The official policy statements of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan are established every year with annual resolutions adopted at the state convention.
The resolutions committee meets early during the convention. Each proposed resolution is read, spoken for by the authoring member, considered, and then ultimately withdrawn or recommended for passage or disapproval by the Convention.
Resolution 2012-01: Regarding RE-ESTABLISH THE MICHIGAN COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND THROUGH AN ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2012 - 10 abolishes the Board of Commissioners, established by Public Act 260 of 1978, as amended, section 393.352 of Michigan Compiled Laws; and
WHEREAS, The abolition of the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board of Commissioners under Executive Order 2012 – 10 eliminates the Commission board’s participation to develop and set the policies that affect the lives of blind citizens both personally and professionally; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2012 -10 does not comply with PA 260 of 1978 and the Executive order Act of 1965 and other federal regulations required under the Rehabilitation Services Administration as the Board of Commissioners has been abolished and replaced with an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is only to advise the Director of the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons; and
WHEREAS, Executive order 2012-10 grants to The director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs the authority to make final agency decisions related to grievances filed under due process rights granted by promulgated rules against the department providing no fair and impartial review and judgement of such adjudication, thereby creating an unethical conflict of interest: Now Therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, in convention assembled, this twentieth day of October, 2012, in the City of Dearborn, Michigan, that this organization calls upon the Michigan Legislature to enact a bill to abolish the Bureau of Service for Blind Persons and the position of Director and to re-establish the Michigan Commission for the Blind, The Board of Commissioners and position of Director, and all other rights to the Commission Board found in P.A. 260.
Resolution 2012-02: Regarding BEP OPERATOR INFORMATION EXCHANGE LINE
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is the largest consumer organization of blind persons in Michigan ; and
WHEREAS, the NFB of Michigan provides a great deal of information, support and services to the blind of Michigan , including the Business Enterprise Program Operators; and has been doing so for many years; and
WHEREAS, the Operator Information Exchange Line is operated by the Business Enterprise Program to provide operators information that may be of interest to the operators; and
WHEREAS, for the second year in a row, the Business Enterprise Program manager, Constance Zanger, has rejected our request to have information about the NFB of Michigan ’s annual convention placed on this information line; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Zanger gave no response for such rejection to our organization’s representative, totally ignoring our repeated request to include the entire requested announcement and not just the portion announcing the Merchants division meeting; and
WHEREAS, the Commission for the Blind, now the BSBP, did not address the egregious act of discrimination against the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan last year when such action was requested See resolution 2011-06: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the blind of Michigan, in Convention assembled, this twenty-first day of October, 2012, in the city of Dearborn , Michigan, that this organization demand from the management of BSBP and the program manager of the BEP a public apology to our organization for such discriminatory actions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that severe discipline including termination from State employment be rendered to those responsible for such acts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the BSBP take all necessary steps to assure the blind of Michigan , that such discriminatory behavior will never occur again.
Resolution 2012-03: Regarding THE STATE PLATE CAFETERIA
WHEREAS, under Public Act 260 of 1978, as amended, a priority is given to blind persons to operate food establishments within state mandated buildings and/or properties without discrimination; and
WHEREAS, There is no licensee within the Business Enterprise Program interested in operating the State Plate cafeteria located in the Anderson building; and
WHEREAS, the Business Enterprise Program has demonstrated in recent years a practice of securing sighted individuals to operate BEP facilities for either short or long term agreements; and
WHEREAS, The Business Enterprise Program, also has a record of employing outside food service companies to operate facilities which have been established for the employment of blind persons; and
WHEREAS, It is critical to the employment of blind persons to maintain the priority to operate food establishments within state mandated buildings and/or properties without discrimination now and into the future: Now, Therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, in convention assembled, this twentieth day of October, 2012, in the City of Dearborn, Michigan, that this organization calls upon the BEP manager to seek out a licensee in the program or a qualified blind individual outside of the BEP to operate the State Plate Cafeteria located at the Anderson House of Representatives Building.
RESOLUTION 2012-04: TRANSPORTATION RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, Act 51 of the public Acts of 1951 as amended provides for the creation of a public transportation system which includes demand vehicles as well as fixed route land haul vehicles; and
WHEREAS, said demand vehicles are for the use of the elderly, over 65 and the disabled, including the blind, who are challenged by issues of mobility from using the fixed route land haul vehicles; and
WHEREAS, the act requires the creation of a Local Advisory Council (LAC) which enables the active participants of the LAC to offer their input to address any problems that arise in conducting the service; and
WHEREAS, the LAC consists of consumers and consumer organizations, such as the National Federation Of The Blind (NFB), Warriors On Wheels (WOW), The Detroit Area Agency On Aging (DAAA), and said consumers and consumer organizations are to carry out their responsibilities under the Act through the LAC by commenting on the services of the local public transportation operation, which has been done continuously and vociferously; and
WHEREAS, the local transportation entity is to provide the LAC with the mandatory annual Accessibility Plan for comment before sending it to the Michigan Department Of Transportation (MDOT) on an annual basis, which it has failed to do; and
WHEREAS, the Detroit Department Of transportation has established a demand vehicle system called “Metro Lift” which utilizes four private vendors, Enjoi Transportation, Checker Cab, Delray Transportation, and Lakeside Transportation, which are required to provide curb to curb Service; and
WHEREAS, there appears to be a systemic management and service delivery problem involving Metro Lift and the vendors which are demonstrated buy the following:
A. Enjoi Transportation is inexplicably the first vendor of choice selected every time by the DDOT scheduling representative even though personal choice by customers is allegedly available.
