Dots and Dashes from Washington 11/2/18

“Dots and Dashes from Washington” is a short newsletter featuring a variety of topics and ACB stories. Many are success stories. This issue also includes a dash of sad news.


Accessible Voting

The Oct. 24th episode of ACB’s Advocacy Update podcast features Claire Stanley and Tony Stephens from ACB’s advocacy team as they focus on equal access at the voting booth going into the November 6th mid-term elections. They share the current state of accessible voting in America and offer resources for when access barriers rise. Email question and comments to

 Link to podcast:


Looking for a job? Sign up with Aira for 100 free minutes!

To recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October), Aira is pleased to announce a special program available to ACB members to foster employment opportunities. Aira, the service that connects people who are blind or low vision with remote sighted assistance, supports employment by providing customers (also known as Explorers) free service for activities related to finding and securing employment. The Aira Employment program has been available to our Explorers since February 2018. We offer free service to job-seekers as they navigate employment sites, fill out applications, build resumes, choose outfits, and travel to and from meetings with prospective employers.

Aira will extend this opportunity to ACB members who are not Aira customers yet, so they can use the Aira app on their smartphone for 100 minutes of free employment-related service. Individuals will be able to initiate this temporary Aira Account for employment services starting November 12, 2018.

How Does This Offer Work?

ACB affiliate leaders are asked to reach out to their members to collect the names, mobile number, email contact, and state for ACB members who are not already Aira Explorers and who wish to use Aira to help find a job. Then, we ask that affiliate leaders send the contact information they’ve collected to Paul Schroeder at Aira who will ensure that ACB members are validated to use Aira as a Guest for the employment-related offer. To reiterate, this is for ACB members who are not currently Aira Explorers.

How Will ACB Members (Aira Guests) Access the Offer?

To use this opportunity, individuals must download the Aira app onto their smartphones (iPhone or Android). The Aira app is available in the App Store, Play Store, or at

Sign up for a free Guest account by tapping the banner at the top of the home screen that says “Tap to use Aira as a Guest for FREE.” 

A Guest can use Aira at many locations where Aira Access has been deployed, as well as with certain offers in the “Call using a Free Offer” section of the app. From November 12, and once Aira receives the name, mobile number, email contact, and state for ACB members interested in this opportunity, we will authenticate temporary Aira accounts for 100 free minutes for conducting job-finding activities. 

Aira will also offer a free month of service for any ACB Guest who finds a job and signs up for an Aira plan.

As this offer is specifically designed to help foster employment, please be aware that our agents will be asked to end sessions that are not related to job-seeking. In addition, the 100 minutes will only be available for use through the end of December 2018.

Aira is truly enthusiastic about its partnership with ACB and the opportunity to improve the employment situation for people who are blind or have low vision.


Focus on Diabetic Retinopathy

The Halloween episode of the ACB Advocacy Update is now available! Listen in this week as Tony Stephens and Claire Stanley focus on one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States — diabetic retinopathy. They share some good news from several months ago out of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and discuss the challenges toward leading an active life and access to good nutrition for people who are blind.

Listen to the podcast on our website by visiting: Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast treats from, and feel free to leave comments (please, no tricks). Email with questions or comments on the latest episode.


ACB 2019 Leadership Meetings

ACB will hold its 2019 leadership meetings Feb. 23-27, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Alexandria. Room rates are $120 per night, plus tax. Make your reservations by calling (703) 683-6000, or visiting the Crowne Plaza’s website,


Tony Stephens Leaving ACB

We regretfully announce the resignation of Tony Stephens as Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, effective November 14th.

He is leaving us to become executive director of a community-based nonprofit in Baltimore. 

In his nearly three years with ACB, Tony has clearly elevated our legislative, regulatory, and direct advocacy efforts through his passion, optimism, and humility. Simply put, he has been a great teammate and we are all far better for having worked alongside him.  He will most certainly be missed.

He has agreed to work with me and others in ACB to complete projects that are in process after his departure. Furthermore, Tony has expressed a sincere desire to remain an active member. I plan to take him up on his offer.

With his departure, Tony leaves big shoes to fill. Stay tuned for a position announcement and the beginnings of the recruitment process.

We wish Tony much success in his future endeavors and encourage folks to reach out to him in the coming weeks. 


The next issue will have even more news and successes, so stay tuned!