ACBNY Newsroom

2023 Scholarship Application

Submit an application here!

The American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc. (ACBNY) is proud to award a one thousand dollar ($1000) scholarship and a five hundred dollar ($500) scholarship to qualified, deserving students.

Scholarship recipients must attend the annual ACBNY State Convention in Albany NY the weekend of September 28th-Oct.1st, 2023.  Expenses for travel, lodging and meals will be covered by ACBNY.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • Provide evidence of legal blindness in accordance with the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) criteria:
  • Provide evidence of enrollment and good standing (passing grades) in a college, tech or trade school or other training program following high school graduation;
  • Present three (3) letters of recommendation (cannot be a family member);
  • Provide evidence of community involvement. This may be documented via one of your recommendation letters.  Said letter or document must be clearly marked as such;
  • Compose a 1000 word essay per the instructions below;
  • All finalists must participate in an interview process;
  • Applications and all documentation may be submitted by web-form, email or by regular mail in print or braille by June 15, 2023.

*ACBNY will not accept handwritten documents or incomplete application packages.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the ACBNY Scholarship application or submission process, please contact the scholarship committee chairperson, Ian Foley, at 716-892-1983 or by e-mail at

Thank you for your interest in the American Council of the Blind of New York (ACBNY).  Our scholarship committee is composed of various professionals, including retired teachers.  Please practice diligence in composing your essay, and review it for accuracy and spelling.  We look forward to reviewing your application and reading your essay.

Good luck,
Ian Foley
ACBNY Scholarship Committee Chairman


Bingo Night With Pampered Chef

New York Bingo Night with ACBNY and Pampered Chef ™
Join ACBNY for an evening of fun, games and culinary inspiration
With Pampered Chef consultant Cindy Golding
August 16 – 6:45 PM Eastern. Bingo FUN-Raiser 💵
Pick 5 numbers between 1-25
Then join our Zoom Bingo Party to learn more about how the Pampered Chef Products help make your life so much simpler in the kitchen.
Join our Zoom call 15 minutes early to provide your name and bingo numbers. Or if you prefer to call them into Cindy prior. Call 951-235-5486

Cindy keeps track of all the names and numbers called. Someone is going to win a prize!!!
Our fundraiser will benefit ACB of New York and its members who are blind or visually impaired with funding for programs, legislation initiatives and efforts in increasing awareness of our organization.

To visit Cindy’s consultant page and read more about Pampered Chef ™ products:

Topic: Pampered Chef Party with Cindy and ACBNY
Time: Aug 16, 2021, 06:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 821 0908 6009
Passcode: 693718
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The American Council of the Blind of New York (ACBNY) is a volunteer organization. Any and all questions should be directed to Legislative Co-Chairs:

Meghan Parker, (914) 417-8651,

or Ian Foley: (716) 892-1983,

ACBNY strongly supports The Infant Vision Information, Education and Wellness Act S3255 (Sanders) and A5305 (Taylor).

ACBNY joins the Executive Board of NYSCB in calling for the State to establish a mandatory infant/early childhood vision screening program so that vision-related deficits that can result in significant developmental delays can be detected and prompt referral for vision-related early intervention services can be made. New York State mandates such screening with respect to hearing, but astonishingly, there is no such mandate for vision screening. Yet tools exist, whether medical or educational, to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of untreated vision loss on the infant, his/her family, and community. This bill would create an advisory board within the Department of Health to advise DOH on the creation of a system to screen each newborn in the state for vision abnormalities and a system to educate parents of each newborn and infant on the merits of having vision screening performed and receiving follow-up care. Visual problems discovered during infant vision screening are often indicators of other neurological issues, including autism. We believe that vision screening requirements should explicitly cover both newborns and children up to two years of age, as the best approach to assuring that vision-related issues not readily susceptible to detection at or near birth can nevertheless be detected as early as possible in a child’s life.

ACBNY strongly supports A5740 (Lupardo) and S3763 (Persaud), establishing licensing requirements for two categories of vision rehabilitation professionals, licensed orientation and mobility specialists and licensed vision rehabilitation therapists.

