By Carla Hayes, Team Leader
Is it time to write a resolution? Is there an individual, organization or policy that should be condemned or commended? Is there a problem or accessibility issue which needs to be resolved? Is there a piece of legislation that should be proposed, opposed or supported? Is there a position that PCB should take and state publicly on an issue? Is there a policy or procedure which needs to be developed? Does the public need to be educated on a topic and does supporting documentation such as guidelines, a white paper, or an article need to be written? Is there a project that you would like to see PCB take on? Is there a PCB policy which you would like to see adopted or changed? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” then, it is time to write a resolution!
A quick review of the 2012 PCB resolutions will illustrate the variety of resolutions that PCB passed in just a single convention. Five resolutions were presented and passed at the 2012 PCB Convention. Submitted by the PCB Education and Employment Committee, Resolution 2012-01 was a follow-up to Resolution 2011-01 which instructed PCB to write a white paper regarding the education of children with vision impairments. Resolution 2012-01 directed PCB to (1) utilize, and assist in the dissemination of the already established PANA goals and the Anne Sullivan Macy legislation, rather than duplicate these documents with its own white paper; (2) join the PANA Task Force in its efforts to create systemic change in the education of children who are blind or visually impaired; and, (3) make the passage of the Anne Sullivan Macy Bill an advocacy priority. As you all know, the Cogswell-Macy Act and issues regarding the education of children who are blind or visually impaired continue to be advocacy priorities for PCB. In Resolution 2012-02, PCB publicly commended Best Buy, Insignia and the International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS) for developing and marketing the Narrator Digital Talking Radio, an AM/FM HD clock radio featuring speech output, a high-contrast visual display with numbers which are one-half inch high, ergonomic design, tactile controls and connectors, and an audio CD including the entire user’s manual as well as an audio quick start guide which explains all of the special accessibility features of the radio. Resolution 2012-02 also instructed PCB to send copies of this resolution to the corporate headquarters of Best Buy and Insignia as well as to IAAIS. In Resolution 2012-03, PCB requested that the Department of Motor Vehicles: (1) make revisions in the preparation manual to inform operators of motor vehicles in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the statutes in place under Title 75: Section 113 Pedestrian-Control Signals; Section 3542, Right-of-way of Pedestrians in Crosswalks; and Section 3549, Blind Pedestrians; and, (2) establish a public awareness campaign to educate current drivers on the statutes listed above and the consequences of non-compliance. Copies of this resolution were sent to the department of Motor Vehicles. Finally, Resolutions 2012-04 and 2012-05 were the traditional courtesy resolutions which expressed PCB’s appreciation to convention planners and the Staff and Management of the convention hotel.
I could go on to list all the substantive resolutions which PCB passed in subsequent years, but space does not permit me to do this. However, the 2012 resolutions illustrate the scope and variety of PCB resolutions and they also serve as excellent models of what good resolutions should contain. They were thoroughly researched and include detailed concrete supporting data as well as specific directives about what PCB should do and where copies of the resolutions should be sent. Also, please note that each resolution sticks to the subject at hand and does not stray from its theme. This is how all resolutions should be written. They should be clear and concise, begin with WHEREAS clauses which clearly state the existing conditions which need to be changed or the problem(s) that need to be solved, and conclude with RESOLVE clauses with strong verbs which spell out precisely what should be done and where and to whom the resolution should be sent.
Resolutions can be written and submitted by individual members of PCB as well as PCB chapters, teams and committees. Perhaps your chapter has an idea for a resolution. Since there will be no regional conventions this year, it is important for time to be set aside during chapter meetings for discussing and working on resolutions. As it was in 2016, the final deadline for submitting resolutions this year will be August 15. As a reminder, the deadline for submitting proposed bylaw changes is April 30th. You may submit resolutions or proposed bylaw changes to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can be mailed to me in any format (braille or audio preferred) at the following address:
230 Robinhood Lane
McMurray, PA 15317.
If you have any questions about resolutions or bylaws, or if you need help crafting a resolution, please call me at 724-941-8184.
As you can see, resolutions can address a variety of topics and the reasons for writing them are only limited by the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired and your imagination. So, is it time for you to write a resolution? If so, it is time for you to get to work. Good luck!