Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Carl Jacobsen
National Federation of the Blind of New York
(718) 567-7821

The National Federation of the Blind of New York and the Parents of Blind Children of New York to Hold Town Hall Meeting

Meeting to Address Changes to Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Students

New York City, New York (December 5, 2007): The National Federation of the Blind of New York State in partnership with the Parents of Blind Children of New York today announced an open forum in the form of a town hall meeting to address the recent and future changes to the administration of services to blind and visually impaired students in the New York City Board of Education.

Date:   Monday, December 10, 2007 
Place:  Selis Manor Auditorium 
          135 West 23rd Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues) 
Time:   6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

In the face of the systematic elimination of self-contained “vision” classes by the Board of Education, including the inevitable closure of the remaining classes due to attrition, as well as ongoing discussions within the Board and District 75 regarding significant changes to Educational Vision Services, it is imperative that the collective voices of parents and professionals be heard.

Carl Jacobsen, president of the New York affiliate of the NFB, said: "The education of blind children is too important to allow closed door decisions to go unchallenged by the organized blind and the elected leaders of parents of blind children.  If blind children are to enjoy the benefits of first class citizenship, services should be improved rather than diminished."

Representatives from the Board of Education and Educational Vision Services will be present to speak and answer questions regarding policy initiatives. Representatives from the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), the state agency for the blind in New York, will be present and available to answer questions as well. Representatives from the United Federation of Teachers will also be present to speak on behalf of their members: Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Educational Vision Services Paraprofessionals.

Parents, educators, and other interested parties are encouraged to attend and participate.

For more information, please contact Maria Garcia by phone at (212) 222-1705 or by e-mail at