PROVIDENCE – Two state lawmakers have submitted legislation to appropriate $3 million to the Rhode Island Vision Education and Services Program at Rhode Island College.
The proposed bills from Rep. Julie A. Casimiro, D-North Kingstown, and Sen. Valerie J. Lawson, D-East Providence, come after a joint task force was formed to understand education disruptions for visually impaired students and find an ongoing funding source for the program. The program, housed at RIC’s Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, works with blind and visually impaired students in more than 26 school districts across the state.
Along with appropriating $3 million to the program, Casimiro and Lawson said the task force recommends appointing both a board of directors and a full-time director to oversee the program’s operations.
“The task force spent countless hours listening about and analyzing the issues that threatened these vital services to our blind and visually impaired students and the recommendations within this resolution will make sure that these students have the skills, knowledge and tools they need to be independent and successful adults in the future,” Casimiro said in a statement.
The proposed bills have been referred to both the House and Senate finance committees for consideration.
James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.
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