FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Friday, November 17, 2017
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Senators Warren and Hatch Introduce New Higher Education Legislation

AIM HIGH Act Promotes Equal Access for the Blind and other Students with Disabilities

Washington, DC (November 17, 2017): Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have introduced the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Act, S. 2138.

The legislation will authorize the creation of voluntary guidelines to help colleges and universities meet the needs of blind students and students with other disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to read print. The National Federation of the Blind and other advocates support the bill.

The guidelines will be created by a commission made up of people with disabilities, developers, manufacturers, and representatives from colleges and universities. The commission will also develop a list of national and international information technology standards as an added resource for these institutions and the companies that serve the higher education market.

Approved Quotes for This Release

“This legislation is critically important to blind Americans and to me personally, as the father of three children, two of whom are blind,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We applaud Senators Hatch and Warren for taking this step to give colleges and universities the information they need to provide the equal education to which the blind and other students with disabilities are entitled.”

"As new technologies enter university classrooms across the country, it's essential that students with disabilities are able to take advantage of these innovations and fully participate in the college experience with their peers," Senator Warren said. "I'm glad to join Senator Hatch to introduce this bipartisan legislation, which will help colleges select accessible materials that allow all students to succeed."

“Since I took office, I have championed an even playing field in education for students with disabilities,” Hatch said. “As technology has evolved, so has the need for students with disabilities to gain access to innovative learning materials. This bill establishes an independent commission that will create high-quality accessibility guidelines to benefit both students with disabilities and institutions of higher education. As a primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I’m happy to work with Senator Warren in moving this bill through the legislative process to remove barriers in the classroom for students with disabilities.”