As New Yorkers age, the number of persons with significant visual impairments is increasing. There is also an increase in the number of babies surviving prematurity, low birth weight, congenital conditions and diseases. They often experience multiple disabilities including vision loss.

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialists provide people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired with instruction in the use of their remaining senses along with a prescribed white and red cane to enable safe navigation and independent travel in their environment. O&M specialists prepare people who are blind or visually impaired to attain mobility skills to qualify for a guide dog.

Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (VRTs) provide training in the reading and writing of braille, safe cooking techniques, childcare, medication management, instruction in keyboarding and the use of adaptive and other technologies and skills that enable people who are blind to manage independently at home, work and in the community.

Licensure increases the number of qualified professionals who are specifically trained to meet the unique needs of people who are blind or visually impaired. Licensure assures the provision of quality services through regulation and examination of these professionals. Licensure promotes consumer safety and ensures that individuals who are blind have access to trained professionals who have received specialized supervised training in working with people who are blind or visually impaired.

This bill was passed unanimously by the NYS Senate and Assembly in the 2015 legislative session but was vetoed by Governor Cuomo. The current version addresses the concerns outlined by the Executive.

ACBNY strongly supports A3181 (Steck) as well as S5092 (Kennedy), requiring counties to expand paratransit beyond ADA minimums.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mandates all counties that have a fixed route system provide paratransit services to people with disabilities unable to take the fixed route bus. Service must be provided to locations within ¾ of a mile of the closest fixed route bus stop. While this is a minimum service, counties can and should provide transportation services to people with disabilities throughout their service area. As fixed routes get cut back, especially upstate, many people are left stranded with no transportation. As a result, blind people are too often isolated and unable to work, go shopping, or attend houses of worship, and the like, because they don’t have reliable transportation. There is a real need to ensure comprehensive paratransit services are provided throughout the State.

ACBNY strongly supports A3137 (Epstein) and S1629 (Skoufis), establishing goals for participation by individuals with disabilities with respect to state employment, state contracts, legislative employment, and judicial employment.

This legislation will help to employ people with disabilities in companies and organizations that contract with the State of New York, and help to level the divide of employment for people with disabilities in our state. ACBNY believes that supporting this legislation will enhance the state’s diversity goals while helping to employ qualified persons with disabilities throughout the state. ACBNY further supports this legislation because similar standards have already been enacted on the federal level. Incorporating legislation like this into the state will also assist companies and organizations who may want to pursue federal contracts as well.

ACBNY strongly supports A3130 (Steck) and S1836 (Skoufis), re-establishing an Office for the Advocate for People with Disabilities.

There is no single office that represents all people with disabilities, including blind people. However, New York State used to have the Office for the Advocate for People with Disabilities. This office, created under Governor Mario Cuomo, was responsible for advising and assisting the Governor in developing policies designed to help meet the needs of people with disabilities and serving as the State’s coordinator for the implementation of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (this would now include the Americans with Disabilities Act).

While blind people are served by the Commission for the Blind, this is a vocational rehabilitation organization and does not have a primary role in advising on policy development. Blind people need an office where we can bring access or policy concerns, and which will advocate effectively on our behalf. The Office for the Advocate would also help unite the frequently splintered disability service system by having one office that represents and understands the issues that impact people across all segments of the wider disability community.

Decorate your home with fresh wreaths and accessories from Lynch Creek and ACBNY


With the American Council of the Blind of New York

And Lynch Creek Farm

Bring a warm and festive feeling to your home with beautiful fresh
centerpieces, tabletop trees or garlands, plus other autumnal accessories.

ACBNY will receive 15% of items purchased. Funds will be set aside for
programs and initiatives benefitting the independence of our members.
To place an order, visit or call 1-888-426-0781 and use Campaign ID # 251346 To shop and support ACBNY.
Share it with friends and family on FaceBook:

We appreciate your support and hope Lynch Creek will brighten your spirits and décor for the 2020 holidays!

Campaign ends December 8, 2020.

Please visit ACBNY at or contact for comments or questions.

