Summary of 2017 Resolutions

The following are brief summaries of the resolutions adopted by the ACB membership at the 2017 conference and convention held at the Nugget Casino and Resort in July. One resolution was referred to ACB’s environmental access and information access committees. It is not included in this compilation. Please note that these summary statements are not the authoritative voice of the ACB membership; they are simply intended to capture the overall scope and intent of the membership as authoritatively embodied in the full text of each of the resolutions. You can find the full text of resolutions at www.acb.org/resolutions2017.
 
Resolution 2017-01 directs ACB to strongly urge the Federal Communications Commission to exercise all appropriate authority to require the broadcast and non-broadcast networks to establish and/or join an automated digital listing of all available audio-described programming, and directs the FCC to monitor those listings on an ongoing basis for quality assurance and to ensure that such listings provide consumers of audio-described programming with a level of service equal to that provided today to consumers of closed-captioned television.
 
Resolution 2017-02 instructs ACB to strongly urge the FCC commissioners to order an increase in the total number of required hours of audio description up to the CVAA’s allowable statutory maximum.
 
Resolution 2017-03 directs that ACB join with the American Council of Blind Lions to congratulate Lions Clubs International on its 100th anniversary of service.
 
Resolution 2017-04 instructs ACB to demand that the U.S. Department of Education declare in unambiguous terms that states’ and districts’ imposition of restrictions limiting the provision of the instruction and services comprising the Expanded Core Curriculum to school grounds and/or during normal school hours severely impairs, if not outright denies, the right of students with vision loss to a truly free and appropriate public education.
 
Resolution 2017-05 directs ACB to call upon the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue regulations strengthening the rights of passengers with service animals by aligning them with the service animal rules already promulgated by the U.S. Department of Justice  so as to reduce the fraud and abuse of service animal misrepresentation; and to collaborate with Guide Dog Users, Inc., to ensure that airlines improve quality of customer service by airline staff, the effectiveness of complaint resolution officers, and airlines’ overall commitment to the rights and responsibilities of passengers with service animals so as to honor the dignity with which all passengers deserve to travel, free of harassment and abuse.
 
Resolution 2017-06 instructs ACB to join with its affiliate, Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, in urging, in the strongest terms possible, that micromarket manufacturers make these facilities fully accessible to consumers and operators who are blind or who have low vision; to offer micromarket manufacturers the assistance of the information access committee to achieve the goals of this resolution in the most expeditious manner possible; and, if the micromarket manufacturers fail to use their best efforts to ensure the full accessibility of micromarkets at the earliest possible time, that ACB demand that state licensing agencies refuse to allow the use of micromarkets in the business enterprise program.
 
Resolution 2017-07 directs ACB to strongly urge Amtrak to include the disability discount as one of the options when purchasing a ticket using a smartphone app.
 
Resolution 2017-08 tells ACB to instruct its transportation committee to work with state and local affiliates to ensure that local entities responsible for paratransit services adopt a door-to-door service policy.
 
Resolution 2017-09 instructs ACB and the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America to work with the U.S. Congress to ensure that current and future Business Enterprise Program roadside rest areas are protected.
 
Resolution 2017-10 commends the work of ACB’s officers, directors, staff and members for their efforts to hold makers of autonomous vehicles accountable for ensuring the full accessibility of such vehicles to people who are blind or visually impaired; directs the officers, directors and staff to advocate for autonomous vehicle accessibility while also enlisting the vehicles’ manufacturers as champions to partner with ACB to surmount other known and potential roadblocks, such as overbroad state drivers licensing schemes, which may impede or bar people with vision loss from having the full enjoyment and benefit of autonomous vehicles; and directs ACB to call upon the vehicles’ developers to partner with manufacturers of personal wayfinding technology so that these two game-changing technologies will be on course to provide people with vision loss with a fully integrated travel experience.
 
Resolution 2017-11 instructs ACB to communicate to proponents of autonomous vehicle legislation currently under consideration in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that the American Council of the Blind will voice its deep disappointment with, if not opposition to, any package of legislative proposals that grants flexibility, incentives and/or exemptions to the autonomous vehicle industry but that fails to at least initiate a meaningful process, with measurable outcomes, for establishing user interface accessibility requirements on autonomous vehicle manufacturers. It also directs ACB to urge Congress to guide states in the exercise of their traditional roles in setting basic licensing requirements so as to honor the federal constitutional right to travel which people who are blind or visually impaired must be allowed to enjoy on an equal basis with our sighted fellow citizens.
 
Resolution 2017-12 directs ACB to make it a priority to participate in Goal One of the American Foundation for the Blind’s 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss to address the critical national need for dramatically increased, and better leveraged, funding for services to older individuals who are blind or visually impaired; to make it a national legislative imperative to advocate for a substantial increase in the level of federal funding for the OIB program; to encourage state chapters to work with other appropriate stakeholders to make more state dollars available to address this acute crisis of resources; and directs the officers, directors and staff to make finding better ways to create resources to serve older people with vision loss a priority over the next year.
 
