2021 Washington Seminar Great Gathering-In
February 8, 2021 5:00 PM through 10:00 PM
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The 2021 Legislative Agenda of Blind Americans addresses the Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA), the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act, the Accessible Websites Act, the Accessible Voting Act, and more.
At our Washington Seminar, members of the NFB convene to learn about and advocate for legislative initiatives that will improve the lives of blind Americans.
Access Technology Affordability Act
The cost of critically needed access technology is out of reach for most blind Americans. The Access Technology Affordability Act will improve affordability of critically needed access technology necessary for employment and independent living.
Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act
Advanced digital interfaces create barriers that prevent blind individuals from independently and safely operation home-use medical devices that are essential to their daily healthcare needs. The
Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act will end unequal access to home-use medical devices for blind Americans.
Accessible Websites Act
Websites are required by law to be accessible, but without implementing regulations most businesses and retailers have little understanding of what accessible means. The Accessible Websites Act will end website and mobile application inaccessibility for blind Americans.
Accessible Voting Act
The constitutionally protected right to vote that is available to all Americans is inaccessible to blind Americans. The Accessible Voting Act will ensure that all methods of voting, including registration, are accessible to blind and low-vision citizens.
THESE PRIORITIES WILL REMOVE OBSTACLES TO ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, MEDICAL DEVICES, WEBSITES, AND CIVIL RIGHTS. WE URGE CONGRESS TO SUPPORT OUR LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES.
Other Items If Time Permits:
The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Act (H.R. 5312/S. 3095)
Until a market-driven solution for accessible instructional materials is achieved, blind college students are denied access to critical course content. The AIM HIGH Act will remove these barriers to equality in the classroom by creating a set of guidelines that clearly define accessible instructional materials.
Learn more about the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Act (H.R. 5312/S. 3095).
Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Act (H.R. 5312/S. 3095) (PDF)
Elimination of Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare Waiting Periods
Due to the COVID-19 crisis in the United States, people who are blind or disabled can be expected to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits for which they are eligible. For those found eligible, however, actual receipt of benefits cannot begin before the waiting periods for disability insurance or Medicare have been served. Therefore, needed cash benefits and medical assistance will not be available to these eligible individuals and their families in need. To address this situation, the National Federation of the Blind requests the following emergency actions:
- For individuals who apply for and are eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance cash benefits the requirement for an initial five-month waiting period should be waved effective March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. This waver should be included in Section 223 of the Social Security Act.
- Likewise, the initial twenty-four-month waiting period for disability insurance beneficiaries to be eligible for Medicare should be waved. This waver should be included in section 226 of the Social Security Act.
The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (TCEA) (H.R. 873/S. 260)
People with disabilities have the right to competitive, integrated employment. The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act will discontinue the issuance of new special wage certificates, create a grant program, create a technical assistance center, and require reporting and evaluation on progress toward creating and expanding support for workers with disabilities.
Learn more about the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873/S. 260).
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Updated on 10:49 AM 1/25/2021
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