National Federation of the Blind Applauds Introduction of
Greater Access and Independence through Nonvisual Access Technology (GAIN) Act
Urges Swift Passage of Legislation to Preserve Independence of Blind People in their Homes
Baltimore, Maryland (July 31, 2019): The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, today applauded the introduction of the Greater Access and Independence through Nonvisual Access Technology (GAIN) Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives. The bill was introduced by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA). This legislation directs the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the “Access Board”) to develop a minimum nonvisual access standard for home-use medical devices, exercise equipment, and home appliances, and provide for the enforcement of the standard.
“The inaccessible design of most current appliances, home-use medical devices, and fitness equipment makes their controls difficult, or even impossible, to use by blind people,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Inaccessibility is not a mere inconvenience. Full access to all features of a device are necessary for the privacy, wellbeing, and independence of blind Americans. We therefore commend Representative Schakowsky for introducing this legislation and urge members of Congress to act swiftly to pass it.”
About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at www.nfb.org.