Our Mission

The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.

American Council of the Blind Awards Apple for Accessibility Innovation

MINNEAPOLIS — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) will present Apple with the Robert S. Bray Award for their continued accessibility innovation on July 4, during ACB’s annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis, MN. The Bray Award is given to a person or a company that has improved communication technology or devices, or expanded access to such devices for all blind people. Read more at acb.org/PR-Apple-Bray-Award.
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2016 ACB Conference and Convention Program is now online

You can read the online version at www.acb.org/2016program or download large print either .pdf or .doc at http://acb.org/2016program-downloads.  The online version has links to each page, or you may choose the "printer-friendly version" link at the end to read it all on one page or print it.
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2016 10,000 Steps Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk

This year’s Walkathon web site is http://acb.donorpages.com/2016ACBWalk/.  ACB would like to raise $60,000 from ACB’s 10,000 Steps Walkathon this year.  You can help us reach our goal . . . Read more
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Joint Statement in Support of Rapid Ratification

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) continues to advocate for U.S. ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty, commonly referred to as the Marrakesh Treaty. Recently, ACB has signed onto a joint statement of stakeholders calling for ratification, and ACB continues to engage congressional staff and committees toward passage of this important treaty. Read more at www.acb.org/marrakesh.

Rite Aid to Offer Talking Prescription Devices to Customers with Visual Impairments

Rite Aid logo
Press Release

Camp Hill, Pa. (February 18, 2016) – Rite Aid announced today the nationwide availability of talking prescription devices to assist customers with visual impairments. The device will be provided at no cost to customers who are blind or who are visually impaired. Please read more at http://www.acb.org/rite-aid-talking-Rx-devices.
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Netflix to Enhance Access for Customers Who Are Blind

In a first-of-its-kind settlement, advocates for people who are blind have reached an agreement with Netflix to make accessible the movies and videos offered through the Netflix video streaming and DVD rental subscriptions. The settlement provides that Netflix will make its video content accessible by adding a new technology called “audio description” as a feature that blind customers can activate so they can more fully understand and enjoy the movie and video experience.  Read more at http://www.acb.org/netflix.

ACB Calls for Further DOJ Action on Web Access

ALEXANDRIA, VA (MAY 4, 2016) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is deeply concerned by the lack of urgency the Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken toward making the Internet accessible, and urges DOJ to move swiftly toward full and equal inclusion for all.  “The DOJ appears to be using the rationale that because the web has changed over the past six years, during which they have been delaying these regulations, that there is a need to start over,” said Eric Bridges, Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind. Read more at www.acb.org/PR-DOJWebAccess.
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ACB Takes Action on Currency Delays

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 9, 2016) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) filed a motion this week in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia to require the U.S. Department of the Treasury to act judiciously and expeditiously in order to release accessible currency by December 31, 2020.  Read more at www.acb.org/action-on-currency-delays.
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Further Currency Delays Raise Concerns

Alexandria, Va. (May 16, 2016) — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) expresses deep concern and disappointment over continued delays by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which recently reported further delays of accessible tactile paper currency to as late as 2026. Read more at http://www.acb.org/pr-currency-delays.
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ACB is Listening: Tell us about your experiences with audio description!

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is seeking your valuable input and real-life experiences on audio description for broadcast cable television, mobile apps, streaming services, and film. In recent months, there has been a significant amount of movement in the television and film industry, which could greatly impact the quality and quantity of audio described choices for viewers.  Read more about this brief 10-15 minute survey at http://acb.org/ACB-AD-survey.
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Paths to Leadership: The Traditional and the New, by Allen Casey

With the 2016 ACB Conference and Convention fast approaching, if you or someone you know is interested in the track to leadership, this article from the February 2016 ACB E-Forum will be extremely helpful. Paths to Leadership: The Traditional and the New, by Allen Casey.
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Tony Stephens Appointed Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs of the American Council of the Blind

portrait of Tony Stephens

WASHINGTON — I am very pleased to announce that the American Council of the Blind has appointed Anthony “Tony” Stephens as our Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs. Tony brings a wealth of experience advocating on issues encompassing people who are blind or visually impaired.  Please read more.
Eric Bridges, Executive Director
American Council of the Blind
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Denny's Introduces Newly Enhanced Website and Mobile Application

denny's logo

Upgraded platforms offer enhanced accessibility and functionality for all users. Read more.

