American Council of the Blind
2008 Resolutions
1155 15th St. NW
Suite 1004
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 467-5081
1-800-424-8666
Fax: (202) 467-5085
Web site: http://www.acb.org
E-mail: info@acb.org


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of 2008 Resolutions
Resolution 2008-02
Resolution 2008-03
Resolution 2008-04
Resolution 2008-05
Resolution 2008-07
Resolution 2008-10
Resolution 2008-11
Resolution 2008-12
Resolution 2008-13
Resolution 2008-14
Resolution 2008-16
Resolution 2008-17
Resolution 2008-18
Resolution 2008-19
Resolution 2008-20
Resolution 2008-21

Summary of 2008 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 Resolutions which were referred to other ACB entities for further consideration, tabled or withdrawn are not included in this document.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 2008-02 instructs the officers, directors and staff to convey to the disability community, the Department of Justice and Congress our deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current state of the ADA. It also instructs ACB leaders to, at a minimum, withhold support from, or, if appropriate, oppose future ADA legislation or proposed regulations unless such revision contains a clear and unequivocal recognition of the rights of people who are blind and visually impaired by specifically addressing issues of concern to our community. It urges that examples of such appropriate extensions of the coverage of the ADA or its implementing regulations be included, and directs the officers, directors, and staff to broadly disseminate the sense of this resolution to the disability community and to selected members of Congress.

Resolution 2008-03 urges ACB, through its Information Access Committee, to engage in discussion with RFB&D to immediately institute changes in the User Authetication Key purchasing policies so that members can download and install the UAK at time of purchase. It also directs the Information Access Committee to strongly urge RFB&D in writing that the policy changes regarding the UAK be implemented within 90 days of the close of the 2008 ACB national convention. ACB will offer RFB&D, through “The Braille Forum,” ACB Radio and its listservs, assistance in publicizing the proposed change in the new UAK purchase policy.

Resolution 2008-04 directs ACB to call upon airlines that have thus far failed to ensure full website access, and who have failed to provide telephonic alternatives to disabled customers so that they may receive Internet pricing and offers, and make reservations online, to promptly put such accommodations into effect.

Resolution 2008-05 directs the ACB national office to prepare a Presidential Candidates’ Questionnaire to be sent to Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain requesting their positions on certain issues, and to let the responses to this questionnaire be made known to the membership of ACB no later than October 1, 2008.

Resolution 2008-07 directs the officers, directors, and staff of this organization to work collaboratively with the World Blind Union to seek creative ways to increase the flow of books in accessible formats throughout the world, and that a report of the steps taken by this organization over the next year outlining the objectives of this resolution be presented at the 2009 convention.

Resolution 2008-10 directs the ACB president, in consultation with the Chair of the Environmental Access Committee, to appoint a task force to develop, within 90 days, a list of appropriate accommodations constituting a model policy that would make the experience of attending stadia events as accessible to blind and visually impaired people as they are for people with other disabilities whose accommodations are typically recognized and included in the design and operation of stadia. It also instructs the officers, directors and staff of ACB to collaborate with other blindness-related organizations to advance the process of getting these model policies adopted at all stadia.

Resolution 2008-11 directs the organization to strongly urge airlines to make kiosks at airports accessible to and usable by people who are blind or visually impaired. It also directs the officers, directors and staff of this organization take steps to work with the airline industry to bring about this result, and that ACB make available to the airline industry the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

Resolution 2008-12 states that this organization is committed to the enactment of comprehensive federal telecommunications and video programming legislation, 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 public policy objectives. This organization expects and demands of its coalition partners, as a condition of ACB’s continued participation in such coalition, their unwavering commitment to the inclusion and retention of provisions described above.

Resolution 2008-13 directs ACB to urge Congress and the President of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 5734, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008. The officers, directors and staff of this organization are instructed to contact their representatives as a matter of priority so as to advance the passage of this crucial legislation. Affiliates and members of ACB are strongly urged to add their efforts to this critical endeavor.

Resolution 2008-14 instructs ACB’s officers, directors and staff to work to develop and implement such activities as are likely to forward a better understanding and a wider use of braille; also encourages the Braille Revival League to assume a leadership role in the design and implementation of the campaign that will be adopted by this organization.

