Opens Friday, June 16, at 11:00 AM CT/12:00PM ET Closes Saturday, June 17, at 11:00 AM CT/12:00PM ET Opening Bids Included Appetizer Auction Rules and Information Contact Leslie Spoone at (407) 678-0075 or (407) 678-4163 or email at [email protected] with your bid. Please provide your name, phone number, email, item number and bid amount. Bids must be in $5.00 increments. Leslie will send out Appetizer Auction information communicating the high bid on each item at 5:00pm ET, 8:00pm ET and 9:00am ET each day. Billing for both the Appetizer Auction and The Summer Auction will take place the weeks of June 26 through July 21 for the total amount of all winning purchases. ACB Auction Disclaimer The American Council of the Blind conducts fundraising auctions with the purpose of providing financial support for our programs and services. We thank those individuals, organizations, and businesses who donate items for our auctions. To participate as a bidder, we ask that you be courteous to one another, to those who are conducting the auction and to those who will be contacting the winning bidders to arrange for payment. It is expected that any winning bidder will, after being contacted by anyone connected to the auction, provide proper billing information prior to the auction item being sent to them. If we do not successfully collect the bid amount, we reserve the right to repurpose the item to the benefit of ACB. We reserve the right to block any individual not following the guidelines during the auction or from participating in any future auction. Appetizer Auction Items Day Two 335 $50 Rada Cutlery Gift Certificate Donated by ACB Board Director Donna Brown Opening Bid $30 For the cook of the house or the wanna-be cook, cutlery from Rada is made in the USA and guaranteed for life. Choose from a variety of knives, utensils, pans, food mixes, and more. Items will be shipped from the factory directly to your home. 336 Three Dozen Homemade Cookies Donated by Patty Slaby Opening Bid $40 Get 3 dozen of one kind or a dozen each of several varieties. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, ginger, snickerdoodles, or Patty will customize your cookies with added ingredients. 337 Three Bracelets Donated by Judy Okraski Opening Bid $25 The first bracelet is a slide on gold and variegated blue beaded, the second bracelet has blue and white beads spaced with gold beads with gold circular clasp, and the last bracelet is silver bass fish with aqua blue shell charmed spaced with clear round beads separating each charm. Clasp is a round and bar closure. These would make a wonderful gift for yourself or someone special in your life! 338 JBL Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Donated by The Literacy Project Opening Bid $30 These black JBL headphones have a pure bass sound with wireless Bluetooth streaming. Multi-point connections, hands-free calls, microphone, lightweight, comfortable, and foldable design. They will make all your Zoom calls a great experience. 339 $50 Amazon Gift Card Donated by Angelo Lanier Opening Bid $30 It’s time to treat yourself to something special, and here’s a gift card to help you do it. $50 in spending at Amazon! 340 Handmade Pink, Brown, Lavender Rag Quilt Donated by Keri Bishop Opening Bid $30 A rag quilt is a quilt where the seams are exposed in the front and cut into a 3D fringe. This rag quilt is made from three fabrics with the main fabric a lavender flannel with brown monkeys and pink hearts, along with a pink watercolor flannel and a brown watercolor flannel. Quilt has alternating stripes of flannel in the following pattern: lavender monkey print, brown watercolor print, lavender monkey print, pink watercolor print then repeats. 341 Computers for the Blind Certificate Donated by Computers for the Blind Opening Bid $100 The winner will receive a certificate to be redeemed for our standard laptop computer which is a $200 value. The laptop will be delivered directly to the winner with JAWS or ZoomText ready to go. Standard refurbished laptop includes Intel Core i5 processor or higher, 8 GB memory, 240 GB Solid State Drive, 14-inch screen, internal Wi-Fi, speakers, and webcam. 342 Two Quarts Vermont Maple Syrup, $25 Gift Card to IHOP and $25 Starbucks Gift Card Donated by Vermont Council and Leslie Spoone Opening Bid $40 The syrup provides a naturally sweet, rich, and smooth taste. A pronounced maple flavor makes Amber Rich maple syrup a favorite for table and all-around use. At Butternut Mountain Farm, we know our syrup! Also includes a $25 IHOP gift card and to top it off an excellent cup of coffee to enjoy the morning with someone special in your life! 343 Philosophy Supersize Joyful Bubble Shower Gel Set Donated by Connie Jacomini Opening Bid $25 Treat yourself to one of Philosophy's summery scents with this super-size shower gel duo! The 3-in-1 shower gel formula provides a rich, foaming lather to cleanse and condition, leaving skin and hair feeling silky soft while letting you unwind and enjoy your favorite fragrance. 344 Darling Duo for Guide Dog Lovers by Blind Girl Designs Donated by Tricia Waechter Opening Bid $25 Get your bid in for this darling duo-with a purple “I love my guide dog” T-shirt (available in size small to size 5XL). Also, included with this adorable T-shirt you will get a black tote bag with the same print! The 100% cotton tote bag measures 14 by 15 inches with 10-inch straps. The slightly tactile print features a big paw print in the center. The paw print is surrounded by two hand drawn outlines of hearts. On the outlines of the hearts the words “I love my guide dog, repeat, over and over with a little heart in between each statement. www.blindgirldesigns.com 345 $100 VISA Gift Card Donated by Mississippi Council of the Blind Opening Bid $60 Enjoy this card either dining or doing some shopping for you or someone special in your life! 346 Get Up and Get Moving Package Donated from ACB Board Director Koni Sims and Leslie Spoone Opening Bid $30 Enjoy one hour of training with Leslie Spoone, certified personal trainer. Your choice of yoga, resistance, or some relaxing stretches. Koni has picked out Aches and Pains cream, Breathe Inhaler, and Emotional Rescue Blend oil for you to enjoy. She will share the benefits of each with you. This great package deal is for in person white in Schaumburg, Illinois. 