Microsoft, American Council of the Blind Partner to Advance Accessibility

REDMOND, Wash and ARLINGTON, Va – Dec. 16, 2015 – Microsoft Corp. and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) on Wednesday announced they will partner on efforts to advance the accessibility of information technologies. Through the partnership, the ACB and Microsoft will work together to enable planned updates to various Microsoft products to better meet the needs of persons with visual impairments. Read more.
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Eric Bridges Appointed Executive Director of the American Council of the Blind

WASHINGTON — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Bridges as the organization’s new executive director effective Nov. 1, 2015.  Please read more at http://acb.org/ED-Eric-Bridges.

New iPhone App from the American Council of the Blind Links Blind People to its Affiliates and Services

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) announced today that its iPhone app, ACB Link, is now available. This app will assist ACB staff, members and friends to readily communicate news of relevance to the blind community. For more information about ACB Link, go to http://link.acb.org or read more at http://acb.org/ACB-Link

IMPORTANT NOTE: New phone numbers for ACB Radio, ACB Braille and E-Forums and ACB Reports

You can reach ACB Radio on the phone by dialing 605-475-8130.

And you can reach the ACB Braille Forum, E Forum and ACB Reports by dialing 605-475-8154.

Please spread the word as the ACB office has been receiving many calls from people not being able to access these services.

ACB Adopts Cumulative Giving Societies

In 2014, ACB successfully implemented an Annual Giving Society program – a proven development strategy to move donors up the Giving Pyramid in a focused and donor centric manner. The Cumulative Giving Society rationale will serve to complement ACB’s Annual Giving Society program. As these are cumulative, a donor’s annual giving would accrue year-over-year, driven by the Annual Giving Societies. Read more at www.acb.org/cumulative-GS.
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BlindAbility: Willing, Able and Seeking Opportunity

This video was created by the American Council of the Blind to highlight the abilities of blind individuals. It can be used as an educational tool for hiring managers, HR professionals, or anyone interested in diversifying their workforce. The video is available with audio description as well as closed captioning.

BlindAbility: Willing, Able and Seeking Opportunity, Described Version

BlindAbility: Willing, Able and Seeking Opportunity, with Closed Captioning Available
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Final Comments for ACB on WIOA

Read ACB's Comments for WIOA NPRM
34 CFR Parts 361, 363, and 397 
RIN 1820-AB70
[Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-OOO1]
http://www.acb.org/WIOA-comments
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ACB joins forces with Legacy.com!

ACB joins an amazing network, as Legacy.com collaborates with more than 1,500 newspapers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Europe to provide ways for readers to express condolences and share remembrances of loved ones, which will broaden ACB's visibility and exposure both nationally and internationally.
 
For more information about this powerful new partnership, please contact Tom Tobin, Director of Development at ttobin@acb.org or visit www.acb.org/legacy-acb.
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Press Release on Low Vision Aids coverage under Medicare H.R.729

American Council of the Blind Praises U.S. House of Representatives for Reintroducing Legislation to Cover Low Vision Aids under Medicare

Arlington, Va., Feb. 5, 2015 – Late yesterday afternoon Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) re-introduced H.R. 729, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2015. This bill seeks to right a wrong that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have perpetrated for many years through the denial of coverage of low-vision devices for Medicare recipients.  Read more at www.acb.org/LVaids

CVS Caremark Press Release

CVS Health Offers Talking, Braille and Large Print Prescription Labels Through its Mail Service Pharmacy for Individuals with Vision Impairments

New service expands CVS Health’s offerings to the blind community  Read more at http://www.acb.org/cvs.