Resolution 2008-16 directs that ACB strongly urge the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to make a thorough study of Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS) and provide a report on this study to this organization in its 2009 convention.

Resolution 2008-17 instructs ACB officers, directors and staff to immediately investigate the matter of free matter mailings from the U.S. to Canada being returned to the sender, and are urged to take such action as seems appropriate to them.

Resolution 2008-18 instructs ACB officers, directors and staff to communicate to developers and manufacturers and providers of telecommunications equipment, and, as appropriate, to lawmakers and officers of relevant federal agencies, that equality in telecommunications must include designing and building access features into equipment at the same price to consumers as is charged for equipment used by non-disabled people.

Resolution 2008-19 expresses ACB’s thanks and appreciation for the services and accommodations provided by the Galt House Hotel and its staff during the 2008 convention.

Resolution 2008-20 thanks and commends the host committee and the commonwealth of Kentucky for their fine work on the 2008 ACB national convention.

Resolution 2008-21 directs that this organization express its appreciation to all volunteers who worked to assist the attendees of the 2008 ACB convention, and requests that Ms. Beaman assist in communicating this resolution, or its sense, to all volunteers.


Americans with Disabilities Act Concerns
Regarding Blindness and Visual Impairment
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-02
Submitted by: Paul Edwards and Allan Peterson

SUMMARY:

1. This resolution instructs the officers, directors and staff to convey to the disability community, the Department of Justice and Congress our deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current state of the ADA.

2. This resolution further instructs ACB leaders to, at a minimum, withhold support from, or if appropriate, oppose future ADA legislation or proposed regulations unless such revision contains a clear and unequivocal recognition of the rights of people who are blind and visually impaired by specifically addressing issues of concern to our community.

3. This resolution urges that examples of such appropriate extensions of the coverage of the ADA or its implementing regulations be included. (See the “resolved” clauses for specific examples.)

4. Finally, this resolution directs the officers, directors, and staff to broadly disseminate the sense of this resolution to the disability community and to selected members of Congress.

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a civil rights law designed to provide equal access for people with a broad range of disabilities; and

WHEREAS, considerable detail of what such access requires is written into both the law itself and its implementing regulations as they relate to people with mobility impairments and to people who are deaf and hard of hearing; and

WHEREAS, by contrast, there are very few provisions of the ADA and its implementing regulations that provide specific protections for people who are blind and visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, neither the disability community, the Department of Justice, nor the Congress have taken seriously repeated demands by individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and organizations who represent them, that the ADA be appropriately amended or applied so that the right of protection under the act for people who are blind and visually impaired is recognized through the development of specific statutory provisions or regulations comparable to those which protect people with mobility impairments and people who are deaf and hard of hearing;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization instruct the officers, directors and staff to convey to the disability community, the Department of Justice and Congress our deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current state of the ADA; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization hereby instruct its leaders to, at a minimum, withhold support from, or, if appropriate, oppose future ADA legislation or proposed regulations unless such revision contains a clear and unequivocal recognition of the rights of people who are blind and visually impaired by specifically addressing issues of concern to our community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that examples of such appropriate extensions of the coverage of the ADA or its implementing regulations include, among others, the recognition of web-only Internet sites as places of public accommodation; access to home appliances and other electronic information; equipment and devices provided by state or local governments or places of public accommodation; parity in paratransit eligibility criteria; the inclusion of specific elements concerning the needs of blind and visually impaired people when regulating access to places of public entertainment including stadia; and clearly requiring the provision of information in alternate formats by all places of public accommodation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization are directed to broadly disseminate the sense of this resolution throughout the disability community and to selected members of Congress.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Online Distribution of RFB&D User Authentication Key
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-03
Submitted By: Information Access Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization, through its Information Access Committee, engage in discussion with RFB&D to immediately institute changes in the User Authetication Key purchasing policies so that members can download and install the UAK at time of purchase.

2. The Information Access Committee strongly urge RFB&D in writing that the policy changes regarding the UAK be implemented within 90 days of the close of the 2008 ACB national convention. ACB will offer RFB&D, through “The Braille Forum,” ACB Radio and its listservs, assistance in publicizing the proposed change in the new UAK purchase policy.

