WHEREAS, preparing blind people for and helping them get competitive employment are the reasons why State Service for the Blind's (SSB's) Workforce Development unit exists; and
WHEREAS, one of the best ways to assure that blind people get competitive jobs at the end of the rehabilitation process is for them to get part time and/or temporary jobs while they are attending community English Language Learner (ELL) classes, pursuing their GED, or enrolled in higher education or vocational training; and
WHEREAS, it has come to our attention that some Workforce Development staff believe that job placement and other rehabilitation services such as training are mutually exclusive, with customers forced to choose between one or the other, and that they must close an individual's file when the individual has obtained employment, regardless of whether other services are still needed; and
WHEREAS, federal law, regulations, and policy directives state clearly that an individual's file should not be closed rehabilitated until they achieve their employment objective, not when any form of employment happens to come along; and
WHEREAS, the above practice is particularly detrimental to blind immigrants, who cannot receive Supplemental Security Income and must support themselves by working; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this 9th day of October, 2011, in the city of Bloomington, Minnesota, that we call upon the Director of SSB and its Director of Workforce Development to review SSB's policies and operational procedures, clarify that temporary job placement can be provided without having to close the individual's file, and take whatever action is necessary to inform all SSB supervisory and field staff of that fact; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota call upon the Director of SSB and its Director of Workforce Development to inform the President of the NFB of Minnesota on the actions taken and provide a complete report on it at the next NFB of Minnesota semiannual or annual convention.