ACBVA Capitol Hill Visit on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Some veteran and some first-time ACB of Virginia members joined ACB members from across the United States on Tuesday, February 25th ,  to visit  House of Representatives and Senate offices on Capitol Hill.

During  ACB’s annual Capitol Hill Day., our members  visited    offices  of all 11 Virginia House of Representatives    and met with staff of Reps. Beyer, Connolly and Wexton as will as with staff members of Virginia’s 2 senators: Kaine and Warner.

We discussed several issues of importance to the blind and low vision community, focusing on 3 specific items:

1:     H.R. 4129, the Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2019, which would measure the various costs and benefits of smart adaptive low-vision aids, which would  have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to remain independent  in the home. Such personal independence would allow many individuals with visual impairments to age in place, rather than necessitating costlier institutional services.

2.   As   autonomous vehicle legislation is introduced , ACB calls on Congress to move forward with autonomous vehicle legislation that ensures equal access for people who are blind and visually impaired. 

3:   Congress must reauthorize the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act by September of 2020. 

The FAST Act  oversees the development and maintenance of roads, bridges, public transit, and rails. 

ACB calls for the inclusion of language that will 

A.  require the installation of accessible pedestrian signals at all intersections that utilize leading pedestrian interval (LPI)  signalization. 

B.  Require  the  responsible use and parking of micro and shared mobility services. 

C:  Encourage  paratransit services to evolve to on-demand transportation services similar to ride-share services.

congratulations to NOVA Chapter President Donna Browning and ACB of Virginia President Sam Joehl for leading the daylong efforts, and to Paul D’Addario , Doug Powell, Vicki Ratcliffe, and Sree Roy for   their outstanding contributions during meetings with Hill staff.

And, , an enormous thank you to Rick Browning and Sam’s friend, Beth, for their extraordinary help providing guidance as the group traveled to and  through crowded buildings on Capitol Hill.

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