WHEREAS, the services required by blind people, such as transcription of Braille books and instruction in cane travel, are unique and specific to blindness and are not applicable to other sectors of the population; and
WHEREAS, there exist in Minnesota four separate units within state government that provide services to the blind: the Minnesota Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Resource Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, and State Services for the Blind; and
WHEREAS, although these entities offer programs and services which are closely related, they are located in different governmental departments with a variety of responsibilities; and
WHEREAS, the resources available to some of these entities have been tied more closely to the missions of the government departments from which they are administered than to the needs of the blind Minnesotans they are set up to serve; and
WHEREAS, such a fragmented arrangement not only causes confusion for potential users of services, but also results in some vital services falling through the cracks if such services do not fit neatly with the larger purposes of the umbrella departments; and
WHEREAS, blind Minnesotans of all ages would benefit from an easily identifiable and seamless service delivery system that capitalizes on greater administrative expertise and increased governmental efficiency; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this seventeenth day of April 2004, in the city of New Ulm, that this organization work toward passage of legislation bringing all governmental units that provide services to blind citizens in Minnesota into a single department at the highest level of government possible.