ACB Establishes the Legacy Society

In an effort to be more proactive, ACB created The Legacy Society to honor and recognize individuals who have included ACB in their Estate Plans via a bequest or another type of Planned Gift and have communicated their intentions to ACB.  For more information, please contact Tom Tobin, Director of Development at ttobin@acb.org or read more here. photo of young girl sweetly touching the face of her father lovingly holding her. The word legacy is etched below

ACB Annual Giving Societies

In an effort to honor and recognize our generous donors, in 2014 The American Council of the Blind created four new Annual Giving Societies. Donors will be enrolled in one of them based on the amount of their annual contributions to ACB. Please read more here.
2 hands offering red heart

GDUI Position Statement on Misrepresentation of Service Animals

The organization’s statement is a direct response to the growing epidemic of members of the public passing their pets off as service animals, impeding on the civil rights of those who are blind and rely on legitimate service animals to gain access to public venues. Read more.

Walgreens Launches Nationwide Program Offering Talking Prescription Devices for Customers with Visual Impairments

Initiative adds to Walgreens other accessible prescription information services; leadership of blindness organizations praise company’s program Read more.

GW Micro and Microsoft Collaborate on a Global Initiative

GW Micro, Inc. (www.gwmicro.com) is proud to make a revolutionary announcement. GW Micro and Microsoft Corp. have partnered to make Window-Eyes available to users of Microsoft Office at no cost. Window-Eyes is a screen reader that enables people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled to have full access to Windows PCs and makes the computer accessible via speech and/or braille.  Please read more here.

ACB Joins Class Action Suit Against GSA Over Inaccessible Web Site

General Services Administration requires federal contractors to register and annually renew their registration on a GSA website, SAM.gov.  The complaint alleges that SAM.gov is incompatible with screen reading software that many blind individuals, including the individual plaintiffs in this case, rely on to navigate the Internet. Read more here.

Software Leaves Blind and Visually Impaired in the Dark

On April 14th a story ran on the Washington DC CBS affiliate profiling the struggles that a blind woman in the Maryland suburbs is having with Intuit’s Quicken software. The 2014 release is inaccessible. Channel 9 reached out to ACB and we were able to provide our perspective on accessibility.  Below is the transcript of that story with the link to the video below.
Eric   Read the news story here.

CVS/pharmacy Now Offers “Talking” Prescription Labels for Individuals with Vision Impairments Through its Online Pharmacy

New service on CVS.com is the result of a collaboration with state and national organizations for the blind.  Read more.

RSS feed symbol with headphonesNew RSS feed for ACB Braille Forum

A big thank you to Larry Turnbull!  The new ACB Braille Forum RSS podcast feed is now available on ACB Radio.  You can link to them from our ACB Braille Forum page or directly by going to http://acbradio.org/acb-braille-forum-podcast.xml ACB Reports is available at http://acbradio.org/acb-reports.xml.

ACB Lauds House for Introduction of Landmark Special Education Legislation

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 12, 2014 –  Today, Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) and Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) introduced H.R. 4040, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act. H.R. 4040 will improve the delivery of appropriate special education and related services to all students who are blind or visually impaired as well as students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Read more
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ACB Condemns Discrimination by Airlines Against People Who Use Guide Dogs, Urges Better Training of Personnel Who Interact with Passengers with Disabilities

Arlington, VA, December 30, 2013 - Albert Rizzi, a guide dog user, was ejected from a U.S. Airways flight on November 13, 2013 because he was not able to put his guide dog far enough under the seat of the person sitting next to him, which did not please the flight attendant. Please read more here..
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U.S. Dept of Ed Announces New App to Identify U.S. Currency

U.S. Treasurer Applauds Department of Education’s Accessibility Effort
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Education announced the launch of the “IDEAL Currency Identifier,” a free downloadable application (app) to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired to denominate U.S. currency on some mobile devices. Please read more here.
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Press Release

American Council of the Blind Commends U.S. House of Representatives for Introducing Legislation to Cover Low Vision Aids under Medicare

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 16, 2013 – Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) have introduced H.R. 3749, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013.  Please continue reading here.

