I was alerted to an item from the Perkins School for the Blind:
Did you know that over 35,000 people in Massachusetts are registered as legally blind? This does not account for those who are unregistered or who have severe vision loss but do not qualify as legally blind. The unmet needs among this group are many. They are significant and directly impact many aspects of life for each individual. For example, the survey showed that:
- 77% of blind residents under the age of 65 are unemployed
- 41% of blind residents identify transportation as their greatest program
- Only 18% of blind residents use a computer
- 38% of blind adults have limited social and recreational lives because of their vision.
To help those legally blind and low vision citizens, Perkins has announced the 2 x 10 Program that calls for Massachusetts to allocate $2 million by 2010 in the House budget towards programs for the blind and visually impaired.
There is an online petition that's addressed to Deval Patrick, JudyAnn Bigby (Massachusetts Health and Human Services) and Leslie Kirwan (Secretary of Administration and Finance). You can fill it out, but I think written letters would have more impact.
Of course, the Salem Commission on Disabilities will almost certainly support this, but if you or a loved one are vision-impaired, I urge you to write them yourself with your story.