Federation kids enjoy the
Braille carnival while
Pam Dubel (left), Melody Lindsey (right), and
Mary Wurtzel (seated at the table) prepare another activity.
Steve Hastalis helps a young Federationist
master escalator travel.
NOPBC-Sponsored Convention Activities for Parents and Kids
by Barbara Cheadle
From the Editor: The events planned for parents of blind children and their entire families at our annual conventions have become so numerous that it seemed to make sense to pull them out of the previous article and give them space of their own. Barbara Cheadle is President of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. She and her board have planned all these activities. Just read through them and anticipate what fun families attending this year's convention are going to have.
The activities sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) at this year's Convention will be a wonderful mix of the tried and true and the new and creative. Orientation and mobility instructors and some of the most outstanding teachers of the visually impaired will be there, eager to share their knowledge with parents. Unique, however, to this event is the opportunity to interact with thousands of the real experts on blindness--blind people themselves. Here is the line-up of NOPBC events day by day:
* Saturday, July 1: NOPBC Welcome Wagon
Parents who arrive in Atlanta on Saturday, July 1, may get parent-related convention information, tips, and NOPBC seminar and workshop agendas from the NOPBC Welcome Wagon in president Barbara Cheadle's hotel room. Call on the hotel house phone and ask for Barbara Cheadle. (Note: please do not call after 10:00 p.m.)
* Sunday, July 2:
8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Family Event, registration, continental breakfast
9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Register children and youth for the Braille Carnival. Check pre-registered children into NFB Camp.
9:45 a.m. Children and Carnival Buddies depart for Braille Carnival.
10:00 a.m.-Noon Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities (Parent Seminar session)
10:00 a.m. Braille Carnival begins.
Noon Recess. Pick up children at NFB Camp and Braille Carnival for lunch
1:30-5:00 p.m. Baby-Sitting Course. Carla McQuillan, instructor. Ages twelve and up
1:45-5:30 p.m. NFB Camp
2:00-5:00 p.m. Six Concurrent Parent Workshops
(1) Beginning Braille for Parents (one three-hour session)
The following five workshops will be repeated three times:
2:00-2:45 p.m., 3:00-3:45 p.m., and 4:00-4:45 p.m.
(2) Got a Hammer? Blind Kids Can Take Shop Class
(3) Modeling Social Skills for Blind Kids: Discussion Group
(4) Teaching Self-Advocacy Skills
first session: Young Children
second session: Older Youth
third session: Blind Multiply Handicapped Children
(5) Tactile, Auditory, and Visual Techniques for Low-Vision Children
(6) The Braille Lite in the Classroom
2:00-4:00 p.m. Discussion Groups for Blind Teens Only:
* Guy Stuff. Doug Elliott, Leader. Young men ages twelve - eighteen
* What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You. Young women ages thirteen-eighteen
6:30-9:00 p.m. Family Hospitality
7:30-9:30 p.m. Kids' Scavenger Hunt: All kids ages nine-twelve
7:30-9:30 p.m. Teens' Scavenger Hunt. All teens ages thirteen-eighteen
From 8:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night this day is packed with NOPBC events for parents, children, and youth. This year the day will start on a more relaxed note. From 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. parents and kids are invited to start the day together at our informal Family Event. Here parents can munch on bagels while they visit special information booths on Early Childhood, the Blind Multiply Handicapped Child, the Gifted Blind Child, Homeschooling, Residential Schools for the Blind, Convention Information, and a Blind Mentors and Models booth sponsored by the National Association of Blind Students. Children and teens can enjoy their juice while they talk to Louis Braille, Helen Keller, and other blind historical figures (in full period costumes) who will be our special guests at this event. For the more rambunctious youth, there are rumors that there will be a Bop-It playing corner. Braille Carnival Buddy volunteers will also be on hand to meet the kids and parents.
