[Nfbc-info] National Federation of the Blind Praises Bill to Create Work Incentives and Opportunity

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Sun Feb 8 20:33:46 CST 2009


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



CONTACT:

Christopher Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

cdanielsen at nfb.org



National Federation of the Blind Praises Bill to

Create Work Incentives and Opportunity






Blind Persons Return to Work Act of 2009

Introduced by Congressman Lewis



Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2009):  Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) 
has introduced legislation designed to help blind persons receiving 
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to return to work.  The 
Blind Persons Return to Work Act of 2009 (H.R. 886), will eliminate 
penalties that prevent blind persons from reentering the workforce 
and will facilitate their transition to employment.



Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
which has long advocated this change in policy, said: "This proposal 
will allow thousands of blind people to rejoin the workforce and 
become productive, tax-paying citizens.  Many blind people are 
understandably reluctant to take entry-level jobs because they are 
penalized by an immediate loss of SSDI benefits, and their work 
income rarely compensates for that loss.  This legislation will allow 
blind persons to make a smooth transition from dependence to 
opportunity.  We will work with Congressman Lewis to ensure the swift 
passage of this landmark legislation."



Congressman Lewis said: "Americans who are blind deserve the same 
opportunities as all other Americans.  Their blindness does not 
prevent them from making valuable contributions to our society, as 
evidenced by the many successful blind people I have personally met 
over the years.  The gifts and opportunities of these citizens should 
not be hindered by policies that discourage them from entering the 
workforce.  That is why I am proud to stand with my blind brothers 
and sisters and introduce this much-needed legislation."







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About the National Federation of the Blind



With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind 
is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind 
people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind people's lives 
through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs 
encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is the leading 
force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's 
blind.  In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the 
Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in 
the United States for the blind led by the blind.





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