WHEREAS, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) requires that its members obtain and install a User Authentication Key (UAK) before DAISY-formatted digital materials produced by RFB&D can be played on the Victor Reader Stream, Book Port, PlexTalk and other such DAISY-capable devices; and

WHEREAS, individuals wishing to purchase the UAK are required to wait for a CD to be mailed to them rather than given online access to download such keys and install the UAK at time of purchase; and

WHEREAS, the CD that RFB&D provides directs the user to go online and download the UAK for installation into the DAISY-capable device; and

WHEREAS, many of RFB&D's readers are students whose need for books is urgent; and

WHEREAS, having to wait for a CD from RFB&D causes an unnecessary delay for individuals who have purchased the UAK to access RFB&D materials for their DAISY-capable devices;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky. on the 9th day of July, 2008, that this organization, through its Information Access Committee, engage in discussion with RFB&D to immediately institute changes in the UAK purchasing policies such that members can download and install the UAK at the time of purchase; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Information Access Committee strongly urge in writing that RFB&D have these UAK policy changes implemented within ninety (90) days of the close of the 2008 ACB national convention, and further offer to RFB&D that ACB will, through “The Braille Forum,” ACB Radio and its listservs, assist RFB&D by publicizing the proposed change in the new UAK purchase policy.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


JetBlue Airways
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-04
Submitted by: California Council of the Blind

SUMMARY:

This organization calls upon airlines that have thus far failed to ensure full website access, and who have failed to provide telephonic alternatives to disabled customers so that they may receive Internet pricing and offers, and make reservations online, to promptly put such accommodations into effect.

WHEREAS, people who are blind or visually impaired have a right to equal access to services provided on the Internet; and

WHEREAS, a number of airlines, including Continental and Southwest, have either improved their websites so as to make them accessible to and usable by persons who are blind or visually impaired or established a toll-free telephone number whereby people who are blind and visually impaired can obtain Internet fares without additional charge; and

WHEREAS, other airlines, such as JetBlue Airways, have neither made their websites accessible to or usable by people who are blind and visually impaired nor established toll-free telephone numbers to provide equity and availability of pricing offers or online reservations;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization calls upon airlines that have thus far failed to ensure full website access, and who have failed to provide telephonic alternatives to disabled customers so that they may receive Internet pricing and offers, and make reservations online, to promptly put such accommodations into effect.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Presidential Candidates’ Questionnaire
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-05
Submitted by: Larry Johnson

SUMMARY:

1. The national office of ACB is directed to prepare a Presidential Candidates’ Questionnaire to be sent to Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain requesting their positions on certain issues (see detailed list of issues in the “resolved” clauses); and

2. The responses to this questionnaire be made known to the membership of ACB no later than October 1, 2008.

WHEREAS, American voters who are blind or visually impaired have both the need and the right to know where the two presumptive presidential nominees from the major parties stand on issues of specific concern to persons who are blind or visually impaired in order to make informed decisions when going to the polls this November;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 8th day of July, 2008, that the national office of ACB be directed to prepare a Presidential Candidates’ Questionnaire to be sent to Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain requesting these candidates’ positions on issues such as: identifiable paper currency, the potential development of federal regulations regarding hybrid and "quiet" vehicles, accessibility of commercial websites, telecommunications and video programming accessibility, Medicare coverage for low-vision devices and other durable medical equipment, GPS and other mobility devices, computer access technology products and software used by people who are blind or visually impaired and any other issues deemed relevant; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the responses to this questionnaire be made known to the membership of ACB no later than October 1, 2008.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Worldwide Reading Materials
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-07
Submitted By: Iowa Council of the United Blind

SUMMARY:

1. The officers, directors, and staff of this organization are hereby directed to work collaboratively with the World Blind Union to seek creative ways to increase the flow of books in accessible formats throughout the world.

2. A report of the steps taken by this organization over the next year outlining the objectives of this resolution be presented at the 2009 convention.

