National Federation of the Blind of Oregon

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Resolutions of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon



2013


One Stop Referrals FOR THE BLIND


WHEREAS, the Oregon Governor’s Task Force on Workforce System Redesign has recently recommended that the State of Oregon develop and implement a “One Stop” system of providing services to all persons seeking employment and rehabilitation services within the State, and

WHEREAS the National Federation of the Blind and its affiliates have monitored the effectiveness of similar programs implemented by other States around the country, and

WHEREAS the National Federation of the Blind has observed that when such “One Stop” systems have been implemented in other states these “One Stop” systems have been in the majority detrimental to the blind rather than beneficial in that they tend to dilute services to the blind because they do not provide personnel specially trained in rehabilitation issues affecting the blind, and

WHEREAS such dilution of services have resulted in blind individuals either not being properly served, a delay in services or even a failure to provide services, and

WHEREAS the most effective “One Stop” systems that have been implemented in other states actually utilize an instant referral component for blind individuals by immediately referring blind and visually impaired individuals to a Commission for the Blind or similar specialized agency designed to assist the unique needs of the blind, and

WHEREAS these referral components have been very successful at averting the dilution of services or even the failure to serve by ensuring that blind individuals are immediately directed to personnel and programs that focus on the specialized needs of the blind,,

NOW THEREFORE  BE IT RESOLVED in Convention assembled this 3rd day of November, 2013 in the City of Salem, Oregon, that the National federation of the Blind of Oregon hereby request, encourage and pledge its support for the plan of the Oregon Workforce System Redesign Task Force, and only if, it includes an immediate referral component for all blind and visually impaired consumers to the Oregon Commission for the Blind within the new “One Stop” program.


 2010

WHEREAS, since 1994, the National Federation of the Blind has operated NFB-NEWSLINE®, a service that gives blind and non-print readers access to local newspapers at the same time as their sighted peers, which in Oregon include the Associated Press Oregon, the Register-Guard, the Oregonian, and the Statesman Journal; and

WHEREAS, NFB-NEWSLINE® has provided blind and non-print readers access to a wide variety of national newspapers as well as a variety of magazines covering issues of concern and topics of interest to Oregon's blind; and

WHEREAS, for the past four years, the Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services have joined with the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in sponsoring NFB-NEWSLINE® and

WHEREAS, the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services has assumed the additional responsibility of maintaining the NFB-NEWSLINE® subscriber list and providing outreach to potential subscribers: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, in convention assembled on this 6th day of November, 2010, in the city of Beaverton, Oregon, that this organization express our continuing gratitude to the Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services for their sponsorship of NFB-NEWSLINE®.


2009

WHEREAS, there is a crisis in employment for blind people in this country, with estimates of between 70 and 85% of blind Americans being without a job; and

WHEREAS, one of the major barriers to employment for the blind is the prejudices and preconceptions of blindness held by the sighted public; and

WHEREAS, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has proclaimed the month of October to be Meet the Blind Month to encourage the sighted public to learn about and interact with the blind, which is the only proven way to combat these negative preconceptions: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in convention assembled this 10th day of October, 2009, in the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon, that this organization express its thanks to Governor Kulongoski for this important proclamation.

WHEREAS, literacy, being able to read and write efficiently, is essential to effective communication, access to highly skilled and highly paid employment, and success in the community; and

WHEREAS, only 10 percent of today's blind students under age twenty-two are being taught to read Braille, resulting in a 45 percent high school graduation rate for blind students; and

WHEREAS, more than 70 percent of blind people nationwide are not employed, but of those blind people who are employed, 85 percent or more use Braille in the workplace, demonstrating a clear relationship among literacy, confidence, and success; and

WHEREAS, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that each blind student interested in learning Braille be given a quality education in Braille, yet no standardized definition of "quality" exists, leading to ambiguity in the educational system and a low literacy rate among blind students; and

WHEREAS, an effort began in the early 1990s, led by the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, to establish a national test of competency in the literary Braille code, resulting in a fully validated competency test that was finalized in 2006; and

WHEREAS, the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB) took over administration of the test in 2007 and established the National Certification in Literary Braille to provide a credible means of insuring Braille competency; and

WHEREAS, the National Certification in Literary Braille is the only nationwide certification for competency and ongoing professional development in the teaching of Braille; and

WHEREAS, the Braille Readers are Leaders initiative, established by the National Federation of the Blind in July 2008, has a primary goal of insuring that the number of blind students able to read Braille will double by 2015: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in convention assembled this 10th day of October, 2009, in the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon, that this organization call upon the governor of the state, the Oregon state legislature, and teacher licensing agencies, to incorporate the National Certification in Literary Braille into their standards for professionals licensed to teach blind students; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge teachers of blind students, state special education agencies, organizations of and for the blind, and others to take all other steps necessary to join the National Federation of the Blind in ensuring that the number of blind students who are Braille literate and able to read and write Braille competently, doubles by 2015.

