A Letter from the ACB President

Dear Members and Friends,
During this special time of year, I want to extend my personal thanks to each and every one of you for your membership and commitment to the American Council of the Blind.  Each of you are important to ACB’s success and, as president, I appreciate the time, talent, and energy you have given to our critical work over the past year. If you have supported ACB financially, I thank you for your past generosity. If you are able to do so, I would appreciate any additional financial assistance you can provide. It is only through the support of people like you that our work can continue and flourish.
Let me highlight a few of this year’s achievements that your support helped to make possible.
In our continuing and vigilant pursuit of fully accessible prescription labeling, ACB has most recently worked with Humana, another leading health and well-being company, to assist them in the development of their own accessible prescription initiative. As of Sept. 30, Humana will offer free talking prescription labels to blind and visually impaired members who fill prescriptions through Humana Pharmacies. Members may also request alternative format communications (braille, audio, large print, and screen-reader-accessible PDFs) as their standard format for receiving important member information.
In 2014, we reported that ACB added telephone access for all 6 streams of programming of ACB Radio, dedicated to the blindness community and produced by people who are blind and visually impaired. Listenership soared as a result, and continues to grow each month. With convention season well under way, our members can keep current with state and national activities. For example, simultaneous streaming allowed coverage of both the Illinois and California state conventions in early October. So, ACB continues to do even more to keep you connected and informed!
Scholarship awards for 2015 increased in number and size. At ACB’s annual national convention in July, we awarded 19 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 to post-secondary students who are legally blind and met GPA and other specific requirements. Thanks to continued generous support by several individual donors, award amounts again saw an increase, helping to keep up with the rising cost of a college education.
Our continued advisory role with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing concerning fully accessible currency realized a major success this past June. The Treasury Department announced that the redesigned $10 note, scheduled for release in 2020, will feature raised elements to help distinguish it from other bills.
Regarding employment, ACB created and released a video, “BlindAbility: Willing, Able, and Seeking Opportunity,” which highlights the skills and abilities of blind individuals. It can be used as an educational tool for hiring managers, HR professionals, and others interested in diversifying their work force. The video is available with audio description and closed captioning and can be found at www.acb.org/blindability.
Our work continues daily, and is performed by tens of thousands of members, the majority of whom are volunteers. Their activities help ACB live its mission: to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and improved quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.
These important accomplishments in 2015 represent only a few of the achievements we have all worked hard to see to fruition. With your financial support, we will continue to build on these successes. Please help us continue our efforts with a gift today, at whatever level you can manage.  Remember, no contribution is too small — every dollar we receive will make a difference. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Kim Charlson, President
P.S. There are several ways for you to donate this year:

  • You can make a check payable to the American Council of the Blind and mail it to ACB at 6300 Shingle Creek Parkway, Suite 195, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430;
  • You can donate online by visiting this link: https://donate.acb.org;
  • Or you can call our finance office at 1-800-866-3242.

However you choose to give, we thank you for your generous support!