[Colorado-talk] Fwd: [Nfbnet-members-list] REPUBLICAN BLITZ FOR TEACH ACT

Dan Burke burke.dall at gmail.com
Tue Jun 10 17:21:34 UTC 2014


Please read Lauren's e-mail below, then write to one of these three
Colorado House members asking them to cosponsor the TEACH Act. The
e-mail address of the Education LA for each is provided.  Rep. Coffman
is already a cosponsor in the House.


District 3
Tipton, Scott             R
218 CHOB
Education LA
lindley.kratovil at mail.house.gov.
That office told Lauren that they would not cosponsor. We should hit
them harder.


District 4
Gardner, Cory          R
213 CHOB
Education LA
carolyn.warren at mail.house.gov

Rep. Gardner obviously won't be in the House in January; he'll either
be in the Senate or out of a job. However, we should work on getting
him to cosponsor because if he is elected to the Senate, we can get
him to sign on there aslo.


Distric 5
Lamborn, Doug        R
2402 RHOB
202-225-4422            Veterans' Affairs
Education LA
brandon.miller at mail.house.gov


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "McLarney, Lauren via Nfbnet-members-list"
<nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2014 20:03:35 -0500
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] REPUBLICAN BLITZ FOR TEACH ACT
To: nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org

Hi Friends,

Next week, we need everyone to mobilize for the
TEACH Act! From Monday through Friday, we will
run a Republican Blitz, where everybody contacts
the Republican members of Congress from their
state delegation and urges them to cosponsor the
TEACH Act, H.R. 3505 and S. 2060. The goal is to
get a huge influx of cosponsors.

This is a pivotal time. The TEACH Act is
non-controversial, but the upcoming elections
will limit our opportunities to pass the bill
this Congress. We truly believe this bill has a
chance, so we are going to take a real shot at
trying to get this done. Consequently, we're
planning an important meeting with a higher
education association to bring the schools on
board, and then plan to meet with the Chairman of
the Education and Workforce Committee to explore
about our options. We want to go into that
meeting with the most cosponsors as possible,
particularly from the majority party. Currently,
H.R. 3505 has forty-two, with fifteen
Republicans, twenty-seven Democrats. If we can
get thirteen more Republicans we will be at
fifty-five cosponsors and have an almost-even
twenty-eight/twenty-seven breakdown. S. 2060 just
got two new cosponsors, Senators Bennet and
Ayotte. We are at an even two and two (for a
total of four) and even though the Democrats are
the majority party in the Senate, we already have
a few waiting in the wings. We want to keep it
even and won't send them on until we secure a few
more Republicans. Let's build on this momentum!

A few things to note:
1)      This is a BLITZ. That means we need lots
of people to send lots of emails, not just one or
two people. Even if it's not your member of
Congress, if they are a Republican in your state
delegation, email them! Let's make it a digital
version of the Washington Seminar, but just limited to the Republican offices.
2)      Send your correspondence to the education
staffer. If you don't know who the education
staffer is, just call the office and ask, or shoot me an email.
3)      Know your audience. Some things are
universal to advocacy, like telling your personal
story and explaining what the bill does, but the
points you emphasize to a Democrat might not be
the best points to emphasize to a Republican. For
the TEACH Act, it's best to emphasize how the
guidelines are voluntary, that we are trying to
help schools better comply with the law and avoid
litigation, which in turn helps blind students,
and that the industry supports the bill.
4)      Personalize your letters. Offices know a
block/form letter when they see one. I've
provided a sample letter below, but please make
edits before sending. If you're from a state
where a particular school has faced a lawsuit
related to this, add it in. If another Republican
from your state has cosponsored, mention it.
5)      Feel free to tweet or call, but in
addition to emails rather than as a substitute.
Some sample tweets: "Blind students need access
to materials, help spur the market! Cosponsor the
#TEACHAct" or "Blind students are being left
behind and schools are being sued. The #TEACHAct
is an easy fix. Will you cosponsor?" or "When
blind students get to college, we need books.
Publishers support the #TEACHAct, do you?" or
"Congressman X and Congressman X have cosponsored
the #TEACHAct. Join your delegation!" or even
"Support Mr. Petri before he retires by
cosponsoring #TEACHAct, a bill that improves
access for the blind in higher ed!"

I'll be sending out reminders periodically next
week. I hope everyone can help us reach our goal
and we can increase the chances of passing the
TEACH Act. Let's face it, not only is the bill
non-controversial, but blind students cannot afford to wait. Thanks guys!


Sample letter:

Hello [Education Staffer's first name],

I am writing on behalf of the National Federation
of the Blind of [your affiliate]. We last met
with your office in January to discuss our
legislative agenda, and one of those bills was
the Technology, Education and Accessibility in
College and Higher Education (TEACH) Act, H.R.
3505/S.2060. It has been a few months so I wanted
to circle back and ask that
Congressman/Congresswoman [Name] will come on as
a cosponsor. The bill is non-controversial and
bipartisan - can we count on [his/her] support?

A quick reminder: Inaccessible educational
technology is creating profound barriers to
education for students with disabilities. The
TEACH Act authorizes the creation of voluntary
accessibility guidelines for instructional
material so that those materials are usable by
students with print disabilities, and then
incentivizes schools to use technology that
conforms to the guidelines with a safe harbor
from litigation. The goal of the guidelines is to
facilitate the equal access mandates that require
schools to use accessible materials by
stimulating the creation of a viable digital
marketplace. By facilitating the national mandate
and the national market, we can provide equal
access for blind students without infringing on
states' rights. This bill is appealing to those
on both sides of the aisle, is endorsed by a
major industry group, and is supported by data
from a Congressionally-authorized study. The
TEACH Act does not create any new liability for
schools or create any mandates on technology
companies, and reduces costs and litigation while
still making systemic change for blind students.
[H.R. 3505/S. 2060] is sponsored by [Tom Petri in
the House/our Republican leader is Orrin Hatch] -
will your boss join them as a cosponsor?

Over 160,000 people, many from our state, have
signed this petition on Change.org,
showing widespread support for this modest
approach to a disgraceful problem. Blind students
can't afford to wait, so please let me know if
there are questions. For more information, please
visit https://nfb.org/TEACH. Thanks, hope to hear from you!

[Your name]

Lauren McLarney
Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
410.659.9314 ext. 2207
LMcLarney at nfb.org

The National Federation of the Blind knows that
blindness is not the characteristic that defines
you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low
expectations create obstacles between blind
people and our dreams. You can have the life you
want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Dan Burke
My Cell:  406.546.8546
Twitter:  @DallDonal

More information about the Colorado-Talk mailing list