Monday, May 22, 2017

Clift’s Notes

NFB Legislative News

By Christina Clift, MCIL Consumer Advocate
During the May meeting of the Memphis chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, members were updated on the status of our current legislative efforts in Washington.  We have made great progress on all of our legislative issues. We are up to seventeen cosponsors on AIM HIGH, H.R. 1772, five cosponsors on the Access Technology Affordability Act, H.R. 1734, and seven cosponsors on the TIME Act, H.R. 1377. In the Senate, the Access Technology Affordability Act, S. 732, has one cosponsor.

Congress will be in session all next week before taking their one-week Memorial Day recess.  Please contact your representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1772, H.R. 1734, and H.R. 1377. Don’t forget to contact Senator Alexander and Corker and ask them to cosponsor S. 732. The best way to contact your member of Congress is to call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for the office in question. Emailing your member of Congress is also a good idea. So pick up your telephone and help us get our Tennessee representatives on board! Finally, you may also want to request a meeting with your member of Congress while they are back at home during the week of Memorial Day.

In other meeting news, the Memphis chapter in partnership with Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes Memphis, and the Veteran’s Administration will be walking across the Big River Crossing during October as part of the Federation’s Meet the Blind month campaign. Other activities will include our White Cane Awards Banquet and fall picnic.  More details will follow.

Next, the outreach and public relations committee will begin working on increasing our chapter’s social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, participating in possible radio interviews, and creating a brochure or flyer for outreach events.  They will also be working on trainings for local businesses on how to better serve individuals who are blind or low vision.

Finally, our chapter meeting ended with a presentation by Strong One and Sky Ways Transportation.  They are small transportation providers in the Memphis area who serve individuals with disabilities.  Both businesses base their fares on the amount of miles traveled and take reservations on a first-come first-served basis.  For more information you can contact Strong One Transportation at (901) 833-7152 or Sky Ways Transportation at (901) 691-1578.
Our next chapter meeting will be held on Saturday June 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM. For more information on how you can join and become a part of our movement, you can contact us at (901) 213-6270 or via e-mail at memphis@nfb-tn.org.  You can also visit our website at httP://www.nfb-tn.org.

Bill Summaries


Accessible Instructional Material in Higher Education Act, H.R. 1772 (AIM HIGH)
This bill will promote instructional technology and content that are accessible to the blind and other students with print disabilities.

Access Technology Affordability Act of 2017, H.R. 1734 and S. 732 (ATAA)
These bills will facilitate the purchase of access technology for blind people by creating a refundable, per person tax credit. Read the Access Technology Affordability Act of 2017 fact sheet to learn more.

Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act of 2017, H.R. 1377 (TIME)
This bill will increase employment opportunities by removing stigmas and low expectations propagated by section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Note that the bill now phases out subminimum wages over a six year period corresponding to the recommendation of the National Council on Disability. Read the TIME Act fact sheet to learn more.
 

Current Cosponsors Listed Alphabetically By State

Accessible Instructional Material in Higher Education Act, H.R. 1772 (AIM HIGH)

Rep. Roe, David P. [R-TN-1] - Sponsor
Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large]
Rep. Garamendi, John [D-CA-3]
Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]
Rep. Murphy, Stephanie N. [D-FL-7]
Rep. Hanabusa, Colleen [D-HI-1]
Rep. Kinzinger, Adam [R-IL-16]
Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8]
Rep. Brooks, Susan W. [R-IN-5]
Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]
Rep. Kildee, Daniel T. [D-MI-5]
Rep. Harper, Gregg [R-MS-3]
Rep. Thompson, Bennie G. [D-MS-2]
Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]
Rep. Price, David E. [D-NC-4]
Rep. Thompson, Glenn [R-PA-5]
Rep. Gonzalez-Colon, Jenniffer [R-PR-At Large]
Rep. Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [R-WI-5]

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

Rep. Young, David [R-IA-3] - Sponsor
Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40]
Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12]
Rep. Hanabusa, Colleen [D-HI-1]
Rep. Moulton, Seth [D-MA-6]
Rep. Smucker, Lloyd [R-PA-16]

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

Rep. Harper, Gregg [R-MS-3] – Sponsor
Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42]
Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15]
Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]
Rep. Pingree, Chellie [D-ME-1]
Rep. Lujan Grisham, Michelle [D-NM-1]
Rep. Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9]
Rep. Gonzalez-Colon, Jenniffer [R-PR-At Large]