[NFBMO] Important: Breaking News on the BRITE Act
sbwright95 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 3 05:46:48 UTC 2022
Hello Federation Family and Friends,
First of all, I want to announce that our BRITE Act Bill HB 2150 has been scheduled for a hearing in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, chaired by Representative Chuck Basye. The hearing will be on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. If anyone is interested in testifying in person or writing in support of the bill, Please let Roger Crome or me know. Roger and I are looking for several folks who can testify in person at the hearing and folks in the audience demonstrates support as well.
I am sending an email from the BRITE Act Work Group, which we formed last spring, so you can read the overview the work group is sharing with those interested in blind students. In this message are some good talking points and helpful links. There is also a complete list of the Education Committee. If you live in one of the representatives district, a note or call from you supporting the bill would be most helpful.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for all you do!
From: BRITE Act <brite.act at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2022 4:25 PM
To: asilea at dgckids.org; Kevin.Hollinger at fhsdschools.org; Mandy <keysm at capetigers.com>; Carla Keirns <carlakeirns at gmail.com>; gwunder at earthlink.net; Carmack Jenny <jcarmack314 at gmail.com>; Shelia Wright <sbwright95 at gmail.com>
Subject: MO Legislation Impacting Children with Visual Impairments (March 2022)
As someone interested in issues impacting children with visual impairments, we wanted to let you know that the updated Blind Students’ Rights to Independence, Training, and Education (BRITE) Act <https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills221/hlrbillspdf/4667H.01I.pdf> was introduced in the 2022 Missouri Legislature and has recently been assigned to a House committee.
Rep Brenda Shields, the bill sponsor, worked closely with a small workgroup made up of vision professionals, school district administrators, consumers, parents, and representatives of organizations serving those with visual impairments, to develop the new language for the BRITE Act. As members of the workgroup, we believe this is an important first step toward improving the learning opportunities for children with visual impairment and we hope you will support it!
SEE BELOW FOR ACTION STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY!
House Bill 2150:
* Provides clear definitions of terms, including the addition of expanded core curriculum
* Maintains decision making role of IEP team and adds role for IFSP team
* Ensures that 504 plans address any equipment, accommodations, and modifications for students with visual impairments
* Adds language to ensure that instruction and goals for children with visual impairments are in line with those expected of their peers, based on age and intellectual ability (specifically related to braille, assistive technology, and orientation and mobility)
* Provides more flexibility regarding mobility services and allows for nighttime instruction as needed
* Limits costs and barriers to families related to assistive technology and orientation and mobility services
* Expands professionals credentialed to serve children with visual impairments and explicitly names Teachers of the Visually Impaired as individuals qualified to provide instruction in braille and assistive technology
You can find the full text for House Bill 2150 here <https://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills221/hlrbillspdf/4667H.01I.pdf> . Please note that the new language begins on page two. If you have any questions or would like more information, you can email the workgroup at brite.act at gmail.com <mailto:brite.act at gmail.com>
WE ENCOURAGE ALL THOSE WHO SUPPORT THE BILL TO;
1. Send a thank you to Rep Shields for championing this bill (click here for contact info <https://house.mo.gov/memberdetails.aspx?district=011&year=2021&code=R> )
2. See if your Representative serves on the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee (click here to look up your legislators <https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx> ). If they are on the Education Committee (listed below), please contact them and let them know you support the BRITE Act (House Bill 2150)
Boone, Randolph, Howard, Cooper
St. Louis, St. Charles
Grundy, Linn, Livingston
St. Louis City, St. Louis
Jenny Carmack, National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
Jenn Coy, Lighthouse for the Blind - St. Louis
Kevin Hollinger, Francis Howell School District, Vision Dept
Carla Keirns, Missouri Blind Task Force
Mandy Keys, Cape Girardeau School District –Special Education Dept
Anne Silea, Delta Gamma Center
Shelia Wright, National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
Gary Wunder, National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
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