National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Resolution A03-02

 

WHEREAS, rehabilitation counselors who work at State Services for the Blind (SSB) are responsible for assisting customers in determining a vocational goal and the services required to reach that goal; and


WHEREAS, in order to assist blind customers effectively, rehabilitation counselors and their supervisors must have a positive attitude about blindness and more than superficial knowledge of the details of the services from which a customer can benefit; and


WHEREAS, in the recent past, direct service staff and supervisors at SSB received eight consecutive weeks of blindness-specific training which provided adequate background in blindness, but this training was discontinued and not replaced with a comparable program; and


WHEREAS, SSB has hired a large number of new counselors within the past three years; and


WHEREAS, SSB has provided the new counselors and supervisors, who often have little or no background in blindness, with very minimal and often piecemeal training which specifically relates to blindness; and


WHEREAS, the results of a recent customer satisfaction survey conducted by the Department of Employment and Economic Development show that a significant percentage of customers felt that their counselors were not sufficiently knowledgeable about blindness; and


WHEREAS, these findings are acknowledged by SSB's Director of Workforce Development as indicative of an area that needs attention and improvement at SSB; now therefore


BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this second day of November, 2003, in the city of St. Paul, that this organization call upon State Services for the Blind to implement a program of concentrated and comprehensive immersion training on blindness for its rehabilitation counselors and their supervisors; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization offer its assistance and expertise in designing such a training program.