RESOLUTION 11-16

WHEREAS, on July 30, 2009, the United States signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD is the first treaty to address disability rights globally. While the Convention does not establish new human rights, it describes the obligations of countries to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, AND
WHEREAS, on June 2013, the Convention has 113 ratifications and 153 signatures. Key US allies such as Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, United Kingdom and Germany already have ratified the treaty, AND
WHEREAS, on May 17 2012, the Obama Administration transmitted its CRPD treaty package for Senate consideration following an extensive three year inter-agency review of the treaty and U.S. legislation. The review determined that the majority of provisions of the treaty are consistent with current US ADA legislation. For the limited cases where existing US law may not be consistent with the CRPD, the treaty package recommends reservations, understanding, and a declaration (RUDS) that ensures that no change in U.S. law and no additional costs are required in order to ratify the CRPD, AND 
WHEREAS, ratification of the CRPD would present the opportunity for a reaffirmation of the values in our ADA legislation, and provide the forum to advance these values worldwide, AND
WHEREAS, the U.S. Senate led by a bipartisan group of seven U.S. Senators received the CRPD treaty package for their advice and consent, and now 21 major veterans and military service organizations and over 165 disability organizations announce their support for U.S. ratification of the CRPD in the Senate, THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, urges the U.S. Senate to ratify the CRPD treaty.

RESOLUTION 12-16

WHEREAS, Blind Rehabilitation Service was created within VA Central Office with authority and responsibility regarding all aspects of VA vision rehabilitation services, AND 
WHEREAS, the relationship with BVA and BRS was mutually productive since the establishment of the collaboration, AND 
WHEREAS, VIST, BROS, VICTORS, VISOR, and CATS are among programs and services spawned by the relationship between BRS and BVA, AND
WHEREAS, the BVA and BRS collaborated on the establishments of the continuum of care for visually impaired veterans and of the Vision Center of Excellence, AND
WHEREAS, within the last 8 years authority over blind rehabilitation services was decentralized relative to BRS, AND
WHEREAS, authority over VIST, VISOR, and BROS programs and blind rehabilitation centers was transferred to the individual medical centers housing each program, AND 
WHEREAS, staff tasked with service delivery and supervision of vision rehabilitation programs at the medical centers have little or no education or other experience with blindness, AND
WHEREAS, clinical services for vision rehabilitation services are not or cannot be adequately provided by many stations, AND
WHEREAS, often the quality of vision rehabilitation services deteriorates commensurately with the lack of professional competencies and subject matter expertise of vision rehabilitation clinic service providers at many stations, AND
WHEREAS, visually impaired veterans are therefore losing access to benefits, services, and eligibility fostered by the relationship with centralized BRS authority and responsibility, AND
WHEREAS, Congressional action is required to centralize BRS in VA Central Office so that both authority and responsibility for vision rehabilitation services rest in the hands of that historically supportive service, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, urges that BVA work through its Legislative Director and supportive members of Congress to empower the Department of Veterans Affairs to restore centralization of vision rehabilitation services to Blind Rehabilitation Service in VA Central Office.  

RESOLUTION 13-16

WHEREAS, Section 110, Title 38, United States Code, now provides for the protection of all disability compensation evaluations that have been continuously in effect for 20 or more years, AND
WHEREAS, permanency should be conceded for disability compensation ratings which have been in effect for 10 years without change in evaluation with no further examination scheduled, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, supports amendment of Section 110, Title 38, United States Code to provide that disability compensation evaluations continuously be in effect and protected at the same evaluation rate after a period of 10 years.

RESOLUTION 14-16

WHEREAS, members of BVA served their country during time of war in order to preserve the rights and privileges of life in this land of the free, AND
WHEREAS, one of the most precious of those rights is the right to vote, AND
WHEREAS, the United States Congress and the President’s Administration have failed to fulfill their obligation to our Nation’s blind veterans, providing inadequate funding for veterans’ benefits and health care, AND
WHEREAS, the United States Congress and the President’s Administration have targeted veterans’ programs for unwarranted spending cuts and reductions under the mistaken and misguided theory that veterans do not base their vote on veterans’ issues, AND
WHEREAS, the failure of blind veterans to register and vote will result in the perpetuation of this theory, AND
WHEREAS, because of their disabilities, blind veterans have more difficulty than their non-blind peers in complying with some of the more strict requirements in voter registration laws, AND
WHEREAS, there exists an urgent need for veterans, their families and all Americans concerned about veterans’ issues to make their voice heard by becoming registered voters and exercising their vote in local, state, and federal elections, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, encourages 100 percent of our members to become registered to vote and thereby strengthen our organization’s ability to preserve and improve our system of veterans’ benefits and services, AND BE IT FURTHER 
RESOLVED, that all BVA Regional Groups initiate and operate voter registration drives targeted at increasing voter registration among veterans and their families, AND FINALLY BE IT 
RESOLVED, that all BVA Regional Groups, and members are encouraged to ensure that all veterans and their family members are able to get to polling locations to vote or vote by mail in absentee ballots.

