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 Each proposed resolution is read, spoken for by the authoring member, considered, and then ultimately withdrawn or recommended for passage or disapproval by the Convention.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 1998-01: Regarding Tom Earle
WHEREAS, Attorney Tom Earle of the Disabilities Law Project has admirably and successfully represented the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania in a suit against the SouthEastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA); and
WHEREAS, this action has caused SEPTA to purchase equipment with stop announcement capabilities, to provide proper training to drivers regarding accommodations for persons with disabilities, and to make access to routes and schedules more readily available by telephone; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of the Electronic Benefits Transfer system by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) did not provide for accessibility by blind and visually impaired persons who were forced to use cash dispensing machines; and
WHEREAS, the efforts of Tom Earle acting on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania and all other affected blind persons in the Commonwealth brought about a settlement which provided for training materials in accessible format and DPW’s commitment that new cash dispensing machines will be accessible to blind and visually impaired users: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania in convention assembled this 15th day of November, 1998, in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that Tom Earle be commended for his tireless and unceasing efforts to bring equality to the blind of Pennsylvania.
Resolution 1998-02: Regarding State Services for the Blind
WHEREAS, it has been recognized for many years by professionals in the rehabilitation field, and proven by national studies, that vocational rehabilitation services for the blind are provided most efficiently and with higher quality by distinct agencies specializing in the rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired persons; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is currently considering the future of services to be provided to it’s blind citizens, and representatives of the Governor’s agenda on persons with disabilities have questioned the need for a separate and distinct agency for the blind and visually impaired; and
WHEREAS, The National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania believes that the inclusion of services for the blind and visually impaired into an agency that serves other disabled persons would cause a further deterioration of quality services for blind persons: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania in convention assembled this 15th day of November, 1998, in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that this organization opposes any attempt by state government to merge services for the blind and visually impaired with any other agency; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we remain steadfast in our commitment to establish an independent commission for the blind in Pennsylvania.
Resolution 1998-03: Regarding Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
WHEREAS, the federal Workforce Investment Act became law in August of 1998, and blind citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania require employment services; and
WHEREAS, plans have already been formulated for the delivery of employment services through “one stop” centers; and
WHEREAS, the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services is required to be an active partner in this project as specified in the act; and
WHEREAS blind Pennsylvanians have difficulty in accessing employment services through the Pennsylvania Job Service due to a lack of commitment to needed accommodation: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania in convention assembled this 15th day of November, 1998, in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that the Human Resources Investment Council, the Governor’s Policy Team, the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, and any other governmental agencies participating in the establishment of the Team Pennsylvania Career Links Centers,and all organizations with whom they contract must insure that rather than simply referring blind persons to the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, accessibility be provided in the areas of, but not be limited to: accessible electronic information equipment, physical locations which ar accessible to reasonable public transportation, materials available in accessible formats, staff which has been provided with proper training in how to successfully furnish the full range of services to blind and visually impaired persons, and that BVS develop and submit it’s required plan in conjunction with the SRC and blind consumer organizations so that blind persons have full access to all of the programs and services available to the general public.