AFB has identified five areas of policy advocacy for the 2021 calendar year. This year presents exciting opportunities with a new Congress and a new Presidency. Supported by an active research agenda, AFB works independently and in coalition to identify and create opportunities for change that remove barriers and expand the possibilities for people who blind or have low vision.
1. AFB continues to work to ensure an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Using AFB’s research as a guide, we will advocate for education funding that directly addresses the return to school, learning loss, and personnel preparation and retention for children and students who are blind or have low vision.
- We will advocate for the removal of transportation barriers to accessing COVID-19 testing and vaccines.
- We will continue to call for investments in transportation operating costs to stave off deep cuts.
- We will seek to close the digital divide.
2. AFB will work toward greater digital inclusion during and beyond the pandemic.
- We will advocate for the implementation of web accessibility regulations from the US Department of Justice.
- We will continue to oppose any legislation that would weaken ADA requirements for physical and digital accessibility in places of public accommodations.
- We will also work to improve accessibility in key focus areas, including educational technology, employment platforms, and telehealth.
- We will continue to participate in the Disability Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission.
- We will support efforts to obtain permanent exemptions to copyright law that facilitate third-party actions to create accessible e-books, textbooks, and videos.
3. AFB will advocate for significant investments in reliable, high-quality, accessible transportation options for people who are blind or have low vision.
- We will advocate for the Disability Access to Transportation Act and other bills to ensure that the reauthorization of surface transportation policy improves transportation access for people with disabilities.
- We will ensure that any autonomous vehicle policy creates a clear path to accessibility and safety by supporting federal accessibility requirements and advocating for key policymaking entities and industry leaders to hire accessibility experts.
4. AFB will work to ensure all students have access to high-quality education.
- We will work with partners and the incoming Congress and Biden administration to identify paths to equitable delivery of educational services during and after the pandemic, including virtual delivery of orientation and mobility services, digital accessibility, and appropriate learning loss mitigation strategies.
- We will advocate for better accessibility and usability in educational technologies.
5. AFB will work to reduce barriers to employment opportunities and leverage federal workforce policy to move more people into employment.
- We will support community-wide efforts to pass the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act and support policies that improve access to competitive integrated employment.
- In conjunction with AFB’s programs, we will monitor national workforce policy to promote innovative paths toward employment for people who are blind or have low vision.