WHEREAS, Medical Assistance (MA) is Minnesota’s Medicaid program for people with low income, administered through offices of the Department of Human Services at the county level; and
WHEREAS, under Minnesota's Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, governmental services must be accessible to people who are blind or have other disabilities; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain eligibility for MA, beneficiaries are required to complete, in handwriting, a paper form each month, which presents an access barrier for the blind; and
WHEREAS, a number of blind individuals who receive MA have endeavored to work with the Hennepin, Ramsey, and other county offices to find alternate methods of completing the monthly form, but these individuals have often received little to no cooperation (and sometimes disrespectful treatment) from the county agencies as they attempted to meet their obligations; and
WHEREAS, the refusal of county office workers to assist with the completion of these forms has, on more than one occasion, resulted in an individual losing vital medical assistance for that month; Now, therefore:
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, in convention assembled this twenty-second day of October, 2017, in the city of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, that this organization call upon the county human services offices throughout the state to ensure that all of their staff fully understand their obligations under state and federal law to provide reasonable accommodations so that blind Medical Assistance recipients can access this and other programs of the Department of Human Services; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call upon the county Human Services offices to work with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota to develop an alternative solution that does not involve handwriting and protects the privacy of blind people for the completion of Medical Assistance and other related paperwork.