[NFBWATLK] Article: Hot Topics in Blindness-Related Vocational Rehabilitation and Aging Policy and Practice: A National Town Hall Teleseminar, AFB.org, May 2, 2017
Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Tue May 2 16:59:00 UTC 2017
Hot Topics in Blindness-Related Vocational Rehabilitation and Aging Policy and Practice: A National Town Hall Teleseminar
May 2, 2017
Posted by: American Foundation for the Blind
Join Former RSA Commissioner, Janet LaBreck and The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging's Disability Policy Director, Michael Gamel-McCormick for Hot Topics in Blindness-Related Vocational Rehabilitation and Aging Policy and Practice: A National Town Hall Teleseminar hosted by the American Foundation for the Blind and the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 3pm Eastern
To join the call:
Enter code: 44731081#
Advocates for quality vocational rehabilitation (VR) and independent living services for people who are blind or visually impaired continue to be concerned about the future of blindness-related VR service delivery and the funding and direction of the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program. In addition to a growing population of potential OIB program clients and federal spending that currently only allows less than 2% of clients who could benefit from the OIB program to actually receive services, recent developments in VR policy and practice are raising troubling questions for many advocates. How will the U.S. Education Department's new VR regulations closing the door to so-called homemaker closures potentially hurt clients and further burden the OIB program? What intended and unintended consequences may be expected from Congress's requirement that 15% of VR agencies' federal resources be devoted to transition-related services? And how are these and other developments, such as the renewed rhetoric of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) against so-called non-integrated employment settings, particularly AbilityOne programs, likely to play out over time?
On Wednesday afternoon, May 10, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm Eastern, you are invited to engage with key congressional and federal agency players with first-hand expertise in these critical questions. AFB and the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss are hosting a free teleseminar town hall for any and all who may be interested in the future of the VR and OIB programs, the scope and quality of services provided, and federal funding for their future success.
Join a lively and interactive discussion with former RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck, under whose leadership the most recent VR regulations were developed. Ask your questions, raise your concerns, and learn from a national expert in VR service delivery about how to better distinguish fact from myth about the Education Department's stance on this array of critical issues. Then, we will turn with Ms. LaBreck to an extended conversation about the future of the OIB program and how advocates can work most effectively with policymakers to protect and enhance the program during these unpredictable times.
We will also be joined by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging's Disability Policy Director, Michael Gamel-McCormick, for a behind-the-scenes look at what policy possibilities might be on the horizon in Congress and how best to navigate the current turbulent climate. In his Committee staff role in service to Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member, Mr. Gamel-McCormick is quickly becoming the go-to Capitol Hill staffer on all matters both disability- and aging-related.
To join the call, no RSVP is required. Simply dial the teleconference number and participant code a few minutes prior to the 3pm Eastern start time. Our special guests will share their perspectives and take questions, including your questions and comments, and then we will be inviting brief update presentations summarizing work to date in each of the four goal areas of the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss: funding for services, quantity and quality of personnel, collaboration to maximize resources, and Medicare coverage of low vision devices.
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