347 $100 Gift Certificate to Munson's Chocolates Donated by American Council of the Blind of Connecticut Opening Bid $60 This certificate is especially for you chocolate lovers. CT-based Munson's has been winning awards since 1946. Only the freshest and highest quality ingredients are used. As a tiny sample of gourmet temptations: boxed assortments, fudge, bark or brittle, chocolate covered snacks or fruit, or gourmet chocolate in novelty shapes such as dog paws, flowers, unicorn, ballerina, music note, and so many more, including sugar-free items. Wow, what a fantastic treat for yourself or to give as a gift to someone special! 348 Pampered Chef Ice Cream Maker Donated by Christina Brino Opening Bid $35 Our compact Ice Cream Maker lets you create your favorite frozen treats any time you want. Use fresh, natural ingredients to mix up smooth, custom-flavored ice cream, custard, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet, and even frozen drinks. You’ll taste the quality — homemade ice cream is smoother, richer, creamier, and less expensive than store-bought. Just push a button to set the timer, add your ingredients, and you’ll have a frozen treat in 45 minutes or less you can even peek through the clear lid to see it come together! Cover the bowl with the stretchy silicone lid to store it for later. This ice cream maker comes with a bowl, electric lid with paddle, and a stretch-fit lid. What a wonderful treat to have with friends or just by yourself! 349 Tupperware 12-inch Sectioned Server Donated by MariLyn Piepho Opening Bid $20 You will enjoy using this Tupperware with sections that neatly holds and organizes veggies, candies, or anything you desire. It will keep all your goodies fresh with the Tupperware tight sealing lid. 350 Heart Quilt Block Tote Bag Donated by Merilee Hill-Kennedy Opening Bid $20 You will love this handcrafted tote bag with a big heart design made by Tammy Russo of Mitsy Kits. The front and back of the tote bag features a red heart, with a white background. The borders and straps are white, and the lining is a pretty denim blue with an inside pocket. It is approximately 18 by 18 inches. What a fantastic gift either for yourself or to give to someone special! 351 Two Hours of Technology Training Donated by Myrna Votta Opening Bid $30 Myrna will instruct someone in using JAWS, BrailleSense 6, the Braille Note Touch Plus, The Stream, The new Sense Player, The Brailliant or Mantis Braille Display, the iPhone or iPad. The winner can reach out to Myrna Votta at [email protected] or call her at 347-986-0579. Wow, this truly is a fantastic way to get some of those great technology tips! 352 Mary Kay Masking Fun Bundle Donated by Amanda Selm Opening Bid $35 Get ready for the ultimate facial experience right in your own home. Now you can create a personalized spa experience based on your personal skincare needs. This bundle includes three full-size facial masks, four samples, a masking applicator, a cute bag for traveling or storing all your beauty products, and a Mary Kay logo pink fuzzy cosmetic headband. This triple-action charcoal mask acts like a magnet to deep-clean and unclog pores. This mask is clinically shown to instantly absorb excess oil and reduce shine. TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask will help you in ten pampering minutes to lock in vital moisture and help your skin look fresher and more youthful. Skin appears less stressed, feels nourished, purified, calm and also instantly hydrates while also locking in moisture. It helps reduce the appearance of pores as well as fine lines and wrinkles. 353 Handmade Silver Tone Steam Punk-Style Owl Necklace Donated by Leslie Charlson Opening Bid $30 This owl is perching on a curvy branch with three inlaid crystals. The quarter sized belly of this cute little "hoot" simulates the gears of a watch. What a great conversational piece to have for yourself or someone special! 354 Handmade Soaps and Oils Donated by Keri Bishop and Hayley Agers Opening Bid $30 The soap making kit contains two pounds each of the following kinds of soap base - oatmeal soap, goat’s milk soap and triple butter soap. There are eight different silicone mold trays - a fall themed tray with acorns, turkeys, pumpkins and maple leaves, a tray of sunflowers, a tray of hearts, a tray of assorted flowers, a tray of conversation hearts, a tray of gingerbread men, a tray of snowflakes, and a tray with the giant word “love.” Plus, you will get some fantastic oils such as grapefruit, lavender, and Island mint to enjoy with the soaps! 355 Insignia 32-Inch Smart Television with Amazon Fire Donated by Dan Spoone Opening Bid $75 Insignia HD Smart TV - Fire TV Edition delivers 720p picture quality with deep blacks and rich colors. With the Fire TV experience built-in, enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, including Disney+, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Hulu, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more. 356 Vintage Heisey 6-inch Clear Decorative Glass Plate Donated by MariLyn Piepho Opening Bid $20 This 6-inch decorative crystal-clear glass plate is perfect for serving your butter pats, cheese cubes and more at your dinner table. The vintage Heisey fine glassware is well known to collectors and antique hunters. The Heisey Company produced this fine glassware from 1885 to 1957 with the hallmark H placed in a diamond mark as well as the finely ground bottom to ensure a perfect solid placement on a flat surface. This truly will make a splash on your table! 357 Vintage Heisey 6-inch clear decorative glass bowl Donated by MariLyn Piepho Opening Bid $20 The vintage Heisey fine glassware is well known to collectors and antique hunters. The Heisey Company produced this fine glassware from 1885 to 1957 with the hallmark H placed in a diamond mark as well as the finely ground bottom to ensure a perfect solid placement on a flat surface. This 6-inch decorative crystal-clear glass bowl is perfect for presenting your sauces, pickles, olives and the like at your dinner table. Wow, what a great conversational piece to have for yourself or to give to someone special! 