Whereas, the unemployment rate for blind adults hovers around 75%; and

Whereas, blind men and women want to work and to be contributing members of society; and

Whereas, the National Federation of the Blind believes that given proper training and an opportunity to work, blind men and women can `compete on terms of equality with their sighted peers; and

Whereas, lowering the rate of unemployment among blind Texans is a priority for the National Federation of the Blind of Texas; and

Whereas, the Federation needs strong partners with the same goal; and

Whereas, the mission of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is to promote and support an effective workforce system that offers employers, individuals and communities the opportunity to achieve and sustain economic prosperity; and

Whereas, Executive Director Larry Temple, and key leaders at TWC have demonstrated a commitment to including the blind community in that mission by sponsoring Texas students attending the 2011 NFB Youth Slam, attending local and state meetings organized by the National Federation of the Blind and, assisting the Federation in its efforts to expand and strengthen collaborative relationships with agencies, organizations and people who can work with us in an effort to improve employment opportunities for blind people; and

Whereas, the members of this organization appreciate these efforts and look forward to working with Mr. Temple and other TWC leaders as we partner to change what it means to be blind in Texas: Now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the National Federation of the Blind of Texas in convention assembled this twelfth day of November 2011, in the city of Austin, Texas, that we applaud Larry Temple and the Texas Workforce Commission for their commitment to including blind Texans in their efforts to alleviate the problem of high unemployment among the blind; and

Be it further resolved, that we encourage a continuation of this innovative approach to creating future employment opportunities for a segment of the population that wants to work alongside our sighted peers to create a better Texas for everyone.