RESOLUTION 15-16

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court, by a 5-4 decision, has ruled that public desecration of the American Flag, as a form of free speech and expression, is legal and permissible, AND 
WHEREAS, the American Flag—“Old Glory”—is our National Ensign, the proud and beautiful symbol of our country’s precious, free heritage, AND
WHEREAS, this symbol, in the form of our irreplaceable “Stars and Stripes,” has been carried and defended in battle, revered and cherished by its citizens, and viewed as a beacon of hope and fulfillment by all the world since it was first unfurled at the birth of our Nation, AND
WHEREAS, the Constitutional First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech was not intended by our Founding Fathers to enable individuals—who do enjoy unfettered freedom to express their views, no matter how abhorrent, in both oral and written form—to publicly and contemptuously desecrate our beloved flag, NOW THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, goes on record as condemning any individual or group who shall at any time publicly and willfully desecrate the flag of the United States.

RESOLUTION 16-16

WHEREAS, even though veterans’ health care is funded through an advance appropriation, it is still at the discretion of Congress to provide the level of funding necessary for the veterans’ health care system, AND  
WHEREAS, the President and many members of Congress insist that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system is adequately funded, AND
WHEREAS, VA is recognized as the best health care system in the United States, and for providing high quality health care services, AND
WHEREAS, by using the VA health care system, the President, Vice President, and members of Congress would be in a better position to understand the resource needs of VA to enable it to provide timely quality health care to our nation’s veterans, AND
WHEREAS, similar to the members of the military, the President, Vice President, and most Members of Congress are required to spend a significant amount of time away from their homes, families, and friends while Congress is in session, AND
WHEREAS, because of the patriotism, devotion, and sacrifices of our President, Vice President, and Members of Congress, ours is the most free nation on earth, where our citizens enjoy unequalled rights, privileges, and prosperity, AND
WHEREAS, the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress should therefore be granted the privilege of using the VA health care system for their medical needs, AND
WHEREAS, if the President, Vice President, or member of Congress is a veteran, he or she would be classified into the proper priority group for purpose of receipt of VA medical care, AND
WHEREAS, if the President, Vice President, or member of Congress is not a veteran, he or she would be classified as a non service-connected veteran in either Priority Group 7 or 8, depending on their income, NOW THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, supports legislation to require the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress to enroll for VA medical care services and receive health care exclusively from the VA health care system.

Sixteen above resolutions passed as a block by convention


RESOLUTION 17-16

WHEREAS, all members and associate members of the Blinded Veterans Association are legally blind or visually impaired,AND
WHEREAS, most members of the Blinded Veterans Association travel from time to time by air, AND
WHEREAS, a significant impediment (barrier) to independent travel by airplane occurs when a blind or visually impaired member must traverse the distance between the arrival curb outside of the terminal building and the airline counter inside the terminal, AND
WHEREAS, currently there does not exist a person or device to effectuate traversing the distance from curb to counter by the disabled person, AND
WHEREAS, the Federal Aviation Administration is currently gathering comments about the adoption of additional rules and/or regulations regarding assisting our members and others who are disabled in traversing the distance between the arrival curb and the airline counter, AND 
WHEREAS, the lack of accessibility to the airline counters from the arrival curb is a current and extensive barrier to independent airline travel by blind, visually impaired or other disabled person, NOW THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, does hereby request the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to adopt a rule(s) or regulations requiring the elimination of the existing barrier to accessibility for blind and other disabled individuals to obtain independent access to their proposed airline counter from their arrival curb at the airport.

