Future Reflections        Special Issue: Technology

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Life in the Mainstream
2012 National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) Conference for Families and Teachers

by Laura Bostick

Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way. 
~ George Evans

Current NOPBC President, Laura Bostick (left), beside former president and founder, Barbara Cheadle My daughter, Lindsay, began receiving early intervention services from a teacher of blind students, an orientation and mobility specialist, an occupational therapist, and an early childhood specialist when she was four months old.  When she turned three, she entered the public school system and attended preschool programs for children with disabilities, where she continued to receive services.  She has light perception only, so there was never a battle over large print versus Braille, and by the time she entered kindergarten, she was receiving an hour per day of Braille instruction.  She’s a bright, curious child who loves to learn; she was in an excellent school district; and she had caring teachers who truly wanted her to succeed.  Things weren’t perfect, but I really wasn’t too concerned.  She was keeping up and making good grades, and she seemed on track. 

Imagine my surprise when she started falling behind.  At the end of second grade, she was no longer reading on grade level.  She lost confidence. She didn’t want to read aloud in class because she was so much slower than the other kids.  She began to say that she hated reading and she hated school, and when I asked her why, she told me that she didn’t think she was very smart.  It broke my heart.

Lindsay’s story is not unique.  So many of our blind kids start out on track and then fall behind.  Countless others begin school with delays and are told that being a year behind is normal for a visually impaired child.  Why is this slow progress accepted?  If a child with normal eyesight began falling behind, would a different set of questions be asked?  Would a different set of interventions be put in place? 

At this year’s conference, Life in the Mainstream, we’ll examine the strategies that are known to assist struggling sighted readers and explore how these interventions can be applied to children with visual impairments.  For our younger children and those with multiple disabilities, we’ll examine movement and exploration, active learning, and items and ideas that can facilitate learning at home and in school. 

We’ll also take a look at access to the newest technology, independent mobility, the skills of daily life, tactile graphics, and other topics that can enable our children, whatever their level, to be full participants in school and in the community. 

We’ll feature IEP workshops, recognition of our Braille Readers Are Leaders contest participants, and presentations by this year’s Distinguished Educator of Blind Children, NASA scientists, and eminent leaders of the National Federation of the Blind.  New this year will be a giant inflatable obstacle course for the kids; Convention 101, a facilitated convention experience for tweens and teens; and no charge for children and youth to attend!

The 2012 NOPBC Conference, Life in the Mainstream, will take place within the NFB National Convention in Dallas, Texas, from June 30 to July 5.  All families and teachers of blind and visually impaired children are welcome.  Hope to see you there!

 

LIFE IN THE MAINSTREAM
2012 NOPBC CONFERENCE
Schedule of Activities for Parents, Teachers, Children, & Youth

SATURDAY, JUNE 30
Full-Day Seminar for Parents & Teachers 

7:30 - 8:45 a.m.—REGISTRATION

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.—GENERAL SESSION
Welcome—Laura Bostick, President, NOPBC 
Kid Talk with Dr. Marc Maurer—Kids get a chance to speak to the president of the National Federation of the Blind about anything on their minds
Life in the Mainstream—Parnell Diggs, President, NFB of SC 
Blind Adults in the Mainstream—Barbara Pierce, President Emerita, NFB of OH, and Former Editor, the Braille Monitor; Gary Wunder, President, NFB of MO, and Editor, the Braille Monitor; Debbie Stein, 1st VP, NFB of IL, and Editor, Future Reflections
Students Speak about their Life in the Mainstream  
Braille Readers Are Leaders Recognition

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.—NOPBC CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY (preschool -12, in NFB Child Care)

NOTE: All NOPBC children’s activities will take place in NFB Child Care.  Be sure to register your child with child care!

Out of This World! 
NASA scientists will take the children on a journey through the solar system.  This activity will continue in the afternoon.

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.—NFB YOUTH TRACK SESSION (ages 11-18)
Sponsored by NFB Jernigan Institute
            Balloon Build or Bust
Visit <http://nfb.org/youth-track> for details.

