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 (H.R. 3929) 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.”