Future Reflections Summer 1991

(back) (contents) (next)

SLATE-MATES A PEN-PAL PROGRAM FOR BLIND YOUTH

Sponsored by: Parents of Blind Children Division, National Federation of the Blind New Mexico Commission for the Blind

Do you have a blind son or daughter who loves to read Braille and is always disappointed because he or she never gets Braille letters? Do you have a blind student who needs encouragement and motivation to improve his or her Braille skills? Do you have a Braille reader who would really like to have a friend to talk to about the sort of things that only another blind person could understand?

If you do, then SLATE-MATES may be just what your child or student needs. SLATE-MATES is a Braille pen-pal matching service for blind school-age children and youth. The service is co-sponsored by the Parents of Blind Children Division of the National Federation of the Blind and the New Mexico Commission for the Blind.

This is what one mother had to say about what the SLATE-MATES program:

"Just a quick note to update [you about] [my daughter] and her Slate-Mates...They have really hit it off with each other. They've exchanged pictures, talking tapes, and several Brailled letters, and neither finds the other dull. They both have a lot in common and find it difficult to meet sighted friends even though they are mainstreamed into high schools. Thank you ever so much for your part in the SLATE-MATES program. In fact, you'll never know how much I appreciate this service which gives so much pleasure to my [daughter]...."

To sign up for the program just fill out and mail in the following SLATE-MATES Profile. Once the profile is received, it will be matched up with another youth's profile. (Sometimes there is a delay while we wait for a profile to come in that fits your request, so we appreciate your patience.) Once we have a match we send each applicant a copy of his or her new pen-pal's SLATE-MATES Profile, and the rest is up to the new slate-mates.

SLATE-MATES PROFILE

Please complete the following form and return to:

SLATE-MATES

c/o Fred Schroeder

New Mexico Commission for the Blind

PERA Building, Room 205

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87503

Name__________________________________________

Address________________________________________

City__________________State_______Zip____________

Age_____ Male [ ] Female [ ] Grade___________

Interests/Hobbies_________________________________

_______________________________________________

________________________________________________

I would like my Slate-Mate to be:__________age (please specify a range) and: Male [ ] Female [ ]

I would like: [ ] one Slate-Mate [ ] more than one Slate-Mate (please specify number of Slate-Mates you desire.)

* What is a slate? A slate is an inexpensive portable Braille writing device. It is a metal or plastic frame, usually about 2"x8" in size, which holds the paper in place while dots are punched into the paper with a stylus (a small handheld tool with a metal point).It is the equivalent of a sighted person's pencil or pen. It is the most effective and portable method for taking notes in class, and for other spontaneous note-taking needs when out and about in the world. Blind children should learn slate skills no later than junior high/middle school.

(back) (contents) (next)