National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Resolution A15-02

Regarding State Services for the Blind and Order of Selection

 

WHEREAS, the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) increases to 15% of federal dollars received for Pre-employment Transition Services without increasing funding, resulting in the decrease of funds available for other vocational rehabilitation services; and

 

WHEREAS, other sources of vocational rehabilitation funding have decreased over the past few years; and

 

WHEREAS, all of these factors have resulted in the implementation of an "order of selection" which means that blind Minnesotans applying for services will not be able to receive the services they need to resume living a full life and become employed; and

 

WHEREAS, these financial circumstances have forced Minnesota State Services for the Blind to look for areas where costs can be cut: now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVEDby the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this 11th day of October 2015, in the City of Bloomington, Minnesota, that this organization call upon the management of Minnesota State Services for the Blind to observe the following principles when considering areas of cost reduction:

(1)   adjustment to blindness training and related training in the alternative techniques of living and working independently are unique and not available elsewhere and should not be cut;

(2)   examination of internal organizational structure and positions should be carried out before services are permanently reduced;

(3)   external employment placement services, which have been largely curtailed, should remain, as much as possible, within agency staff and limited to placement services having experience with blindness;

(4)   the separate identity of this agency must be preserved and not lost in the name of efficiency which generally produces less effective services;

(5)   permanent policies to cut costs based upon reduced services should be the last resort and should be designed to affect the fewest number of customers;

(6)   the adjustment to blindness component of new staff training should be preserved; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVEDthat this organization commend Minnesota State Services for the blind for their efforts to find alternative ways to serve blind persons during the "Order of Selection" such as the establishment of fixed times when blind persons can receive technology assistance from SSB's staff.