By Lisa Irving
NFB of California, San Diego Chapter
Have you ever felt like there's no way one person can make a difference when it comes to influencing a member of Congress? That's how I used to feel before I became part of the collective voice of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)last year at the annual Washington Seminar. Now I'm no longer overwhelmed and intimidated at the prospect of writing, calling, or meeting with my congressional representatives.
In April of 2015, the NFB learned of a pending class action settlement between David New et al and Lululemon USA, Inc., which resolved claims pertaining to inaccessible touchscreen payment systems. The settlement proposed to unfairly waive the rights of blind customers without due process or compensation. To protect the rights of blind people, the NFB objected to the fairness of the proposed class settlement. Our objections were heard and the settlement has since been amended so that it does not waive our rights without due process. As part of the amended proposed settlement, the NFB has agreed to post the class action notice. Please see the notice here.
By vote of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), the United States will shift to the Unified English Braille (UEB) code in 2016. UEB has many benefits, including easier translation between Braille and print and the elimination of the need to learn a separate “computer Braille” code. BANA did not see any benefit, however, in moving away from the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation, which has been the standard code for math and science materials in the United States for over forty years. As a result, BANA recommends the adoption of UEB along with the continued use of the Nemeth code, and has issued guidelines on how these two codes can work together. It has come to the attention of the National Federation of the Blind, however, that some states are moving or considering moving to unified math symbols instead of the Nemeth code.
Submitted by mriccobono on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 16:34
By Mark A. Riccobono, President
At our recent national convention in Orlando, we announced that an ebook honoring our seventy-fifth anniversary, Building the Lives We Want, would soon be available. At convention, we released the book's table of contents, as well as its foreword by Mary Ellen Jernigan. I am pleased to announce that the full book is now available in ePub3, zipped HTML, and Kindle file formats for download from our website. The book’s webpage also includes instructions on how to download and read each file type. The ebook will soon be available to read online, as well as on NFB-NEWSLINE®. Once it is available, callers to NFB-NEWSLINE® will hear an announcement during the greeting that the book is available.
There was a time when it appeared that, despite some glitches here and there, Microsoft was really getting the accessibility message. However, there has been actual regression in the area of accessibility with the last several releases of Windows, and the release of the long-awaited Windows 10 is sadly no exception. Despite determined efforts by some access technology manufacturers to remediate some of the issues, the problems with the Windows 10 rollout are a matter of grave concern for all blind Windows users, as well as for enterprise users with blind employees who are considering company-wide upgrades to Windows 10.
Submitted by cvangerven on Tue, 07/28/2015 - 08:36
The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute is the premier research and training institute that applies the collective knowledge and life experience of the blind to the development of innovative solutions to the barriers faced by blind people. We are designing the National Federation of the Blind Indoor Navigation Challenge to combine our expertise and experience with that of other technology and research professionals to partner in the development of universally designed access tools and strategies that enhance independent travel for the blind. Blind people effectively use tools and strategies like white canes, guide dogs, mental mapping, echolocation, and problem-solving skills to acquire and use environmental information to travel safely and independently outdoors and indoors.
Submitted by mriccobono on Fri, 07/24/2015 - 17:05
Earlier this week I was honored to attend a White House reception and ceremony to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). President Obama spoke with passion and sincerity about the progress made since the signing of the ADA and some of the very significant executive orders he has made to raise expectations for people with disabilities. While I am proud of what the President has done to raise the bar for employment of and payment of fair wages to workers with disabilities, I left the White House in complete frustration after the President failed to mention anything about meaningful regulatory action that will ensure our full participation in the twenty-first century where the internet is critical to success.