A friend forwards the following e-mail from an acquaintance who has volunteered at Community Homestead, a farm/occupational center in Wisconsin for adults with disabilities. The young woman writes:
As you may know, 4 years ago I spent my summer working at an organic farm that did lifesharing work with people with disabilities. It was the best environment I have ever seen for adults with disabilities, doing valuable work, forming lasting relationships, and giving back to their community. Right now, that community is in danger due to new testing laws for toy manufacture (how the farm supports itself through the winter months) which will put countless independent businesses, particularly of hand crafted toys, out of business. If you want to learn more about this, you can read the e-mail below, but if not, please take one moment to go to this website http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/ and sign the petition. It will take less than a minute and could make a huge difference for this amazing community.
So add the developmentally disabled to the long list of groups affected by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act — or rather, people, individuals, deprived of opportunity and activity because of “consumer activists” and Congress.
She appends an email from Community Homestead:
Please take time to read this. It is critical to our future here at
Community Homestead. Please forward and inform anyone who will help us here.
Recently we became aware of a law which will be enacted on Feb 10th 09.
(CPSIA) This law as it stands effectively stops us producing toys for
children. No more puzzles, swords, shields, aprons, perhaps boxes and
The law requires that each toy be tested “per batch” by an independent
lab. The labs I spoke to were not even sure how they would do this for
one of a kind toys and even if they could, this would cost us at least
$800- $1400 as each color, plus the wood, glue, plus the top coat must
be sampled. Same goes for the other items-each one requires its own
certificate of testing. This is needed even though I have copies of
safety tests for all those materials provided by the manufacturer that
paints etc that show they are safe for the lead and toxin levels required.
Our people with special needs have become artists over the past 10
years, lovingly creating puzzles and toys that they know will go to
children all over the USA. We have map on our wall which shows all the
places we have sent our puzzles and many emails from delighted parents.
How we fulfill the artistic and vocational needs of our people without
any income to put back into the materials is unimaginable. And that is
just puzzles. How we make up the loss of income which helps pay for the
operation of Community Homestead and its services is another question in
the light of a shifting economy and tough funding.
Effectively, this law puts out of business all small toy manufacturers
who make one of a kind items. (Rock-on mass production) Think about the
craft fairs you have attended and now eliminate all hand made items for
children. It also puts in jeopardy retailers who specialize in hand
crafted items who need to shift to large companies and toys made
Here is what we want you to do. Click the link to below. Use the
navigation bar on the left of their website to sign the online petition.
Please take the time to Click How you can help and email the CPSC and
contact your govt representative. I hate to sound panicked but…
Please do something!
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