Ask Your Senator to Support the Autonomous Vehicle Bill AV START

March 6, 2018
Mark Richert, AFB's Director of Public Policy AFB has joined with a broad coalition of disability rights organizations and auto and motorcycle manufacturers, suppliers, repairers, and more in urging prompt action on the US Senate's version of autonomous vehicle legislation, AV START Act (S. 1885). This groundbreaking bipartisan bill includes many specific provisions drafted by AFB and our partners that make the Senate's approach dramatically superior to the House bill. Among other key…

Thank You to Everyone Who Participated in the Cogswell-Macy Act Hill Day, 2018

March 4, 2018
The Cogswell-Macy Act Hill Day, February 28, 2018, was an activity of Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), the American Foundation for the Blind, National Association of the Deaf, and other advocacy partners. Our heartfelt thanks go to Barbara Raimondo, Executive Director of CEASD, who helped us coordinate the registration process with participants from schools for the Deaf and other advocacy groups in the Deaf/hard-of-hearing (DHH) community.…

A Great Day of Education and Advocacy at Gallaudet

March 1, 2018
This week, AFB participated in a first-of-its-kind event with students, professionals, and advocates from all three sensory disability communities—blindness and visual impairment, deafness and hard-of-hearing, and deafblindness. The event was the result of excellent partnership with many groups coming together over several months to plan an informative, accessible, interactive event. Accessibility was everywhere! ASL interpreters, tactile ASL interpreters, pro-tactile support, braille, large…

Changes in AFB's Strategic Direction and Programs

February 6, 2018
Kirk Adams is president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. This week we announced a partnership with the American Printing House for the Blind to carry on the award-winning web programs AFB has created, so that the American Foundation for the Blind can focus its full attention on creating a more inclusive and accessible society for millions of Americans with vision loss. Last year, we set out to create a new strategic plan for AFB’s future. We recognized a need to refocus our…
Author Kirk Adams
Blog Topics In the News

Delta's New Advance Documentation Requirements Create an Undue Burden on Blind Travelers

February 1, 2018
Delta recently announced their intention to implement “advance documentation requirements” for customers traveling with service animals. While news stories about service peacocks, comfort turkeys, and gliding possums may seem alarming and absurd, the fact is that Delta’s proposed solution is an overly broad policy with serious implementation problems. We strongly object to any extra bureaucratic hoops or paperwork, which will clearly impact the right to travel freely for people who are blind…

Join AFB's Advocacy Network!

January 29, 2018
Mark Richert, AFB's Director of Public Policy These are challenging times for America, and it's more important than ever that we each get involved in our own way and make our voices heard. On behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), I would like to invite you to be part of a dynamic community of advocates who have a passion for systems change and for improving the lives of individuals living with vision loss by joining AFB's Advocacy Network. The concept here is very simple. We…

Report From Day One of CES 2018, a Global Technology Event

January 9, 2018
It’s the time for college bowls, NFL playoffs, New Year’s resolutions, and, of course, all things technology at CES in Las Vegas. The show officially kicked off on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, with lots of attention to self-driving vehicles, voice-controlled everything, robots galore, and audio products with hearing enhancement. A big thank you to the Consumer Technology Association for supporting attendance by disability advocates, including Lee Huffman and me. Here are a couple of highlights…

How Does the Department of Justice's Withdrawal of Proposed Regulations Change How the ADA Applies to Websites?

January 2, 2018
On December 26, the Department of Justice (DOJ) officially withdrew pending rulemakings that would have clarified exactly how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to web services. In 2010, the DOJ started the rulemaking process to create new regulations for the websites of public accommodations and state and local governments. These "Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking" (ANPRMs) have now been withdrawn. For two different, but complementary, perspectives on this news, we…

New Design for Medicare Cards Raises Accessibility Questions for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

December 3, 2017
In September of this year, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced that redesigned cards will be issued to all Medicare recipients starting in April of 2018. This project is known as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). The reason for the change in card design is so that individuals' Social Security numbers can be replaced by a new "Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)"—a unique, randomly assigned series of numbers and upper-case letters for each…

Giving Thanks

November 21, 2017
Kirk Adams is president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. Every Thanksgiving, I like to take inventory of everything I have to be grateful for. This year, my list is longer than ever. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with so many people around the country this year who are working hard to create a better world. People like Caitlin, a blind elementary school teacher in San Francisco. James, a software engineer in Phoenix, who recently became blind and is…