Registration Open for the 2021 ACB Leadership Conference
Registration is now open for the annual DC Leadership Conference taking place from February 21-23. This year’s event will be held virtually, bringing together affiliate leaders and advocates from across the country. Programming for the conference is split into two main events, a day-long presidents meeting, open to all, which provides best practices to strengthen affiliates, and a two day legislative seminar, which educates attendees on key issues facing our community and prepares attendees for meeting with Members of Congress and their staff for the remainder of the week. To learn more, visit: https://acb.org/2021-leadership-conference.
Audio Description Institute
ACB's Audio Description Project 17th Audio Description Institute will be held virtually from Monday, March 1 to Friday, March 5, 2021, at 1:00 pm-5:00 pm Eastern each day. Two full scholarships are available, and priority will be given to people with disabilities. To learn more about the Audio Description Institute, visit: https://acb.org/AD-Institute-2021.
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.
DOT Service Animal Final Rule
On Dec. 2, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the Final Rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals. The Final Rule went into effect on Monday, Jan. 11. As a result, airlines may require passengers with service animals to provide written attestation to the behavior, training and health of their service animals up to 48 hours in advance of a trip and at the gate before flying. Please share your experiences with these service animal forms and implementation by airlines with ACB by emailing: email@example.com. To learn more, visit: https://tinyurl.com/y3hssqvv.
ACB Advocacy Update: The ACB Community
On this week’s episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, ACB Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs, Clark Rachfal, and ACB’s Membership Services Coordinator, Cindy Hollis, speak about the ACB Community. They discuss the logistics of facilitating and growing the ACB community, and how the ACB community is meeting the social and mental health needs of our members and the broader community. Clark and Cindy are joined by Sheila Young, President, Florida Council of the Blind, and Matthew Vollbrecht, Founder, The Tech Juggernaut, and Certified Apple Trainer. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at: https://tinyurl.com/y6gqkejv. To learn more and become involved with the ACB Community, visit: https://acb.org/acb-community-events.
FCC Announces 4th Term of the Disability Advisory Committee
On Jan. 13, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the 4th Term of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). ACB will be represented by Clark Rachfal, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, and Tony Stephens, Director of Development. The first meeting of the DAC will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Learn more by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/y24tz87x.
OrCam Userspace Group
OrCam would like to invite to you join the new Facebook OrCam Userspace group. The group is open for anyone who owns an OrCam MyEye or an OrCam Read, or is interested in learning more about OrCam’s products. It is a safe space where OrCam encourages you to communicate and share experiences, tips, tricks, and advice. While any questions or issues raised will be answered by OrCam directly or by members of the group sharing their personal experience. OrCam is genuinely interested in their members’ feedback. There has already been a lot of interaction between the users and a really beautiful community being formed. In the group, OrCam plans to provide posts on the most common issues users have, including tutorials, as well as Facebook Live sessions where the members can ask questions on the spot. To join the group, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/orcamusers.
Career Launch at Perkins
Career Launch, an innovative one-of-a-kind training and career services program, was designed with one goal: help blind and visually impaired young adults, ages 18 to 35, land professional, career-track jobs. This program is intense. It’s comprehensive. And above all, it’s proven. Participants have gone on to succeed in internships and permanent employment – in some cases, receiving their first-ever paycheck. The virtual session starts with two months of thorough career training – including customer service simulations, extensive Salesforce.com training, access technology lessons, guest speakers, mock interviews and more. That's followed by a year of ongoing instruction, as well as job acquisition and coaching support from the Perkins Career Services team, ensuring a strong start in the working world. The application is open for the next virtual session, scheduled to begin in March 2021. For more information, contact Deana Criess, Associate Director of Recruitment & Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Perkins.org/CareerLaunch/Virtual.
ACB Statement Concerning the Events of January 6, 2021
The women and men of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) condemn the lawless violence perpetrated by the seditious mob which stormed our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. As an organization committed to freedom of speech, democratic values, the civil and human rights of every individual, we are heartbroken by the sounds, along with the sights, of criminal vandalism. We grieve the injury and loss of life, we reaffirm our organization’s founding principles, and we call upon all of our fellow Americans to stand with us in our relentless, yet peaceable, pursuit of liberty and justice for all. To read the full statement, visit https://tinyurl.com/y2sa4eoz.
Audio Description Project Updates
This week's newly added audio-described content includes additions to Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and our lists of TV series and DVDs with audio description. New additions to Amazon Prime Video include Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Blade Runner, Elf, The Never Ending Story, Marvel Studios Legends, and many more! To learn more about ACB's Audio Description Project, visit www.acb.org/adp.