Dots and Dashes 12/14/18

“Dots and Dashes” is a short newsletter featuring a variety of topics and ACB stories. This issue features news about autonomous vehicle legislation, a job application deadline, remembering George H.W. Bush, a request for your assistance with Quest Diagnostics, a fun audio-described video with music on unusual instruments, and more.

Autonomous Vehicle Legislation Pending

Autonomous vehicles will significantly increase the independence of millions of blind Americans, but we need a law to ensure the successful and safe operation of these vehicles. Fortunately, the U.S. Senate has the opportunity to pass the AV START Act. Our senators must work to bring this bill to the floor and pass this legislation immediately; it will positively impact the lives of so many blind people. Please contact your Congressional representatives to promote and pass the bill. To contact your senators, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.


Deadline Nears to Apply for ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) seeks a Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs to work in its national office in Alexandria, Va. For the job description and other details, visit The application deadline is December 19th.


Remembering George H.W. Bush

On the Dec. 5th episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, in remembrance of President George H.W. Bush, Claire Stanley and Tony Stephens will discuss the contributions he made to the disability community with the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. Listen by visiting:

If you would like to make a $41 donation in honor of George H.W. Bush, visit


Quest Diagnostics

As we all know, businesses are often turning to computer screens and tablets to sign people in. We have received a report that a Quest Diagnostics lab required a customer to sign in via such a tablet; no receptionist was present to help. 

Because Quest Diagnostics is such a commonly used lab, ACB would like to know whether other people have experienced similar circumstances with Quest Diagnostics. Please share any experiences with Claire Stanley at


NRTC Needs Your Participation

Please participate in a survey about job retention and career advancement by the NRTC on Blindness & Low Vision at Mississippi State University.

The survey may be completed electronically at, or you may call (662) 546-0737 and schedule an appointment to participate by telephone. Please share your experiences attempting to keep or advance in a job, even if those experiences were not successful.

Participants who complete the survey may enter into a drawing for a gift card for $100. The survey is long – it may take you 30 to 40 minutes.

If you have questions or need more assistance, please call Anne Steverson or Adele Crudden at 1-866-676-7266 or email at or


What’s Aira?

The Nov. 29th episode of the ACB Advocacy Update features Aira. We speak with Aira reps to understand more about the service, hear about some great holiday deals, and learn about the world of AI. You may listen to or download it at


For Your Holiday Enjoyment

Enjoy this special holiday audio-video presentation from the American Council of the Blind with description provided by Joel Snyder of the ACB Audio Description Project. Rory Hoffman, a Nashville-based musician, plays “The Twelve Days of Christmas” on multiple unusual instruments. View the video at

Rory Hoffman was raised on a small ranch in North Dakota. He grew up recording and touring with the family gospel band. He started teaching himself to play guitar and piano at age 3. By age 5 he was the drummer in the family band.

He currently plays over a dozen stringed, keyboard and wind instruments. Rory has played the Grand Ole Opry numerous times, as a soloist and as a sideman with Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Mattea and John Cowan. Working with these stars and others has enabled him to play several notable festivals, including Telluride with John Cowan, and Djangofest as part of the John Jorgenson Quintet. He has performed in Norway, Italy and Jamaica, and enjoys any opportunities to travel the world, experiencing the culture and sharing music. When not out on the road touring, Rory is proud to be in several local Nashville bands, including 50 Shades of Hay, and the Gypsy Hombres.

“Tour de Fourth,” Rory’s latest album, entered the world in 2016. It features music that demonstrates Rory's skill and diverse interests in country, western swing, jazz, polka, Latin, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and gospel music. It is a mix of original songs, and fresh arrangements of standards.