[Nfbnet-members-list] Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act

McLarney, Lauren LMcLarney at nfb.org
Fri Nov 15 20:09:20 UTC 2013

Dear Fellow Federationists,

I am proud to say that today after ten months of 
anticipation; Congressman Tom Petri introduced 
the Technology, Education and Accessibility in 
College and Higher Education Act (HR 3505)! The 
TEACH Act creates long-overdue accessibility 
guidelines for electronic instructional materials 
and related information technologies used by institutions of higher education.

The law currently prohibits the use of 
inaccessible technology in the classroom because 
it is a form of discrimination that leaves blind 
students behind, and yet the overwhelming 
majority of digital instructional material is 
unusable by blind students. The guidelines 
created by the TEACH Act will give direction for 
manufacturers of educational technology to 
increase commercial availability of accessible 
materials, a prescription for institutions of 
higher education for how to best serve their 
disabled students and meet their legal 
obligations, and a promise that all students, 
disabled or not, will have equal access to 
high-quality education in the twenty-first century classroom.

Blind people have been waiting for at least five 
years (much more, in reality) to see something 
done about the needless burdens blind college 
students face because of inaccessible technology. 
With the introduction of the TEACH Act, we are 
done waiting for the process of change to start.

The creation of the TEACH Act was the result of a 
collaboration between the National Federation of 
the Blind and the Association of American 
Publishers. The introduction of the TEACH Act is 
the result of many months of networking and 
nuanced language tangling. However, the passage 
of the TEACH Act will solely be the result of the 
passion and power of the NFB. I have heard from 
so many of you about how personal this issue is, 
and I am always, always, always impressed at how 
willing and excited you all are to get going. Now 
we can finally stop chomping at the bit and get 
started! The advocacy for this bill will start 
with targeted meetings with Republicans on the 
Education and Workforce Committee. The 
legislative directors in the applicable states 
have already begun planning pre-Washington 
Seminar conference calls. I urge the rest of you 
to reach out to your members of Congress today, 
bringing this to their attention while it is 
still a brand new bill, giving them background 
for your upcoming Washington Seminar meetings, 
and even urging them to co-sponsor now.  Please 
be advised that this is a delicate political 
climate – all co-sponsors are welcome, but we 
want this bill to be as bi-partisan as possible.

The text of the bill and an updated fact sheet 
are attached. If you have any questions, give me 
a ring at the National Center at 410.659.9314 
ext. 2207 or email me at lmclarney at nfb.org. I'm 
looking forward to working with everyone to make this thing move!


Lauren McLarney
Government Affairs Specialist
200 East Wells St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659 9314 ext. 2207
<mailto:lmclarney at nfb.org>lmclarney at nfb.org

Take the stress out of this year’s holiday 
shopping with NFB’s Bid for Equality national 
online auction: Black Friday, Nov. 29, to Giving 
Tuesday, Dec. 3. 
our must-have donations and register to make your 
Bid for Equality. The future is in your bid!

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131115/0a82e604/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: TEACH FINAL 11.2013.pdf
Type: application/mac-binhex40
Size: 62222 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131115/0a82e604/attachment.hqx>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: UPDATED TEACH Fact Sheet FINAL.doc
Type: application/mac-binhex40
Size: 364756 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20131115/0a82e604/attachment-0001.hqx>

More information about the NFBNet-Members-List mailing list