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Alert message

April 25, 2002

Dear Colleague:

On behalf of consumers, parents and professionals in the blindness field, and publishers of America's textbooks, I am pleased to tell you about the introduction of federal legislation which ensures timely access to print media for children who are blind or print disabled. A bipartisan press conference to announce the introduction of the Instructional Materials Accessibility Act (IMAA) was held on April 24 in Washington, D.C.

The Instructional Materials Accessibility Act (HR 4582 and S 2246) is designed to provide a national infrastructure that supports the provision of accessible textbooks and instructional materials. It is the result of a collaborative effort on the part of consumer and parent organizations of the blind, textbook publishers, and state and national organizations serving the blind. See a list of endorsing organizations.

As a leader in the blindness community, you may wish to complete the following:

  • personally contact your national legislators by letter or email to inform them of HR 4582 and S 2246,
  • contact individuals in your state education department to inform them of HR 4582 and S 2246,
  • provide us with the name of the legislative liaison in your state education department, and
  • send us any comments you receive as a result of your contacts.

We are interested to know about any comments you receive from state and national officials. Please send this information to Mary Ann Siller at or to American Foundation for the Blind, 260 Treadway Plaza, Dallas, Texas 75235. The fax number is 214-352-3214.

For more information see the following: IMAA Section-by-Section Analysis, organizations that support the federal legislation, an IMAA summary sheet, co-sponsors of the IMAA from the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, and the education committees of U. S. House and U.S. Senate that will be associated with the IMAA. Please feel free to share this letter and attached materials with consumers, parents and other colleagues. For more information about specifics of the bill, go to http://www.afb.org/info_document_view.asp?documentid=1709 or www.afb.org/gov.asp

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Siller, M.Ed.
American Foundation for the Blind
Project Director for the AFB Textbooks and Instructional Materials Solutions Forum