Braille Monitor                                                                           October 1986

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Letter from NCSAB President

On Thursday, July 3, 1986, Charles Young (Administrator of the Oregon Commission for the Blind and President of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc.) spoke at a general session of the National Federation of the Blind convention. In the discussion which followed his address he was asked whether the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind would support the effort of the National Federation of the Blind to get Congress to make it mandatory for states to participate in the Randolph-Sheppard vending program. Mr. Young said that the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind as an organization and he as an individual would support this action:

National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, Inc.

July 8,1986

Dear Senator Weicker:

As President of the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NCSAB), I wish to express my support for a proposal to amend the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that has recently been made by the National Federation of the Blind. The enclosed amendment would require all state agencies providing federally funded vocational rehabilitation services for blind individuals to be designated as licensing agencies for the Randolph-Sheppard Program.

The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that all blind Americans have an equal opportunity to participate in this valuable program regardless of state residence. Presently more than 4,000 individuals derive their income from this program, and since this program was first established fifty years ago, more than 100,000 persons have benefited. Yet because states are not required to participate in this national program, not all blind Americans have a chance to benefit. Recently two states have decided to drop this program.

The proprosed requirement that all state agencies participate in the program would be just one of many other assurances that states currently must give to receive federal vocational rehabilitation funds. I believe this to be a simple solution that would enjoy tremendous support from all segments of the blind community and from agencies serving blind individuals.

I ask that you support this amendment and that you work to ensure its passage. You are well-known as an advocate of opportunity for disabled individuals. This proposed change of the Rehabilitation Act would provide equal opportunity to all blind Americans to participate in this successful employment program.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Young