Future Reflections Convention Report 2005
Control. Power. Choices. Independence. These words naturally float to the consciousness when one thinks of the phrase, “In the Driver’s Seat:” the theme of the 2005 annual parents seminar sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. This seminar, and numerous other workshops and recreational activities for blind kids and their families, occurred this past July in conjunction with the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). As always, the 2005 program was an outstanding success.
Over 100 blind children and youth came to Louisville to explore how these words could become a reality in their lives. And what better place to do that than at an event attended by over 2,000 blind people? Especially since this event is also organized and run by the blind themselves (hence the word convention as opposed to conference). It is one thing to read about what blind people can do, but quite another to spend a week watching 2,000 blind people as they do all the things that any group of people do at a large convention: ride escalators, find seats and friends in halls that seat 2,000, eat and pay their bills in restaurants, supervise children, give speeches, rush to meetings, conduct meetings, make new friends, debate, laugh, play hard, and work hard.
This issue is a compilation of speeches, reports, photographs, and articles about the 2005 convention, and most especially those programs sponsored by the NOPBC. In addition to the convention report, we also have an inspiring report from the second year of the Science Academy. This initiative of the NFB Jernigan Institute provided twenty-three blind students the chance of a lifetime to experience fully accessible, yet challenging, science programs.
As you read this issue, we encourage you to consider whether 2006 is the year for your family to attend the NFB Convention. It is more affordable than you think! Room rates are around $60, convention registration fees are $15 per person (including children in the room with you), and NOPBC parent workshop fees are also reasonable. The convention will be at the Wynham Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas, during the week of Saturday, July 1, through Friday, July 7, 2006. Look for more information in the next issue of Future Reflections. Also, check the NFB Web site at <www.nfb.org> for details about when, where, and how to reserve rooms and preregister. Information will also be available in the December issue of the Braille Monitor.