RESOLUTION 18-16

WHEREAS, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) is charged with the provision of clinically prescribed Prosthetic and Sensory Aids to disabled veterans,AND
WHEREAS, visually impaired and blinded veterans in their efforts to achieve acceptance of and adjustment to vision loss greatly depend on a vast variety of sensory aids to assist in overcoming the limitations of vision loss, AND
WHEREAS, when visually impaired veterans demonstrates an ability to fully utilize and possess a demonstrated need for such devices, he/she is required to make such requests through Blind Rehabilitation Service (BRS), an essential program within the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Administration (VHA), AND
WHEREAS, such requests are forwarded by BRS Clinicians/Visual Impairment Service Team Coordinators (VIST) to PSAS to order and provide these devices, AND
WHEREAS, delays in ordering are frequently experienced due to heavy workloads on the PSAS purchasing agents having thousands of purchase orders to prepare, AND 
WHEREAS, the provisions of Remote Order Entry System (ROES) capability would substantially improve efficiency and timeliness in filling requests while reducing workloads for the purchasing agents, AND
WHEREAS, the Denver Acquisition & Logistic Center (DALC) stocks many of the most commonly prescribed aids and appliances needed by visually impaired veterans, AND
WHEREAS, the DALC does not have sufficient resources, both financial and personnel to develop such capability for BRS, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, request that Congress provide additional funding to VA Information Technology enabling the DALC to hire sufficient qualified professionals to develop and provide BRS with the capacity to fully utilize ROES, AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, that VA strongly supports the provision of the ROES to VA BRS to enhance the timely delivery of clinically appropriate aids and appliances to America’s visually impaired veterans and insure each VA Medical Center PSAS has sufficient purchasing agents to manage purchase orders in a timely manner.

RESOLUTION 19-16

WHEREAS, many blinded veterans benefit greatly from the education and entertainment they receive from reading books, AND
WHEREAS, the World Blind Union, and organizations made up of membership organizations of blind people worldwide, including BVA, has estimated that less than five percent of the books published annually in all of the industrialized countries combined are made available in formats that are accessible to people who are blind. That number shrinks to less than two percent in lesser developed nations, AND
WHEREAS, members of the World Blind Union were instrumental in persuading delegates to the World Intellectual Property Organization to agree on a treaty that calls on participating countries to insure that their copyright laws include provisions that encourage the production and distribution of accessible format books, AND
WHEREAS, that treaty, known as the Marrakesh Treaty, was agreed to in June, 2013, AND
WHEREAS, the failure of blind veterans to register and vote will result in the perpetuation of this theory, AND
WHEREAS, the Marrakesh Treaty will make it easier for producers of braille, large print and talking books to both produce such books and to share copies of those books with visually impaired people worldwide by allowing the import and export of accessible format books between countries who are parties to the treaty, AND
WHEREAS, many of the provisions contained in the Marrakesh Treaty are modeled on provisions in U.S. law regarding our National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, AND
WHEREAS, the United States signed the Marrakesh Treaty on October 2, 2013, with the enthusiastic support of the major organizations of the blind and leading producers of accessible format books, AND
WHEREAS, ratification by the United States Senate is now required for the Marrakesh Treaty to become law in the U.S., AND
WHEREAS, the White House transmitted a ratification package to the Senate in February, 2016, after an extensive review of its potential impact on U.S. law, which determined that very limited changes to U.S. copyright law and no additional costs would be required to comply with the terms of the Marrakesh Treaty, AND
WHEREAS, ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty is supported by organizations of state and local librarians, educators, producers of accessible format books, and a large number of copyright law experts, as well as the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, and the National Federation of the Blind, AND
WHEREAS, senators from both parties have expressed support for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, urges the United States Senate to ratify the provisions of the Marrakesh Treaty.

RESOLUTION 20-16

WHEREAS, the adaptive automobile grant has over the past 20 years been regularly increasing, AND
WHEREAS, we are only allowed a one-time usage of said grant, AND
WHEREAS, the viable life expectancy of the automobile or adaptive equipment has finite expected usage, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, request that the adaptive automobile grant be available for use by the veteran as it increases or at least every 10 years.

RESOLUTION 21-16

WHEREAS, the current registration fees for the national convention are $100, AND
WHEREAS, the expenses for the national convention are ever increasing, THEREFORE BE IT 
RESOLVED, that the Blinded Veterans Association in convention assembled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this 26th day of August, 2016, request that the registration fees be raised to $120.

Resolutions 1-10