PLEASE NOTE:

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.—NOPBC CONCURRENT SESSIONS—PARENTS & TEACHERS
Access Tech: Apple Products
Come see how the accessibility of iPhone, iPad, iPod products, accessories, and apps could work for your child/student.  Instructor: Dan Wenzel, Director, WI Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired; panel of Apple product users. 

Active Learning
Come learn about equipment and techniques that can turn your young child or delayed older child into an Active Learner. This session will feature Dr. Lilli Nielsen’s innovations such as the Little Room and the Resonance Board.   Instructor: Gigi Newton, TBVI, TX School for the Blind/VI.

Get the Wrinkles Out: Activities of Daily Living
How does a blind person iron? Make a sandwich? Cut meat? Tie shoes? Tie a tie? Zip a zipper? Sweep or vacuum a floor? Use tools? Come see how. Instructors: Teachers from the LA Center for the Blind.

The New National Reading Media Assessment and Integrating Print and Braille Guidebook
The appropriate reading medium can mean the difference between struggling to keep up and full literacy for your child/student. Come find out about this ground-breaking assessment and our new book on how to integrate print and Braille learning. Instructors: Casey Robertson, Teacher of Blind Students; Sharon Maneki, Book Editor.

12:15 - 2:00 p.m.—LUNCH on your own; pick up children from Child Care.

1:30 – 4:30 p.m.—NFB YOUTH TRACK SESSIONS (ages 11-18)
            Visit <http://nfb.org/youth-track> for details.

2:00 p.m.—NOPBC CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY
The Out of This World! workshop continues in the NFB Child Care.
            
2:00 - 3:15 p.m.—NOPBC CONCURRENT SESSIONS—PARENTS & TEACHERS
Technology in the Classroom
What kinds of technology can blind/VI students use to access information and be a full participant in class activities? Instructor: Dr. Denise Robinson, TBVI, CEO, Tech Vision.

Movement & Exploration for the Young Blind Child
How can you get your child moving and exploring the world?  What if your child has delays?  Would a cane be good for your child?  The session will be appropriate for families with children with or without additional disabilities. Instructor: Denise Mackenstadt, NOMC.

Tactile Graphics
Tactile maps, illustrations, charts, and graphs can be a valuable learning aid. How can your child/student learn to use them? Instructor: Deborah Kent Stein, Editor, Future Reflections; 1st VP, NFB of IL; Barbara Shalit, TBS.

Reading Issues: Getting to the Root of the Problem
Is your Braille reader struggling?  Could there be a learning disability?  What about the quality of Braille instruction?  Is Braille slower to read than print or harder to learn?  What about the quality of reading instruction and intervention?  Can anything be done to help?   Instructor: Carol Castellano, Director of Programs, NOPBC.
 
3:30 - 4:45 p.m.—NOPBC CONCURRENT SESSIONS—PARENTS & TEACHERS
Technology: When, Where, How?
This session will explore the general sequence of technology skills for blind/VI children, effective technology goals for the IEP, and how students can access technology equipment and training. Instructors: Al Lovati, TBS; Dr. Matt Maurer, Butler University.

Creative Classroom Solutions for the Child with Additional Disabilities
This session will explore school-related issues such as IEP goals, functional literacy, Braille, the roles of the TBS and classroom teacher, and will demonstrate useful materials such as calendar systems and tactile symbols.  Instructors: Casey Robertson, TBS; Krystal Guillory, TBS.

Out & About: Independent Mobility for Your School-Aged Child 
High expectations, real-life goals, and how to achieve them in the area of independent travel.  Instructor: Deja Powell, NOMC.

Reading Strategies for the Blind/VI Student: What Works? 
This workshop will explore the characteristics of good readers, no matter what their reading medium, and the strategies parents and teachers can use to facilitate better reading. Instructor: Dr. Ruby Ryles, LA Tech University.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.—MIX & MINGLE RECEPTION—PROFESSIONALS & PARENTS

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.—NOPBC FAMILY HOSPITALITY
Relax, chat, meet new families, and connect with old friends. “Veteran” parents will be on hand to welcome you and provide information.  

SUNDAY, JULY 1
No NFB Child Care on this day

8:45 - 10:30 a.m.—CANE WALK Session I
11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.—CANE WALK Session II

Learn and experience the Discovery Method of travel at these special workshops.  Parents, teachers, blind children, siblings welcome.  Instructors: Jeff Altman, NOMC, and cane travel instructors.

