The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.
American Council of the Blind program descriptions
ACB Scholarships and Awards
Through the Scholarship program, ACB presents students with scholarships to help with post-secondary education financial needs such as tuition, fees, room and board and other additional costs associated with adaptive technology. Other award programs have been created to foster future leaders through mentoring, training and peer development. A program of recognition awards for exceptional service in a wide range of areas to the blindness community are also supported.
Conference and Convention
Through the annual convention, a strong representation of the membership is present to assist in the governance of the organization. This is where elections are held for officers and directors, and constitution and bylaw amendments are considered. Policy decisions and priorities are established through the adoption of resolutions relating to programs, services, and key issues affecting the blindness community. Many committees, task forces, and special interest affiliates conduct business and have programming during the convention.
This event also features numerous speakers, workshops, seminars, exhibits, tours, new technology, and other activities.
Audio Description Project (ADP)
Through the Audio Description Project, ACB supports a broad range of activities designed to build awareness and promote the use of audio description for people who are blind or have low vision. The ADP works to make the community aware of the need for audio description for live theater, television, movies, DVDs, museums, and other media formats and venues, where its availability can enhance the understanding and overall experience of blind consumers. This program works to increase levels of audio description activity, impact government and industry policy and regulations, promote development of accessible hardware, software, and mobile applications for use with audio description, conduct training of audio description professionals, and disseminate information on all aspects of audio description through its extensive website and other awareness efforts.
Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
Through our volunteer members, staff, and partnerships with external disability organizations, ACB advocates on a wide variety of issues for the blind and visually impaired community. At the government level, we work on drafting proposals, analyzing current legislative developments, and work with regulatory agencies to support programs that help blind and visually impaired individuals sustain their independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life.
Through over twenty (20) communication channels, such as our website, information hotline, Facebook, Twitter, ACB Braille Forum magazine, email lists, podcasts, and internet radio, ACB provides valuable accessibility information for and about the blindness community. ACB is a catalyst for communicating topics of interest that are relevant through media interviews, panel discussions, educational training seminars, and individualized outreach.
Information and Peer Support
Through utilizing the expertise of our staff and members, ACB provides information, referral and subject guidance in key areas to support people who are blind with their specialized informational needs. This is done through advocacy efforts such as job postings, resources for those who are looking for adaptive technology, individual referrals to state, ACB committees, and special interest affiliates who can best provide needed support for the individual and collective needs of the blind and visually impaired community.
Membership and Organization Services
Through trainings, workshops, and other support services, ACB works to strengthen state and special interest affiliates to develop leadership and grow membership. ACB coordinates an annual leadership conference, promotes consistent two-way communication with board affiliate liaisons and assists affiliates, as needed, with organizational business documentation and reporting. Our membership database is used to ensure accurate certification records, track volunteer hours, and support member communication.
Management and General Support
Through the management of our organization, administration and support services which include personnel management, accounting and legal support, and costs for equipment and supplies.
Through ongoing fundraising efforts, funds are obtained to support the goals of ACB. To support these fundraising efforts, expenses consist of wages incurred for fundraising and grant writing, permit registrations that are needed so ACB can fundraise in each state, and expenses incurred from fundraising events and mailings.