Please support the Anne Sullivan Macy Act!

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), has transformed educational opportunity for children and youth with disabilities, but the needs of children with vision loss have not been adequately addressed. Unfortunately, IDEA does not ensure the provision of vital services and instruction such as braille, orientation and mobility, access to technology and low vision devices, and a host of other essential services and instruction.AFB is leading an effort to address this challenge by creating draft legislation, the Anne Sullivan Macy Act, which would set forth the range of educational services needed by students with vision loss to ensure that they receive a free and appropriate public education. This comprehensive draft legislation has been endorsed by leading national organizations in the blindness field.We are hoping that you will join others who care about the scope and quality of special education for students with vision loss by adding your name to a petition and otherwise supporting the national effort to work for the legislation‘s prompt enactment and/or incorporation into IDEA.The full text of the draft legislation and a petition to sign is available at: In addition, an array of supporting explanatory materials can also be found at a joint AFB and Perkins School website at:

Named for Helen Keller’s beloved teacher, the Anne Sullivan Macy Act would strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and improve results for the more than 100,000 children and youth with vision loss, including those who also have additional disabilities. Key provisions of the legislation include:• Ensure that every student with vision loss is properly identified so that all students with vision loss, including those with additional disabilities, are counted and properly served.• Require states to establish plans that guarantee that all students with vision loss receive specialized instruction and services, provided by properly trained personnel.• Enhance monitoring by U.S. Department of Education to ensure states’ compliance with their obligations with respect to instruction and services to students with vision loss.• Assist parents and educators of students with vision loss through appropriate policy and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.• Establish a national collaborative organizational resource, the Anne Sullivan Macy Center on Vision Loss and Educational Excellence, to proliferate evidence-based practices in the education of students with vision loss, and to keep special educators current with the latest instructional methods.Paul W. Schroeder Vice President, Programs and Policy American Foundation for the Blind

Ph: 202-469-6832