It is time again for us to take our concerns directly to our legislators in Washington, DC. For those that are not familiar with Washington Seminar, this is where 500 members of the NFB come together to present three to four issues important to the blind and disabled community to our federal Congressional representatives. This year we have four issues. In addition to meeting with members of Congress and Senators, Washington Seminar is the site of student seminars and meetings of many NFB groups and divisions.
Legislative Issues for Washington Seminar 2018
- The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (Aim High) Act (HR 1772 / S 2138)
- Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA) (HR 1734 / S 732)
- Opposition to ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620)
- The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled
The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (Aim High) Act (HR 1772 / S2138)
Electronic instructional materials have replaced traditional methods of learning in postsecondary education, but the overwhelming majority of ebooks, courseware, web content, and other technologies are inaccessible to students with print disabilities. The law requires equal access in the classroom but fails to provide direction to schools for the way it applies to technology. The Aim High Act creates voluntary accessibility guidelines for educational technology to stimulate the market, improve blind students’ access to course materials, and reduce litigation for schools.
The Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA) (HR 1734 / S 732)
Currently, blind Americans rely on scarce sources of funding to acquire access technology. By providing a refundable tax credit for qualifying access technology purchases, Congress will stimulate individual procurement of access technology and promote affordability of these tools for blind Americans.
Opposition to ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620)
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 would undermine the ADA by significantly eroding equal access protections and progress made over nearly three decades.
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled
Despite the ability to convert print books into accessible formats like Braille, large print, audio, and digital copies, millions of blind and otherwise print-disabled Americans are excluded from accessing 95 percent of published works. The Marrakesh Treaty will enable the cross-border exchange of accessible format copies, thereby vastly expanding the availability of accessible foreign language literature to blind and otherwise print disabled Americans.
Photos from Washington Seminar 2018
Denice Brown(President of the Greater philadelphia chapter of the NFB of Pennsylvania) is meeting with Congressman Dwight Evans. Congressman Evans was very supportive of the issues presented by the NFB at the 2018 Washington Seminar.
Angelina, member of the Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students and daughter of Pennsylvania Parents of Blind Children president Emily Gindlesperger, with Congressman Mike Kelly (Pennsylvania 3rd district) at the 2018 NFB Washington Seminar
Angelina with Congressman Keith Rothfus (Pennsylvania 12th district) at the 2018 NFB Washington Seminar.
Emily Gindlesperger and her daughter Angelina with Congressman Keith Rothfus at 2018 NFB Washington Seminar.
Angelina and Denice Brown feeling the 3D interactive model of the photograph at the Newseum’s “The Marines and Tet” Exhibit. The 3D photos were designed by 3D PhotoWorks.
Angelina is standing next to a 3D photo display at the Newseum’s “The Marines and Tet” Exhibit during the 2018 NFB Washington Seminar.
In the upper left corner is the blue blood super moon and the Capitol building on the right side of the picture.
Finding Contact Information For Federal Congressional Representative
To contact your member in the House of Representatives or the US Senators from Pennsylvania, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. To find your House member, you can either contact your local public library or go to www.house.gov and enter your zip code (you might have to enter your full mailing address if your town is represented by more than one federal Congressional representative).
For more information about Washington Seminar and to view the fact sheets, please visit www.nfb.org/washington-seminar.