Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the nation's largest and most influential membership organization of blind persons. With fifty thousand members, the NFB has affiliates in all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and over seven hundred local chapters. As a consumer and advocacy organization, the NFB is considered the leading force in the blindness field today. The purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is two-fold--to help blind persons achieve self-confidence and self-respect and to act as a vehicle for collective self-expression by the blind.
One way the NFB is doing this is by ensuring independent voting accessibility for blind people.
Voting is an integral part of active citizenship in the United States. Unfortunately, the right to cast a secret ballot is not currently available to all Americans. Our mission at the National Federation of the Blind is to integrate the blind into society on a basis of equality. Ensuring full access to nonvisual accessible technology is a vital element of that mission. The NFB has a better grasp of the consumer point of view of blindness accessibility than any other entity in the United States.
Through the NFB's National Center on Nonvisual Election Technology (NCNET), we have acquired the most current nonvisual election technology commercially available. International Braille and Technology Center (IBTC) which houses the National Center on Nonvisual Election Technology (NCNET). Due to our membership of more than fifty thousand, representing a vast cross section of society, we are in the best position of any organization to determine the usability of these nonvisual voting systems and to develop criteria that should be present for voting machines to be usable by blind people in an election setting. Our knowledge and experience enable us to provide the most comprehensive recommendations to election officials regarding the standards they should follow when making procurement decisions on nonvisual election technology.