« January 2022

Welcome - Here is the newsletter of the American Council of the Blind - Maine  (ACB-ME) for January, 2022. To learn more about this site and ACBMaine Newsletter, click HERE

Notes from

President Leona McKenna 

This past October, I was granted  the honor of leading an organization for which I have been a part of for many years. In that time I have seen ACB of Maine go through many changes. As president of ACB, I will encourage positive change and promote the growth of this organization. It is the strength that comes from an alliance among people who share adversity, an understanding of the capabilities of blind individuals and a mission to bring about true equality for all individuals that gives ACB of Maine a solid foundation on which to stand. Our common bond as blind individuals and our goal to bring about change that leads to a fully inclusive society keeps our organization working toward a brighter future.
As we enter into a new and challenging phase for our organization, I am hopeful that we can come together again as an organization and as friends.  I believe that together we can accomplish more.

Board Meeting Dates

Board meetings always first Thursday of these months:

February 3, 2022
April 7, 2022
June 2, 2022
August 4, 2022
October (Fall Convention date to be determined)
December 1, 2022

All members are welcome to attend the board meetings.  Contact Leona for the Zoom link.         Inspirations1000@gmail.com


Tech Talk with

Steve Sawczyn

Want to learn more about accessible technology?  Curious how technology might be able to help you live a more fulfilling life?  Do you have questions about technology and just don’t know who to ask?

ACB of Maine is launching a new technology-related program called Tech Talk, hosted by Steve Sawczyn.  Tech Talk is a program that will allow ACB of Maine members to join, get technology questions answered, and have an opportunity to learn something new.  Tech Talk will take place via Zoom on the second Tuesday of each month, starting this February.  Information for joining the Zoom meeting will be sent out prior to each program.  

Our first Tech Talk will take place on 02/08 at 7:00 PM and will be a great opportunity for you to provide input on the types of topics you would like to see covered during future editions of the program.  Also, we’ll review how to effectively use the Zoom conferencing system which may be helpful to those who are new to using Zoom, and to those who just might want a refresher.

I hope you will join me for Tech Talk, starting 02/08 at 7:00 PM, where, together, we can share information about accessible technology, learn from one another, and find ways to use tech in ways that can improve our lives.  If you have any questions about Zoom, or how to access the program, please reach out to Steve Sawczyn:

Email: Steve@Sawczyn.com 
Phone:  (207) 458-8270

Royalty Free Guide Dog Clip Art, Vector Images ...

Guide Dog Users -

Did You Know?

An Important Update for Guide Dog Users Traveling Internationally: CDC Relaxes Restrictions for Dogs Entering the United States from High Risk for Rabies Countries

On December 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) announced revisions to rules regarding bringing dogs into the United States from countries at high risk for rabies. The rule change removes the previously announced requirement for a CDC Dog Import Permit, which since July of 2021 and until December 1, was required for any dog entering the United States from countries which have been determined to be at high risk for rabies. This change, which exempts dogs whose owners  can verify their dogs’ having been immunized against rabies by a licensed veterinarian in the United States,  represents good news for any guide and service dog handlers who plan to travel internationally with their dogs, since they will no longer have to comply with the time-consuming and somewhat burdensome process of obtaining a CDC Dog Import permit even before they embark on travel outside the USA with their dogs.  If your guide dog has a current U.S.-issued rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian; if your dog has been microchipped; if you can provide the printed certification of your dog’s rabies-protected status, -- The rabies tag dangling from your dog’s collar is not acceptable proof! – and, this is important too, if you and your dog enter the United States through one of the 18 United States airports equipped with a CDC quarantine station, then you should be able to bring your guide dog into the USA without any difficulty.
If, for any reason, you cannot provide the certification, if your dog received their rabies vaccination in a country other than the United States, if you cannot produce the required paperwork, if your dog has not been microchipped or the chip cannot be read, if the rabies certification has expired, or if your plane is arriving at an airport that is not included on the list of 18 acceptable ports of entry, then you will be separated from your guide dog, and the dog will be returned to the country from which you departed (no matter how long or short your stay in that country was, and no matter how many connecting flights you took on your return trip from the country of departure), at your expense!
These are the 18 United States airports through which you and your dog will be permitted to return to the USA from international travel: 

Anchorage (ANC)
Atlanta (ATL)
Boston (BOS)
Chicago (ORD)
Dallas (DFW)
Detroit (DTW)
Honolulu (HNL)
Houston (IAH)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Miami (MIA)
Minneapolis (MSP)
New York (JFK)
Newark (EWR)
Philadelphia (PHL)
San Francisco (SFO)
San Juan (SJU)
Seattle (SEA)
Washington DC (IAD).

Be sure to keep this list of approved ports of entry in mind when you make your international travel reservations.
GDUI recommends that you discuss the requirements for microchipping and up-to-date printed certification of your dog’s protected status against rabies with your veterinarian as soon as you begin planning for your trip abroad. If you are traveling to one of the countries at high risk of rabies, your dog must be microchipped before you leave the United States. Check with your school and/or with your veterinarian, to assure that your dog was chipped and that the chip is still readable. Carry a record of the chip number along with the other paperwork that you will be required to present when you and your dog return to the United States.   You will also, of course, need to be aware of and comply with any U. S. Department of Agriculture requirements or those of your destination country that apply to traveling internationally with your guide dog.

We are pleased that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed what many guide dog users found to be overly burdensome requirements for obtaining a special CDC Dog Import Permit to bring dogs into the USA. After all, as blind and visually impaired people who depend on our dogs for independence and safe travel, we are highly committed to maintaining our dogs’ health and wellness and safety from the first minute we grab onto that harness handle and from then on, throughout our dogs’ lives.
If, for some reason – for example, if your dog received their rabies immunization in a country different from the USA, or your dog was never microchipped, or the chip is no longer readable  – you will still need to obtain a CDC Dog Import permit to bring your guide dog with you into the United States, visit this link for detailed instructions and further information:  Bringing a Guide Dog Into the US
We encourage all guide dog users who plan to travel internationally with their dogs to maintain an awareness of CDC regulations that can impact your travel plans. Visit this page for the latest regulations:  Regulations

Important Federal Legislation

from Nancy Matulis

Accessibility Standards for Certain Devices with Digital Interfaces

Good afternoon, I am asking for support of this bill - Accessiblity Standards .  Thank you for sharing. This is an ACB bill

To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish nonvisual accessibility standards for certain devices with digital interfaces, and for other uses. We are talking about continuous glucose meters,blood pressure reading and others. This bill will allow blind people to care for themselves, at present they cannot do. 

I am trying to get this word out to veterans also. 

Rep. Golden 

District Offices 

Bangor, Maine Office

6 State Street

Suite 101

Bangor, ME 04401
Telephone:  (207) 249-7400

Caribou, Maine Office

7 Hatch Drive

Suite 230

Caribou, ME 04736
Telephone (207) 492-6009
Fax: (207) 493-4436

Lewiston, Maine Office

179 Lisbon Street

Lewiston, ME 04240

Telephone: (207) 241-6767

Fax: (207) 241-6770

Rep. Pingree

Portland Office
2 Portland Fish Pier, Suite 304
Portland, ME 04101
Telephone (207) 774-5019 

Waterville Office 
1 Silver Street
Waterville, ME 04901
Telephone - 873-5713

Submitting Stories and News

Here at ACB-Maine we like to hear from our membership.  Feel free to send along information that is relevant and interesting.  You can even send along pictures that you think others will enjoy.

Email your submissions to either of these email addresses




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