[nfbmi-talk] FW: Michigan shake up

Fred Wurtzel f.wurtzel at att.net
Fri Feb 24 20:55:18 CST 2012



From: George Wurtzel [mailto:gmwurtzel at gmail.com] 
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 7:38 PM
To: Fred Wurtzel
Subject: Fwd: Michigan shake up



George M. Würtzel 

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Jeff Thompson" <JThompson6835 at comcast.net>
Date: February 24, 2012 3:21:06 PM CST
To: "George Wurtzel" <gmwurtzel at gmail.com>
Subject: Michigan shake up

Snyder shakes up 
state services for 
blind, disabled


LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder today ordered 
a shake-up in state services for the 
disabled, including the elimination of the 
Michigan Commission for the Blind.
Snyder, through an executive order, also 
announced that Michigan Rehabilitation 
Services, which helps disabled people find 
jobs and independence and was strongly 
criticized in a recent state audit, will be 
moved to the Department of Human 
Services from the Department of Licensing 
and Regulatory Affairs.
The moves are intended to improveefficiency
and oversight, officials said.
“We’re reshaping state government so it 
offers a more intuitive, effective and 
efficient system of services,” Snyder said in 
a news release. As a result of the changes, 
“our blind and visually impaired residents 
will have better access to comprehensive 
information and resources.”
The Commission for the Blind will have 
some of its powers and functions moved 
from Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to the 
Department of Technology, Management 
and Budget and others moved to the 
Department of Human Services, Snyder 
The state’s residential school for the blind, 
the Michigan Commission for the Blind 
Training Center in Kalamazoo, is moving to 
the Department of Human Services.
The commission’s Business Enterprise 


Program, under which blind and other 
disabled people operate stores, vending 
machines and other services inside state 
buildings, is moving to the Department of 
Technology, Management and Budget.
Snyder announced the creation of the Blind 
and Visually Impaired Services Advisory 
Board and a Michigan Council for 
Rehabilitation Services, both within the 
Department of Human Services.
Along with the Commission for the Blind, 
which served about 2,750 state residents 
in 2010, the order abolishes the position of 
director of the commission, which since 
1997 has been held by Patrick D. Cannon, 
who is blind. He could not immediately be 
reached for comment.
The commission, with a staff of about 110, 
has an office in Lansing and eight field 
offices across the state. In addition to the 
school for the blind, it oversees the Braille 
and Talking Book Library in Lansing.
The order also eliminates the Michigan 
Rehabilitation Council and the Disability 
Concerns Commission.
The changes are to take effect in 60 days.
A January report from Michigan Auditor 


General Thomas McTavish identified weak  
financial controls and questionable 
spending in Michigan Rehabilitation 
Services, including buying a $31,000 
vehicle for a woman who only wanted to be 
a homemaker and didn’t need a car for 
The agency spent about $114 million to 
service about 51,000 disabled people in 
McTavish said the agency failed to show 
public funds were properly spent and failed 
to recover expensive equipment from 
people with physical or mental disabilities 
who left the program and no longer 
needed it.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or  <http://ezurl.co/23c9621>  
pegan at freepress.com



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