Advocate

Get involved by becoming an advocate. Get involved by becoming an advocate. Your energy, talents, and voice can impact thousands of blind and visually impaired people across Massachusetts.

There are many ways and resources to show you how you can make your voice heard locally and nationally. Here are a few.

Join us for Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day 2019

Tenth Annual Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day 2019 on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, from 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM in The Great Hall, at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This year’s event is as important as ever – especially since we missed our 2018 event due to inclement weather. Your advocacy continues to be critical to the future of blindness services as we know them in the Commonwealth!
The Governor’s proposed budget for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) for the fiscal year 2020 has recommended essentially level funding. Advocates are requesting an increase of $250,000 in the 4110-1000 Community Services account for the purpose of Assistive Technology equipment and training.
The Governor’s proposed budget for FY2020 for the Perkins and Worcester libraries has recommended a one percent increase for these important programs. Advocates will be asking for an additional appropriation of $13,251 for the Worcester Talking Book Library amounting to $468,217 for line item 7000-9402; and an increase of $77,645 for the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library bringing that account up to $2,665,800 for line item 7000-9406 – resulting in a 3% increase overall that was requested by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to support both of these important library programs.
Funding is also needed for special education for students with disabilities for FY2020. Support for the special education circuit-breaker account for Chapter 766 private school tuition rates is also essential for students who are blind or with low vision.
This is an important year to make your voices heard at the State House – services, as you have come to rely on them, must be preserved! Please add your voice to our advocacy efforts!
Come to the State House on:
Tuesday, March 19th!
Program Schedule:
●      11:30 am — 12:00 pm: Light buffet lunch with legislators / sponsors & access product demonstrations
●      12:00 pm — 1:15 pm: Awards / Consumer Presentations
●      1:15 pm — 2:00 pm (and beyond): Networking, walk around the State House to visit representative and senators’ offices
Registration & Follow Up:
Your participation is critical!
Please complete the online registration form at:
Your pre-registration means you get emails with updates, event confirmation, and directions to the State House and the Great Hall. Coordinators can also prepare your name badge, legislator information, and information packets for pick-up at the event.
For other questions, or to register by phone contact Erin Fragola, B . L . I . N . D . 2019 Registration Coordinator, at 617-972-7247 or erin.fragola@perkins.org .
For any accommodation requests, please contact Carl Richardson by March 4, 2019 at (857) 400-5502 or via email at carl.richardson@state.ma.us .
If you are unable to join us on Tuesday, March 19th, you can still help by contacting your elected officials. Talking points and general directories for legislators will be distributed in a future email communication prior to the event
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 tenth annual B . L . I .N . D . Event at the State House on Tuesday, March 19th.

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