Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day 2020 HAS BEEN CANCELLED

B.L.I.N D.

Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day 2020

All Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates Here

In light of all of the developments with the Corona Virus and the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration at his Tuesday, March 10th press conference, it has become necessary to cancel the BLIND Event at the request of the State House. The State House Event Scheduler sent out the following statement: “In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all sponsored events at the State House are postponed for the next 30 days effective immediately.”

We know this is disappointing, but the health and well-being of everyone is of highest priority for all of us. As we have observed the number of COVID-19 cases grow in the Greater Boston area and across the country, the Number One priority for all of us must be to ensure that everyone remains safe.

However, we do not want the enthusiasm for our advocacy mission to go untapped – so we have decided to hold a “Virtual” BLIND Event for March 31st. So, what is a “Virtual” BLIND Event? It will be an advocacy day when consumers and all advocates can call into the State House, or email their elected officials, and tell them what you would have shared with them if you could have been there in person. It’s easy to do – it’s all done over the phone or via email. You don’t have to leave your home to do it and you can make a real difference!

To learn more about how the “Virtual” BLIND Event on March 31st will work, you are invited to join an informational conference call on Wednesday, March 25th at 7:00 PM. The call-in details are below:

  • “Virtual” BLIND Event Informational Call
  • Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 PM
  • Dial: 605-475-6006
  • Then enter the passcode 5665780#
  • You will be asked to state your name and press the pound key to continue.
  • (the pound key is below the 9 on the phone keypad.)

Proposed presenters for the “Virtual” BLIND Event Call will be:

  • Kim Charlson – Call Moderator & Logistics Coordinator for the BLIND Event
  • DeAnn Elliott, Presenter – MCB Factsheet Review
  • Paul Parravano, Presenter – Library Program Factsheet Review
  • Bruce Howell, Presenter – How and What consumers will do on March 31st to communicate their messages

The advocacy messages for the “Virtual” BLIND Event include:

The Governor’s proposed budget for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) for fiscal year 2021 which has recommended essentially level funding. Advocates are requesting an increase of $300,000 in the 4110-1000 Community Services account for the purpose of specialized assistive technology training and intensive facility-based independent living skills instruction for seniors and non-vocational blind and visually impaired consumers.

The Governor’s proposed budget for FY2021 for the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library and the Worcester Talking Book Library has recommended level-funding for these important programs. Advocates are asking for an additional appropriation of $14,046 for the Worcester Talking Book Library amounting to a total of $482,263 for line item 7000-9402; and

Advocates are asking for an increase of $79,974 for the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library bringing that account up to $2,745,774 for line item 7000-9406 – resulting in a 3% increase overall for both libraries which was requested by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to support both of these important library programs.

Registration & Follow Up:

We would still like for you to complete the online registration form for the “Virtual” BLIND Event at: www.perkins.org/statehouse

This will allow event planners to email you your state representative and senator’s name, phone number, and email address so you will have the information you need to easily reach out to them on March 31st.

You will also receive the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and the Perkins & Worcester Libraries Factsheets that are being sent directly to each representative and senator’s offices. These factsheets will provide you with the essential information to make your advocacy calls or send your emails.

For other questions, or to register by phone for the “Virtual” BLIND Event contact Erin Fragola, B.L.I.N.D. 2020 Registration Coordinator, at 617-972-7247 or Erin.Fragola@Perkins.org.

Thank You to Our Sponsors:

  • Bay State Council of the Blind
  • Carroll Center for the Blind
  • Lowell Association for the Blind
  • Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • National Braille Press
  • National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts
  • Perkins, on behalf of the Friends of the Perkins Library and the Worcester Talking Book Library

Thank you for your support of the “Virtual” B.L.I.N.D. Event on Tuesday, March 31st.