The American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys was established in 1969 by attorneys who recognized the need for blind and visually impaired lawyers to organize. It is an international, non-profit membership organization which was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in 1971. In keeping with its By-Laws, AAVIA strives to:
! Provide a forum for the exchange of information concerning the specialized work techniques of blind and visually impaired lawyers;
! Provide for the collection and exchange of information about the development, adaptation and use of technology and computer equipment by visually impaired members of the legal profession;
! Promote the interests of visually impaired attorneys in the legal profession;
! Promote the production and dissemination of legal materials in media which visually impaired law students and legal professionals can use independently;
! Be an information resource for legal educators and visually impaired law students;
! Foster mutual cooperation between blind and sighted members of the Bar.
From an initial group of 25 lawyers, the organization has grown with members in nearly all fifty states and several foreign countries. Membership in the Association has afforded active members valuable knowledge and experience which has contributed to their professional standing and ability to represent their clients. This experience and interaction also provide a strong base for anticipating the future needs and problems that will face blind and visually impaired lawyers and the entire profession.
If these objectives are yours... If you seek success in your chosen profession... then you belong in AAVIA!
The annual conference is held usually in July in different major cities. It features outstanding presentations by sighted and blind lawyers and non-lawyers, judges and law professors, as well as open business meetings, exhibits and demonstrations of the latest in adaptive technology.
Outstanding recent presentations have related to the visually impaired attorney as a tax specialist, as an elected judge, as a professor at a prestigious law school, as a state prosecutor, as Federal counsel, as local government attorney, and as a private practitioner. Other presentations focus on such topics as law school admission tests and bar examinations, the establishment of a private law practice, obtaining employment as other than a private practitioner, and actions to be taken by AAVIA in expansion of employment opportunities.
The AAVIA newsletter is a recorded publication which AAVIA publishes and distributes to its members. It contains excerpts from leading professionals and other educational material of interest to visually impaired attorneys. This publication helps keep the visually impaired attorney up-to-date regarding recent legal developments and new technology, as well as the affairs of AAVIA.
To monitor and to investigate the use of advanced computer and other technologies by blind and visually impaired law students and legal professionals.
To act as an information resource for law schools, bar examiners, and employers regarding the abilities of blind and visually impaired lawyers.
To assist and advise lawyers and judges who suffer a reduction in vision after being established in practice or on the bench.
AAVIA maintains an electronic multiple mailing list for members use to discuss law practice related topics. Postings to the list are automatically sent to all subscribers. The list offers a rapid and easy method to post job announcements, ask questions, share practice tips and information on technology.
To subscribe to this list, send your name, address, phone number, jurisdiction in which licensed to practice and e-mail address to Gary L. Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org or AAVIA, P. O. Box 1590, Indianola, MS 38751
Any blind or visually impaired attorney licensed to practice in any jurisdiction is eligible for voting membership, and any blind or visually impaired law student or prospective law student is eligible for student membership. Anyone else who is interested in supporting the purposes of the organization is eligible for associate membership. The dues for these various classes of membership are listed on the accompanying enclosure.
Inquiries concerning the American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys should be directed to its registered office at:
1155 15th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Telephone: (202) 467-5081 or (800) 424-8666