Achievement of the Goal Statements
The many individuals involved in the process of identifying and developing the goals put forth in The National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities believe each goal can be achieved. They further believe the implementation of the strategies delineated for each goal, and other strategies that will emerge, will facilitate achievement of these goals. At the time the original National Agenda document went to press in 1995, 124 organizations and agencies of and for persons with visual impairments endorsed the eight goals identified in the National Agenda. There was agreement that the Agenda was as it should be, and that it was needed. Likewise, there was a commitment to work toward achievement of the original eight goals by the turn of the century.
Although the initial goals were not fully realized by the year 2000, considerable progress was made, as can be seen in the materials produced and the chronology of efforts posted to the National Agenda web site (www.tsbvi.edu/agenda/). In 2003, the original eight goals were refined and expanded to included two new goals, National Goal Leaders were identified for the two new goals, and leadership responsibility was expanded in regard to two of the original goals. Readers are encouraged to join us as we continue the challenge of achieving the goals of the National Agenda. This is an invitation to everyone concerned about the education of students with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. Clearly, as we proceed to implement the identified strategies, additional tactics for achieving the goals will be identified.
To avoid being diverted, we will need to focus judiciously on the established goals. The time to act is now. The charge to the National Goal Leaders and National Agenda Steering Committee is imposing. It is our charge, as well. We must work in partnership with the National Agenda leadership, students, parents, school administrators, legislators, teachers, orientation and mobility specialists, psychologists, health care management personnel, and the thousands of others involved in the lives of and provision of educational services for students who are visually impaired. Please contact the National Goal Leaders with offers of time, talent, expertise, and energy. At national, state, and local levels, and in every service delivery arena we need to exert our influence to generate support for this vital national endeavor.
The plan is in place and has been set in motion. This National Agenda has been identified by us and can only be achieved by us. The next step is action. The National Agenda is a grassroots effort, which needs your support and the support of your colleagues and community. Be a part of this exciting process!