The registration fee of $25 per couple plus children, $35 for three adult family members plus children, and $15 for one adult plus children, includes the continental breakfast at the Family Event, the Parents Seminar, the Braille Carnival, and all other NOPBC-sponsored workshops throughout the convention week. Although we have streamlined our registration procedure, we strongly recommend that you pre-register for the seminar this year. This will allow you to enjoy a more relaxed, leisurely morning at the Family Event.
From 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. parents will have thirty minutes to check pre-registered children into NFB Camp before returning for the traditional seminar session at 10:00 a.m. Alternatively, parents may remain in the Family Event room and register children ages 4 and up for the Braille Carnival. Under the supervision of Carnival Buddy volunteers, children may go to the Carnival in small groups, pairs, or even one-on-one if age and other factors make this desirable.
Each volunteer will have personal data sheets to give parents whose children they will be supervising, and the parents will be asked to fill out a short information sheet about each child. All children and youth under the age of seventeen must be supervised by an adult at the Braille Carnival. Carnival Buddies will be available to supervise children from 10:00 a.m. to noon, when the Parent Seminar adjourns. Parents are asked to go to the Braille Carnival and pick up their children within thirty minutes of the recess of the morning seminar session.
NFB Camp will also be closed over the lunch break this year. Parents will have fifteen minutes after adjournment at noon to pick up children. Children may be checked into NFB Camp at 1:45 p.m. for the afternoon workshop sessions.
The Braille Carnival will feature exciting and fun games, competitions, demonstrations, and prizes with Braille themes. Carnival booths are sponsored by NFB divisions, state affiliates, NFB centers, and residential schools for the blind. Sighted or blind, Braille reader or non-Braille reader, kindergartner or teenager--there will be lots of fun activities suitable for all. The Carnival will run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Parents are welcome to join the fun over the lunch break from noon to 2:00 p.m.
Carla McQuillan (Volunteer NFB Camp Director, President of the NFB of Oregon, and the owner and operator of two Montessori schools in Oregon) will be conducting a baby-sitting course for blind and sighted youth ages twelve and up. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the course will conclude at 5:00 p.m.
Monday, July 3
9:00-10:30 a.m. Cane Walk. Parents of blind kids of all ages (babies to teens), teachers, and blind kids can get hands-on experience in using a cane in the hotel environment under the guidance of volunteer instructors from the Louisiana Tech/Louisiana Center for the Blind O&M program. Joe Cutter, pediatric O&M specialist, will provide the demonstration for parents of pre-school-age children.
2:00-6:00 p.m. Teen drop-in room, sponsored jointly by NOPBC and Blind Services and Industries of Maryland (BISM). This is a supervised place for teens to gather and get to know others attending the convention.
Tuesday, July 4
1:00-5:00 p.m. NOPBC Annual Meeting
Wednesday, July 5
7:00-10:00 p.m. IDEA and IEP Workshop, Marty Greiser, Instructor
Thursday, July 6
2:00-4:00 p.m. IEP small-group consultations. Experienced advocates will work with parents on their personal IEP challenges.
2:00-6:00 p.m. Have Cane, Will Travel. Drop-in anytime discussion group for parents, blind kids, and teachers. Joe Cutter, instructor and discussion leader.
2:00-6:00 p.m. Parent Power. Drop-in anytime discussion of organizing and strengthening parent divisions and groups in the NFB. Barbara Cheadle, instructor and discussion leader.
NOPBC-Sponsored Activities for Parents and Kids
at the 2000 NFB Convention
Sunday, July 2 through Saturday, July 8, 2000
Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia
Name(s) of adults: ___________________________________________
Address, city, state, zip_____________________________________
Name(s) of children attending, birth dates, vision (sighted, blind, etc.), other disabilities
Fees: $25 for two adults plus children; $35 for three adults, e.g., parents and a grandparent plus children; and $15 for one adult plus children. Make checks payable to NOPBC. Fees include Continental breakfast at the Family Event, Sunday, July 2; NOPBC Seminar registration; Braille Carnival registration; and all NOPBC-sponsored workshops throughout the week.
Send completed forms and checks by June 15, 2000, to Barbara Cheadle, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.