[blindkid] TEACH Act Petition on Change.org

Marianne Denning marianne at denningweb.com
Tue Feb 24 20:21:46 UTC 2015

That is one of the issues they met with congress about during the recent Washington Seminar.  

-----Original Message-----
From: blindkid [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of hpscheffer--- via blindkid
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 2:40 PM
To: blindkid at nfbnet.org
Subject: [blindkid] TEACH Act Petition on Change.org

Does anyone know what happened with this petition? It has been about a year since it was out and saw it reached a lot more signatures then what was needed. Any headways? 

Thank you


-----Original Message-----
From: McLarney, Lauren <LMcLarney at nfb.org>
To: nfbnet-members-list <nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Mon, Feb 3, 2014 6:12 pm
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Petition on Change.org

Federation family,
Less than a week after a fun and successful Washington Seminar, I alreadyhave good news to report.  The National Association of BlindStudents has initiated a petition on Change.org in support of the TEACHAct, something I’m sure many of you have already heard about and signed,and it already has over 49,000 signatures!  According to our contactat Change.org, it is one of the biggest legislative petitions on thesite.  So please help us reach 50,000 by circulating thisURL:  https://www.change.org/petitions/pass-teach-act-equal-access-to-educational-materials-for-students-with-disabilities, urging your family, friends and associates to sign the petition, or youcan forward Jamie Principado’s letter (found below), which will alsodirect people to the site.  How many times have we talked about theproblem of inaccessible instructional materials, or any problem facingblind people, and heard someone say “I wish there was something I coulddo!”? Well this is something tangible and effective that they can do, andit takes little to no time.  When anyone signs this petition, itsends a letter to the House of Representatives urging them to support thebill – which means every signature makes a big difference.  So don’tbe afraid to send this to contacts outside of the Federation!  Ihope to send an update again soon with more good news as the number ofsignatures goes up, so stay tuned!   
Jamie’s letter for circulation:
As a blind high schooler, I couldn't just apply to my top colleges -- Ihad to make sure that classes were going to be made accessible for me, and Iwas excited to attend Florida State University because they had a greatprogram for training teachers of the blind.
But when I started classes at FSU, I quickly found out that theschool didn't have the accessible tools I needed to learn and complete all mywork.
My online classes weren't compatible with my screen reader and Icouldn't access materials in any of my math or biology classes. I struggled forthree years, and eventually decided to change schools.
I sued FSU for failing to meet state and federal disability laws, butI don't want other blind students like me to experience what I had togo through. I started a petition on Change.org asking Congress to passthe TEACH Act to make sure that all students with disabilities have equalaccess to learning. Click here to sign my petition.
When I approached the administration at FSU about the inaccessible materials, they suggested I try an “easier” major instead of trying tohelp me and other students with disabilities. I felt like the school was punishing me instead of trying to help me learn.
That's why I believe in the TEACH Act. While federal laws requirecolleges to only deploy accessible materials, they were written beforetechnology became part of the classroom, so schools like FSU have no direction forhow the laws apply to students like me. The TEACH Act createsmuch-needed guidelines illustrating how schools can provide instructionaltechnology that is usable for students with disabilities.
I believe that public support of the TEACH Act through my petition willshow members of Congress that constituents around the country believe there isan urgent need for this. But they won't do it without you.
Sign my petition demanding that Congress pass the TEACH Act,creating guidelines for schools to protect equal access in the classroom forblind students.
Thank you for your support.
Jamie Principado
Lauren McLarney
Government Affairs Specialist
200 East Wells St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659 9314 ext. 2207
lmclarney at nfb.org

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