Advocating for People who are Blind
With 2016 being a presidential election year, many issues that will shape America’s future are in front of voters. Bosma Enterprises made participating in May’s primary and November’s upcoming election a little more convenient for employees who are blind or visually impaired. In April, a bipartisan group registered employees who were interested for this year’s elections and came back in May to facilitate them casting their primary votes. In addition to providing employees an opportunity to vote onsite, Bosma also allows employees time off on election days to cast their vote at their local precinct. “I am extremely proud of Bosma’s voting initiative. Exercising your right to vote is at its core making your voice heard. It is important,” said Lou Moneymaker, Bosma Enterprises’ President & CEO.
Bosma Enterprises also encourages people who are blind to advocate for themselves. Every year the organization solicits applications from employees to participate in its annual trek to Washington to visit Indiana’s congressional delegation. This year Imran Ahmed, JAWS script writer/assistive technology instructor at Bosma, was selected to go on the trip along with Anthony Scott, communications specialist, Lise Pace, director of marketing, and Kevin Mandrell, past chair, Bosma Enterprises Board of Directors.
Born in Pakistan, Imran has been blind since birth. He came to the United States in his early twenties in search of a better life with more opportunities than were available in his birth country. Recently, he became a naturalized United States’ citizen, which made the trip to Washington even more significant. “In Pakistan, the government is not as centralized. It is difficult, if not impossible, to have access to legislators. I am humbled by the opportunity to tell my story and how Bosma Enterprises has provided me the chance to live the American dream,” said Imran Ahmed.
On May 25, 2016, the group visited all of Indiana’s AbilityOne Champions to thank them for their support. AbilityOne Champions are critically important to Bosma Enterprises because the AbilityOne Program facilitates government contracts for the purpose of employing people who are blind or have other significant disabilities. Several Indiana members of the U.S. Congress are AbilityOne Champions and support this important program: Reps. Larry Bucshon (IN-8); Susan Brooks (IN-5); Andre Carson (IN-7); Luke Messer (IN-6); Todd Young (IN-9); Todd Rokita (IN-4) and Pete Visclosky (IN-1).
Special thanks to all of our friends in Congress and their staffers who always make time to meet with us. Additionally, thank you to Kevin Mandrell, who dropped everything to fill in at the last minute and come on this important trip. Bosma Enterprises is extremely grateful for his support.