American Council of the Blind HQ

Together for a Bright Future

aka ACB   |   Brooklyn Center, MN   |  http://www.acb.org

Mission

The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.

Ruling year info

1963

Executive Director

Eric Bridges

Main address

6200 Shingle Creek Pkwy Suite 155

Brooklyn Center, MN 55430 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

58-0914436

NTEE code info

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Advocacy & Governmental Affairs

ACB advocates on a wide variety of issues for people who are blind and visually impaired. At the government level, ACB works on drafting proposals, analyzing current legislative developments and working with regulatory agencies to support programs that help blind and visually impaired individuals to sustain their independence, security, equality of opportunity and quality of life.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Scholarship program awards students with scholarships which helps with post-secondary education financial needs such as tuition, fees, room and board and other additional costs associated with adaptive technology.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The annual convention is where ACB governance occurs. Our membership elects officers and directors; makes decisions concerning bylaws and resolutions relating to policies, programs and services affecting the blindness community. Many affiliates conduct business at this time also. There are workshops and speakers where one can gather information about health and rehabilitation, new technology and employment issues.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Its major goal is to sponsor a broad range of activities designed to build awareness of the need for audio description for its principal users, people who are blind or have low vision. We try to make the community aware of the need for audio description in live theatre, television, movies, DVDs, and other media formats to enhance blind consumers experience as well. This program tries to boost levels of audio description activity and disseminate information throughout the nation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

ACB Radio showcases and nurtures the creativity and talents of the blind and visually impaired community from many parts of the world. ACB Radio streams on the internet, up-to-date and relevant information worldwide. Our radio stations are Mainstream (hosts a variety of blind living programs), Interactive (blind disc jockeys with themed music shows), Café (original music from blind musicians), Treasure Trove (old radio shows), World News and Information and Live (live streaming of affiliate events & conventions). ACB Radio is heard by a global audience, having visitors from more than 55 countries.

Population(s) Served
Adults

ACB’s National information hotline helps people who are looking for answers to questions about blindness, low vision and vision-related services. Family members ask questions regarding services available and what skills they need to learn to help them gain or regain their independence. This hotline also has ACB’s Washington Connection which has prerecorded up to date information on blindness related issues.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Providing advocacy to individuals in the blindness community through job postings, providing resources for those who are looking for adaptive technology, referrals to individuals needing help in their specific state and referring them to ACB committees and special interest affiliates who can provide support for the blind and visually impaired.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Provides support to state and special interest affiliates with management and fundraising activities. On the national level, ACB tracks names of members, volunteer hours members devote to help support ACB, manage the affiliate President and legislative meetings, promotes membership of ACB affiliates and provides affiliates assistances with business records.

Population(s) Served
Adults

ACB has an integrated marketing and communications approach with over 20 communication channels. Through many different forms of media, such as our website, Facebook, Braille magazine and Twitter, ACB presents valuable accessibility information for and about the blindness community. ACB provides informative news media interviews and speaking engagements and assists affiliates with their educational programs.

Population(s) Served
Adults

ACB does outreach to the disability, businesses and government agencies to collaborate on programs and activities to benefit the blindness community. These include but are not limited to membership in the World Blind Union, Braille Authority of North America and diversity councils of major corporations and governmental agencies.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2014

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Develop short and long-term strategies on a variety of civil and equal rights policies and increase information accessibility and usability of products and services.

Forecast financial growth strategies.

Continue building and encouraging an active membership by providing opportunities and relevant training and resources to affiliate leaders and members.

Enrich the convention experience by expanding opportunities for attendance.

Publish an integrated communications plan.

Advocacy, Legislation and Policy
*Participate in government and private sector meetings to assure autonomous vehicles are accessible.
* Work with public transportation providers on accessibility concerns at airports, rail cars and other forms of public transportation and to prohibit fraudulent service animals on aircraft.
*Work with entities to increase accessibility of information which includes the web and mobile devices.
*Continue to work on having currency that is accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Forecast Financial Growth Strategies
* Create a plan to help forecast potential growth opportunities
* Re-establish the Advisory Board.

Membership
* Strengthen affiliate and special interest affiliates by providing various formats of training.
* Conduct focus groups to determine what topics interest affiliates.

Convention
* Partner with an authorized Continuing Education Credits (CEC) entity so ACB can provide approved CEC sessions at the convention.
* Develop a program which can better accommodate special needs of attendees.

Marketing and Communications
* Update ACB's website so information is easily accessible and more easily searchable.
* Create a communication plan so media if being distributed through the proper channels.

A strategic plan was developed in early 2017 to identify areas of priority. Teams were created in each area of priority, timeframes were developed to meet these goals and the resources that would be needed to complete the goals. Each team is meeting regularly to implement these goals.

Financial Strategies Growth
* A 3 year forecast has been created and is being compare to projections. An analysis is completed to determine which areas are performing as or better than expected and areas where performance is below expectations.

Membership
* Focus groups have been completed, areas of focus have been determined and they are now in the process of completing the needed tasks.


Convention
* ACB has been approved to provide Continuing Educational Credits at the Annual Conference and convention.

Communications
* ACB has created an updated logo, has updated its website.

Financials

American Council of the Blind
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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American Council of the Blind

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kim Charlson

No Affiliation

Term: 2017 - 2019

Ray Campbell

Jeff Thom

Sara Conrad

No Affiliation

Dan Spoone

No Affiliation

Denise Colley

No Affiliation

George Holliday

No Affiliation

John McCann

No Affiliation

Allan Peterson

No Affiliation

Mitch Pomerantz

No Affiliation

Jeff Bishop

No Affiliation

Katie Frederick

No Affiliation

David Trott

No Affiliation

Patrick Sheehan

No Affiliation

Dan Dillon

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes