New Congressional Session, Same Legislative Imperatives

When a new session of Congress begins, our priorities still push on. That’s because advocacy for the independence and dignity of people who are blind or have low-vision involves all areas of society.

When handling legislative matters, some people with whom we talk may remember the bills that we addressed last year; others may not. Much has happened since last year’s American Council of the Blind’s Washington Seminar. For one thing, the House is now flipped into the control of the Republicans while the Senate has remained under Democrat control. Committee assignments and headship is, to some extent, different.

Hence, we have every reason to speak on those matters that pertained to us a year ago. As for web accessibility, we can be thankful that some progress has been made under the leadership of Reps. Sarbanes and Duckworth. With the advancements of treating COVID-19 and other conditions, we have seen testing kits become more accessible. These are but a few areas wherein we have made progress. Now we push on, engaging our Representatives and their legislative assistants.

No doubt there will arise further issues that impact our adaptation to the mainstream society. Mental health concerns, education matters, pedestrian safety and many other areas will give us cause to keep in touch with Federal and State levels of government. In addition, other organizations serving the blindness community like the National Federation of the Blind, National Industries for the Blind, and the Centers for Independent Living in each State will have their own legislative emphases. So, stay tuned and keep advocating!

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