[Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Update and Post Washington Seminar Call to Action

Diggs, Parnell PDiggs at nfb.org
Thu Mar 30 02:14:50 UTC 2017

Dear Federation Family,

The purpose of this update is to bring you up-to-speed on legislative 
developments since we left the Washington Seminar two months ago and 
to ask you to activate on several crucial issues. Please use this 
information as a good reason to reach out to your two Senators and 
your Congressman or Congresswoman and update them on developments 
since your visit to their offices. The summary of legislative 
developments will be followed by the call to action on three bills:

The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education Act, also 
known as "AIM HIGH", H.R. 1772

Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) 
introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives earlier 
today. H.R. 1772 will promote instructional technology and content 
that are accessible to the blind and other students with print disabilities.

The Access Technology Affordability Act of 2017 (ATAA) H.R. 1734 and S. 732

These companion bills were introduced by Representatives David Young 
(R-IA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) in the House and by Senators 
John Boozman (R-AR) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) in the Senate on 
March 28, 2017. Please remind your Senators and Representative that 
this legislation will establish a per-person individual refundable 
tax credit to be used over a multi-year period to offset the cost of 
access technology for blind people.

The Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act 
of 2017 (H.R. 1377)

As President Riccobono indicated, the TIME Act is still a priority of 
the National Federation of the Blind. It just wasn't front and center 
at the 2017 Washington Seminar. The bill was introduced by 
Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) on March 8, 2017, to remove 
barriers to employment opportunities for people with disabilities by 
phasing out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and 
facilitating the transitioning of people with disabilities now 
working in segregated employment settings into competitive employment 
opportunities in their communities. There is low hanging fruit we can 
secure from cosponsors of previous iterations of the TIME Act. Please 
see if your Senators and Representative will cosponsor this bill in 
the 115th Congress, especially members of the House of 
Representatives who have done so before.

Call to Action

Please call both of your Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 732, 
the Access Technology Affordability Act.  Also, Please call your 
Congressman or Congresswoman and ask him or her to cosponsor the AIM 
HIGH Act (H.R. 1772), the Access Technology Affordability Act (H.R. 
1734), and the TIME Act (H.R. 1377).

This is an excellent opportunity to circle back with your Senators 
and Representative to provide them with updates on legislation, which 
will help blind Americans live the lives we want.  The number to the 
Capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121. From there, the operator can 
transfer you to your desired contact.  Let me thank you for the 
groundwork you laid at the Washington Seminar, which has led to the 
introduction of this legislation. Let's build on that momentum, as we 
turn our focus toward Orlando.

As always, thanks for all you do.


Parnell Diggs, Esq.
Director of Government Affairs
200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, extension 2222 | <mailto:pdiggs at nfb.org>pdiggs at nfb.org
Twitter: ParnellDiggs

National Federation of the Blind


The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and 
friends who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation's blind. 
Every day we work together to help blind people live the lives they want.

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