Did you know that if you're blind or visually impaired,
you need to learn:
- Different living skills, orientation and mobility training?
- A whole different way of perceiving the world?
- How to navigate the world using assistive technology?
Those are just some of the reasons why we need YOU to spend
10 minutes helping us by sending a letter, an email, or posting
on social media by midnight on Monday, 15 June 2015.
- It's easy! Text is partly pre-written for you!
- Just copy, add your own personal comments, and send!
- Feel good because you're helping thousands get the services they need to live independently.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is being changed because barely 50% of the people who went through the federal job training programs completed with skills that were actually needed for available jobs.
While we applaud that the law is being streamlined and modernized, it is overlooking the thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals that will be hurt by the new parameters.
FACT #1: Blind or visually impaired individuals have little chance of employment or a vocation without necessary rehabilitation training including Braille Instruction, Assistive Technology Training, Independent Living Skills and Orientation and Mobility Training.
FACT #2: Vision Rehabilitation Training or needed technology is NOT covered under medical insurance.
FACT #3: The ONLY way blind and visually impaired individuals can get the training and services they need are through private agencies/nonprofits that work with the State Department of Rehabilitation. (These services are NOT offered through the One-Stop Independent Living Center.)
FACT #4: Under this new law, the agencies and nonprofits offering services for the blind and visually impaired will lose a substantive part of their funding necessary to provide these services and products.
FACT #5: Under this new law - because of the unique requirements and needs of the blind and visually impaired community - many individuals will no longer qualify for training and services including:
Caregivers (caring for children or elderly parents) that cannot perform care giving activities without rehabilitation and assistive technology training.
Many positions for the blind and visually impaired require special training or assistive technology that are not readily available in most places of employment, thus, training and technology for these individuals will not qualify under the new law.
Blind and visually impaired individuals that enroll in extended specialized or retraining programs may no longer qualify for rehabilitation and assistive technology training because they may fall outside the new required time limits. Yet, without this training, these individuals are at risk of not being equipped to succeed in the advanced trainings
We are concerned that while the new law provides positive benefits to many of its constituents, it does is harmful to its blind and visually impaired constituents. The following are harmful outcomes of the new law:
- Cutback in services and assistance while no medical coverage is available: Organizations will lose essential funding for their programs. For example, the San Diego Center for the Blind could lose over $500,000 from next year's budget. This means not only a cutback on the types and depth of our services, but also a cutback on the number of individuals we can serve. Remember, for some individuals, we are their ONLY source of services and equipment, since NO services or equipment for the blind and visually impaired are covered by medical insurance.
- A larger percentage of the blind and visually impaired constituency will be impacted than ANY OTHER group of constituents: While other non-blind programs will be impacted only 0.08%, over 10% of blind and visually impaired individuals that fall under this category will be negatively impacted.
What You Can Do
Please help us spread the word... easy as One, Two, Three!
- One: SUBMIT ONLINE at the LINK below using the information we've provided for you!
- Two: Ask your family and friends to help by sharing the below posting.
- Three: Post whatever you can on your own social media ...you can use the sample messages we've written below!
One: POST ONLINE
Post this information:
In the Employment Outcome definition, RSA removes “Uncompensated outcomes” as noted in its explanation of the revised regulation. This includes “Homemaker” outcomes. While RSA reports that only 0.8% of outcomes utilize this pathway for individuals with disabilities, over 10% of outcomes among individuals served through Designate State Units for the blind will be adversely impacted. This change was not mandated in statute, but rather by the Department’s choosing. If implemented, individuals who are blind would no longer be allowed to choose this as an outcome, which is often chosen by those still working to regain the confidence and skills to become independent before choosing to return to work. RSA gives instructions on how to refer these individuals to other government or community service providers.
There is a clear disproportionate impact that will occur among individuals who are blind, without necessary assurance that critical and unique services will still be available for this group. It is recommended to strike this revision. If not, then further guidance is necessary to assure these individuals will not be shut in and shut out from vital rehabilitation services.
If you like, you can also add your own comment in this box.
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Two: SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGE TO SHARE
Please post this daily to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Blog and Google+ pages until 16 June.
Three: SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS TO POST
Please post this daily to Twitter until 16 June.
ONLY 4 DAYS to make a difference in the life of blind/visually impaired individuals. Only takes 10 minutes to help! snip.ly/VdDS
Dept of Ed change in regulations ONLY support SOME disabilities, but not the visually impaired. Take 10 min to help! snip.ly/VdDS
Dept of Ed changes in regulations do NOT support services for the blind/visually impaired. Take 10 minutes to help! snip.ly/VdDS
Over 500 blind/visually impaired in San Diego alone may be negatively impacted by DOE changes. Take 10 to help! snip.ly/VdDS
The SDCB will have to cutback on services if the DOE regulation changes are passed. Help STOP this from happening. snip.ly/VdDS
SanDiegoCtr for the Blind is at risk of losing upwards of $500,000 (1/3 of total budget) due to reg changes. HELP US! snip.ly/VdDS
Help ensure blind/visually impaired aren't accidentally left behind in execution of new DOE regs. HELP STOP THIS. snip.ly/VdDS