358 Homemade Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Made by Linda Allison and donated by Tennessee Council of the Blind Opening Bid $30 These homemade peanut butter cookies have a generous helping of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips and they are very addictive. You will enjoy two dozen cookies, packaged fresh and shipped directly to the winner. What a treat to enjoy yourself or to share with friends or family! 359 BlindShell Classic 2 Audio Tutorial on NLS cartridge Donated by Mystic Access Opening Bid $20 Discover the features, functionality, and fun available with the BlindShell Classic 2 phone in this comprehensive audio documentation from Mystic Access. Learn about the phone’s orientation, configuration, how to make calls, send texts, check email, browse the Internet, use and install a huge variety of exciting applications, and much more. Packed with demos and tips from blind professionals who use the phone. Over thirteen hours in duration. 360 Cozy Reading Set Donated by Essentially Braille Opening Bid $25 This cozy reading set is a must for anyone who wants to enjoy a good braille book. It contains a copy of “Thriving Blind” in two Braille volumes by Kristen Smedley. Two white chocolate Braille candy bars. The candy bars are 4- 1/2 by 8 inches. One says “Have a nice day” in Braille. The other one says “Thank You” in Braille. Two mugs with cobalt blue on the outside and white on the inside for high- contrast pouring. Four cinnamon vanilla teabags and four gingerbread teabags. Cozy up by the fireplace, pour yourself some tea, and enjoy a piece of white chocolate while you read. 361 One-hour Personal One-on-One Online Non-Visual Makeup Application Class Donated by Chelsea Nguyen, Owner and Founder of CN Vision Image Consulting, LLC Opening Bid $20 Empower yourself and elevate your makeup skills during this class. You will receive a personal one-on-one consultation though Zoom in the comfort of your own home and learn how to apply make up all by yourself with the verbal and visual guidance of Chelsea. Regardless if you are totally blind or have any level of vision, you can learn how to apply your own makeup independently with confidence so you can always look and feel your best for any occasion you choose. Wow, this truly is a fantastic experience for either yourself or someone special in your life! 362 $50 Amazon Gift Card Donated by Delaware Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired Opening Bid $30 It’s time to treat yourself to something special, and here’s a gift card to help you do it. $50 in spending at Amazon! 363 Ayurveda Inspired Chocolate Bars and Chocolate Drinking Mixes Donated by Maria Kristic Opening Bid $25 Enjoy this collection of premium, dairy-free and soy-free chocolate bars and chocolate drinking mixes, handmade in micro batches and filled with superfoods inspired by Ayurveda, India’s ancient yet wonderfully alive system of health and healing! They are made of raw, organic, fair-trade cacao and sweetened with small amounts of either honey or coconut sugar. You will receive eleven bars and three drink mixes. Chocolate bars include rose with cardamom, orange quinoa with turmeric, sea salt with turmeric, raspberry with beetroot, ginger with black pepper, peppermint with lavender, maple toffee with moringa, black lava salt with turmeric, golden raisins, and almonds with saffron, lemon coconut with tulsi, and spicy cayenne with cinnamon. Infused chocolate drinking mixes include turmeric, ashwagandha, and rose. This package will be shipped directly to the winning bidder from Elements Truffles in Union City, NJ. 364 Ralph Lauren Patent Leather Shoulder/Handbag Donated by Robin Peterson Opening Bid $35 You will enjoy this beautiful patent leather beige with gold trim shoulder/handbag. The bag has a brown fabric lining with two pockets and a zipper pocket. It has a zipper that closes the bag. It has the initials R*L*L on a tag by the zipper. This multi-compartment bag would be wonderful for all your essentials when you are out and about or traveling. 365 $50 VISA Gift Card Donated by Arkansas Quasar Chapter Opening Bid $30 As the old commercial said "Visa — it's everywhere you go!" Another great opportunity to shop and splurge, either on yourself or someone special in your life! 366 Plow and Hearth Solar Half Wreath Donated by Connie Jacomini Opening Bid $20 You will enjoy this solar half wreath with glass leaves and butterflies as a conversation piece for your outdoor use. The wreath dazzles during the day and has a lighting effect into the night with triple A batteries. 367 Big Tupperware Storage Bowl with Lid Donated by MariLyn Piepho Opening Bid $20 Enjoy this big Tupperware bowl that will keep all your big food items fresh. This Tupperware 12-inch bowl with its tightly sealed lid will do the trick. You can even keep food items such as green salad or that summer potato salad moist and fresh at that picnic. 368 Two Pounds of Godiva Assorted Chocolates Donated by Pat Spoone Opening Bid $40 This Goldmark Collection of Godiva assorted chocolates is a perfect treat! You will receive two decorative boxes with individual pictures and descriptions of each unique chocolate featured in the Goldmark Collection.
