“Dots and Dashes” is a short newsletter featuring a variety of topics and ACB stories. This issue features the latest Advocacy Update podcasts (including a special edition), information about blind Chicagoans suing the city, the Juno Report’s return to ACB Radio, Getty Images and Verizon Media announce $40,000 disability-focused creative bursary, this year’s MMS grand prize winners, and the MSU NRTC seeking people to sign up for research registry.
Blind Chicagoans Sue Chicago about Exclusion from City’s Pedestrian Safety Program
For more information about the case, visit https://dralegal.org/case/american-council-of-the-blind-of-metropolitan-chicago-vs-city-of-chicago/.
On Sept. 23rd, Disability Rights Advocates and the Proskauer law firm filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Transportation in order to challenge the systemic lack of accessible pedestrian signals at intersections all over the city. The lawsuit, which has been filed on behalf of the American Council of the Blind of Metropolitan Chicago (ACBMC) and three individual plaintiffs with vision-related disabilities, alleges that Chicago disregards blind pedestrians’ safety needs in its pedestrian planning, thereby violating federal and state civil rights laws.
To date, Chicago has equipped only 11 intersections with pedestrian traffic signals that make street crossing information accessible to blind people even though fully 2,672 of its intersections are signalized. This number — less than half of one percent — may be the worst of any major metropolitan area in the United States.
Katie Howe, president of ACBMC, explained that “it’s not just a matter of safety. Blind people have the right to navigate the city independently.”
Plaintiff Ann Brash works in the city. Her white cane was split apart by a passing bus because Chicago’s pedestrian signals do not tell her when to cross streets. “I love working, but I don’t love walking to my job from Union Station. I need the same street crossing information that sighted people get.”
Plaintiff Ray Campbell, second vice president of the American Council of the Blind, said, “I have traveled with a white cane for over 40 years. Sighted people wouldn’t accept having safety information about only 11 out of 2,670 intersections. Why should I?”
Juno Report Returns to ACB Radio
After a long absence, Guide Dog Users, Inc. is delighted to announce all new episodes of the Juno Report.
The October episode features the luncheon presentation from the 2019 GDUI convention. Learn about GDUI treasurer Lynn Merrill’s lifelong dream to climb Mount Katahdin and how she did it with the help of her guide dog, her family, and an instructor from Fidelco.
The Juno Report also includes some announcements, and highlights of the GDUI awards presentation from the 2019 convention.
The Juno Report airs on ACB Radio Mainstream on Thursdays at 4 a.m., 7 a.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. (Eastern). It also plays on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and Wednesdays at 12 a.m., 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. (Eastern). It will be available in the ACB podcast feed in approximately one week.
Getty Images and Verizon Media Announce $40,000 Disability-Focused Creative Bursary
To view this release in its entirety, visit https://tinyurl.com/y2q9ba56.
Getty Images, in collaboration with Verizon Media, has announced its latest global Creative Bursary grant program focusing on life with disabilities. Aimed at elevating photographers as they work to capture and share much-needed visual stories of those living with a variety of disabilities, the Bursary comes on the heels of The Disability Collection, a joint effort launched in 2018 by both companies in conjunction with the National Disability Leadership Alliance to more authentically represent people with disabilities in the media.
Open to photographers globally, and supported by a matching grant by Verizon, “Disability Stories” is a one-time Bursary, awarding one recipient $15,000, one recipient $10,000 and three recipients $5,000 each, as determined by a panel of creative industry judges and disability activists. Photographers with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Photographers are encouraged to apply before November 1, 2019.
And This Year’s MMS Prize Winners Are …
Congratulations to Jeff Thom and Adam Eakin, the winners of the MMS grand prizes. Jeff won the 43” Toshiba Amazon Fire TV, and Adam won the Amazon Second Generation Echo.
Would you like to win a prize from us? Join the MMS Program, or increase your monthly donation any time from now until the end of the 2020 convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, and you'll be eligible to win a fabulous prize like Jeff and Adam did this year.
For more information on the MMS program, visit ACB’s website, acb.org, tab to the Donate Now button, and then tab to the MMS program, or call the ACB office in Minneapolis at (612) 332-3242.
NRTC Seeks People to Sign Up for Research Registry
The National Research & Training Center (NRTC) on Blindness & Low Vision at Mississippi State University hosts the online participant registry and invites all who are interested in participating in research specific to blindness and low vision. The NRTC, as well as other researchers outside of the NRTC, use the registry to recruit for current and future research opportunities. We are looking to grow the number of registry participants and would appreciate if you would share this information with your members. Anyone interested in signing up can do so at tiny.cc/participant-registry. If you do sign up, you are not obligated to participate in any projects, and you can be removed at any time. Anyone with further questions can email us at email@example.com or call 1-800-675-7782 or (662) 325-2001.
In this special edition of the Advocacy Update podcast, we wait with bated breath to learn if the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on Domino’s v. Robles, and whether Title III of the ADA applies to websites. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at http://acbradio.org/acb-advocacy-update-10-3-19. To listen to the audio of the National Press Club event on digital accessibility and workplace inclusion, where ACB’s immediate past president, Kim Charlson, participated, go to https://www.facebook.com/AmericanCounciloftheBlindOfficial/videos/493135318179106/ .
In the September 26th edition of Advocacy Update, hear from Pam McGonigle, Director of Development for the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), about the exciting world of accessible sports. As ACB works on promoting the Exercise and Fitness for All Bill (S. 1244), let’s learn more about accessible sports and athletic programs. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at: http://acbradio.org/acb-advocacy-update-9-26-19.
Got an idea for a future podcast? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.