The National Federation of the Blind, as a movement driven by blind people, seeks to partner with agencies for the blind to raise expectations and transform programs and services to truly support the independence and self-determination of blind people. Members of the National Federation of the Blind asserted through Resolution 2020-05: Regarding Blind Leadership at Private Agencies for the Blind as a priority that an essential part of the governing structure of an agency for the blind consists of processes, policies, and procedures that ensure that the agency for the blind administration is responsive to the interests, needs, and aspirations of its constituency. We further recognize that the most authentic representatives of the constituency of agencies that serve the blind are blind people who have the lived experience of blindness, demonstrate a commitment to engage in self-organization, and are willing to be advisors, partners, managers, or directors of agencies for the blind.
To that end, we challenge all agencies for the blind to make the Blind Agency Parity Pledge.
We realize that this may be a significant paradigm shift for many agencies, so the National Federation of the Blind commits to assisting our parity partners through:
- Development of a road map toward meeting the pledge goals
- Assisting with the recruiting, hiring, and training of qualified blind managers and executives.
- Facilitating engagement with Federation affiliates and other key stakeholders to increase community responsiveness
- Ongoing collaboration and support through quarterly and annual meetings
- Identification of barriers and development of solutions through a creative network of community connections
- Executive coaching and leadership networking
- Establishment of specific partnership agreements leading to additional support where appropriate
We encourage Agency leaders interested in pursuing the Blind Agency Parity Pledge or those ready to make the commitment to reach out to us for a confidential conversation.
For more information, please contact Anil Lewis, Executive Director of Blindness Initiatives, National Federation of the Blind at [email protected] or 410-659-9314 extension 2374.