Lawsuit Challenges Inaccessibility of New York State’s Emergency Mass Notification System on Behalf of Blind Individuals

October 14, 2020 – White Plains, NY – Today, Disability Rights Advocates filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of blind New Yorkers and the American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc. against New York state entities, challenging the inaccessibility of “NY-Alert,” a Mass Notification System intended to warn New Yorkers and visitors of emergencies and other critical information in a timely manner to help save lives. Blind individuals who use screen readers to access visual information cannot independently use the NY-Alert website to register for urgent alerts or to choose how they receive alerts. Instead, these individuals must secure the assistance of a third party and give up the independence enjoyed by others who use NY-Alert. Further, many blind individuals live alone and/or do not have the means to retain sighted assistance, and so must forgo using the NY-Alert website and forgo receiving its notifications altogether, at great risk to themselves. Click here to read the complaint.

Hurricanes, floods, fires, winter storms, and nuclear disasters are a few of the many potential emergencies that New York residents and visitors face. Effective emergency preparedness and planning must include certain essential components, such as public notification and communication before and during emergencies. The failure to notify blind individuals about such emergencies via NY-Alert creates severe hardships for blind individuals and can be life-threatening to them during these emergencies. It is critical that blind individuals be warned of emergencies in advance and that they receive information on how and if they will be evacuated, where they will be sheltered, and how and if they will be transported to such shelter.

Blind individuals often walk and/or rely on public transportation to get around and thus face a distinct disadvantage when they encounter sudden route closures and other interruptions in transportation service that require them to deviate from the routes that they are familiar with navigating. Additionally, strong winds and other severe weather events can be extremely disruptive to blind individuals who use a cane to walk and to those who rely on their hearing for orientation. It is thus imperative that blind individuals receive weather and transportation warnings as early as possible, so that they can avoid dangerous or unfamiliar terrain.

Unfortunately, New York State has failed to make the NY-Alert website accessible, despite knowledge of the barriers faced by Plaintiffs and others who attempt to use the website, despite the clear guidance readily available on how to make websites accessible, and despite the urgency of such alerts, especially during the current pandemic.

Plaintiff Ann Chiappetta, who initially informed the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services about NY-Alert’s inaccessibility in July 2018, said, “Not being able to access the NY-Alert website and receive emergency notifications via my smart phone puts my health and safety at risk. I have a right to be notified just like my friends and neighbors who are not blind.”

Karen Blachowicz, President of American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc. said, “The NY-Alert system must be made accessible for blind and visually-impaired people in order to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Alerts are in place to protect the general population and the blind or visually-impaired population must have equal access.”

“Blind individuals are at great risk during disasters and face life-threatening consequences when governments fail to include them in communications about emergencies,” said Michelle Iorio, a staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates. “New York cannot afford to wait for another disaster to strike before remedying the accessibility barriers on its Mass Notification System website that prevent blind individuals from receiving life-saving alerts.”

New York’s refusal to make the NY-Alert website accessible discriminates against blind individuals on the basis of disability under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This lawsuit seeks injunctive and declaratory relief to require the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to make the website for NY-Alert accessible to individuals who use screen readers so that they can use the system equally, privately, and independently to register for critical alerts.


About Disability Rights Advocates (DRA): With offices in New York and California, Disability Rights Advocates is a leading nonprofit disability rights legal center in the nation. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with all types of disabilities in complex, system-changing, class action cases. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to education, health care, employment, transportation, disaster preparedness planning, voting, and housing. For more information, visit


Court Decision will Dramatically Remake NYC’s Streetscape by Making Pedestrian Safety Accessible to People with Disabilities

Read the decision here

New York, NY – In a decision that will remake the streetscape of New York City and improve safety and accessibility for all New Yorkers, a federal court ruled today that New York City’s failure  to provide accessible pedestrian signals (APS) at 96.6 % of its signalized intersections violates the civil rights of people with disabilities. APS are push-button devices attached to crosswalks that convey visual crossing information in audible and vibro-tactile formats accessible to blind, low vision, and Deafblind pedestrians.