On May 23, HBO Max became Max and launched with over 6,500 hours of audio described content thanks to the 2020 agreement that was negotiated by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) on behalf of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and Bay State Council of the Blind. What is Max? Max is a streaming platform from Warner Bros. Discovery that will replace HBO Max. It is the destination for HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, Max Originals, the DC universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an expansive offering of kids content, and best-in-class programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery and more. When Will Max Launch? Max will launch on May 23. Will I have access to Max? Current HBO Max subscribers will have access to Max at the same price as their HBO Max subscription and will have access to their current plan features for at least 6 months depending on their current subscription length. Others can sign up as a new Max subscriber. Max will offer three pricing options, giving subscribers the choice to select which plan best fits the needs of their household. Max with Ads: 2 concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality $9.99/month o $99.99/year Max Ad-Free: 2 concurrent streams, 1080 resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality $15.99/month o $149.99/year Max Ultimate Ad-Free: 4 concurrent streams, up to 4K UHD resolution, 100 offline downloads (may include restrictions in certain content categories), Dolby Atmos sound quality. $19.99/month o $199.99/year Note: Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon provide Audio Description tracks in Dolby 5.1. Audio Description tracks are not provided in Dolby Atmos. discovery+ subscribers (who are not also already HBO Max subscribers) will not have access to Max but can sign-up as new Max customers for an expanded catalog. We’ll offer ample opportunities for them to check out Max. Customers can visit the help page to find out more. What To Expect on Launch Day If you are a current HBO Max subscriber, depending on what device you are using, on May 23 your HBO Max app will either automatically update to the Max app or will prompt you to download a new Max app. Devices that will automatically update are: Roku, FireTV, Fire Tablet, Vizio, Web, Comcast and Cox. The devices that will prompt you to download a new app are: iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, LG, Google TV, Android TV, Android Mobile, Samsung, PlayStation, XBOX. HBO Max subscribers will have their previous profiles, settings, watch history, “Continue Watching” and “My List” items waiting for them to stream on Max. All HBO Max customers will receive an email with instructions on how to migrate from HBO Max to Max. All the information on migrating to Max can also be found beginning on May 23 at the following link: help.max.com/hbo-is-max. How Will Max Be Different from HBO Max -Audio Descriptive Content and Navigation More Audio Descriptive Content Than Ever Before We are pleased to announce that there will be more than 6,500 hours of Audio Descriptive Content available on Max as of launch. This library now includes favorites from lifestyle brands like Magnolia, TLC, and HGTV as well as the HBO Originals and Max Originals we know and love. The Audio Description library is always growing. Audio Description indicators on Content Details Pages Every Series or Movie has a “Content Details Page” that contains extra information to help you determine what to watch. That information can range from plot descriptions to ratings to cast and crew details. New for Max, Content Details Pages will also include an icon to indicate if Audio Description is available. Screen readers will read the icon as “Audio Description Available”. AppleTV, iPhones and Android Mobile will temporarily read as “A D”. Audio Description Library Page Just like with HBO Max, Max will maintain an “Audio Description Library Page.” It will include all the functionality you’ve come to expect from HBO Max plus even more. Like in HBO Max, you can filter by genre or see all titles alphabetically. As an enhancement in Max, you will also be presented with a personalized “For You” rail immediately following the title of the page and within each genre filter. This will help surface the most relevant and popular content for you, enhancing your content discovery experience. With additional content coming onto Max, more genre filters have been added to find content faster, including new filters for Food and Home, Sports, and Science and Nature. With the launch of Max, only Series that have more than 90% of episodes described will appear on the Audio Description Library Page. This will help to prevent you from starting a series, only to encounter significant gaps in description. Regardless of the 90% threshold, all episodes with Audio Description will be indicated on the program’s Content Details Page and available within the Video Player. Find Audio Description in More Places On HBO Max, the Audio Description Library Page was found in the main menu. In Max, you will find the Audio Description Library Page in the “Browse by Genre” row within each of the Home, Series, Movies and Search pages. The “Browse by Genre” row will always appear as the last row. Within the Series and Movies pages, you can also utilize the Audio Description Tab to quickly filter for Audio Descriptive Content. That’s five more ways we are integrating Audio Description into the experience for all users. On web, you will still find a link in the footer to take you to the Audio Description Library Page. Like HBO Max, you can still use the search terms ‘Audio Description’ or ‘DVS’ to search for Audio Descriptive Content. All content with Audio Description will also be listed on the ACB Audio Description Project website. Screen Reader Support At launch, Max will support screen reader technology on Web, Roku, Vizio, LG, Samsung, XBOX, PlayStation 5, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android Mobile, Android TV, Google TV, FireTV, DirecTV, Comcast, and Cox. While we aim to provide an equivalent experience to HBO Max, as with any new technology platform, the experience might not be perfect on day one, particularly with respect to mobile and tablet devices. We will continue to work hard to improve the experience with every release. Unfortunately, we will not be able to support PlayStation 4 Text To Speech or Samsung Voice Assistant at launch. Samsung Voice Assistant may be the default screen reader technology on Samsung phones sold on or before November 2020. Efforts are ongoing to support these technologies and we apologize for any inconvenience. In the interim, some Samsung devices may download TalkBack for screen reader support. Help with screen reader can also be found in our Help Center beginning May 23. Color Contrast and Magnification Support Like HBO Max, Max will support magnification up to 200%. Each page and component within Max has been designed with appropriate color contrast ratios. We Want to Hear From You This community is important to us. Please feel free to reach out to us with comments, suggestions or requests at any time. Beginning May 23, You can visit our Help Center. You can call us at 1-855-442-6629 or you can email us at [email protected]. Our team is also available on Facebook and Twitter as @maxhelp.
