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RESOLUTION 2019-01

Regarding the Under-Representation of the Blind on the Board of Directors and Staff at All Levels at The Stockton Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind believes in the capacity of the blind to be fully participating members of society, able to compete on equal terms with the sighted; and

Whereas, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that people with significant disabilities who receive proper training and support can also engage in competitive, integrated employment; and

Whereas, the California Department of Rehabilitation provides a large percentage of the funding for agencies for the blind to provide this training; and

Whereas in spite of the fact that the blind have firsthand knowledge of the tools and techniques of blindness, despite our being positive role models and mentors for the newly blind seeking training and support, we are still underrepresented on the Boards of Directors and on Staff at all levels at nearly every California agency for the blind; and

Whereas in November 2019 The Stockton Community Center For The Blind and Visually Impaired has set a new low by having zero blind members on its board of directors, despite multiple requests for the Center to remedy this unnecessary nonrepresentation, and

Whereas other California blindness agencies have substantial numbers of the people they serve represented on their governing Board of Directors, and every one of the 660 Independent Living Centers nationally have majority disabled representation on their Board of Directors:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of California in convention assembled this 10th day of November, 2019, in the city of Milpitas, California, that this organization urge the Stockton Community Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired to amend its bylaws to require at least 25% blind and visually impaired serving on its Board of Directors by the end of the year 2020; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge the Stockton Community Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired to set a staffing goal that at least 60% of their entire workforce, including Executive, Managerial, and line teaching staff, be blind or visually impaired by November 2021, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this organization urge the California Department of Rehabilitation to develop agency certification requirements such that a minimum of 25% of the boards of directors of agencies receiving DOR funding for blindness training be blind or visually impaired.

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