Vision-Impaired Afford Access Technology
WASHINGTON— Arkansas members of the National Federation of the Blind praised U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) for his leadership to help reduce financial barriers to access technology that prevent blind Americans from fully participating in the workforce.
Boozman helped introduce legislation to create a refundable tax credit to help blind Americans afford access technology. The Access Technology Affordability Act of 2021 would allow for more widespread access to adapted computers, text-to-speech screen access software and electronic Braille displays used to access computers, tablets, smart phones and digital content.
“As an optometrist, I understand how vital access technology is to enable blind Americans to engage in their communities,” Boozman said. “This bill is key to providing low-cost resources to help visually impaired individuals secure employment and realize their full potential.”
During a phone call with Arkansas members of the National Federation of the Blind on Wednesday, participants shared why passage of the Access Technology Affordability Act of 2021 is a priority for them.
“The National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas greatly appreciates the legislative leadership of Senator John Boozman,” said Nena Chadwick, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas. “Because he is working closely with the blind community, blind and low vision Arkansans will have greater opportunities for success in education, employment, and living the lives we want through the passage of the Accessible Technology Affordability Act.”
Boozman introduced the legislation with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).
“Technology is of little help if you cannot afford it. Making access technology affordable is key to ensuring that blind and seeing-impaired individuals can participate fully in our communities,” said Cardin. “I am proud to work with Senator Boozman on this legislation, which gives blind Marylanders, and all blind Americans, flexible economic support to help them lead full and successful lives.”
The Senate bill is cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA).