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Open letter on Order of Selection

Bosma Enterprises - 4/24/2017 7:38:57 AM

Indiana's Vocational Rehabilitation is reviewing a new Order of Selection policy. Our president and CEO has drafted this open letter to express our concerns with this new policy. There is also information on how you can make a public comment. 

As Indiana’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services looks at moving to Order of Selection as the method used to provide Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to people living with disabilities, Bosma Enterprises appreciates the opportunity to provide comment on this change in services.
You may be aware that Bosma Enterprises is a non-for-profit with extensive experience in serving those who are blind and visually impaired from all corners of the state. Our mission is to help people experiencing vision loss to learn to navigate work and life with success through job training and employment programs that get people working.
Here at Bosma, we have been paying close attention to the conversations and plans around the implementation of Order of Selection, as it has a great impact on people who are blind and visually impaired. In fact, currently only 28 percent of our clients who are in our employment services program are classified as Most Significantly Disabled.  We believe that additional education for Counselors who make determinations as to an individual who is blind or visually impaired should take place to ensure that the breadth and scope of the disability is fully recognized
Those numbers are startling to us at Bosma Enterprises and are cause for concern. Many individuals who are blind and visually impaired lose their sight suddenly and without warning, whether caused by medical conditions or tragic events. However blindness occurs, no one ever transitions into life with little to no sight seamlessly. It’s a challenge, both physically and emotionally. Re-learning everyday tasks such as cleaning, cooking, or reading are a challenge. Many of the Hoosiers we serve experience loss of identity and insecurities as they strive to find their place in this new world, but these are individuals who are also determined to find a path forward, a purpose, and to continue being a contributing member of our society.
It is our hope that the concerns about the implementation of Order of Selection are taken seriously. There is no doubt that VR provides great opportunities that encourages those with disabilities in the right direction giving them the support and tools needed to be successful in a career that they enjoy. Those are the very ideas the state of Indiana should be developing. Unfortunately, according to Indiana’s own State Plan when it comes to the implementation of Order of Selection, by the end of 2018 alone, 3,500 Hoosiers with disabilities looking for a career will not be served. Those are alarming numbers.
Those are real people with disabilities who are seeking opportunity and the necessary support to be able to find a meaningful career, which helps them on their path to providing for themselves and their families with self-respect and dignity.
While Bosma Enterprises appreciates the challenges that face VR, we also encourage its leadership to look for alternative solutions with the many stakeholders, like Bosma Enterprises, that are eager to be a part of finding a solution to these challenges along with the state, rather than risk watching so many Hoosiers with disabilities go without the satisfaction of finding a meaningful career.
As the state continues down this path of vetting Order of Selection, we request that each person making this decision is ever mindful that the decision impacts the lives of thousands of Hoosiers with disabilities who are experiencing vulnerable and challenging times in their lives and are looking for hope and future opportunity.
Lastly, I’d like to encourage you to make public comment, which is open Monday, April 24 and Tuesday, April 25. Click here for more information on a chance to make your voice heard.  

I firmly believe that by working together, we will be able to accomplish a great deal.
Lou Moneymaker
President & CEO
Bosma Enterprises