Future Reflections October 1981, Vol. 1 No. 1
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By Susan Ford, Chairperson
Now that you have read a little about the National Federation of the Blind, you will want to know more about the committee which sponsors this newsletter. We are the Committee on Parental Concerns of the National Federation of the Blind and were first organized in about 1975, when some special concern was expressed by several couples who had had trouble in becoming applicants to adopt children. The problems did not stem from any other disqualifying factor than blindness. It seems that social workers believed that blindness, in and of itself, would disqualify one from being a successful parent.
After our first couple of meetings, we discovered that the scope of the Committee should be broadened to include several other aspects of parenting. We now see ourselves as having five major concerns: 1. Problems that blind persons have in becoming eligible to adopt; 2. Problems that blind couples may have in becoming foster parents or in keeping children in their homes in foster care; 3. Special concerns of blind day care provider; 4. Special concerns which blind persons may have about parenting; and 5. Dealing with the needs of parents of blind children. We believe that each of these issues needs special attention. This newsletter is how we hope to establish contact with you, the parents of a blind child.
Some of us have blind children ourselves; many of us are blind and have
faced the hurdles which your child is facing or will face as he grows up.
We know that it is extremely frightening to find yourselves the parents of
a blind child. After all, you may never have even met a blind person before.
Also society has taught us that blindness is an overwhelming tragedy. But
blindness need not be that tragedy; today training is available so that
blind people can complete high school, go to college or other post high school
training, get a job, earn a living, and travel independently. I personally
know blind people who are secretaries, teachers, lawyers, electrical engineers,
chiropractors, automatic transmission mechanics, farmers, insurance salesmen,
computer programmers, lathe operators. Blind people represent the whole
gammut of interests, income levels, and intelligence. With the proper training and opportunity, your child can select the vocation of his choice and succeed at it, just as his sighted friends will. We have members in every state of the United States, and we want to help you through the hard times, rejoice with you in your child's successes, and provide moral support. Ask questions, when you have them. Tell us of your special concerns. If you have experiences to tell us about, we would like to print them so that others can learn from you.
We believe in your blind children and we believe that you can do a
good job in raising them. Blind kids are still just kids and sometimes
good, sound horse sense goes a long way toward solving the problems which at first seem insurmountable.
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