National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Resolution A13-05

 

WHEREAS, Minnesota State Services for the Blind's (SSB) Senior Services Unit provides services to blind seniors in the state of Minnesota, especially crucial adjustment to blindness training in the home or through group classes, as well as access to information and resources; and

 

WHEREAS, in recognition of the pending increase in the number of senior citizens who will require services, SSB, along with the public and nonprofit leadership center at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota, has embarked on an exploration of redesigning its senior services, with a goal to double the number of customers served with the same or fewer resources over the next few years; and

 

WHEREAS, experience has long shown that senior citizens who are losing vision can best maintain independence and quality of life if they receive specialized adjustment to blindness services and if those providing the services have specific knowledge of blindness; and

 

WHEREAS, adjustment to blindness issues are not medical issues but pertain to learning new skills for independence, building self-confidence, and developing positive attitudes about blindness; and

 

WHEREAS, some of the possible solutions explored by the current re-design effort would, if implemented, decrease the quality of services to seniors, relegating them to lives of dependence or even costly assisted care; now, therefore

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this twenty-seventh day of October 2013, in the city of Bloomington, Minnesota, that this organization call upon SSB to use the following considerations in any re-design plan for services to senior citizens:

·         service providers have a strong background in blindness;

·         all seniors have timely access to quality training in alternative techniques so that they can gain the skills and resources to function independently in the home and in the community;

·         seniors have the opportunity to be in contact with well-adjusted blind “role models”;

·         resources are maximized by equipping the senior to function even if further vision loss occurs;

·         the quality of services is improved from what is currently available; and

·         seniors are not required to deal with multiple state agencies to obtain needed services related to vision loss.