Blind World Magazine

Commission report says more services needed for blind children.

January 30, 2006. - Washington,DC,USA.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --A state commission is pushing to improve services for blind and visually impaired children, after a report showed there are not enough specialists and tools available to help visually impaired children succeed in school.

The commission, made up of education, health and human services officials, parents and teachers, wants Rhode Island to adopt national standards for access to technology and materials for visually impaired students. It's also pushing to train eye doctors and school nurses to look for signs of vision problems in children.

The report, released last year, found a lack of vision specialists in the state meant many children rarely saw someone who could help them learn to read Braille or how to walk with a cane.

"We are looking to increase the opportunities for people who are visually impaired to get good jobs," said state Rep. Eileen Naughton, D-Warwick, who chairs the commission. "We know that 70 percent of the visually disabled community is unemployed, and that is not acceptable."

The Special House Commission to Promote and Develop a Comprehensive System of Education for Visually Impaired Children plans to meet Feb. 6 to hear about recent accomplishments and outline future plans.

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