May 18, 2023 On Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2023, the undersigned national disability organizations celebrate the transformative impact of accessible technology and call on the federal government to require websites and software applications to be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. The roughly 61 million people with disabilities in the United States have a right to access employment, businesses, programs, and services, regardless of whether they are delivered in-person or online. Accessible technology is essential to provide people with greater opportunities, independence, and privacy. Recent research has shown the reverse to be true as well. When people with disabilities cannot access websites or apps, they lose their privacy, experience social exclusion, waste time seeking alternatives, must wait for and pay for assistance, and even must forego goods and services that they need. When customers with disabilities cannot access websites and apps, businesses lose access to a significant portion of their market. More than 40% of blind, low-vision, and deafblind respondents to a recent survey said they will switch to a different business if they encounter access barriers while using a website or app. And about 60% feel like they don’t have as many choices as sighted people in which businesses to turn to for digital services. Global Accessibility Awareness Day is an important annual event to celebrate and commit to accessible technology design and development and its benefits for individuals and organizations. To advance this goal, we call on the Department of Justice to move quickly to issue rules on website and application accessibility under titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We also urge Congress to acknowledge the need for accessibility in the virtual environment by reintroducing and passing the Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act. Ultimately, we urge all organizations, businesses, and governments to act now to make their websites and apps fully accessible to people with disabilities. Access Living Access Ready Accessible Avenue accesSOS ACMCRN Arachnoiditis & Chronic Meningitis Collaborative Research Network Alström Syndrome International American Association of People with Disabilities American Association on Health and Disability American Council of the Blind American Foundation for the Blind American Printing House for the Blind American Therapeutic Recreation Association Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs Autistic People of Color Fund Autistic Self Advocacy Network Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Blinded Veterans Association Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. CommunicationFIRST Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf Congenital Hyperinsulinism International Disability Policy Consortium Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund Epilepsy Foundation Genetic Alliance International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis Knowbility Lakeshore Foundation Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, Inc. Multiple Sclerosis Foundation National Association of the Deaf National Disability Institute National Disability Rights Network National Federation of the Blind National Industries for the Blind National Research & Training Center on Blindness & Low Vision NCIL Paralyzed Veterans of America Partnership to Improve Patient Care Perkins School for the Blind Prevent Blindness PXE International RetireSafe Syngap1 Foundation TDI (Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc) Teach Access The Arc of the United States The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation United Spinal Association VisionServe Alliance Whistle Blowers of America For more information, contact: Stephanie Enyart, [email protected] John Pare, [email protected] Clark Rachfal, [email protected] Claire Stanley, [email protected]
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) invites you to join us in celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! The purpose of this annual day of observance is to raise awareness of how the lives of people with disabilities have been improved by accessibility while still recognizing the work that remains to make the virtual environment inclusive for all. ACB’s GAAD Celebration On a special video edition of the ACB Advocacy Update as we commemorate GAAD with a discussion about the importance of digital access with particular focus on the experiences of people who have multiple disabilities. Clark Rachfal, ACB Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs, Swatha Nandhakumar, ACB Advocacy & Outreach Specialist, Dan Spoone, ACB Interim Executive Director, and Carl Richardson, Co-Chair of ACB’s Sight and Sound Impaired Committee take part in this conversation. Access ACB’s GAAD video presentation on YouTube. Bipartisan Open Letter Supporting Digital Access The Honorable Tony Coehlo and Former Speaker Newt Gingrich released a bipartisan open letter urging Congress to identify digital accessibility challenges faced by members of the disability community and create new legislation to make the virtual environment accessible for all. In April, ACB and other disability organizations met with the Honorable Tony Coehlo and Former Speaker Newt Gingrich