WHEREAS, books can now be made available in a broad range of formats because of the existence of technological options which allow such books to be recorded, stored and distributed utilizing computers and the world wide web; and

WHEREAS, for many blind people throughout the world, reading material in alternate formats is still difficult to obtain and limited in quantity because of restrictions that prohibit the free flow of accessible books from country to country;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that the officers, directors and staff of this organization are hereby directed to work collaboratively with the World Blind Union to seek creative ways to increase the flow of books in accessible formats throughout the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a report of the steps taken by this organization over the next year to forward the objectives of this resolution be presented at the 2009 convention of the American Council of the Blind to be held in Orlando, Fla. in July.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Stadia Accessibility
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-10

Submitted by: Bay State Council of the Blind and
Florida Council of the Blind

SUMMARY:

1. The president of this organization, in consultation with the chair of the Environmental Access Committee, shall appoint a task force to develop, within 90 days, a list of appropriate accommodations constituting a model policy that would make the experience of attending stadia events as accessible to blind and visually impaired people as they are for people with other disabilities whose accommodations are typically recognized and included in the design and operation of stadia.

2. The officers, directors and staff of ACB are instructed to collaborate with other blindness-related organizations to advance the process of getting these model policies adopted at all stadia.

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act is designed to assure that all people with disabilities have equal access to all events held at stadia; and

WHEREAS, there are specific needs that blind and visually impaired people have with regard to access to events held in stadia which are currently not addressed in detail in the law; and

WHEREAS, there is currently no specific mechanism for developing accommodations that would make attending stadia events more equitable and appropriate for people who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of regulatory detail, all decisions concerning seating and other auxiliary aids and services are made by the operators of facilities, which results in procedures that differ markedly from stadium to stadium;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 9th day of July, 2008, that the president of this organization, in consultation with the chair of the Environmental Access Committee, shall appoint a task force to develop, within 90 days, a list of appropriate accommodations constituting a model policy that would make the experience of attending stadia events as accessible to blind and visually impaired people as they are for people with other disabilities whose accommodations are typically recognized and included in the design and operation of stadia; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors and staff of the American Council of the Blind are hereby instructed to collaborate with other organizations of and for the blind to advance the process of getting these model policies adopted at all stadia.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Airport Kiosks
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-11
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization strongly urges airlines to make kiosks at airports accessible to and usable by people who are blind or visually impaired.

2. The officers, directors and staff of this organization take steps to work with the airline industry to bring about this result.

3. This organization make available to the airline industry the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.

4. Should such advocacy efforts prove unsuccessful, the officers, directors and staff of this organization explore other courses of action to end this clear violation of the ADA.

WHEREAS, air travelers must possess a boarding pass prior to going through mandatory airport security; and

WHEREAS, many travelers use airline kiosks to obtain their boarding passes; and

WHEREAS, kiosks provide an effective and efficient method of accomplishing this task; and

WHEREAS, these kiosks are not designed in such a manner as to make them usable by persons who are blind or have low vision; and

WHEREAS, readily accessible technology exists to make these kiosks usable by persons who are blind or have low vision, and thus, such inaccessibility is a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 8th day of July, 2008, that this organization strongly urge airlines to make kiosks at airports accessible to and usable by people who are blind or visually impaired; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization take steps to work with the airline industry to bring about this result; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization make available to the airline industry the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, should such advocacy efforts prove unsuccessful, the officers, directors, and staff of this organization explore other courses of action to end this clear violation of the ADA.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


H.R. 6320
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-12
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization is committed to the enactment of comprehensive federal telecommunications and video programming legislation, especially the unique needs of people who are blind or visually impaired.

2. To be truly comprehensive, such federal legislation must, at a minimum, expressly address public policy objectives. (See objectives in the “resolved” clause.)

3. This organization expects and demands of its coalition partners, as a condition of ACB’s continued participation in such coalition, their unwavering commitment to the inclusion and retention of provisions described above.

WHEREAS, the transmission and receipt of text data with wireless and other telecommunications devices has become a primary means of communication used in commerce, education, the workplace, and social interaction; and

WHEREAS, failure to immediately address the need for audible and other access to such text data-related communication will irreparably retard, if not irreversibly restrict, the equal and full participation of people with vision loss in school, work and community; and

WHEREAS, the very lives and well-being of people with vision loss are put at profound risk when emergency information is broadcast without an audible means whereby on-screen-displayed text and other information is made fully accessible; and

WHEREAS, in addition, modest requirements for video description of television programming were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, resulting in a dramatic diminution in currently available described programming; and

WHEREAS, video programming devices, from televisions to digital video recorders to iPods, are increasingly incorporating inaccessible user interfaces which effectively lock out people with vision loss from the use and full enjoyment of such devices and the programming they offer; and

