn Campbell, Illinois Council of the Blind Education and Welfare Committee Chair, Springfield, IL o Dee Ann Hart, ACB of Indiana Legislative and Advocacy Committee Chair, Muncie, IN o Martin Cahill, ACB of New York Legislative Chair, West Chester County, NY
o Ian Foley, ACB of New York Immediate Past Legislative Chair, Buffalo, NY

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From our DC Leadership Conference - housing advocacy.

April 13, 2023

Issues Related to Housing Advocacy o Claire Stanley, ACB Transportation Committee Chair, Rockville, MD o Sue Crawford, ACB Member, Silver Spring, MD o Swatha Nandhakumar, ACB Advocacy and Outreach Specialist, Alexandria, VA o Jeanine Worden, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC o Billy Lynch, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC

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2023 DC Leadership Conference: An Update On Accessible At Home Testing

April 6, 2023

Accessible At-Home Testing

Revisit this Legislative Seminar session with Clark, Swatha ACB Interim Executive Director Dan Spoone, and Dr. Jill Heemskerk from the National Institutes on Health as we get an update on NIH’s progress in making at-home diagnostic test kits fully accessible for individuals with disabilities.

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ACB Legislative Imperative: Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act

March 31, 2023

Episode Description

It is time for Congress to update the accessible video and communications requirements of the CVAA. In the 117th Congress, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-18) introduced the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility (CVTA) Act of 2022 (S. 5121 & H.R. 9333). The CVTA reaffirms our nation’s commitment to accessible communications and video technologies for people who are blind, low vision, and Deafblind. Once passed, this legislation will:

  • Improve and expand audio description standards for television programming and online video streaming platforms to ensure that people with disabilities have equitable access to the wide range of programming available to the general public;
  • Update current requirements to ensure viewers can easily activate and select preferred settings for audio description on their video programming devices, such as televisions, smart phones, laptops, and tablets;
  • Require the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that all video conferencing services, including those used for telehealth, distance learning, and social and civic engagement, are accessible to people with disabilities, including people who are blind, low vision, and Deafblind; and,
  • Empower the FCC to ensure accessibility regulations keep pace with emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality platforms.

Learn more about this ACB 2023 Legislative Imperative.

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ACB Legislative Imperative: The Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act

March 31, 2023

Episode Description

In the fall of 2022, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced The Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act in the Senate. Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD-03) introduced a version of the bill in the House of Representatives. This bill would establish clear and enforceable accessibility standards for websites and software applications. The bill uses a functional definition of accessibility, ensuring that any regulations created after this bill is passed and signed into law remain evergreen and up to date with new and emerging technology. The “Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act” would clarify that it is unlawful for the entities currently covered by the ADA to maintain inaccessible websites and applications that exclude or otherwise discriminate against people with disabilities. It would establish a clear, enforceable accessibility standard, and establish a technical assistance center and advisory committee to provide advice and guidance on accessible websites and applications. It would also authorize a study on addressing emerging technologies.

Learn more about this 2023 ACB legislative imperative.

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ACB Legislative Imperative: Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act

March 31, 2023

Episode Description

On March 1, 2023, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act  in the House of Representatives. The goal of this act is to make home use medical equipment and devices accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals in the United States. If passed, this legislation would amend the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish non-visual accessibility standards for Class II and III devices with digital interfaces. Class II and III devices include devices that are more invasive and involve a higher risk of injury or death, so it is much more important that these devices are used safely and as directed. The FDA would, in consultation with the U.S. Access Board, set regulations and a final rule according to those standards. The passage of this legislation would make it easier for people who are blind and low vision to manage their health safely and independently by ensuring that product manufacturers incorporate accessible design in the beginning stages of development for home use medical devices. This bill has 32 original co-sponsors and is bipartisan with 3 Republicans and 29 Democrats.

Learn more about this 2023 ACB Legislative Imperative.

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ACB Legislative Imperative: The Exercise and Fitness for All Act

March 31, 2023

Episode Description

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), introduced the Exercise and Fitness for All Act (S. 2504) in the 117th Congress in 2021. The goal of this bill was to make exercise equipment and fitness instruction fully accessible to people with disabilities. A version of the bill was introduced in the House as H.R. 4756 by Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK). Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) was also a co-sponsor. If passed, the bill would require the U.S. Access Board to establish guidelines relating to the number and types of accessible fitness equipment gyms and other fitness facilities are required to have, require the DOJ to publish regulations relating to the guidelines requiring fitness facilities to provide accessible equipment and classes, and would ensure that there is at least one staff member at the facility that is trained in providing assistance to a person with a disability and in operating the accessible equipment.

Learn more about this 2023 ACB legislative imperative.

Find out more at https://acb-advocacy-update.pinecast.co