to discuss digital inclusion, and continue to take part in this conversation to make digital accessibility a bipartisan issue. Read the open letter. Global Accessibility Awareness Day Statement for Digital Inclusion On Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2023, 52 national disability organizations have joined together to celebrate the transformative impact of accessible technology and call on the federal government to require websites and software applications to be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. The roughly 61 million people with disabilities in the United States have a right to access employment, businesses, programs, and services, regardless of whether they are delivered in-person or online. We urge all organizations, businesses, and governments to act now to make their websites and apps fully accessible to people with disabilities. Read the GAAD statement from national disability advocates. ACB’s 2023 Legislative Imperatives ACB has four legislative imperatives in 2023. These areas of focus highlight ACB’s ongoing work to create a more accessible and inclusive world, as we strive to break down barriers and ensure equal access to information, technology, and opportunities for people with disabilities. Medical Device Non-Visual Accessibility Act Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act Exercise and Fitness for All Act Accessible Video Conferencing Platforms On May 17, Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Anna G. Eshoo released a press release applauding the FCC for announcing proposals that would for the first time ensure video conferencing platforms comply with accessibility requirements for people with disabilities. This announcement mirrors requirements in the lawmakers’ legislation, the Communication, Video, and Technology Accessibility (CVTA) Act. The CVTA is an ACB legislative imperative, and accessible access to video conferencing platforms is critical for ACB and our members to engage in our modern digital world. We commend Chair Rosenworcel from the FCC for moving this issue forward under the Commission’s existing authority, and we commend Sen. Markey and Rep. Eshoo for their leadership to ensure communications technology is accessible for everyone. Read the press release: Sen. Markey, Rep. Eshoo Applaud FCC for Proposed Video Conferencing Accessibility Rules. DOJ and Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education issued a joint Dear Colleague letter on the online accessibility of colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions. Many colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions increasingly rely on their websites and third-party online platforms to provide services, programs, and activities to members of the public including learning platforms, podcasts and videos, and third-party platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. The letter reiterates that Title II of the ADA and Section 504 requires that these institutions provide equal opportunities to people with disabilities in all their operations and highlights recent web accessibility enforcement activities and technical assistance.
We are pleased to present to you the Class of 2023 DKM First-Timers who have met all requirements to be considered for and selected as recipients of this prestigious honor. While honoring the legacy of ACB’s founding father, Durward K. McDaniel, since 1996, the Durward K. McDaniel (DKM) Fund Committee seeks to identify and honor two ACB members who demonstrate leadership potential with the DKM First-Timers award on an annual basis, one from east and one from west of the Mississippi River. To be considered for the award, interested members must meet the following criteria: Age 18 or older Blind or visually impaired A member in good standing (current on membership dues) Never attended an in-person ACB conference and convention Agree to attend the entire convention Participate in daily general sessions and designated leadership related sessions Applicants also undergo a 30-minute interview with members of the DKM committee To apply for this award, applicants must complete an application form and have a state or special-interest affiliate president submit a letter of recommendation by the announced deadline. Recipients are selected in late April and are recognized during the opening general session of the ACB Conference and Convention and honored during the annual DKM First-Timers Reception. Be sure to include us in your plans as you register for the convention. The 2023 DKM First-Timers Reception will be held from 5:30PM-6:45PM Central on Wednesday July 5, 2023. Recipients receive amenities, such as complimentary registration fee, travel expenses, lodging (double occupancy), tickets to attend the DKM First-Timers Reception, ACB Banquet, other special events and a stipend for incidentals. Introducing the Class of 2023 DKM First-Timers! Janae Miller Janae Miller resides in Columbus, Ohio and she represents the East as a 2023 DKM First-Timer. She joined the ACB of Ohio affiliate as a college student while at Wright State University. She then stepped away for a while and has recently returned and is currently an active, involved and engaged member. She serves on the statewide legislative committee and has participated in the virtual and in-person DC Leadership Conference and represented the affiliate at legislative meetings with congressional officials. Janae is the current president of the Columbus Ohio Chapter - the largest in the state. She loves music and the arts and has sung both professionally and nonprofessionally. In her community she is an active member and volunteer of the Harmony Project, a Columbus nonprofit organization where people can embrace their differences and build social harmony. Her degree in the field of communication studies and minor in sociology with a focus in the area of social change has led her to set a life goal to make the world a better place for all disabled and especially the blind and hearing impaired. She created Sight Unseen, a disability inclusion consulting