Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blind advocates protest in Tallahassee, Florida

Sisters and brothers,

Greetings to the more than ten new members to the list in the last few days. . . & thanks to Pace e Bene for this news item!

~Matt Guynn

Blind advocates protest in Tallahassee today

The News-Press
March 22, 2007

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – About 50 advocates for the blind and visually impaired converge on the Capitol today with a mission to lobby for more services and protest legislation.

"We are going to specifically be talking about the Braille issue that we have for our children," said Sabrina Deaton, a spokesperson for the National Federation of the Blind of Florida.

Wielding white-tipped canes and aided by service dogs, the group will meet with House leaders, including Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who is considered a champion of their issues.

The adoptive father of a blind son, Baxley is the speaker pro tempore and last year formed the "Vision Caucus," a group of 25 lawmakers who focus their attention on blind and visually impaired issues.

Deaton said the group wants to defeat a bill that would make it more difficult for blind students in public schools to get Braille instruction.

Florida law requires a team of four to evaluate blind students, and calls for Braille instruction if only one of them, usually a parent, demands it. The bill would require the team to vote unanimously for the service, Deaton said.

"Braille is our lifeline, our literacy," she said.

The News- Press


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