[Education and Welfare] Letter To the Legislators
dhuff at moblind.org
Thu Mar 15 14:26:12 CDT 2012
This letter will be going out today to each representative
and each senator in the legislator. I encourage you to keep calling your
representative and senator and voice your concerns. It would also be good
if you could write a letter to them.
The Missouri Council of the Blind, the largest blind
consumer organization in Missouri, is appealing to you to help over 2800
blind citizens in your state.
The budget committee has recommended that the health care
provided for the recipients of the blind pension be eliminated, and we
strongly believe this is wrong!
We stand with Governor Nixon in asking for you to correct
this elimination of health care to over 2800 blind people that would be
detrimental and even life threatening too many of those recipients.
Although the blind have made great strides in the past 20
years to achieve financial independence there are many, for one reason or
another, that have not been able to achieve that goal. The blind community
still has an unemployment rate of over 70%. This is partially due to the
fact that many blind people are not just blind, but also have other
disabilities that prevent them from working. The high unemployment rate is
also due to corporations and small businesses not being educated in what a
blind person can contribute to the work force with their talents and skills.
Many of us are turned away simply because we are blind and an employer
doesn't give us a chance. I challenge you to put on a pair of sun glasses,
carry a white cane and apply for a job. Although you may be very qualified
for that job, you most likely won't get your foot in the door because of the
pre-conceived notion that a blind person would be a liability or would not
be able to perform the job.
Even when a blind person is fortunate enough to be
considered for a job, getting to and from that job might pose a major
obstacle. Transportation and employment are two of the main differences in
a vision disability and other disabilities.
Given these barriers that we still face, it is very
difficult if not impossible for a blind person to find another source for
health insurance. If you allow this to be taken from the blind, there will
be many that will go without insurance of any kind and will either be forced
to go into nursing homes to be taken care of, go to emergency rooms for
treatment, or go without life sustaining medication and treatment completely
just because they can't afford it.
We don't like to beg, but in this case it is vitally
important and we are begging you to find it in your heart to help these that
are going to be affected. These people are scared right now because of what
their future holds and you are their only hope. So please, would you take
the necessary steps to right the wrong and restore the funding necessary for
this health care for thousands of blind people in Missouri?
Thank you for your consideration,
The Missouri Council of the Blind
Denny Huff - President
Chris Gray - Executive Director
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