Resolution 2022-02 Concerning Elimination of Blind Exclusion from Early Intervention Employment
WHEREAS, members of the National Federation of the Blind know that blindness is just a characteristic;, and
WHEREAS, members of the National Federation of the Blind know that with training and opportunity, people who are blind can perform jobs as well as their sighted peers; and
WHEREAS, people who are blind raise children successfully and independently; and
WHEREAS, language throughout the child care center general licensing requirements in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations repeatedly and explicitly refer to visual observation as a requirement for child care workers; and
WHEREAS, for example, Title 22 language concerning infant care teacher qualifications and duties states: “teachers shall visually observe aides whenever aides are working with infants;” and
WHEREAS, the staff-infant ratio required for infant care teachers specifies “”there shall be one teacher to visually observe every 12 sleeping infants provided the remaining staff necessary to meet the ratios . . . are immediately available at the center;” and
WHEREAS, the staff-infant ratio also provides “an aide who is 18 years of age or older, and who meets [other specified requirements], may visually observe 12 sleeping infants in place of a teacher if the conditions specified in (d) above are met;” and
WHEREAS, a child care center can be fined for not having the appropriate staff-child ratio; and
WHEREAS, under these regulations, a person who is blind or has low vision cannot obtain employment as an early education provider, and
WHEREAS, the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education states: “Caregivers/teachers should provide active and positive supervision of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children by sight and hearing at all times, including when children are resting or sleeping;” and
WHEREAS, the National Resource Center also states: “Supervision is directly tied to safety and the prevention of injury and maintaining quality child care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. Parents/guardians depend on caregivers/teachers to supervise their children. To be available for supervision or rescue in an emergency, an adult must be able to hear and see the children. With proper supervision and in the event of an emergency, supervising adults can quickly and efficiently remove children from any potential harm;” and
WHEREAS, the National federation of the Blind knows that people who are blind can effectively and competently supervise children non-visually: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of California in Convention assembled this sixth day of November, 2022, in the city of San Diego, California, that we urge the State of California and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to understand that people who are blind are competent and capable to be early education providers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that visual supervision should be relabeled as sensory supervision; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that licensed childcare centers should hire based on qualifications rather than refusing employment because an applicant is blind;, and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization determine and take necessary legislative, legal or other actions to change the legal requirements that discriminate against people who are blind and disallow them to be child care providers.
 Title 22, section 101416.2.
 Title 22, California Code of Regulations, section 101416.5(d).
 Title 22 California Code of Regulations, section 101416.5(d)(1).