Sunday afternoon—NOPBC YOUTH FASHION SHOW—Time TBA
This is an opportunity for your aspiring model to take a walk down the runway in a favorite outfit from his or her closet.  Contact Kim Cunningham at 713-501-9659 or kim@gulfimagesphoto.com to sign up and for further information.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.—NFB YOUTH TRACK SESSION (ages 11-18) 
Visit <http://nfb.org/youth-track> for details.

MONDAY, JULY 2
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.-NOPBC CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY (preschool-12, in NFB Child Care) 

            It Came from Outer Space
            More fun with the NASA scientists.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.—NFB YOUTH TRACK SESSION (ages 11-18) 
Visit <http://nfb.org/youth-track> for details.

1:00 p.m.—You may drop off your child early at child care on this afternoon so that you can attend the NOPBC Annual Meeting. 
 
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.—NOPBC ANNUAL MEETING: OPTIONS & OPPORTUNITIES
Keynote address by the 2012 Distinguished Educator of Blind Children, other special guest speakers, news from NASA, summer programs for our kids, focus on math and science, Parent Power, business meeting, elections, and much more!

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.—BRAILLE BOOK FAIR 
A book lover's dream!  Browse tables of new and used Braille and print/Braille books.  Volunteers will box your books and the post office will deliver them to your home as Free Matter.  Books are free; donations are encouraged to help support our Braille programs. Cosponsored by NOPBC & NAPUB. Coordinator: Barbara Cheadle, President Emerita, NOPBC.

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.—NFB YOUTH TRACK ACTIVITY (ages 11-18)
Visit <http://nfb.org/youth-track> for details.

7:30 - 9:00 p.m.—DADS’ NIGHT OUT
All dads, sighted and blind, are welcome.  Call Jim Beyer at (406) 239-2057 for location.  

TUESDAY, JULY 3
7:00 - 9:00 a.m.—NOPBC BOARD MEETING (Note: this is a morning meeting)

8:30 a.m.—CONVENTION 101

Facilitated Convention experience for Tweens & Teens.  Facilitator: Carlton Walker, 2nd VP, NOPBC.
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.—NOPBC CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY (preschool–12, in NFB Child Care)
            Giant Inflatable Obstacle Course

1:30 p.m.—CONVENTION 101

Facilitated Convention experience for Tweens & Teens. Facilitator: Carlton Walker, 2nd VP, NOPBC.
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.—NOPBC CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY (ages 5-12)
            Crafts & Games—For children whose parents are attending NOPBC workshops.

7:00 - 9:45 p.m.—NOPBC CONCURRENT SESSIONS—PARENTS & TEACHERS
2-4-6-8   What Do We Appreciate?   The Nemeth Code!
A hands-on workshop that will teach the basics of Nemeth Code which enables blind students to do any and all kinds of math. Instructor: Eric Guillory, Director of Youth Services, LA Center for the Blind.

Tactile Graphics  
What’s available, principles for creating tactile graphics, make-and-take projects.  Instructors: Robert Jaquiss, Access Technology Specialist, NFB JI International Braille & Technology Center; Ann Cunningham, Tactile Artist and Art Teacher, CO Center for the Blind; Shirley Keller, Director, Creative Adaptations for Learning (CAL).

7:00 - 8:15 p.m.
IEP Basics for Parents of Blind/VI Students 
The sections of the IEP, essential assessments, how assessment information is used, how to be an active and effective participant. Instructors: Carlton Walker, Attorney, TBVI; Chantel Alberhasky, Attorney.

8:30 - 9:45 p.m.                                                           
IEP Development and Legal Process Overview

Do’s & Don’ts for the IEP meeting; preparing for possible mediation, due process, appeal, etc; overview of the legal process; how to prepare for a due process hearing so you don’t have to have one! Instructors: Chantel Alberhasky, Attorney; Carlton Walker, Attorney, TBVI.

