The American Council of the Blind is closely monitoring information about the COVID-19 virus and its impact. After much thoughtful consideration, ACB has decided to close both offices and move our work to a virtual environment until further notice. This decision was made in order to ensure the continued health and safety of our employees and their families. ACB staff will continue to take calls and emails during this period. When calling ACB’s direct and toll-free office numbers, please use the recorded menu to contact our staff members directly.
Your ACB family has opportunities for you to connect with others from the comfort of your home during this time of social distancing. Join one of our conference calls and stay in touch with your ACB community! To learn more, visit: https://acb.org/ACB-community-conference-calls.
The health and welfare of our members is of the upmost importance and we are actively working to confirm details and explore alternative options regarding our 2020 convention as the COVID-19 situation evolves. ACB will update our membership as soon as any developments are made. The ACB Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting for March 30 to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on ACB. A recording of the meeting will be available on ACB Radio and will also be listed under resources on this page.
We recommend that all affiliates follow CDC guidelines for any scheduled events. You can find the most up-to-date CDC guidelines here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.
ACB is aware that many of our members and affiliates are moving to a virtual environment for work, events, and other activities. To assist with this change, ACB is offering Zoom related resources to help those who are new to the platform or would like to learn more advanced skills. To start, we are providing you with two recordings of Zoom sessions from past ACB events. The first recording provides basic tips for hosting and participating in a Zoom meeting and can be accessed by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/wm348ts . The second recording provides troubleshooting tips and discussion related to setting up Zoom to host a meeting, and can be accessed by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/tkwcxt4 . We will be offering more Zoom related assistance for our affiliates and members soon, so please continue to check this page for more information.
We wish you all health and safety during this difficult time.
- Free Offer for College Students in Need of Aira: Many universities and colleges are rapidly shifting to distance learning and some materials and software being used are inaccessible. Aira is offering free access for any college student for the remainder of the spring semester ending in May 2020. Please email email@example.com for more information.
5 Accessibility Actions You Can Take When You’re Moving Your Conference or Classes Online: A resource compiled by the American Foundation for the Blind.
Coping with School Closures During COVID-19: Resources for teachers of blind and visually impaired students.
- Free Audiobooks from Audible: Stream a collection of stories for kids of all ages, including titles across six different languages.
- Office of Civil Rights Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility: A short webinar from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights on ensuring web accessibility for students with disabilities for schools using online learning during the coronavirus outbreak.
- ACB and AFB's Joint Letter to Senate and House Representatives: Regarding legislation or regulations that would allow the Department of Education to waive the civil rights protections of students with disabilities.
Working from Home:
- Hotkeys and Keyboard Shortcuts for Zoom
- Meet Me Accessibly – A Guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a Blindness Perspective: If you're working from home and trying to navigate Zoom with a screen reader, this free audiobook can help.
ACB in the News
- Coronavirus Restrictions Put Extra Burden on the Blind Community: Clark Rachfal, ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, is quoted in this article.
General COVID-19 Resources:
- Accessible COVID-19 Statistics Tracker: An accessible tracker that conveys stats in easy-to-read data tables.
- Google COVID-19 Information & Resources: Education, prevention, local and state-based resources, safety & prevention tips, and search trends related to COVID-19, as well as additional resources for individuals, educators and businesses. The microsite is also available in Spanish: https://www.google.com/intl/es_us/covid19/
- Crisis Text Counselors: Anxious about coronavirus? Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
- Coronavirus Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired Community
- Dinner Delivered - Accessible and Easy Ways to Receive Meals Direct to Your Door: National Braille Press free digital book download.
- Getting Visual Assistance with an iPhone: National Braille Press free digital book download.
- Navigating Healthcare, When All They Can See Is that You Can't: National Braille Press free digital book download.