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 Each proposed resolution is read, spoken for by the authoring member, considered, and then ultimately withdrawn or recommended for passage or disapproval by the Convention.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 2010-01: Regarding Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Whereas, in 1731, Benjamin Franklin founded the first lending library in the colonies known as the Library Company of Philadelphia; and,
Whereas, The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) in Philadelphia has provided books for the blind in accessible formats since 1902; and
Whereas, the LBPH in Philadelphia currently provides reading materials in digital format and cassette tape to its patrons who live in the eastern portion of Pennsylvania; and,
Whereas, the LBPH in Philadelphia circulates over 67,000 titles in Braille format alone to blind patrons living in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia; and,
Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania (NFB of PA) recognize the need to provide a greater quantity and more timely access to Braille books; and,
Whereas, it has been documented that an increased proficiency in reading Braille is directly proportional to literacy rates among blind persons; and,
Whereas, competitive employment requires employees to possess exemplary verbal and written communication skills, which must be achieved if blind persons are to overcome the current seventy percent unemployment rate; and,
Whereas, there are whisperings of moving the digital portion of the LBPH in Philadelphia to the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh; and,
Whereas, there have also been whisperings that the Braille titles currently housed and distributed from the LBPH in Philadelphia will be moved to Iowa; and,
Whereas due to staffing shortages the LBPH in Philadelphia is currently experiencing, the time frame between ordering a book in Braille and actually receiving the book can be as much as two weeks; and,
Whereas, moving the Braille volumes to Iowa will increase this time immeasurably; and,
Whereas, sighted children and adults never need wait extraordinary amounts of time to obtain reading materials they request; and,
Whereas, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been experiencing budget short falls for the past several years; and,
Whereas, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has hired the services of a consultant to study the best way for the State to reduce its budget deficit; and,
Whereas, the current administration in Harrisburg is once again attempting to balance its budget on the backs of the disabled.
Therefore be it resolved this 14th day of November, in the city of Middletown, Pennsylvania that the NFB of PA condemn and deplore the current administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for once again enacting discriminatory practices of budget balancing which will deny equal access to reading materials for the blind; and,
Let it further be resolved that the NFB of PA will fight diligently to keep the LBPH open and active in Philadelphia; and,
Let it further be resolved that the NFB of PA will work with the LBPH to not only keep its current services onsite but to also increase its services and outreach.