[nfbmi-talk] i think applies to michigan too

Christine Boone christine_boone at comcast.net
Mon Jan 10 11:04:27 CST 2011


Yes, this could be a very good thing to send to our own Legislature.  

On Jan 8, 2011, at 9:13 AM, joe harcz Comcast wrote:

> New Congress should invest in seniors, disabled
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> January 06, 2011
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> As a new Congress and Illinois General Assembly convene, we strongly urge them to address the needs of people who are blind or otherwise disabled.
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> For our Congressional representatives, we first of all yearn for a return to the bipartisanship that shaped the successful passage of the Americans with
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> Disabilities (ADA) Act 20 years ago. Today, that spirit is sorely missed as too much political infighting threatens to overshadow a thoughtful appraisal
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> of the priorities of Americans including those who are blind or visually impaired.
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> 
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> The start of the new Congressional session this month coincides with the fact that the first wave of baby boomers will be turning 65 in 2011. They are the
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> vanguard of a generation of some 75 million Americans who will be experiencing vision loss in the years ahead. This will pose an unprecedented public health
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> challenge in America. To help prepare for this challenge, we recommend that the Obama administration along with Congress work together in developing a
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> strategic plan that will allocate needed resources.
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> Regarding the new session of the Illinois General Assembly, we are well aware of the dire economic situation facing our state and the need for shared sacrifice
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> in coping with the massive budget deficit. Like many other social service agencies, we have taken necessary steps to pare down our own budgets while keeping
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> intact the critical services we provide. However, the safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, including the blind and otherwise disabled, must remain
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> in place. Therefore, we encourage lawmakers to abstain from making any further cuts to human services, much of which have already been slashed to the bone.
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> With the rise in the number of elderly people, we think it would be prudent for legislators to invest more resources in senior programs. Given the high
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> unemployment rate in Illinois, funding for job training programs must also be given a boost. To better assist people with disabilities in getting to the
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> training sites as well as to their jobs, lawmakers need to fix any inequalities in paratransit funding so those who need the service will have easier access
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> to it.
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> In repairing our state's budget woes and gearing up for an economic resurgence, let's make sure that the voices of blind, visually impaired or otherwise
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> disabled Illinoisans are heard loudly and clearly.
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> 
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> -- Janet P. Szlyk, President and Executive Director, The Chicago Lighthouse; Charles E. Young, President, The Hadley School For The Blind
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> New Congress should invest in seniors, disabled - Chicago Tribune
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> http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-06/news/chi-110106szlyk_briefs_1_chicago-lighthouse-new-congress-human-services
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