Message from LearningAlly.org

Lauren Tappan has posted this item from LearningAlly.org.

3 Photos of Student Members Listening
May 17, 2011

Your immediate action is needed to help hundreds of thousands of students with print disabilities.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is wavering on his commitment to hold a competition to fund accessible educational materials and textbooks for the hundreds of thousands of students who cannot use a standard textbook.

You need to e-mail Secretary Duncan’s office today to urge him to hold the competition and preserve the program.

Under the FY 2011 budget passed by the Congress, Secretary Duncan has the discretion to hold a competition for the development, production and distribution of educational materials in accessible formats to students with visual impairments and other print disabilities. The US Department of Education has supported this project for more than 30 years, and President Obama included it in his FY 2011 budget plan. Now the Secretary might use these funds for other projects!

The Secretary needs to hear from you today to prevent the shifting of funds away from this vital program.

The Secretary might make his decision as soon as the end of the week so we need you to e-mail him today. Your voice and that of hundreds of other supporters urged the Congress to preserve the funding in the budget, and Congress heard you and took action. Now we need your voice to urge Secretary Duncan to preserve the funding for accessible materials and to hold the competition.

Hundreds of thousands of students benefit from this program each year and if the Secretary does not fund it this year its future is unknown. We need your voice to be heard again!

Please e-mail Secretary Duncan’s office today. We have included the sample language below to help you in making your e-mail. Please add your personal story, name and hometown to your message!

Secretary Duncan’s e-mail is arne.duncan@ed.gov

RE: Urgent Support Needed for Students with Print Disabilities

Dear Secretary Duncan:

I am writing to share with you my support for the accessible educational materials project and Learning Ally.

Learning Ally has a long-established relationship with the Department of Education and has had broad support in Congress, state departments of education and 10,000 schools from coast to coast. I urge you to continue that support by holding a competition for the development, production and distribution of educational materials in accessible formats to students with visual impairments and other print disabilities.

Learning Ally is a critical partner in the success of hundreds of thousands of students, and federal support of their efforts, leveraged with private philanthropy, has made much of their work possible. Continue USDE’s 30-year commitment to students with disabilities and hold the competition.

Sincerely,

As we keep the pressure up on the Department with our allies in Congress, we will update our Policy Advocates’ Center with developments as they occur. We will also share critical Advocates’ Action Alerts with you when key decisions are to be made.

Your support has helped to preserve this program so far, and will be a key to its future!

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