B. There appears to be a number of chronic service delivery problems with Enjoi Transportation and Checker Cab as service providers, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Enjoi is guilty of transporting seniors eighty years of age and older for an excessive period of time in violation of Federal and State guidelines, which has caused some to soil their clothing.
- Overloading buses that have sometimes required passengers to sit on the floor.
- Continuously causing employed passengers to be late for work, because they refused to prioritize trips, which can result in employment termination.
- Rewriting trip manifest provided by DDOT, which results in them missing clients, who are ultimately recorded as “NO shows” by Enjoi and Checker Cab.
- Many of the Checker Cab drivers specifically are not helpful with customers, which is demonstrated by their failure to blow their horns to notify blind customers, of their presence, failing to direct blind customers in which direction to travel after they disembark.
- Failing to identify themselves so blind customers can know they are entering the correct vehicle, and
- Refusing to take customers to locations outside the City Of Detroit , even though the travel destination is within the service area; and
Whereas, a large part of this management and service problem may be resolvable through sensitivity training of scheduling clerks, dispatchers, and drivers, which has been offered by the LAC and rejected; and
WHEREAS, DDOT claims it has provided sensitivity training but will not state by whom, when, or where or how often it has occurred: Now, Therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation Of The Blind Of Michigan, in Convention assembled, this twenty-first day of October, 2012, in the City of Dearborn, Michigan, that this organization demands strongly that the Detroit Department Of Transportation follow all requirements of the Michigan Department Of Transportation in carrying out all the requirements of Act 51 of P.A. 1951 as amended regarding the manner and method of providing services to the elderly and disabled; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization demands that DDOT correct the previously described acts of misfeasants and malfeasants by the service providers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization will provide sensitivity training through its knowledgeable members, or aid in finding sources for proper sensitivity training; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of the National Federation Of The Blind Of Michigan shall cause complaints to be filed with the Federal Transit Authority MDOT, the department of Civil rights, and the U.S. Attorney’s office of Disability Rights upon failure of DDOT to correct the describe problems expeditiously.
Resolution 2012-05: Regarding COMMENDATION FOR THE MICHIGAN BRAILLE TRANSCRIBING FUND
WHEREAS, the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund, located in Jackson , Michigan is celebrating its 50th year of service to the blind of our nation and the world; and
WHEREAS, its ongoing production of Braille books and other Braille material has kept Braille in the hands of blind people and giving them a vital resource for knowledge and literacy; and
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has consistently advocated for the use of Braille by blind persons through its many programs including the Braille Readers are Leaders contest and the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund through its foundation has generously supported many programs and services to the blind including the needs of individuals who are blind; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund develops vocational opportunities for the expanded production of Braille by helping to set up those who are trained as Braille transcriptionists into their own Braille production business: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, in convention assembled, this twenty-first day of October, 2012, in the city of Dearborn , Michigan, that this organization congratulates and celebrate the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund for its 50 years of service and support; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this commendation be forwarded to all the appropriate governmental, private and media sources.
Resolution 2012-06: Regarding FUNDING FOR THE NEWSLINE SERVICE
WHEREAS, Newsline is a free service which provides for the reading of newspapers, magazines and other information resources for the blind and print disabled and is sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind; and
WHEREAS, Newsline provides access via the telephone, and other wireless devices for more than 300 newspapers, 40 magazines, job listings, TV listings, voting information and many other sources of valuable information needed by all Americans; and
WHEREAS, more than 2900 people in Michigan currently subscribe to Newsline, with thousands more eligible for the service; and
WHEREAS, the Newsline service in Michigan costs more than $80,000 annually to operate; and
WHEREAS, many states throughout America provide funding for the Newsline service to their print disabled citizens: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, in convention assembled, this twenty-first day of October, 2012, in the city of Dearborn, Michigan, that this organization take all necessary steps to assure Newsline funding so that this vital service can continue; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization seek funding for the Newsline service as a line item within our state's budget; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we continue to reach out to everyone in the state that could benefit from this vital service.