Boston – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) received the 2011 B.L.I.N.D. Award from the Commonwealth’s leading blindness consumer organizations and non-profit agencies during a State House ceremony today.
This afternoon’s event, the third annual Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day (B.L.I.N.D.) was organized for, and on behalf of, the 35,000 residents who receive services from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) and the Massachusetts Talking Book Program libraries. Downing received this award in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the education, rehabilitation and independence for all residents of the Commonwealth who are blind or visually impaired.
“I am honored to receive this award,” said Downing, “working to further the blindness community’s policy agenda promotes independent living, ensures access to educational opportunities and enables a higher quality of life for these Massachusetts residents. Achieving these goals is what good government is all about.”
Downing’s continued support for programs and services assisting Massachusetts residents who are blind, deaf-blind and visually impaired contributed to his receiving the 2011 B.L.I.N.D. Award. The Senator volunteers annually at the Read-A-Thon sponsored byRecording for the Blind &Dyslexic: Berkshire Unit and each legislative session works to advance the policy agenda of the Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools (MAAPS), a non-profit association of approved private schools dedicated to providing educational programs and services to students with special needs, including blind and deaf-blind students, on Beacon Hill.
"Senator Ben Downing is a statewide leader. He is compassionate, hard working and a true friend to individuals with special needs, including those who are blind and visually impaired. It is a pleasure to present him with the 2011 Award on behalf of the Massachusetts blindness community," said Steven M. Rothstein, President of the Perkins School for the Blind.
2011 Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day was sponsored by the Bay State Council for the Blind, the Carroll Center for the Blind, the Lowell Association for the Blind, MAB Community Services, the National Braille Press, the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, Perkins School for the Blind for the Friends of the Braille & Talking Book Library and the Worcester Talking Book Library and the Talking Information Center.