ALERT! Low Vision Device Coverage Bill Introduced in House

I am excited to announce  that one of ACB’s legislative imperatives for 2013 has been introduced!  ... a  bill to allow for Medicare to cover certain low vision devices has been introduced in the House of Representatives; H.R. 3749.  Please continue reading here.

ACB Radio is a Beacon for Blind People Around the World

“ACB radio is a great outlet for sharing feelings about being blind. I am incredibly touched and inspired when I hear programs that deal with how blind people meet and beat life’s challenges. Please continue reading here.

Information on the Affordable Health Care Act

A major component of the Affordable Health Care Act went into effect on October 1, 2013. Individuals will be able to explore and compare options of health care plans that are available and enroll in those plans. Here you will find links Read more here.
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Kim Charlson Interviewed on "Exceptional Women" Program

On Sunday, October 13, WMJX Magic 106.7 FM in Boston aired Candy O'Terry's interview with Kim Charlson on the acclaimed "Exceptional Women" program.  Kim was invited on the show after being elected first woman president of the American Council of the Blind.  The interview is available as a podcast at this link.

US Access Board Releases Guidance on Access to Prescription Drug Container Labels

photo of prescription bottle on side with pills spilling out
New guidance is now available from the Access Board on how to make prescription drug container labels accessible to people with vision impairments or who are elderly.  The important information labeling prescription medications, including dosage and other instructions, side effects, and expiration dates, is often inaccessible to those unable to read print or small type. Read more here.
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ACB Congratulates World Intellectual Property Organization on Treaty

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2013 - The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is pleased to congratulate the World Intellectual Property Organization for the adoption of a comprehensive treaty at its diplomatic conference currently being held in Marrakech, Morocco. Please read more here.
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Weight Watchers Announces Accessibility Initiative for Blind and Visually Impaired Members

Broad-based Initiative Praised by Blind Community Leaders

NEW YORK, NY (June 27, 2013) – Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) today announced its ongoing initiative to make its websites, mobile applications and print information more accessible and inclusive for its members and subscribers with visual impairments. Please read more here.
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Testimony of Brian Charlson on HELP on ADA and Entertainment Technologies

Testimony of Brian Charlson, Director of Technology, Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton, MA, Chairman, Information Access Committee, American Council of the Blind on behalf of the American Council of the Blind before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) on the ADA and Entertainment Technologies
May 14, 2013

Caption: Photo in the HELP Committee Hearing room just after the hearing ended from left to right are Brian Charlson, Senator Harkin and Eric Bridges Please read more here.
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Undercover Investigation Documents Taxis Stranding Disabled Passengers on the Curbs of DC Streets

Melanie Brunson and Eric Bridges participated in an undercover taxi discrimination story that the local CBS affiliate was conducting.  The link to the story and video is below. This was a well done story that shows the continuing challenges that guide dog users face in Washington but also across the country.
http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/259124/158/DC-Cabs-Strand-Disabled-Pas...
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It's here! The all-new ACB Virtual Mini Mall!

man and woman with laptops and credit cards shopping
The place for useful, fun, and unusual products for home, school and work.  Whether you are shopping for the kids, mom or dad, the boss or neighbor, or the senior set, you'll find the perfect product for every occasion.

The ACB Treasures Shop is the first store to open in the ACB Virtual Mini Mall.  The ACB Treasures collection is an all-new line of products, introduced at the 2012 ACB Conference and Convention in Louisville. It includes an expanded line of ACB logo merchandise and special lines of products commemorating ACB events.  Departments in the ACB Treasures Shop include the Case Place, the Clothes Rack, the 4 Paws Boutique and many more.

To get in on the fun and download the Mall catalog click here.
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