2 milestones in 1 week! Our ACB Community celebrated hosting over 5k events! The ACB Community is an incredible support network that continues to share ideas, activities, and many laughs! ACB also reached the goal of raising $5k for the 60 for 60 drive. Thank you to every contributor who has donated. Special thanks to our August sponsor Vispero who matched and doubled each donation up to $10k! We are truly amazed by our members’ support and for Vispero for elevating the campaign! Learn more about our 60 for 60 campaign by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/ACB60for60.
2022 DC Leadership Conference
The 2022 DC Leadership Conference will be held at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town located in Alexandria, Virginia from Saturday, March 12 to Tuesday, March 15th. Room rates are $119 per night. Stay tuned for more details!
ACB Convention Podcasts
We are pleased to share that the podcasts for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion track, the Education and Employment track, the Advocacy and Transportation track, and the Primetime and General Sessions from the ACB 2021 convention are now live! Access all of our podcasts and subscribe at https://www.acbmedia.org/podcasts.
ITEMM Coalition Letter to Congress on Low Vision Aids
On Sept. 1, ACB and many of our affiliates joined the ITEMM Coalition and more than 80 organizations in urging Congress to include a Medicare vision benefit in the budget reconciliation package by repealing the statutory ban on Medicare coverage of eyeglasses and by requiring CMS to undergo a review and analysis of low vision devices appropriate for Medicare coverage. The final version of the letter with all signatories is available at https://tinyurl.com/uxyxc33p .
Get to Know Our DKM First Timers and A Scholarship Winner
On last week’s episode of the ACB Advocacy Update ACB’s Advocacy team, Clark and Swatha, met with the 2021 DKM First Timers, Belinda Collins and Kaila Allen, and one of this year’s scholarship winners, Bhavya Shah. Clark and Swatha spoke to them about getting and staying involved in ACB, their experiences advocating for themselves both personally and professionally, and asked them for advice on getting involved in advocacy efforts both independently and through ACB. Listen by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/ACB-advocacy-update-9-2-21.
Call to Action: Exercise and Fitness for All Act
On July 28, Sens. Duckworth (D-IL), Casey (D-PA), Feinstein (D-CA), and Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Exercise and Fitness for All Act (S-2504) in the 117th Congress. This bill aims to make exercise equipment and fitness instruction fully accessible to people with disabilities. The Exercise and Fitness for All Act promotes the provision of exercise or fitness equipment, and exercise or fitness classes and instruction, that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored what ACB and our members already knew – that the lack of access to accessible exercise and fitness equipment and instruction are a persistent barrier to equal access and results in deteriorating physical and mental health. To learn more about the Fitness for All Act, and how you can ask your members of Congress to support it, visit https://acb.org/exercise-fitness-all-act-8-21.
Aira Plans for ACB Members
Aira is a service that connects blind and low vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents. Through an app on your smartphone, Aira delivers instant access to visual information at the touch of a button – enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence. Aira offers two special pricing plans for ACB members. The Intro Power Plan includes 30 minutes per month for $20.00, and the Standard Power Plan includes 140 minutes per month for $99.00. These plans are available for ACB members in good standing who sign up through December 31, 2021. Please contact Customer Care at (800) 835-1934 for more information and to confirm your status to purchase a plan.
Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act
On the ACB Advocacy Update, Clark and Swatha, along with guest Tom Tobin discussed the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act (H.R. 4853). They spoke about how requiring medical device accessibility will enable people who are blind and experiencing vision loss to take control of their health. ACB urges all of our members and friends to contact their members of Congress in support of H.R. 4853. Listen online by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/ACB-advocacy-8-26-21.
The M-Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase, which takes place from October 4-6, is dedicated to promoting digital environments and assistive technologies for senior citizens and users of all abilities. It is an annual meeting place for all who implement digital inclusion strategies or develop assistive solutions and accessible digital contents and services for workplaces, learning environments or consumer markets. With its theme of “Strategies for Inclusive Digital Transformations,” the 2021 M-Enabling Summit will highlight the major shifts in business, government and education driven by the pandemic that will affect anyone involved in inclusion, accessibility, services to Persons with Disabilities or compliance matters. Learn more by visiting: https://m-enabling.com.
USA Women’s Goalball Team Claims Silver Medal
In what is already being called one of the greatest games in goalball history, Team USA took on Brazil in the semifinals at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and won. In the finals, Team USA lost to defending gold medalist Turkey, but earned a silver medal! The silver medal marks the 12th Paralympic medal in USA Goalball history and the seventh won by the women’s team. Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/p3fcudsx.