On this 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we at AFB are thinking of all the ways that technology plays in role in meeting the expectations of this valuable and groundbreaking civil rights legislation. Thanks to the ADA, we have come to expect equality and access in every part of public life. Truly, people who are blind or have low vision have greater access to jobs, businesses, life in the community, and government services because the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) just released its Barriers to Digital Inclusion study, which identified the key areas where accessibility gaps still exist for online and mobile application content. And, as one would expect, education still rises to the top when it comes to accessibility hurdles. To close the gap, AFB wanted to share some valuable resources we have prepared for parents, students, and advocates over the past year.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We wanted to share an important post from the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), who is collecting valuable stories to assist in a national coalition to make the internet fully accessible. Your story can help make a real difference. Please take time to read and share widely.)

 West face of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Just as the flowers bloom and come to life again in Washington, D.C., Springtime often brings a flurry of activity from the federal government. Our Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) has been tracking the activity, and would like to share two key recent actions that have taken root and could yield positive fruit for people who are blind or have low vision.

Arlington, VA (Feb. 23, 2023) — The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced today a major bequest in excess of $2.2M made on behalf of Marilyn and Francine Gruder, which will support the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB). AFB’s flagship publication of scholarly research to the field of blindness and low vision, in perpetuity

February is Low Vision Awareness Month. Low vision is defined as impaired vision that cannot be corrected by glasses, surgery, or medication. The most common causes of low vision include Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. The most common signs of low vision include difficulty or inability to read print, especially small print clearly;

GAAD logo.
Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD)! The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion. From podcasts and blog posts, to inclusive accessibility solutions, public policy, and resources, AFB has you covered. Global accessibility is more than a day for us, it's over 100 years of commitment.

Today, the Department of Justice released guidance on the obligations of public entities (such as state and local governments) and businesses open to the public with regard to website accessibility.

Study shows majority of blind and visually impaired schoolchildren have been significantly disadvantaged during pandemic remote learning; inadequate digital tools are leaving these children behind.

A Hispanic high school student sits at his desk using his iPad to take part in online education.