and training company through which she uses her lived experiences to provide advice to companies and businesses regarding the power of disability inclusion. As a certified Windmills Trainer, she is equipped to empower employment professionals to become more inclusive of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Gema Ceniceros Gema Ceniceros resides in El Paso, Texas and she represents the West as a 2023 DKM First-Timer. She is a member of the American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT) and also an active member of the El Paso Council of the Blind and currently serves as secretary of that ACBT chapter. Gema was born and raised in Mexico. She came to the United States with her husband and three young children prior to losing her vision. She faced great challenges while adjusting to both blindness and living in a new country. She struggled until she learned about and received valuable education and training at the Cris Cole Rehabilitation Center in Austin. She is extremely grateful for the life-changing blindness skills she obtained and is highly motivated to share her story and information about services so others experiencing vision loss will not go through as many struggles as she did. She now eagerly teaches Braille to others in her chapter and Sunday School to children and adults at her church. Having learned English and obtained her GED, she pursued additional training and earned certification as a medical interpreter from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her successes have given Gema hope and the courage to dream. Her goal is to convey to others the feeling of overcoming that she now feels and let them know that the world does not end with sight loss and that life is still beautiful. We just need to learn to see it differently. She plans to continue her education at the University of Texas at El Paso and earn a degree that will enable her to serve people with disabilities in a bigger way. Join us in congratulating Janae Miller and Gema Ceniceros as the ACB DKM First Times for 2023!
Below you will find introductory bio's of recipients recently selected for the Class of 2023 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows. Let's begin with an overview of the criteria that each applicant is required to have met in order to be considered. Applicants must satisfy three basic criteria — 18 years of age or older; blind or visually impaired; and members in good standing of ACB. Eligible applicants must be recommended by the president of their respective state or special-interest affiliate. The application process for this award also consists of completing an online application, and having a letter of recommendation submitted by a president of a state or special-interest affiliate, along with participating in a 30 minute interview with members of the DKM committee. The application will include the objectives in applying for the leadership award; a brief summary of the applicant’s education and relevant experience; number of years of membership in ACB as well as previous conventions attended, if any; description of one’s role as a leader; and an assessment of what one brings to ACB. The affiliate president’s letter of recommendation should address the applicant’s contributions to the affiliate, ACB and community organizations; and describe the applicant’s demonstrated leadership skills and leadership potential. Interviews are scheduled for mid-April of each year. All recipients receive round-trip transportation; hotel accommodation (double occupancy), per diem stipend for meals and incidentals, convention registration fee and reception and banquet tickets. Recipients are expected to attend the convention from June 30-July 7, 2023, and there arrival date at the convention hotel is June 29, 2023. Recipients are required to participate actively in convention activities, including the daily general sessions, special-interest presentations, seminars and workshops designated on their personalized Schedule of Events. Presenting the Class of 2023 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows Cheryl Cumings Cheryl Cumings is a resident of Seattle, Washington and is currently employed by the Lighthouse for the Blind as the Workforce Development Manager. She experienced vision loss during high school, and further determined that she would center her life around championing a theme of access through advocacy efforts in support of people who are blind. While attending Princeton University, she acquired a BA in International Relations, then continued on to receive a Master’s of Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Within ACB, Cheryl serves on the Board of Publications, Chair of the Multicultural Affairs Committee and a member of the ACB Mentoring Team. Prior to relocating to Seattle and joining the Washington Council of the Blind, she and her husband were dedicated members of Bay State Council of the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a love for books, the arts, politics, and her local community. Liz Bottner Liz Bottner resides in Washington, DC and currently works as an Assistive Technology Specialist at the National Library Service, Library of Congress. She has a master’s in Blind Rehabilitation Teaching with a specialization in assistive technology from Northern Illinois University. Her volunteer work consist of sharing skills as a remote Assistive Technology Instructor with the Washington, DC Talking Book and Braille Library, and as Vice President of the Penny Forward board of directors. Liz is a member of ACB of Maryland by way of the National Capitol Area Chapter. She currently serves on the Pedestrian Environment Access committee, the Section 508 Audio Description subcommittee, and as a trained ACB Community zoom host. Liz is Vice President of the Government Employees special-interest affiliate, and a board member of Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI). Her hobbies include reading, traveling, running, and playing blind ice hockey. Benjamin Wright Benjamin Wright resides in Henderson, Kentucky with his wife and daughter. