The Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA) of 2021 is a bill that makes access technology more affordable to Americans who are blind and visually impaired. It creates a $2,000 refundable tax credit to eligible persons for the purchase of access technology over a three-year period. House bill H.R. 431 is sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson of California, and Senate bill S. 212 is sponsored by Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland.
ATAA offers the deduction to persons who meet the criteria in the IRS code. Access technology includes items such as:
- Braille embossers
- Refreshable braille displays
- Note takers
- Screen reading software
- Screen magnification software
Why the ATAA Is Important
Acquiring access technology can lead to gainful employment, educational success, the completion of personal tasks, and the enjoyment of community activities. It empowers users who are blind and visually impaired with the necessary tools to create and edit documents, send and receive emails, and access a wealth of information on the internet. The ATAA enables the purchase of equipment needed to achieve success by making it more affordable.
Current Status of ATAA
On September 27, 2021, the Access Technology Affordability Act was incorporated into the House version of the Build Back Better Act, which provides funding and establishes programs relating to areas such as job placement, housing, and small business assistance. In late October, the section of this act containing the ATAA was removed, and in late November, the act was passed without the ATAA included.
The Build Back Better Act has not been finalized, so there is still an opportunity to include ATAA.
Make Your Voice Heard
Contact Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and urge them to include ATAA in the Build Back Better Act. You can also reach out to other House and Senate members, including co-sponsors and those who represent your district. Visit these pages to read a list of House of Representatives co-sponsors and Senate co-sponsors.
To learn more, read the bill text, and check out the ATAA Fact Sheet provided by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).