The Dots and Dashes newsletter will be moving to bi-weekly schedule and will be distributed on Mondays starting in June. The next edition of Dots and Dashes you will will be released on Monday, June 7.
Meet ACB Team Member Jennifer Flatt
This week during a live presentation we welcomed our newest team member, Jennifer Flatt. Jennifer took on the role of ACB’s Communications Manager two weeks ago, and we’re excited to share more about what great news is on the horizon for ACB and our affiliates as we work to expand the national narrative of opportunity and equality for Americans who are blind and visually impaired. Watch the presentation by visiting: https://youtu.be/30nf_ZzdOP8.
ACB Convention Registration
ACB’s 2021 Conference and Convention registration is now open! This year’s virtual convention will be held from July 16 through July 23, 2021. For details on how to register, visit: https://acb.org/2021-convention-registration. To make sure you receive the most up to date convention information, subscribe to our convention announce list by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 BADIE Award Winners
The premise of the BADIE (Benefits of Audio Description In Education) program is simple: kids love movies. If a young person can’t see or can’t see well, audio description provides access to all the visual images of the movies that their sighted peers enjoy. Description benefits children who are blind and others who have learning disabilities and it has been shown to boost literacy for all children. The BADIE program asked young people who are blind or have low vision to submit short reviews of any described movie. ACB is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 BADIE Awards, a “Listening Is Learning” initiative of the ACB’s Audio Description Project (ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP). Learn more by visiting: https://acb.org/2021-BADIE-awards.
The ACB Family Table Memorial Day Virtual Picnic
On Monday May 31 from 2-4pm ET, Anthony Corona and Debbie Hazelton will host a community event to commemorate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a Federal Holiday that commemorates the lives lost by service members while serving in the military. It has morphed into a celebration of all persons who have bravely served our nation with military service. Our beautiful ACB Family will come together to honor those who have served with stories, testimonials and great conversation. After the picnic, a Star Spangled Banner exhibit from the Smithsonian will air so all of us can learn and enjoy the history of our beautiful symbol of freedom. To get information on how to connect to this call, join our community event list by sending an email to ACB-Community-Eventsemail@example.com.
ACB Advocacy Update: GAAD Celebration
On this week's episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, we revisit the ACB special event celebrating the 10th-anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). ACB's Executive Director Eric Bridges led a conversation with digital accessibility leaders Jennison Asuncion (Co-founder of GAAD and Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism at LinkedIn) and Mike Shebanek (Head of Accessibility at Facebook). Together, Eric, Jennison and Mike took a look back at the growth taken place over the past decade in digital accessibility and forecast what new challenges and opportunities rest just beyond the horizon. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at: https://tinyurl.com/ym8cwes7. A video recording of this live event is available at https://youtu.be/EcUy3HT6bRY. Please check-out https://acb.org/GAAD-2021 for a message from ACB’s Executive Director Eric Bridges on the 10th Anniversary of GAAD.
Health Care Access for Patients and Companions that are Blind or Experiencing Vision Loss Webinar
On Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 2pm ET, the Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network is hosting a webinar featuring Katie Frederick, Community Manager and Accessibility Lead, International Association of Accessibility Professionals and Peter Berg, Project Coordinator of Technical Assistance, Great Lakes ADA Center. This session will explore ways in which critical health information can be provided in accessible formats. The presenters will also discuss their personal experiences as blind individuals and the best ways health care staff can offer and provide assistance to patients and companions. Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/44cmxz8. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry Ford Museum Virtual Program
Join the Henry Ford Museum for a virtual verbal description program, highlighting the “Fully Furnished” exhibit at The Henry Ford. This exhibit includes examples of American furniture dating from 1670 to the present, displayed to encourage you to think of furnishings in a variety of new ways. This free program will be held via Zoom and will be accessible by web link and call-in phone number, depending on your preference. Reservations are required and space is limited. Please email email@example.com to register and with any questions.
Access and Engagement
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced the release of the second Access and Engagement research report, based on the November 2020 survey that delved into the continued impact of COVID-19 on the education of students with visual impairments, their families, and the professionals who serve them. The report is a detailed and expanded follow-up to the first Access and Engagement study, published in October 2020 based on data from 1,432 participants collected in spring 2020 during the early days of the pandemic. Learn more by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/24dbsm7b.
Braille Institute Offers 110 Free Online Spring/Summer Courses
The Braille Institute is offering more than 110 Spring/Summer courses that are available for free to anyone who is blind or visually impaired, worldwide. Classes and workshops are "live classes" allowing for students to speak with the instructor and socialize with fellow classmates. For certain classes, activity kits are mailed to students in advance so they can work on specific skills to keep them active and independent. Class offerings range from mindful courses such as Laughing Yoga to technology classes on helpful apps like Instacart for grocery delivery to outside speakers discussing timely topics like COVID-19 scams. Select classes and workshops are also offered in Spanish. The Spring/Summer semester runs from May 3 – August 13, 2021. Participants can join anytime throughout the semester. Call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553) to receive a free class catalog or visit brailleinstitute.org/classes-events for a full listing of available workshops.
National Braille Press Produces Large Print and Braille Menus For Starbucks Stores
National Braille Press (NBP) produced 35,000 braille and large print menus for all Starbucks company-operated and licensed store locations in the U.S. and Canada as part of the company’s efforts to create a more accessible experience for blind and low-vision customers. Starbucks first began offering braille and large print menus in 2012. The updated menus were commissioned this year as part of the company’s ongoing work to improve and enhance the accessibility of physical and digital experiences for Starbucks partners (employees) and customers through inclusive design. The new braille and large print menus now feature an expanded assortment of Starbucks core food and beverage items so that low vision and blind customers can have access to a wider variety of Starbucks offerings. Learn more by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/5muwzvtt.