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National Federation of the Blind Demands that Policymakers Protect and Assist Blind Students During COVID-19 Emergency

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Federation of the Blind, America's civil rights organization of the blind, today expressed its absolute opposition to any proposal in COVID-19 emergency legislation, or any other legislative or regulatory action, that would undermine the rights of blind students and other students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other applicable laws during the crisis.

National Federation of the Blind logo (PRNewsFoto/National Federation of the Blind)

"Congress is considering actions that would threaten the educational rights of blind students like my two daughters and jeopardize the provision of accessible textbooks and course materials, Braille instruction, and much more – all at a time when blind students need these services the most given that many public schools are closed and they, like their peers, are expected to learn at home," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "We all recognize the national COVID-19 emergency, but it does not justify discrimination against the blind or other students with disabilities. Instead of cruelly undermining the rights of the blind and others, Congress should provide additional resources to school systems so that they can better meet the needs of students with disabilities during this crisis. Lawmakers should not relegate disabled students to second-class status by undermining our rights while providing relief and assistance to other groups and industries affected by this emergency. The National Federation of the Blind will remain vigilant and continue to vigorously oppose any provision or action that erodes the fundamental right of blind students to an equal education."

About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages, and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at nfb.org.

Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)


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SOURCE National Federation of the Blind