New York City has over 13,200 signalized intersections with signals for sighted pedestrians that convey critical safety information: WALK or DON’T WALK. Yet only 443 of those 13,200 intersections—less than 4%—have APS that convey this information to blind people. Blind and low vision pedestrians are put in danger every time they must cross a street without APS, because they may cross against the light, in the path of cars. Additionally, the lack of APS denies them their independence and dignity. Plaintiffs have been grabbed by well-meaning strangers attempting to help them across the street, and forced to cross only in crowds and wait several lights—sometimes as long as twenty minutes—to make sure they are crossing with others. Some have avoided walking altogether by taking buses and getting out a stop early or a stop late in order to avoid particularly unsafe intersections, or taking longer routes.

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed this class action lawsuit, American Council of the Blind of New York, et al. v. New York City, in June 2018 because this unlawful system denies blind and low vision pedestrians their independence to navigate city streets safely: to visit friends and family; go to work, school, or home; or shop or do business. On July 22, 2019, the Court certified a class of blind and low vision pedestrians harmed by these practices.

“For decades New York City has ignored the needs of blind and low vision pedestrians, while simultaneously touting its Vision Zero commitments to pedestrian safety,” said Torie Atkinson, Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates. “The city has spent millions on pedestrian safety improvements, and now for the first time those improvements will be accessible to all New Yorkers. With accessible pedestrian signals, blind and low vision pedestrians can cross the street confidently, and we are thrilled with the dramatic changes that this victory will mean not only for those who are blind or low vision, but for all New Yorkers who want safer streets.”

“ACBNY has tirelessly advocated for decades to fix New York City’s widespread inaccessibility to blind and Deafblind pedestrians,” said Lori Scharff of the American Council of the Blind of New York, plaintiff in this case. “We are pleased that the Court’s ruling will help ensure that our blind and Deafblind constituents have equal access to the same information available to sighted pedestrians.”

“As someone who is Deafblind and requires tactile information to cross streets safely, I am thrilled by the Court’s ruling,” said plaintiff Christina Curry. “Up until now, at least once a day I almost get hit by a car because there is no APS telling me when it is safe to cross. This victory means that finally the city will have to install APS so that I and tens of thousands of Deafblind New Yorkers will have access to street crossing information and be able to travel safely, freely, and independently throughout the city.”

Plaintiffs do not seek money damages. They seek only that New York City’s street crossings be accessible to and safer for blind and low vision pedestrians.


About Disability Rights Advocates: With offices in New York and California, Disability Rights Advocates is the leading nonprofit disability rights legal center in the nation. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with all types of disabilities in complex, system-changing, class action cases. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to education, health care, employment, transportation, disaster preparedness planning, voting, and housing. For more information, visit

ACB of New York Urges Governor Cuomo to Avoid Wasting State’s Limited Funds on a Single Cause By Vetoing A4161

New York, NY, September 23, 2011 – The American Council of the Blind of New York strongly urged Governor Cuomo to veto A4161 today. Commonly known as the Newsline bill sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind of New York and championed by former Governor Paterson who is a member of NFB of NY, this bill gives the unusual authority to the Director of the NFB of New York to tax every single New Yorker to fund one service and one organization.

“New York state’s Blind and visually impaired people appreciate the Newsline service,” said Pratik Patel, the President of ACBNY. “We, however, cannot stand by when seeing a perverted funding mechanism that only benefits one organization or one service,” continued Mr. Patel.

A4161 vests the authority in the Director of the NFB of NY in order to establish a monthly tax on telephone lines to fund Newsline. At the very least, $400000 is estimated to go to the NFB of NY without transparency. Millions of additional funds could go to the organization.

“We should not allow a funding mechanism that supports only one service at a cost significantly higher than the actual cost of running it,” said Mr. Patel. “We know for certain that Newsline only costs a little more than $100,000 to run on an annual basis. We have to wonder why the NFB of NY is seeking so much extra funding as a nonprofit by taxing New Yorkers.”