NFB YOUTH TRACK ACTIVITY (ages 14-18) —Time TBA
Visit <http://nfb.org/youth-track> for details.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.—NOPBC CHILREN’S ACTIVITY (preschool – 12, in NFB Child Care)

            Crafty CAL & Let’s Play Word Games
            Instructor: Shirley Keller, Creator, Creative Adaptations for Learning (CAL)
8:30 a.m.—CONVENTION 101

1:30 p.m.—CONVENTION 101

Facilitated Convention experience for Tweens & Teens. Facilitator: Carlton Walker, 2nd VP, NOPBC.

THURSDAY, JULY 5

8:30 a.m.—CONVENTION 101

1:30 p.m.—CONVENTION 101

NOPBC INSIDER INFORMATION

National convention is a complicated week of events.  Here are a few tips to help you stay organized and take advantage of the many opportunities that will be available. 

Registration Information:

 Activities for Children & Youth; Child Care Information:

Seminar Day Information

Other Activities Going on All Week Long
In addition to the special NOPBC activities for parents, children, and youth listed in this document, other activities that you and your child may be interested in attending will be going on all week.  Often many activities are going on at the same time and you and your child will have to make choices!  Here is a sampling:

NOPBC 2012 CONFERENCE 
REGISTRATION & WORKSHOP SIGN-UP

Make checks payable to NOPBC and mail with forms to:
Pat Renfranz, NOPBC Treasurer
397 Middle Oak Lane, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Save money by preregistering! Preregistration must be postmarked by June 10.
After June 10, please register on-site in Dallas.
                                       


FEES

By June 10

On-site in Dallas

Adult

$30

$35

Child/Youth  (up to 18 years)

FREE
Children are free, but please list names & ages below

FREE

Adult Name ____________________________________________________
     [ ] parent                [ ] professional            [ ] other____________________
Adult Name ____________________________________________________
     [ ] parent    [ ] professional            [ ] other____________________

Please list additional adults on a separate sheet.

Address ______________________________ City _____________________
State _______        Zip _____________            Phone ___________________
Email _______________________________ Alt. phone ________________

Child/Youth 1 Name (first and last), age, brief description of vision and any additional disabilities:
_______________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
Child/Youth 2:  ___________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

Please list additional children/youth on a separate sheet.
How many?                             Prereg. by June 10                           On-site reg.
    Adults              _____              @ $30    =  $______        or       @ $35   =  $______   
                                                                                   
    Child/Youth     _____                        FREE                                     FREE  =  $__00__   
                                                                                               
                                                                                                Total enclosed: $_________

___ I receive Future Reflections   
___ This is my 1st national convention 
___ I am a member of my state NFB/POBC ___ If not, how many have you attended? 

PLEASE NOTE: Preregistrations postmarked after June 10 will be returned.
Also, remember that registrations for the NOPBC Conference and NFB child care are separate and must be mailed to different places.

WORKSHOP & ACTIVITY SIGN-UP

SATURDAY, JUNE 30
11:00 am - 12:15 pm (Please mark how many will attend each session)
_____ Access Tech: Apple Products 
_____ Active Learning
_____ Get the Wrinkles Out: Activities of Daily Living 
_____ National Reading Media Assessment & Integrating Print & Braille Guidebook

2:00 - 3:15 pm (Please mark how many will attend each session)
_____ Technology in the Classroom
_____ Movement & Exploration for the Young Blind Child
_____ Tactile Graphics
_____ Reading Issues: Getting to the Root of the Problem

3:30 - 4:45 pm  (Please mark how many will attend each session)
_____ Technology: When, Where, How?
_____ Creative Classroom Solutions for the Child with Additional Disabilities
_____ Out & About: Independent Mobility for Your School-Aged Child 
_____ Reading Strategies for the Blind/VI Student: What Works?

CHILDREN (preschool-12 years)
Please mark how many children will attend each session
                    
            _____ 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Out of This World! 
            _____ 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.: Out of This World! continues  
                    
           Name _____________________        Age_______
                     _____________________         Age_______

NOTE: NOPBC children’s activities take place in NFB child care. To take part, YOUR CHILD MUST BE REGISTERED FOR NFB CHILD CARE for that day.

