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Clovernook Center and CABVI visit Capitol Hill, advocate for blind employment

June 11, 2013 - Cincinnati, OH - Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI) - two not-for-profit organizations serving people who have significant vision loss in Cincinnati, OH - recently participated in a National Industries for the Blind/National Association for the Employment of People who are Blind Public Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. to address the issue of unemployment for people who are blind. The two agencies, who have partnered to make the best use of their combined resources in serving the community, participated in presentations on advocacy and the impact of grassroots advocacy, attended a keynote lunch featuring Political Strategist Donna Brazile and made calls on their elected officials. The key messages addressed with their Senators and Representatives were the adverse impact that the federal sequestration and resulting budget uncertainty has had resulting in significant layoffs for employees who are blind, social security disability insurance reform and benefit offset option, and the benefits of purchasing SKILCRAFT® office supplies. SKILCRAFT® is a brand of products that is made by people who are blind and visually impaired for the federal government and associated agencies. CABVI’s Employee of the Year Rick Huffman and Clovernook Center’s Carmelita Harvill shared the impact that working at their respective organizations has had on their lives. “Rick Huffman and I told our stories and explained how the AbilityOne Program keeps us and other blind or severely disabled people at work,” said Harvill, a utility worker at Clovernook Center. “The program provides us with meaningful job opportunities and lets us live independently in society.” CABVI and Clovernook Center are non-profit organizations that seek to empower people who are blind and visually impaired to be self-sufficient and independent. Both organizations work diligently to address the issue that 70 percent of working-age people in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed. CABVI and Clovernook Center as organizations do not endorse specific candidates or political parties; rather, they support broad-based and practical policy solutions that stand the best chance of producing the largest number of employment opportunities in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

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