Documentation suggests that New York’s blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind residents have significant needs when it comes to making their lives independent and economically profitable for the state. Services like vocational and rehabilitative services through the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) could be significantly improved.

“Why not spend this money when it will help New Yorkers to contribute back to the state,” asks Mr. Patel. “Many more worthy services could be funded if this funding mechanism were to be used to give money to CBVH, for example. We urge the Governor to truly look at how services are structured rather than responding to this politically driven process.”

American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of all blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind residents of New York state. As an affiliate of the American Council of the blind, which is the largest consumer-based organization of blind and visually impaired Americans advocating for their rights. Comprised of members from across New York, ACB of New York is dedicated to making it possible for blind and visually impaired Americans to participate fully in all aspects of American society. For more information, visit .

Coalition of Disability Groups Demand Access to New York’s Inaccessible Absentee Voting

UPDATE! Click here to read about the agreement made for June Accessible Absentee Voting Program!

Link to press release:

For Immediate Release 

Lawsuit Filed May 22, 2020 in Federal Court – Full Complaint 

May 22, 2020 – New York, NY – Today, a coalition of disability organizations filed a lawsuit against the New York State Board of Elections (“NYS BOE”) for excluding New Yorkers with disabilities as their Absentee Voting program expanded in response to COVID-19. The lawsuit charges the state agency with discrimination against voters who are unable to independently and privately mark a paper ballot due to print disabilities, including blindness and low vision, or physical disabilities such as paralysis, dystonia, and tremors. All New Yorkers deserve to vote safely and independently, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The lawsuit and preliminary injunction were filed by a coalition of groups including, Disability Rights New York, the American Council of the Blind—New York, Inc., Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York, National Federation of the Blind of New York State, Inc., and several New York voters with disabilities, including Rasheta Bunting, Karen Gourgey, Keith Gurgui, and Jose Hernandez. The National Federation of the Blind of New York is represented by Eve L. Hill Brown Goldstein & Levy LLP. The American Council of the Blind—New York, Inc. and Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York are represented by Disability Rights Advocates, a national nonprofit legal center. 

New York’s Governor Cuomo responded to the threat of COVID-19 on voters by expanding the Absentee Voting program to allow all voters in New York State to request an absentee ballot for the June 2020 Primary Election. This program requires voters to fill out a paper ballot and return the ballot by mail, providing no alternatives to accommodate individuals with disabilities who are unable to independently and privately read and mark a paper ballot from home. New York’s absentee voting program forces individuals with disabilities to choose between their health and their right to vote privately and independently from home. 

The plaintiff organizations have repeatedly informed the New York State Board of Elections about the inaccessibility of paper ballots, to no avail. New York offers military and overseas voters the option to receive an email ballot. Voters with disabilities could easily mark such a ballot electronically, increasing their privacy and independence in time for the June 2020 elections, but the Board of Elections has refused to offer this option to voters with disabilities. 

New York’s Absentee Voting program can be made accessible, as Maryland, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Ohio, and West Virginia have done. Defendants are aware of the need for accessibility and the availability of accessible solutions, including a free offering from the state of Maryland, and have refused to implement reasonable modifications to the program. 

“Lack of accessibility in voting has existed for decades. The time to fix it has long passed. This is just one more example of our clients, friends and family members being systematically disenfranchised from another fundamental part of life.” said Timothy A. Clune, Executive Director of DRNY 

“Voting is more important than ever for people with disabilities,” said Susan Dooha, CIDNY’s Executive Director. “New York State needs to step up to the plate to offer a tried and true solution to inaccessible paper ballots. We are about to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. What better way to celebrate than to enfranchise hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with disabilities?” 

“The New York State Board of Elections has a history of using outdated technology to discriminate against voters with disabilities, and it has to stop; pencil and paper aren’t good enough anymore.” said Christina Brandt-Young, Managing Attorney for Disability Rights Advocates 

“Just as all other New York residents have the right to vote via absentee ballot, the state must provide an accessible voting method that blind residents may use remotely,” states Dan Spoone, President of the ACB, headquartered in Alexandria, VA. “No voter in the United States, whether blind, or otherwise, should be compelled to reveal their vote when technology exists to enable them to complete all aspects of the voting process privately and independently.” 

