Future Reflections March/ April 1983, Vol. 2 No. 2

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PARENTS WORKSHOP

Saturday, July 2nd, 1983
Radisson Muehlebach Hotel
Kansas City, Missouri

Once again the National Federation of the Blind Committee on Parental Concerns is sponsoring a workshop for parents and educators of blind children. The workshop will be held on the Saturday preceding the opening session of the NFB 1983 Annual Convention. Last year we sponsored our first such seminar at the 1982 Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We had over 300 persons in attendance, some coming from as far away as Florida. It was apparent that parents and educators perceived a need for the kind of information, perspective and philosophy about blindness that only the collective experience of the organized blind could contribute.

This year registration will begin at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, July 2,1983, and the program will begin at 9:00 a.m. The convention and the workshop will be headquartered at the Radisson Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri (see section "Reservation and Registration" later in this article for more details). The agenda is a good one and will include such topics as a "Mock" I.E.P. (Individualized Educational Plan) session with a parent, principal and a resource teacher; a discussion of the blind and multiple-handicapped child; a panel of parents and blind adults; a film called "Kids and Canes"; and other informative items.

But an excellent agenda is not the only reason we urge you to make special plans to attend. Over the past year we came to the conclusion that we needed a national structure with elected officers in order to best deal with the work that needs to be done. To that end, we are organizing a National Federation of the Blind, Division of Parents of Blind Children. Election of officers and a discussion of goals and purposes of the new Parents Division will also occur on the Saturday of the Parents Workshop.

The division structure is not a new concept. The NFB has several national divisions. For example, we have the Blind Teachers Division; the Students Division; the Blind Lawyers Divison; the Division of Workshop Workers, etc. Each division is a part of the larger blind movement and works toward specific goals within that constitutional and philosophical framework.

We are very excited about the new Parents Division. This division is a big step forward in bringing parents together with other parents and with blind adults in order to work toward more and better opportunities for all blind children.

For those of you who decide to attend the workshop, we would also encourage you to stay over for all or part of the NFB Annual Convention. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet and mingle with nearly 2,000 blind adults from every part of the country and to learn about the issues of importance to the blind. The opening session begins Tuesday morning, July 5th. However, various committee and division meetings are scheduled the preceeding Sunday and Monday. You will get to see and hear top officials and legislators come to talk and interact with the blind of this nation. Unlike many conventions, this is truely a "working" convention (although there is time for some fun, too). Thursday evening is the annual banquet. The banquet is considered the highlight of the convention. Everyone looks forward to hearing President Kenneth Jernigan's inspiring banquet speech.

So, come for the workshop, come to participate in the launching of our new NFB Parents of Blind Children Division, and stay for as much of the convention as you can! We believe you will leave not only knowing more about blindness, but feeling more confident and encouraged in your role as a parent of a blind child.

Reservation and Registration Information

There will be no registration fee for the workshop. However, persons wishing to join as members of the NFB Parents of Blind Children Division can pay dues at the registration table. Dues will be $1.00 per person. If you are not already a member of the NFB, these dues will also automatically enroll you as a member-at-large of the National Federation of the Blind.

All persons attending the workshop are eligible for the special convention rates. We will be headquartered at the Radisson Muehlebach Hotel and other rooms at nearby hotels have been reserved for overflow accomodations. The room rates are: Singles, $19.00; Doubles and Twins, $24.00; and $10.00 for each additional person. There is no charge for children staying in the same room with their parents. There is also a 8.125% tax on each room. To make reservations, send your request plus a $20.00 non-refundable deposit to:

Raddisson Muehlebach Hotel
12th and Baltimore
Kansas City, MO 64105
Phone (816) 471-1400

If you would like to become a member of the NFB Parents of Blind Children Division but cannot attend the NFB Annual Convention, you may fill out and mail in the following form.

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