NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF FLORIDA
RESOLUTION 2005-01

CONCERNING BLIND STUDENT EDUCATION

WHEREAS
the Florida School for the Deaf  and Blind was established in the 1900's to
address the needs of the State's blind youth for general education and to teach
the special skills of blindness and has done so successfully; and

WHEREAS
the school has a history of providing braille and mobility training not available in
many school districts, thus making those essential skills freely available only by
sending children away from their families, friends and communities;  and

WHEREAS
local school districts are now required under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act and the Florida Braille Leteracy Act to provide education in the
skills of blindness in their local school programs;  and

WHEREAS
it has been well established in elementary, middle and high schools that blind
students receive a better academic and social education as mainstreamed
students, participating in regular school classes and local community activities;
and

WHEREAS
most youths, including those who are blind, do better in the warmth of their
families and home communities rather than in residential programs;  and

WHEREAS
regretfully, many school districts continue to send their students whose only
disability is blindness to the Florida School for the Deaf and blind, refusing to
provide certified instructors in the children's own schools disregarding the IDEA

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
that the National Federation Of The Blind Of Florida assembled in convention this
30th day in May, 2005, in Boca Raton voice our strong objection to any school
district that avoids its'responsibility by not offering both braille and mobility
training for all blind students in their community, taught by certified blindness skill
teachers;  and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED
the National Federation Of The Blind Of Florida categorically deplores the
practice of sending blind students to residential school programs out of the
student's County, shirking the moral and ethical responsibility to teach the skills
of blindness to student's in their home communities.