WHEREAS, people who are deaf-blind may need expensive and often hard-to-find technology to enable them to engage in even the most basic communication; and

WHEREAS, Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Heather Wilson (R-NM) recently introduced H.R. 6320, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008, landmark legislation intended to ensure that people with disabilities, especially those with visual and hearing disabilities, are not left behind as new Internet-related and other digital and video technologies proliferate; and

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind has endorsed H.R. 6320 and is working shoulder to shoulder with our partners to pass the array of important provisions contained therein that significantly benefit the blindness, deafness, and other communities; and

WHEREAS, some lone but influential voices from among ACB’s coalition partners are questioning, among other things, the inclusion, and therefore the comparability in importance of, text data communications access for people with vision loss as compared to voice-related communications access for people with deafness or hearing loss;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization is committed 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; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, 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; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization expects and demands of its coalition partners, as a condition of ACB’s 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.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Quiet Cars and H.R. 5734
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-13
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. This organization urges Congress and the President of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 5734, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008.

2. The officers, directors and staff of this organization are instructed to contact their representatives as a matter of priority so as to advance the passage of this crucial legislation.

3. The affiliates and members of ACB are strongly urged to add their efforts to this critical endeavor.

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) has long expressed, through resolutions and contacts with elected officials made by both its members and staff, extreme concern about the safety of blind, visually impaired, and other pedestrians in light of the increasing prevalence of hybrid, electric, and other environmentally friendly, quiet vehicles; and

WHEREAS, concerns about the environment, our nation’s increasing dependence on foreign oil, and resulting escalation of prices, along with diminishing supplies of petroleum products, make it clear that increased development and use of such quiet car technologies will and must continue to advance; and

WHEREAS, to insure that pedestrians, and particularly those who are blind and visually impaired, are aware of the presence of vehicles in the environment, such persons need to be able to detect the presence of traffic audibly, and need to be aware of these vehicles when they are both in moving and idling phases; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 5734, The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives, and would work toward insuring the safety of pedestrians who, for various reasons, do not see a vehicle approaching and are placed at risk for injury or even death; and

WHEREAS, this legislation establishes a specific structure of timelines for research and action steps to address the serious pedestrian hazard created by quiet cars, and is based on proposals drafted by ACB;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization urge Congress and the President of the United States to promptly enact H.R. 5734, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors and staff of this organization are hereby instructed to contact their representatives as a matter of priority so as to advance the passage of this crucial legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the affiliates and members of ACB are strongly urged to immediately add their efforts to this critical endeavor.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Honoring Louis Braille
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-14
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

1. The officers, directors and staff are instructed to work to develop and implement such activities as are likely to forward a better understanding and a wider use of braille.

2. The Braille Revival League is encouraged to assume a leadership role in the design and implementation of the campaign that will be adopted by this organization.

WHEREAS, January 4th, 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille; and

WHEREAS, it is entirely fitting that the American Council of the Blind develop and implement a series of activities to honor this anniversary and to celebrate braille, which is so important to the success of people who are blind or visually impaired; and

WHEREAS, the Braille Revival League is the affiliate of the American Council of the Blind most directly involved in the promotion and well-being of the writing system which blind people all over the world utilize to read and to communicate independently;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky. on the 11th of July, 2008, that the officers, directors and staff of this organization are hereby instructed to work to develop and implement such activities as are likely to forward a better understanding and a wider use of braille; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Braille Revival League is hereby encouraged to assume a leadership role in the design and implementation of the campaign that will be adopted by this organization.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Nemeth Uniform Braille System
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-16
Submitted by: Winifred Downing

SUMMARY:

This organization strongly urges Braille Authority of North America (BANA) to make a thorough study of Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS) and provide a report on this study to this organization in its 2009 convention.

