Virginia electronic voting

Everyone who needs an accessible absentee ballot should complete the absentee request form online and check the box that says you need assistance and provide your email or phone number.  The registrar is supposed to contact you to ask if you need an accessible electronic ballot. Alternatively, if you’ve already filled out the absentee application, you can call your local election official and tell them you want an accessible electronic ballot.  You will still get the paper absentee ballot packet with the return envelopes, so you can print your ballot and return it by mail.  I believe there will be 2 envelopes enclosed – you put your ballot in the privacy envelope and sign it anywhere. Then you put that in the outer envelope, which will have a tactile marking on it (like a hole punch, corner cut, or tactile sticker) so you can recognize it. And mail it back.

The guidance the state sent to local election officials is attached.

Please let us know if you experience any problems.

1)  Definitely keep sharing what you are experiencing when you try to get your ballot, and of course let us know if you get one and are able to vote.    The problems seem to be at the local registrar level, but let us know if there are problems beyond that

2)  You can also call or email disAbility Law Center VA to report the issue and get an advocate to join you on the call as a witness/advocate.  1-800-552-3962 (toll-free) or

3)  Tell everyone you know who needs to vote electronically to start the process and feel free to share the disAbility Law Center VA number with them for troubleshooting.  We aren’t sure if the state is doing effective outreach and we want to make sure everyone knows to request this, and to do it early so we have time to sort out these problems.

4)  We encourage you to submit written feedback to your registrar and the State about the process, and to send us that feedback as well.  VA is required to report on complaints and feedback as part of the consent decree.

For clarity, if you have a complaint or concern that you have direct knowledge of, or if a person who contacts you can provide details, please note the locality, the date of any calls or correspondence, and as much specificity as to the content of the conversation, and the names of the people with whom you speak.

Reach out if you have questions or need help.

AIRA and ACB partnership!

Aira and ACB Partner with New Pricing for ACB Members

Link to Announcement:

Aira is proud to partner with the American Council of the Blind to make visual interpreting services available to more people. To encourage ACB members to try our service, we are extending special ACB Membership pricing from June 1 through December 31, 2020

ACB Member Intro Plan

  • Minutes: 30 per month
  • Price: $20.00 per month
  • Plan Share: no additional users 

ACB Member Enhanced Plan

  • Minutes: 140 per month
  • Price: $99.99 per month 
  • Plan Share: up to two additional users 

Plans are only available through our Customer Care Team. To qualify for these plans, one must be a member in good standing of the American Council of the Blind or its affiliates or chapters for the current membership year. Membership will be verified through our Customer Care Team.  

Aira provides visual information through our smartphone app and trained agents, 24/7, 365 days per year. Agents are screened and adhere to strict security protocols. Our app uses the camera of your smartphone plus GPS and other powerful tools to give you the visual information you need, on your terms. To learn more about Aira, visit our web site at or call our Customer Care Team at 1.800.835.1934.

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OrCam special offer this month

During the ACB & OrCam webinar on April 30th, we announced a special offer on OrCam products for ACB members. OrCam continues to develop its technology for the blind and visually impaired community. Recently, OrCam shared with us some great news: it has released the OrCam MyEye2 Pro and the OrCam Read.

Currently, OrCam offers ACB members a 10% discount off the MyEye2, and now, until the end of May, OrCam is offering an additional promotional discount for these 2 new products:

·     OrCam MyEye2 Pro – available at the price of the regular MyEye2 plus an additional ACB member discount

·     OrCam Read – available at a 10% discount from the retail price

For those of you who are not aware of these products, OrCam offers the most advanced wearable assistive technology that can empower and enable you to be more independent. The OrCam MyEye2 Pro and the OrCam Read can support you in education and employment. They can also improve your quality of life by allowing you access to visual information by converting images into sounds and read it to you discreetly in real time.

In order to receive your discount and locate the store closest to you, please contact OrCam rep Oded Tsin by visiting, and don’t forget to mention you are an ACB member.

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.