FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE SENATOR KEVIN PARKER
518-455-2580 ph 518-426-6843 fax
Contact: Ricja Rice
Senator Kevin Parker Advocates for the Blind and Disabled
Accessible Electronic Information Act (S.1053) Passes Energy & Telecommunications Committee
(Albany, NY) Today, the Accessible Electronic Information Act was passed by the Energy & Telecommunications Committee. This bill ensures New Yorkers with sight disabilities are afforded the same opportunity as others to access online periodicals.
With the state Senate partnering with the National Federation for the Blind NFB-Newsline®, a multi-state service center, those who are blind or have failing sight would be able to access 300 daily and weekly periodicals by dialing a toll-free number. An audio edition would then be available on their computers instantly. New Yorkers will be able to utilize this news reader service to hear news, government information and other literature from around the nation.
Senator Parker’s legislation would also establish the ‘accessible electronic information service fund’, a revenue fund where the State could receive grants, gifts, bequests and other monetary deposits in order to allocate funds to provide electronic distribution of periodicals to New Yorkers with sight disabilities.
Senator Parker said, “For years, the NFB-Newsline service has barely survived funding crises that would have silenced the voices bringing the news and entertainment to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. I am proud that my legislation will finally put this vital service on secure footing, and look forward to the day it is signed into law.“
Carl Jacobsen, president – National Federation for the Blind of NY said, “NFB-Newsline has become an indispensable service for countless print-disabled New Yorkers. Senator Parker’s bill will help to secure stable funding thereby allowing service in New York to gain further enhancements and serve even more New Yorkers. There are over 600,000 estimated New Yorkers who are eligible for this service.”
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is committed to restoring the overall quality of life for the constituents of the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has been a Flatbush resident for more than 27 years. Having been nurtured, schooled and employed in the district, Senator Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of this ethnically diverse community that consists of 311,000 constituents in several communities that include: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park.