WHEREAS, North American English Braille is composed of four separate codes: literary, computer, Nemeth math, and chemistry; and

WHEREAS, this proliferation of codes is difficult for persons needing to use all aspects of braille, especially students from elementary school through college; and

WHEREAS, to address this problem, the Unified English Braille Code (UEBC) has been developed; and

WHEREAS, although UEBC adequately renders literary material, the majority of blind persons and braille transcribers knowledgeable of technical presentations have found it extremely difficult to convey technical material; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Abraham Nemeth has originated the Nemeth Uniform Braille System (NUBS), and Bob Stepp and Joyce Hall are developing the computer translation and the back translation programs for this code; and

WHEREAS, articles concerning NUBS have appeared in magazines read by blind persons and transcribers always accompanied with an invitation to readers to request free material with more detailed explanations, resulting in several hundred mailings; and

WHEREAS, the major elements of NUBS have been presented to consumers and transcribers at workshops held throughout the country over the last five years; and

WHEREAS, anyone interested can download in braille or print with Simbraille material setting forth the major aspects of the code from www.braille2000.com; and

WHEREAS, it is our understanding that the full text of NUBS will be sent to the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) prior to the November meeting of that organization;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization strongly urge BANA to make a thorough study of NUBS and provide a report on this study to this organization at its 2009 convention.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Returned American Free Matter Materials
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-17
Submitted By: Josette Kernaghan

SUMMARY:

The officers, directors and staff are instructed to immediately investigate this matter and are urged to take such action as seems appropriate to them.

WHEREAS, it has been reported that materials sent by blind persons in the United States to blind persons in Canada which qualify under the Free Matter for the Blind statute have been returned to the sender; and

WHEREAS, we are informed that this practice is based on a memorandum that has been circulated throughout the country by officials of the United States Postal Service;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that the officers, directors and staff are hereby instructed to immediately investigate this matter and are urged to take such action as seems appropriate to them.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Telecom Parity in Cost of 255 Devices
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-18
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

SUMMARY:

This organization instructs its officers, directors and staff to communicate to developers and manufacturers and providers of telecommunications equipment, and, as appropriate, to lawmakers and officers of relevant federal agencies, that equality in telecommunications must include designing and building access features into equipment at the same price to consumers as is charged for equipment used by non-disabled people.

WHEREAS, Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, at the readily achievable level of compliance, requires that features be built into telecommunications equipment so that it is accessible to, and usable by, persons who have disabilities, or so that, at the very least, the equipment is adaptable to, and may interface with, devices that provide accessibility features; and

WHEREAS, nothing in Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, however, provides for parity of costs between accessible and non-accessible equipment; and

WHEREAS, even the comprehensive provisions in H.R. 6320 do not include provisions assuring cost parity; and

WHEREAS, equal access to goods, services and information in the telecommunications field will not be achieved as long as people who have disabilities pay more than non-disabled people for the same level of telecommunications access;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind, in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization instructs its officers, directors, and staff to communicate to developers and manufacturers and providers of telecommunications equipment, and, as appropriate, to lawmakers and officers of relevant federal agencies, that equality in telecommunications must include designing and building access features into equipment at the same price to consumers as is charged for equipment used by non-disabled people.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Commendation of Convention Hotel
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-19
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky. has provided essential services and important accommodations to the members of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) attending its 2008 convention; and

WHEREAS, the staff of the Galt House has been friendly and helpful; and

WHEREAS, the success of a convention is dependent upon the quality of the services provided by the hotel;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization express its thanks and appreciation for the services and accommodations provided to its members and its staff.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Commending the Blue Grass Council of the Blind and the Kentucky Council of the Blind
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-20
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, the handling of local arrangements for an American Council of the Blind (ACB) national convention is a mammoth undertaking; and

WHEREAS, the host committee and ACB members in the commonwealth of Kentucky have met every challenge in hosting the 2008 ACB national convention in Louisville, Ky., and have welcomed and assisted ACB members in a friendly, helpful, and grand fashion;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization wholeheartedly thank and commend the host committee and commonwealth of Kentucky for their fine work.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Commending Volunteers
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2008-21
Submitted by: Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, volunteers, under the most able stewardship of Volunteer Coordinator Margarine Beaman, have provided superb services in all ways to attendees of the 2008 American Council of the Blind (ACB) convention;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., on the 11th day of July, 2008, that this organization warmly and most sincerely express its appreciation to all volunteers who worked to assist the attendees of the 2008 ACB convention; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization request yet one more accommodation from Ms. Beaman, that being to assist in communicating this resolution, or its sense, to all volunteers.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary


Back to the Top

ACB Home Page