Resolution 2017-13 declares ACB’s opposition to the establishment and use of a unifying title to refer to each of the professional disciplines serving children, working-age adults, or seniors who are blind or visually impaired; directs the officers, board and staff to communicate with the proponents of such a designation to express our serious concerns with any strategy to brand, label or describe the existing array of professional disciplines in any way which may be construed, particularly by those outside and largely completely unfamiliar with the vision loss community, to combine or blur critical distinctions between and among the various educational and rehabilitative professions; and directs ACB to collaborate with the leading organizational voices in our field representing public and private agencies, professionals and other direct service providers to identify and pursue the most effective long-term strategies to ensure the availability and quality of services that truly meet individuals’ needs.
 
Resolution 2017-14 directs ACB to formulate and implement a strategy for cultivating private foundation and individual grant funding streams for the field of blindness and visual impairment to use to supplement currently available public dollars for services to older individuals who are blind or visually impaired; directs that such a strategy involve partnerships with leading organizations and individuals in the field who should work collaboratively to pursue and obtain such private sources of support which should, in turn, be made available to those individuals and private organizations that are most in need and/or who serve the most vulnerable or overlooked segments of the older blind community across America; and adds that private funding streams cultivated through this strategy should support the delivery of all services that are now authorized to be provided pursuant to the OIB program.
 
Resolution 2017-15 commends the members of the Nevada Council of the Blind, and the extraordinary leadership of Nevada state Senator Moises Denis, for exemplary and successful advocacy for accessible drug labeling statewide in Nevada, and directs ACB to offer its affiliates, as appropriate, such public policy counsel and related support as they may request to assist them with efforts to achieve the critical policy objective of accessible drug labeling in every state.
 
Resolution 2017-17 instructs ACB to work to ensure that IMLS funding levels are not reduced during the 2018 federal fiscal year.
 
Resolution 2017-18 directs that ACB, in partnership with the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, urge, in the strongest terms possible, that vending manufacturers and vending machine operators work together to make these vending machines fully accessible to consumers and operators who are blind or who have low vision; offer manufacturers the assistance of the information access committee in achieving the goals of this resolution; and in the event vending machine manufacturers are unwilling to enter into meaningful negotiations with vendors or their representatives concerning the accessibility of vending machines, this organization is hereby urged to intervene to take steps that are likely to advance the goals of this resolution.
 
Resolution 2017-19 directs that ACB request the IRS to adopt a permanent policy to enable people with disabilities to claim a waiver that will not consider college loan forgiveness as a taxable event.
 
Resolution 2017-20 instructs ACB staff to carry the issue of clear glass door hazards to the Access Board so that they may develop and potentially implement appropriate solutions for this serious concern, and directs the staff and board to report on what progress has been made by the Access Board over the next year to the environmental access committee at our 2018 convention.
 
Resolution 2017-21 directs ACB to work with its affiliate, ACB Diabetics in Action, and with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the U.S. Congress, and manufacturers of continuous glucose monitoring devices and glucometers to ensure that all such devices are fully accessible to diabetics who are blind or visually impaired, and with leading private insurers and HMOs to ensure that their customers with diabetes who are blind or visually impaired can be provided with accessible devices which truly enable independent and reliable diabetes management.
 
Resolution 2017-22 calls upon the federal government to allocate sufficient funds to provide accessible pedestrian signals in all communities, to support the deployment of indoor indicators that would enable people who are blind or have low vision to navigate public buildings independently, to develop and implement a program based on the use of wearable glasses that will enable people who are blind to have the same level of communication that is available for people who are deaf and for people who do not have disabilities, to develop and implement a large-scale training initiative that would assure that people who are blind or have low vision can learn to use the computer hardware and software that makes information access as available to this population as it is to the rest of our society, to allocate substantial funding to assure that the eventual release of self-driving vehicles is fully accessible for and usable by people who are blind or have low vision, and to provide a range of training for people who are blind or have low vision that would enable them to fully take advantage of the opportunities these technologies now make possible. It also directs the officers, directors and staff of this organization to make the implementation of the objectives of this resolution a priority.
 
Resolution 2017-23 states ACB’s belief that the growing inaccessibility of stores, restaurants, places of entertainment and other public accommodations represents a threat to the civil rights and continuing advancement toward equality of Americans who are blind or visually impaired, and directs the organization to redouble its advocacy efforts in the arena of kiosk-dependent interaction with places of public accommodation to include, as appropriate, structured negotiations, state level legislative activity, federal enforcement actions, media outreach, and direct relationship-building with leading stakeholder organizations.
 
Resolution 2017-24 directs ACB’s staff to contact the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to inquire as to the process for amending the MUTCD; to solicit participation from other organizations of and for the blind and low vision to assist in strengthening sections 4E.08 through 4E.13 of the MUTCD; and directs staff, along with the environmental access committee, to prepare amendments for the MUTCD that are to be submitted to the NCUTCD for its consideration.
 
Resolution 2017-25 states ACB’s opposition to health care reform proposals that make it more difficult for people who are blind or who have low vision to obtain affordable, comprehensive health care coverage.
 
Resolution 2017-26 expresses ACB’s thanks to the management and staff of the Nugget Casino and Resort for their warm welcome, very hard work and commitment to customer service.
 
Resolution 2017-27 expresses ACB’s gratitude to the members of the Nevada host committee for their enthusiastic welcome, the untold hours of planning and hard work, and the tremendous privilege of bringing our national conference and convention to their home state.
 
Resolution 2017-28 expresses ACB’s thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time and energy at this year’s national convention.