Future Reflections July 1982, Vol. 1 No. 4
NFB State Conventions
Each state affiliate, and the District of Columbia affiliate, of the National Federation of the Blind holds an annual convention. Problems and their resolutions, resources for the blind, and progress made by the blind are always items for discussion at these state conventions. The conventions are always educational and uplifting for anyone who has an interest, either professional or personal, in blindness.
The following states will be holding conventions this fall. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if your state is not included and you would like to know the convention date and other details, or if you would like more details concerning the states listed, contact: Barbara Cheadle, Editor, NFB Newsletter for Parents of Blind Children, Box 552, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102
Illinois (Bradley) September 11, 1982 Maine October 2, 1982
Colorado September 25, 1982 Washington (state) October 2, 1982
New Hampshire September 25, 1982 Massachusetts October 9, 1982
From the June, 1982 BRAILLE MONITOR (a publication of the NFB):
Six year old Brent, blind foster son of Federationist John and Susan Ford, won first place in Kalispell and fourth place in state-wide competition in the 1981 read-a-thon of the National Multiple Schlerosis Society. He read 25 books. Only 13 of them were in Braille, because his parents and teachers could not find more than that at his reading level. The rest of the books Brent read were in recorded form. He raised $175.00 for the read-a-thon. Brent was one of only three children in his class who were considered good enough readers to take part in the read-a-thon. His accomplishment is especially noteworthy for those who remember that four years ago when he came to live with the Fords, Brent was extremely underdeveloped and undernourished. For Brent Ford and his parents, the National Federation of the Blind has made a difference.
Children's Canes Now Available
A relatively new development in the education of blind children is the teaching of cane travel early in fife-before serious problems have had time to build up. If the child begins to use a cane in kindergarten or even before, he can avoid shuffling, moving slowly, developing unusual postures or foot positions, making clicking noises, etc. He can move with confidence and without fear at an early age, in a relatively sheltered setting such as the school building. With this foundation, he will much more easily learn the advanced skills, such as crossing busy streets and going downtown alone, when he is older.
To meet the growing demand for canes for small children, the national office of the NFB now offers children's straight fiberglass canes for $10.00 in the following lengths: 24", 26", 28", 30", 32", 34", 36". (Longer canes, also available, are considered to be regular adult sizes.) Orders, with accompanying check or money order, may be sent to:
National Federation of the Blind
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Md 21230
In the October issue, we announced that the NFB would be willing to help plan and/or participate in various state and local parents' workshops around the country. We have done so in numerous places . . . from New Hampshire to Louisiana to Texas to California. The following report is from Ray McGeorge of Colorado about a parents' workshop in Denver.
On May 15, 1982, a group of parents known as Parent Advocates for Visually Impaired Children of Colorado held an all-day workshop at the NFB of Colorado headquarters. The workshop included presentations on legal rights, mainstreaming, the fears concerning continuation ofP.L. 94-142, the role of the services for the blind of Colorado in the lives of blind children, as well as small group workshops demonstrating visual aids and parents' participation in activities conducted under blindfold.
Two Federationists, Ray McGeorge and Christine Roberts of Denver, attended the parents' meeting and shared with them our newsletter and books available from our national center. The April Newsletter was of great help during the formal meeting; one of the speakers who was to speak on P.L. 94-142 and legal rights was unable to attend and the article on 94-142 from our April issue was read. Chris and Ray were both given time on the agenda to speak with the parents about blindness and the importance of becoming part of an effective organized movement.
We believe it is of the utmost importance for Federationists throughout the country to be aware of parent groups, and to attend the meetings. We want to do our best to see that the blind citizens of tomorrow will have many of the advantages we did not have. Federationists in Colorado plan to continue attending these meetings and will provide our films, literature, and members to work with the families.