Future Reflections Winter 1989, Vol. 8 No. 1

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The National Parent Conference and the annual meeting of the POBC of the NFB will be held as usual, in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind annual convention. This year it will be held in the Mile-High City of Denver, Colorado, at the Radisson Hotel. Convention activities will run from Monday, July 3 through Sunday, July 9,1989.

We have an exciting theme and agenda planned for the parent conference, which will be held on Monday, July 3. The conference will be cosponsored by Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB) and is especially designed to appeal to blind youth and blind job- seekers as well as to parents of blind children of all ages. Among other things, we will discuss how parents even of infants can begin now to set the stage for their blind child's future success in employment; we will look at how blind youth and adults can use volunteer experiences as steppingstones to a paying job; and blind adults will talk about the challenges of being the first blind person to attempt a particular career. And then, of course, there is the wonderful experience of meeting other parents and blind adults from all over the country. Our conferences get bigger and better every year, and this one will undoubtedly be the best yet! Don't miss it!

The conference begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel and will end at 4:00 p.m. There will be no registration fee for the Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker Conference. However, we expect whose who stay over for all or part of the following week's convention events to register for the National Federation of the Blind Convention. The fee is $5, and registration will open the morning of Tuesday, July 4th.

We will, as we have for the past several years, also have special activities for children ages five to twelve the same day as the Parent Conference (Monday, July 3). The Colorado Center for the Blind, a private rehabilitation orientation center for the adult blind operated by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado, is organizing and sponsoring this workshop for the children. After checking in at a special table at the parent conference, the children will be transported to the Colorado Center for the Blind facility, which is located near a park, for a day full of fun and learning. The children will have a chance to cook; learn more about Braille, cane travel, and other skills of blindness; make some crafts; have a picnic and play in the park; and enjoy many other activities.

Parents are asked to pay a $5.00 fee per child for the 1989 NFB Children's Workshop (this includes lunch). You may pre-register using the form at the end of this article. Because we have limited space and we want to keep a good adult child ratio, children who do not pre-register will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our maximum limit.

Child-care will also be available during the Parent Conference, the regular convention sessions, and the evening of the banquet. A set fee is not charged for the service, but we do ask that parents make donations to cover the costs (we hire qualified child-care workers to supervise the children and volunteer aides.)

On Wednesday, July 5, our annual Parents of Blind Children Division meeting will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. At that meeting, we will have a chance to hear from all of our state divisions and regional chapters. We will discuss and share information about our projects and successes as well as the challenges we continue to face as parents of blind children.

We will also get an opportunity to hear from the winner of the Educator of the Year Award.

On the following day, Thursday, July 5, the Parents Division will hold an Individualized Education Program (IEP) workshop from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. This year the IEP workshop will concentrate on educational evaluations. Educational evaluations are extremely important. They are used by the professionals to determine a student's placement and educational needs for the IEP. It is terribly important, therefore, for parents to know what a good educational evaluation should contain, how to obtain an independent evaluation if they disagree with the school district's evaluation, how to use the educational evaluation to build an IEP, and how the educational evaluation can be used in a due process hearing. Doris Willoughby, a well known educator of blind children from Iowa and the author of some excellent publications for parents and educators of blind children, will be coordinating this year's IEP workshop.

As usual, we have terrific room rates for those who register for the National Federation of the Blind convention. For example, double and twin rooms are $28, and there is no extra charge for children under 18 in the room with their parents. A $30 per room deposit is required, and all reservations MUST be made through the National Federation of the Blind. To get more information, or to request your convention room reservation form, write to: Convention Reservations, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. You may also call (301) 659- 9314, but-and this cannot be emphasized too strongly- no reservations will be accepted and finalized until all required information and the deposit are received in the National Office.

Other activities of the convention include the huge exhibit hall, which is open all day Tuesday, July 4th; Wednesday, July 5th; and most other times when convention sessions are not going on (before sessions and during lunch periods). Many informative division and committee meetings such as the Student Division, the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille, the Committee on Library Services--also take place throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. The actual convention session begins Thursday, July 6, and runs all day Thursday, Friday morning (Friday afternoon is left free for tours, sightseeing, etc.), and all day Saturday and Sunday. The convention agenda is first available Tuesday and can be picked up when you register (the fee is $5 per person). You can be sure that current issues involving the education of blind children, civil rights, legislation, library services, rehabilitation services, and new technology for the blind will be on the agenda.

The highlight of the convention will be the banquet on the evening of Saturday, July 8. We find out which students win which scholarships and cheer as other awards are also presented. But the most moving and uplifting experience will be the annual banquet speech delivered by Mr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind. Banquet tickets usually cost about $25 and can be purchased at registration.

The National Federation of the Blind convention week of July 3rd through July 9th will be the single most important, exciting, and informative week regarding the blind (young and old) of the 1989 year! Don't miss it!