2018 Legislative Updates

Legislative Alert – Washington Seminar – February 7, 2018

Dear Fellow Federationists:

We had a terrific Washington Seminar last week! You have generated sixteen new cosponsors on Aim High in the House and two in the Senate. With respect to the Access Technology Affordability Act, you have generated twenty-two new cosponsors in the House and one in the Senate. This is a record number of cosponsors on our legislation resulting from your advocacy during Washington Seminar. Your professionalism, persuasion, and persistence is clearly paying off.

H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, is now scheduled for a floor vote in the House of Representatives next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday. Please plan to call your representative beginning Monday and urge them to oppose this bill. You can contact your representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking for the office in question. We will be sending additional information on this call to action later this week.

Let’s defeat H.R 620 and then get back to getting our other bills through Congress!

Warm regards,

John G. Paré Jr.
Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy


The 2018 Washington Seminar



Monday, January 29, through Thursday, February 1, 2018
Great Gathering-In–Monday, January 29, 2018
Congressional Appointments–January 30 through February 1, 2018


The Great Gathering-In will begin Monday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Capitol (Capitol Ballroom) and will adjourn promptly at 7:00 p.m. The Great Gathering-In serves as our very exciting opening session to Washington Seminar. The energy in the room is like no other. Over 500 members of the NFB come together to learn about and advocate for legislative initiatives that will improve the lives of blind Americans. Please join us to cast off the perception of incapacity that is too often reinforced by bad public policies that serve to relegate blind Americans to second class citizenship.

Legislative appointments should be made for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the Senate and House office buildings. A meeting for NFB members to review the legislative progress and provide guidance will occur on Wednesday evening.



  • Legislative Agenda of Blind Americans – Priorities for the 115th Congress, Second Session  (PDF)/(Audio)
  • The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education(Aim High) Act  (PDF)/(Audio)
  • The Access Technology Affordability Act (PDF)/(Audio)
  • Opposition to the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017” (H.R. 620)  (PDF)/(Audio)
  • The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled  (PDF)/(Audio)


The Washington Seminar is an annual event of the National Federation of the Blind to introduce the agenda of blind Americans–the priority issues requiring congressional attention over the coming year. The issues are selected from official positions of the Federation and may address concerns in the following areas: relevant civil rights issues; educational programs and services; rehabilitation of the blind for competitive employment; the operation of vending facilities by blind persons on public property; specialized library services for the blind; the organization and funding of federal programs; Social Security and Supplemental Income programs; and other timely topics. Approximately three legislative initiatives are chosen for priority attention during the Washington Seminar.


Dear federation family, this is your NFB of Utah legislative update: May, 2017

We continue to work on issues that impact the blind through the legislative process.  The following are the issues that we at the NFB are directly working with Congress:

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. Read the AIM HIGH fact sheet to learn more.
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.
What can you do to help in this process:

1.  Try to advocate for these issues by contacting your congressional delegates either by emailing or calling their DC and or Utah office.

2.  Try to attend any town hall or events that your congressional delegates are having in your area and bring these issues up if you get the opportunity.

3.  Get friends and family members educated about these issues and have them do the same by advocating for these issues with their congressional offices.

4.  Please keep me posted if you get any specific feedback from your outreach to the congressional offices. My contact information should follow this email.

5.  If you have personal stories that has a direct link to these issues, please share it with me.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about any of these issues that we are advocating for.  We can make a difference and change systems if we collectively engage in the legislative process

Sachin Pavithran
Legislative Director
National Federation of the Blind of Utah (NFBU)
Phone : 1-435-512 6877
Email : sachin.pavithran@usu.edu

You can access this year’s legislative fact sheets using the following link –

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.