SUNDAY, JULY 1       
8:45 - 10:30 a.m.:  Cane Walk Session I  
            _____ adults    _____ children            _____ youth
                           _________ ages          _________ ages
11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.:  Cane Walk Session II                                                       
            _____ adults    _____ children            _____ youth
                                       _________ ages          _________ ages

Youth Fashion Show—Sunday afternoon—time to be announced
      Name _____________________ Age_______
                 _____________________ Age_______                        

MONDAY, JULY 2 
CHILDREN (preschool-12 years)  
Please mark how many will attend each session
                                                            
            _____ 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: It Came from Outer Space 
                        Name _____________________ Age_______
                                   _____________________ Age_______

NOTE: NOPBC children’s activities take place in NFB child care. To take part, YOUR CHILD MUST BE REGISTERED FOR NFB CHILD CARE for that day.

TUESDAY, JULY 3 
CHILDREN (preschool-12 years)  
Please mark how many will attend each session
                                                            
            _____ 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Giant Inflatable Obstacle Course 
                        Name _____________________ Age_______
                                   _____________________ Age_______

ADULTS
            
7:00 - 9:45 p.m.  (Please mark how many will attend each session) 
_____ Nemeth Code
_____ Tactile Graphics 

7:00 – 8:15 p.m.  (Please mark how many will attend)
_____ IEP Basics for Parents of Blind/VI Students

8:30 - 9:45 p.m.  (Please mark how many will attend)
_____ IEP Development and Legal Process Overview

CHILDREN (ages 5-12 years)
Please Note: Sign your child up for this activity only if you will be attending NOPBC workshops that evening.
            _____ 7 - 10 p.m.  Crafts & Games (Please mark how many will attend)
                        Name _____________________ Age_______
                                   _____________________ Age_______

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 
CHILDREN (preschool-12 years)  
Please mark how many will attend session
           _____ 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Crafty CAL & Word Games 
                        Name _____________________ Age_______
                                    _____________________ Age_______
_____ I give my permission for my child/ren to be photographed in this session


NOPBC 2012 CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

Teen Room & Tween Room schedules to come.

Saturday, June 30
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.                   Life in the Mainstream (Adults, Children, Youth)
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.         Children’s Activity in child care (preschool -12)
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.         Youth Track (ages 11-18)
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.         NOPBC Concurrent Workshop Sessions
1:30 - 5:00 p.m.                     Youth Track (ages 11-18)
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.                     Children’s Activity in child care (preschool -12)
2:00 - 3:15 p.m.                     NOPBC Concurrent Workshop Sessions
3:30 - 4:45 p.m.                     NOPBC Concurrent Workshop Sessions
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.                     Reception
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.                     Family Hospitality

Sunday, July 1
8:45 - 10:30 a.m.                    Cane Walk Session I (Adults, Children, Youth) 
11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.          Cane Walk Session II (Adults, Children, Youth)
Time to be announced                        Youth Fashion Show
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.                      Youth Track (ages 11-18)

Monday, July 2
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.     Children’s Activity in child care (preschool -12)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.     Youth Track (ages 11-18)
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.                 NOPBC Annual Meeting
Drop your children in child care early this afternoon
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.                      Braille Book Fair
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.                 Youth Track (ages 11-18)
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.                 Dads’ Night Out

Tuesday, July 3
7:00 - 9:00 a.m.                 NOPBC Board Meeting
8:30 a.m.                                 Convention 101 meets (ages 11 - 15)
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.            Children’s Activity in child care (preschool - 12)
1:30 p.m.                                 Convention 101 meets (ages 11 - 15)
7:00 - 9:45 p.m.                      NOPBC Concurrent Workshops
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.               Children’s Activity (ages 5-12)
                                           for children whose parents are in the NOPBC workshops
Time TBA                               Youth Track (ages 11-18)

Wednesday, July 4
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.     Children’s Activity in child care (preschool - 12)
8:30 a.m.                                 Convention 101 meets (ages 11 - 15)
1:30 p.m.                                 Convention 101 meets (ages 11 - 15)

Thursday, July 5
8:30 a.m.                                 Convention 101 meets (ages 11 - 15)
1:30 p.m.                                 Convention 101 meets (ages 11 - 15)

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