“The National Federation of the Blind has fought successfully for blind and deafblind voters for decades – including for accessible absentee voting in Maryland– and this advocacy is more urgent during this pandemic,” said Mike Robinson, president of the National Federation of the Blind of New York. “The nation’s blind will not tolerate being treated as second-class citizens here or anywhere else.” 

This lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Rather than monetary damages, plaintiffs seek reform to the systems and practices that discriminate against voters with disabilities in time for the June 2020 elections. 


About American Council of the Blind (ACB): The American Council of the Blind is a national grassroots consumer organization representing Americans who are blind and visually impaired. With 70 affiliates, ACB strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and to improve quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people. Learn more by visiting

About Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY): The Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY’s goal is to ensure full integration, independence, and equal opportunity for all people with disabilities by removing barriers to the social, economic, cultural, and civic life of the community. Learn more about our work at

About Disability Rights Advocates (DRA): Disability Rights Advocates is a leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA has a long history of enforcing the rights of voters with disabilities, including their rights to accessible voting machines, polling places, and online voter registration. Visit

About Disability Rights New York (DRNY): DRNY is the designated independent non-profit Protection & Advocacy System empowered by Congress to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect and provide legal and non-legal advocacy services to people with disabilities in New York State. The Protection & Advocacy System was created by Congress as a direct result of the horrific conditions that were uncovered in the 1970’s at New York’s Willowbrook State School. DRNY is supported at tax payer expense by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, The Administration for Community Living; Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration; U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration; and, the Social Security Administration. This press release does not represent the views, positions or policies of, or the endorsements by, any of these federal agencies. Visit

About National Federation of the Blind (NFB): The National Federation of the Blind, 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

For Your Brewing Pleasure

Do you love the idea of coffee with easy and accessible packaging? Do you know someone who would love to receive a coffee gift with accessible labeling?

ACBNY has got a little secret: we know where to go for great tasting coffee with large print and braille labels.

White Cane Coffee offers a variety of traditional and flavored coffees including k cups, beans, samplers, and ground coffee.

The company is staffed by people who are visually impaired or who have other disabilities. We think the company name is just perfect. Click on the shopping link:

10 % of Your purchase will be donated to fund the ACBNY M.J. Schmidt award which pays expenses for a person who cannot afford to attend a State convention.

We encourage you to share this offer with friends, family and colleagues. For comments or questions, please contact

Your support of ACBNY means so much — Thanks and brew a cup on us!

ACBNY’s 2020 Legislative Weekend is going virtual!

Dear ACBNY members and friends,

Due to the current public health crisis and the closure of the state capitol building, ACBNY will not be holding our Legislative Weekend in person this year. However, the Legislative Committee is still planning a modified legislative weekend, to begin on April 18 with a board meeting and culminating on Monday, April 20 for a virtual legislative day using the Zoom platform. Everything is contingent upon the legislature being back in session by this date. Given so many rapid changes to public life, it is unclear if this will be the case. However, the Legislative Committee is moving forward with planning for the weekend.

ACBNY is planning to use Zoom to bring together ACBNY members for our training on Sunday, which will consist of a discussion of ACBNY’s 2020 legislative priorities to ensure ACBNY members are comfortable with the priority agenda. We will also provide training on Zoom. However, for those who want an excellent resource for using Zoom with a screen reader, go here to download this excellent resource for

On Monday, April 20, we are hoping chapters will be able to schedule meetings throughout the day with their state legislators to meet via Zoom. This way, ACBNY members can still meet with legislators, but from the comfort of their homes. ACBNY Legislative Committee members will work to coordinate these meetings with their chapters in the coming weeks, once we have a better sense if the legislature will be back in session.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to one of ACBNY’s Legislative Co-Chairs:
 Meghan Parker at, or 914-417-8651
 Ian Foley at

Check back here for updates as plans are finalized.

ACBNY’s Legislative Committee