WHEREAS, since 1994, the National Federation of the Blind has operated NFB-NEWSLINE, a service that gives blind and non-print readers access to local newspapers at the same time as their sighted peers; and

WHEREAS, in Oregon, NFB-NEWSLINE has provided blind and non-print readers with access to statewide newspapers including the Associated Press Oregon, the Eugene Register-Guard, the Oregonian, and the Salem Statesman Journal; and

WHEREAS, NFB-NEWSLINE has provided blind and non-print readers access to a wide variety of national newspapers; and

WHEREAS, NFB-NEWSLINE has also provided blind and non-print readers access to a variety of magazines including The New Yorker, The Economist, The AARP Magazine, and Diabetes Self-Management; and

WHEREAS, for the past three years, the Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services have joined with the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in sponsoring NFB-NEWSLINE; and

WHEREAS, the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services has gone above and beyond financial sponsorship by taking on the responsibility of maintaining the NFB-NEWSLINE subscriber list and providing outreach to potential subscribers: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon, in convention assembled on this 10th day of October, 2009, in the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon, that this organization express our thanks to the Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Oregon State Library, Talking Book and Braille Services for their sponsorship of NFB-NEWSLINE over the past three years.

WHEREAS, there is a crisis in employment for blind people in this country, with estimates of between 70 and 85% of blind Americans being without a job; and

WHEREAS, the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Program provides meaningful employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to thousands of blind Americans nation-wide; and

WHEREAS, the individual employee at the Oregon Commission for the Blind who is responsible for management of the Randolph-Shepperd Vending Program here in Oregon is retiring; and

WHEREAS, some questions have been raised regarding the Oregon program's compliance with the Randolph-Shepperd Act which could potentially result in risks to the program, and to the blind people who benefit from it: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in convention assembled this 10th day of October, 2009, in the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon, that this organization call upon the Oregon Commission for the Blind to work with the National Federation of the Blind to use this opportunity to carefully examine its Randolph-Shepperd Vending Program to secure this program's future by ensuring its compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this organization calls upon the Oregon Commission for the Blind to demonstrate its commitment to seeking employment of blind Americans by looking outside its own organizaton to find a qualified blind individual to manage this program by keeping the position open to all applicants until it is filled by such a person.

WHEREAS, point-of-sale (POS) and debit card transaction machines increasingly utilize touch screen interfaces for entry of sensitive personal information; and

WHEREAS, POS machines are not now required to present a standardized tactile keypad accessible to blind users, with the result that existing machines may or may not be independently used by blind people; and

WHEREAS, without the ability to independently use these devices efficiently, a blind user must obtain the assistance of a sighted person; and

WHEREAS, obtaining this assistance from a sighted individual requires disclosure of critical and highly confidential information to a third party in a public setting, possibly exposing a blind person to risks including, but not limited to, robbery, personal injury, credit card fraud, and identity theft; and

WHEREAS, many shopping centers claim to provide accessible overlays for POS touch screens, however these overlays are typically not immediately available at checkout time when and where they are needed, essentially negating the effectiveness of this accommodation: Now, Therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in convention assembled this 10th day of October, 2009, in the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon, that this organization call upon shopping centers and other POS machine operators to keep touchscreen overlays with the machines upon which they are to be used. This will ensure that POS machines are independently and safely usable by all customers, including the blind.

WHEREAS, there is a crisis in employment for blind people in this country, with estimates of between 70 and 85% of blind Americans being without a job; and

WHEREAS, the Oregon Commission for the Blind has worked tirelessly to see that blind people in Oregon have a reasonable opportunity for gainful employment; and

WHEREAS, the costs associated with vocational rehabilitation programs for the blind are higher and the skills required are more specialized; and

WHEREAS, the only means by which state and federal tax dollars may be saved, aside from serving fewer clients, is to maintain the pool of resources and talent allowed by maintaining a separate agency serving specifically the blind; and

WHEREAS, the Oregon Commission for the Blind has been the subject of an audit which found several problems in how the Commission has managed its resources. The audit report cited several recommendations to ensure that resources are better allocated in the future, which the Commission has indicated it is working to adopt; and

WHEREAS, the governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, has stated his intention to merge the Oregon Commission for the Blind with the Department of Human Services, depriving Oregon of both the specialized services and the cost savings of a separate agency for the Blind. The justification cited is the erroneous belief that this will somehow reduce costs and enhance accountability: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon in convention assembled this 10th day of October, 2009, in the city of Cottage Grove, Oregon, that this organization call upon Governor Kulongoski and the Oregon state legislature to affirm their commitment to blind constituents by working with the Oregon Commission for the Blind, rather than against it, to implement necessary changes and recommendations as they are required for fiscal responsibility and efficiency.

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National Federation of the Blind
of Oregon. Since 1971, an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind.

State President Carla McQuillan.

Affiliate office telephone, 541-653-9153.
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM, pacific time.

Send Carla an email



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