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Family Services from Eastern Illinois University. Ben’s employment career spans from work with the American Printing House (APH), the Kentucky School for the Blind, and Deaconess Hospital as a Patient Intake Specialist. As a member of the Kentucky Council of the Blind (KCB) and other affiliates since 2014, Benjamin has served on the KCB Programs committee and presently serves as a director on the KCB board of directors. As a founding member of the KCB Next Generation chapter, he has served as Secretary and President. Future aspirations are to serve on an ACB advocacy committee, and due to his love for theatre and the performing arts, he is also interested in assisting the audio description project. Ben leads a youth and young adults group in his church. He enjoys singing, spending quality time with his family and volunteering in his community. Malaina VanderWal Malaina VanderWal is a resident of Caledonia, Michigan. She is a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College with a Associate in Arts degree. She moved forward with an educational aspiration to acquire a degree to become a teacher of the visually impaired by attending the Eastern Michigan University. She shares the knowledge she gained during this time by incorporating her desire to teach into programs offered by Michigan Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired.(MCBVI). Malaina volunteers in her local community in support of their advocacy efforts for better transportation. She is a member of Concerned Citizens for Improved Transportation (CCIT). Malaina is an active member in her chapter, Visually Impaired Persons for Progress (VIPP). She has served as resolutions committee chair, and President of her chapter. She serves within MCBVI (her state affiliate) on committees, such as; technology, fundraising, accessible prescription labeling, accessible voting, resolutions, legislative, and convention. She is Vice Chair of the MCBVI Convention committee, Co-Editor of the affiliate newsletter, and she serves as Secretary. Malaina is a supporting member of ACB Next Generation, in which she has served on the nominations committee in 2022. Additionally, she actively serves on the ACB Ohio board of directors, and enjoys being a member of Blind Information Technology Specialist (BITS). She enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing her favorites songs, and learning about technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired. Terrie Terlau Terrie Terlau is a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. She obtained Bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Terrie has been a licensed Psychologist in Kentucky since 1991. Her employment career spans from working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, in mental health clinics, at a rape crisis center, at the Ohio State Counseling and Consultation Service, and in private practice. Her work with the American Printing House (APH) included researching and developing products for visually impaired adults. Terrie is a long time member of Guide Dog Users, Inc., Guide Dog Users of Kentuckiana, and has been very active in the Kentucky Council of the Blind (KCB) since retiring in 2016. As a lifetime member of KCB, she is currently serving her second term as First Vice President. Terrie is Chair of the KCB Scholarship and Tech Grant committee and contributes much more to KCB and its affiliates. Her advocacy efforts have been directed toward reducing barriers for pedestrians and bicyclist, the elimination of global warming, poverty, and more. Terrie loves language and is an avid reader of mysteries and science fiction, with special interests in singing, playing the guitar, writing and sharing her poetry.
We are pleased to announce after an extensive search with nearly 300 applicants, Natalie Couch has joined ACB's Membership Services team as Membership Services Administrative Assistant. In this role, Natalie reports to Cindy Hollis, Manager of Membership Engagement, supporting membership and community activities. Natalie has worked in customer service for more than 15 years, her most recent position being with Louisville Gas and Electric as a Customer Service Representative. She has been an ACB member since 2009, is active in her Kentucky affiliate serving as President of the Greater Louisville chapter, was selected as a 2021 JP Morgan Chase Leadership Fellow, and has been an active Community host volunteer for more than two years. Natalie started her new position on Monday, April 24, 2023. We encourage you to congratulate and welcome Natalie to the ACB staff.
ACB Media is proud to announce the addition of two new podcast feeds, "ACB Business" and "Podcasts en español de la ACB" available through Apple Podcasts. “ACB Business” is where all official business meetings of ACB will be posted, including ACB Board meetings and ACB Committee meetings. The RSS feed URL is: https://pinecast.com/feed/acb-business. The last two Board meetings are available now. "Podcasts en español de la ACB" is where all Spanish language podcasts will be posted. Here you will find the podcasts of the Legislative Seminar and President’s meetings that were simultaneously translated during the event. The RSS feed URL is: https://pinecast.com/feed/acb-espanol. Update your podcatcher to subscribe to these feeds. These feeds will soon also be available on acbmedia.org. If you use Outlook, you can easily subscribe to a podcast feed by right clicking “RSS Subscriptions” in your folder list and “Add a new RSS Feed…” where you would add the RSS feed URL’s above. Happy listening!
ACB’s Virginia office is moving! ACB’s new office address is 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 660, Alexandria, VA 22314. Please note, the Virginia office staff will be performing the office move from Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28. During this time, you may have difficulty reaching us by phone or email. Please contact the Minnesota office staff at 612-332-3242 if you need immediate attention.