[PACapitalChapter] Call To Action: Keep BBVS

CAROLE cacruise at comcast.net
Wed Apr 24 22:57:12 UTC 2019

Joe: I sent a letter to the email address listed on your recent letter. I got a reply that it is an unmonitored email account- so I guess that means no one will ever see or read any letters that go to that address. We need an accurate email address that goes directly to Governor Wolf. Thanks!

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------ Original Message ------

From: Drenth, Joe via PACapitalChapter
To: 'nfbp-talk at nfbnet.org', NFB of Pennsylvania Capital Chapter List (pacapitalchapter at nfbnet.org), Keystone Chapter List of the NFB of PA (keystonechapter at nfbnet.org), 'nfbp-board at lists.nfbp.org', pabs at nfbnet.org
Cc: Drenth, Joe
Sent: April 24, 2019 at 1:12 PM
Subject: [PACapitalChapter] Call To Action: Keep BBVS

Hello NFB Family, *** EMERGENCY *** The Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry is considering closing the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS). He is trying to justify it as a cost-savings measure, but he has not provided any financial proof. He is also ignoring studies that show the tremendous harm that such an action would have on the blind and visually-impaired citizens of Pennsylvania. He needs to stop considering this as a viable option. *** CALL TO ACTION *** We need your help to protect blindness-related services in Pennsylvania. Please share the important message $B!H(BKeep BBVS$B!I(B with your state legislators and the Governor$B!G(Bs office. Below are talking points you can use when you call or meet with your Pennsylvania representatives and senators. They are also attached as a flyer you can hand out to concerned neighbors, friends, and any others who could help. The Department of Labor and Industry's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation should abandon consi
deration of any plan to ELIMINATE the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. 1. Research shows that consolidation of blindness rehabilitation services into general rehabilitation services hurts blind clients. BBVS has historically been its own Bureau because of the recognition that services to blind and visually-impaired individuals need to be highly specialized. Studies performed by Mississippi State University$B!G(Bs National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision found that combining blindness-related vocational rehabilitation services with general disability VR services negatively affect the rehabilitation outcomes of blind and visually-impaired individuals and reduces the average income of those who do achieve employment. 2. Projected cost savings is minimal; likely harm to blind clients is great. Closing BBVS would not save much money compared to the harm it would do, and OVR has not presented any fiscal justification for this action. 3. BBVS provides specia
lized rehabilitation services distinct from the rest of OVR. Eliminating BBVS would negatively impact social services for blind children, students, adults, and seniors, since BBVS offers critical opportunities for assistance, training, employment and independent living for which there are no counterparts in the general disability vocational rehabilitation program. 4. OVR did not seek input from stakeholders regarding this plan. This option is being planned within the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation without input from the State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Advisory Committee for the Blind of Pennsylvania, the Governor's office, or the blindness community. Please contact your state legislators and the following offices to share your concerns about the proposal to eliminate BBVS. Also, please share phone calls made and copy all emails to KeepBBVS at nfbp.org. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Phone: (717) 787$B!>(B2500 Email: govcorrespcrm at pa.gov Pennsylvania Department of Labo
r and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak Office phone: (717) 705-2630 Cell phone: (717) 265-5765 Email: wgoleksiak at pa.gov Acting Executive Director of the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Ryan Hyde Central Office phone: (717) 787-5244 Email: rhyde at pa.gov To find the names and contact information for your Pennsylvania General Assembly Representatives and Senators, visit the following web page and enter your mailing address: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/ Thank you very much, Joe Joseph Drenth First Vice-President, NFB of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation Senior R&D Software Engineer, JBT Corporation, Automated Systems Division _______________________________________________ PACapitalChapter mailing list PACapitalChapter at nfbnet.org http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/pacapitalchapter_nfbnet.org To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for PACapitalChapter: http://nfbnet.org/mailman/option

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