RE: State Match of Federal RSA Funds
WHEREAS, blind persons have the capacity to become independent, contributing members of the community if given proper training and opportunity; and
WHEREAS, Congress established the federal/state Vocational Rehabilitation Program in 1943 to assist blind and other persons with disabilities to become self-sufficient, employed members of society; and
WHEREAS, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Arizona Department of Economic Security, (RSA) provides adjustment to blindness services, assistive technology, and vocational training/placement to blind and persons with other disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the Federal government provides 79% and the State government provides 21% of the funding of these services; and
WHEREAS, the Rehabilitation Services Administration has recently had to turn back millions of dollars to the Federal government because the State did not provide the full “match” to keep the allotted Federal dollars; and
WHEREAS, this will prevent many blind persons from receiving the necessary services to become independent, productive citizens; and
WHEREAS, RSA is already under an “order of selection” which means that only the most significantly disabled persons can receive services; and
WHEREAS, RSA has not been able to conduct any outreach activities since it does not have sufficient funds to serve its current clients; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, By the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona, in convention assembled, This 10th day of September, 2005, in the City of Phoenix, Arizona, that this organization, most strongly urge the Governor and the Arizona state Legislature to provide full state funding to draw down the full Federal allotment of vocational rehabilitation funds.
Result: Goals achieved with the approval of $2.9 million RSA budget. We need a resolution commending the governor and legislators on their hard work to secure full state funding.