What sort of devices are applicable for this refundable tax credit?
The bill defines qualified access technology as hardware, software, or other information technology the primary function of which is to convert or adapt information which is visually represented into forms or formats usable by blind individuals. This means that the screen reader software for your laptop would qualify, but the laptop itself would not.
What current barriers prevent blind Americans from acquiring access technology?
The financial barrier associated with the high cost of access technology poses the biggest obstacle preventing blind Americans from acquiring these tools for themselves.
Why is access technology so expensive?
Access technology is a highly specialized field that is not used by the general public, therefore it does not benefit from the same economies of scale as mainstream technology products or software.
How will this bill help increase the employment rate for blind individuals?
Most jobs are discovered and applied for via the internet. This bill would enable blind Americans to own the technology that would enable them to search for and apply for these jobs.
Is a blind child eligible for the credit?
A taxpayer, whether blind or sighted, may claim this credit for an eligible child.
How much will this bill cost to implement?
The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) projects that this bill will cost $3 billion over five years. However, we believe that the true cost is actually much lower than this projection because the cost savings of working blind Americans no longer needing government assistance and the resulting increase in tax revenue are not factored into the $3 billion score.
Where can I learn more about this legislation?
For more information, please contact Jeff Kaloc, government affairs specialist at the National Federation of the Blind, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2206.