[Nfb-announce] National Federation of the Blind Files Complaint with Maryland Department of Education

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Sat Aug 1 15:10:42 CDT 2009


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT:

Melissa Riccobono, President

National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

(410) 235-3073

<mailto:president at nfbmd.org>president at nfbmd.org

Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum, Attorney

(410) 962-1030

<mailto:skw at browngold.com>skw at browngold.com





National Federation of the Blind
Files Complaint with Maryland Department of Education





Advocates Say Baltimore Schools Not Educating Blind Children



Baltimore, Maryland (July 29, 2009):  The 
National Federation of the Blind and its Maryland 
affiliate have filed a complaint with the 
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) 
alleging violations of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and parallel 
state law by the Baltimore City Public Schools 
(BCPS).  The complaint addresses systemic 
problems that prevent blind students in the BCPS 
from receiving a free, appropriate public 
education as required by law.  Among other things, the BCPS has failed to:



·        Properly assess students who are blind 
or have low vision to determine their educational needs;

·        Properly train blind students in the 
skills of blindness, especially Braille and travel with a white cane; and

·        Provide access to appropriate assistive 
technology, such as Braille printers, Braille 
note-taking devices, print magnification devices, 
and text-to-speech screen access technology for computers.



Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National 
Federation of the Blind, said: “Blind students 
can compete on terms of equality with their 
sighted peers and go on to lead productive and 
successful lives, but only if they are provided 
with an equal education.  The National Federation 
of the Blind will do everything in our power to 
ensure that every blind child receives the 
educational services he or she needs to succeed, 
and that is why we have taken this action.”



Melissa Riccobono, President of the National 
Federation of the Blind of Maryland, 
said:  “Baltimore schools have produced blind 
students who are functionally illiterate, cannot 
travel independently outside of their homes, and 
do not possess other critical skills that they 
need to compete on an equal basis with their 
sighted peers.  The National Federation of the 
Blind of Maryland has a responsibility to 
advocate for the needs of blind students, and we 
cannot and will not tolerate the failure of the 
BCPS to abide by state and federal law and 
provide these students with the education they 
need in order to live independent and productive 
lives.  We hope that the BCPS will accept our 
proposals to expand and improve their programs 
for blind students and work with us to ensure 
that blind children in Baltimore receive the 
equal education to which they are entitled.”



A press conference about this action will be held 
today at 1:45 p.m. in the Members Hall of the 
National Federation of the Blind Jernigan 
Institute, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230.



###





No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.32/2266 
- Release Date: 07/27/09 05:58:00





More information about the Nfb-announce mailing list