The official policies of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania are established every year with annual resolutions adopted at the state convention.
The resolutions committee meets early during the convention. Each proposed resolution is read, spoken for by the authoring member, considered, and then ultimately withdrawn or recommended for passage or disapproval by the Convention.
Resolution 2002-01: Regarding Bureau of Blind & Visual Services Academic Spending Cap Policy
WHEREAS the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BVS) provides rehabilitation services to blind and visually impaired clients within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS BVS is within the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and subject to policies implemented by OVR and to oversight from OVR; and
WHEREAS the OVR has implemented spending caps for college and university costs during each academic year; and
WHEREAS BVS adopted a similar cap policy when providing services to its customers; and
WHEREAS these caps limit a customer’s right to informed choice of service providers for their vocational training in the form of educational, technical and other academic institutions; and
WHEREAS current waiver policies do not adequately compensate for the hardships caused by the cap policy; and
WHEREAS there has been a steady reduction in funding of post-secondary institutions by the Legislature of the Commonwealth causing tuition increases of 10 to 15% on average statewide; and
WHEREAS these increases may raise tuition costs beyond the reach of many blind students, precluding them from completing the academic program of their choice as a result of the lack of funding by BVS and OVR; and
WHEREAS these caps have not been increased in many years; and
WHEREAS these cap practices are not mandated by the Federal Rehabilitation Act; NOW THEREFORE
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania, in convention assembled this 17th day of November, 2002 in the city of State College, Pennsylvania, that the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania oppose the academic cap policies implemented by OVR and BVS; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania work with OVR and BVS to establish new, improved policies pertaining to the amount of financial support that each customer can receive to achieve their vocational goal, consistent with the highest degree necessary to allow them to be the most employable; and therefore
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that OVR and BVS promote customers’ rights to choice in choosing their academic and/or technical training program.
Resolution 2002-02: Regarding Accessible Voting Machines
WHEREAS the ability to vote independently and secretly is fundamental to the democratic process, and
WHEREAS voting systems which can be used by the blind and visually impaired are currently available, and
WHEREAS such accessible voting systems have been used successfully in various states, cities and counties.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania, in convention assembled this 17th day of November, 2002, in the city of State College, Pennsylvania that this organization work with the state