Dear Federation Family,
Just in time for your Black Friday shopping, the NFB Bid for Equality online auction is now open for bidding. Help the NFB fund its work by sharing the auction with your friends and family. There are a wide range of unique and exciting auction items available, from exotic getaways to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, to a gift card at a family-friendly apple farm in Connecticut. Visit www.biddingforgood.com/bid-for-equality to bid now, and remember: the future is in your bid! Continue reading
By Marc Maurer – 11/18/13 09:00 AM EST
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year, so most planning to fly home for the holidays are prepared for high fares, long lines, and potentially substandard service. Thankfully, passengers have ways to prepare for the complications – compare fares online to get the lowest rate, monitor flight delays using mobile apps, print boarding passes ahead of time, and check bags using the kiosk – but the blind and other disabled passengers are denied access to these services. Continue reading
Jury finds NuVision Credit Union denied disabled vet loan because he did not have a driver’s license.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., October 25, 2013- A Federal jury awarded Army Sgt. Major Jesse Acosta $160,000 in a legal victory finding that Huntington Beach-based NuVision Credit Union violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Unruh Act by denying Jesse Acosta a loan because he could not produce a valid driver’s license. In 2006, Sgt. Major Acosta was blinded and suffered severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while serving in Iraq. Continue reading
HOLLISTER CO. STORES MUST MOVE FORWARD WITH WHEELCHAIR ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS Federal Court Refuses to Stay Injunction Pending Appeal On August 20, 2013, US District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel ordered Abercrombie & Fitch, the owners and operators of Hollister Co. Stores to make 231 stores nationwide accessible to customers who use wheelchairs. Continue reading
Website: <www.nfb.org/scholarships >
Deadline: March 31, 2014
Are you a legally blind college student living in the United States or Puerto Rico? This annual program offers 30 scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000 to eligible students, from high school seniors beginning their freshman year in the fall semester of 2014, up through grad students working on their PhD degrees. These merit scholarships are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership. In addition to the money, each winner will receive assistance to attend the July 2014 NFB Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations. To apply, read the rules and the Submission Checklist; by or before the deadline, complete the official 2014 Scholarship Application Form (online or in print), supply all required documents, and request and complete one interview by an NFB affiliate president (unless the president requests a later date). Applications are accepted for five months, from November 1, 2013, to March 31,2014. Go to www.nfb.org/scholarships for complete rules and requirements.
Rep. Tom Petri Introduces “Technology, Education and Accessibility
In College and Higher Education Act”
Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC (November 15, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the leading trade association of the US publishing industry, applaud Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI) for introducing today the Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act (H.R. 3505). The TEACH Act, which is the result of collaboration between the NFB and the AAP, and has been endorsed by ten other organizations of and for people with disabilities, will create accessibility guidelines for electronic instructional materials and related information technologies used by institutions of higher education. Continue reading
Decision Will Allow Access to Millions of Books by the Blind
Baltimore, Maryland (November 14, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for access to education and information by blind Americans, commented today on the landmark decision issued by The Honorable Judge Denny Chin, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissing a lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild against Google, Inc. The Authors Guild claimed that Google had violated copyright laws by scanning millions of books and storing them as digital files. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined US Airways $1.2 million for not providing adequate wheelchair assistance to passengers in Philadelphia and Charlotte. The fine is one of the largest ever assessed by DOT in a disability case. Under the Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are required to provide free, prompt wheelchair assistance to passengers with disabilities. This includes helping passengers move between gates and make flight connections.
In other airline-related news, DOT is issuing new rules that require that airline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengers with disabilities. In addition, DOT will allow airlines to choose between stowing wheelchairs in a cabin compartment on new aircraft or strapping them to a row of seats, so that two manual, folding wheelchairs can be transported at a time.
Visit TSA’s website for more information for air travelers with disabilities and medical conditions
Baltimore, Maryland (November 6, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind people, today expressed severe disappointment in the Department of Transportation (DOT) for its final rule purporting to extend Air Carrier Access Act requirements to airline Web sites and automated kiosks. The long-awaited rule, released November 4 on DOT’s Web site, gives air carriers an overly generous two years to make select portions of their online services accessible to blind and otherwise disabled customers, allows three years for carriers to make their Web sites compliant, and grants carriers and airports a lavish ten years to make only a quarter of their fleet of kiosks accessible. The rule intends to update the law and improve the travel experience of disabled passengers, but it is far too weak to achieve this goal. Continue reading
Burlington, Iowa (November 4, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind, which has led the fight for the equality of blind Americans for over seventy years, today commented on the landmark case of Aaron Cannon and Davenport Civil Rights Commission v. Palmer College of Chiropractic, which will decide whether blind individuals can still pursue a career in chiropractic medicine. At issue in the case is Palmer’s academic policy requiring that all students seeking a doctor of chiropractic degree must possess “a sufficient sense of vision.” As part of a public outreach effort, the Iowa Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the Cannon case on Tuesday, November 5, at the Edward Stone Middle School in Burlington, Iowa, at 7:00 pm. Continue reading