Future Reflections Convention Report 1997, Vol. 16 No. 3
Editor's Note: Articles by blind kids are, understandably, a big hit with our readers. The following letter came in response to an article by Cortney Osolinski, a delightful youngster whose mother is very active in the parents organization of the National Federation of the Blind in New Jersey. By the way, for those who are curious, I did send this letter on to Cortney's mom so she could contact this wonderfully enthusiastic teacher.
January 23, 1997
I work with blind and visually impaired people in the state of Maine. I recently came across a wonderful article by one of your subscribers ("Almost One Hundred and One Ways to Decorate Your Cane" by Cortney Osolinski Summer, 1996 Future Reflections). I would just like to say that this young woman is an inspiration to all of us. I intend to share this article with students and parents alike, many times-over. I'm in awe of her creativity and positive outlook—it is definitely to be admired.
The second part of my request is a little bit more difficult. I am wondering if there is any way you could share my name and address with her (I certainly recognize for safety sake you could not give me her address). I would love to correspond with this young woman in an attempt to capture from her how she came to be so creative and positive. Likewise, if she were willing, I have several students on my caseload whom would love to pen-pal with her. I would greatly appreciate it if you could at least share my letter with her in some fashion. With that attitude and creativity, she will go far in life!
Editor's Note: This letter was sent directly to Carol Castellano, a frequent contributor to Future Reflections. Carol heads up our NFB parent organization in New Jersey and is also Second Vice President of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children.
April 8, 1997
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your article, "The Blind Child in the Regular Elementary Classroom," is a must read article for all those interacting with Michael. Armed with a dozen copies, I first placed a copy of your article in his permanent file! Child Study Team members, the principal, occupational therapist, commission teacher, special teachers, and his classroom teacher all received a copy.
Your hands-on approach gives specific suggestions on how to enrich not only the classroom experience but daily interactions as well. The article is sequential and detailed. You outline many solutions to the daily frustrations we as parents face when new teachers work with our child. It is my hope that, each individual reading this article truly understands their significant role in aiding my child's independence.
Carol, the hours of love and thought that you have put into this work will not go unnoticed. As a caring parent of a visually impaired child, I thank you once more. You are a very special parent, and Serena is lucky to have you!
Neshanic, New Jersey
Editor's Note: This letter came in response to the article "Deaf-Blind and Determined" in the Winter/Spring, 1997 edition of Future Reflections. Readers may contact the organization to which Professor Hardy-Braz refers by writing or calling: National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB), 111 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY 11050; 800-255-0411, extension 275.
Dear Ms. Cheadle.
I recently read your Winter/Spring 1997 edition of Future Reflections wherein an article mentions that there is no national organization for parents of individuals who are both deaf and blind. Please be aware and make your readers aware that indeed there is such an organization. It is called the National Family Association for Deaf-Blind. I've enclosed more information on that organization for you and your readers. I have found this organization to be extremely helpful and friendly towards parents and family members and highly recommend it. Raising a child who is both deaf and blind can be a challenge but no one has to do it alone. There are many deaf and blind individuals in society who are willing to help.
Steven T. Hardy-Braz, Psy.S., NCSP
Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf
Editor's Note: Most letters we receive mix business with compliments. Since the business part (address or name change, etc.) is both private and of no interest to readers, the following letters have been appropriately edited.
August 14, 1997
To whom it may concern:
My son, Andrew, will be 3 years old in December and it has been a joy watching him grow and develop. Everything I've been getting from the Kernel books, the Braille Monitor, Future Reflections, the Kenneth Jernigan lending library, etc. has helped [us] to keep a positive attitude for Andrew's future. Aside from Andrew's vision impairment he also has cerebral palsy, and he just got a wheelchair last week!
Mrs. Cathy Behof
February 5, 1996
Dear Mrs. Cheadle,
Thank you for your excellent magazine. I look forward to it for personal use as well as a resource for the Illinois Parents of the Visually Impaired.
Eileen Martin, Newsletter Editor
Illinois Parents of the Visually Impaired
An affiliate of the National Association for Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI)