Future Reflections        Special Issue on Advocacy

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Odds and Ends

Special Education Law

Pop-Up IEP for Blindness or Visual Impairment

Created with input from the NOPBC, this site lists problematic statements that parents sometimes hear from school staff at IEP meetings and offers suggestions for respectful but effective responses. Statements include, "We think the cane can pose a hazard to other students," "Of course your child will need a personal aide; we can't expect our teachers to do all that extra work," and "We are concerned about your child's safety; we can't let him/her be involved in that activity because we don't want him/her to get hurt." Each suggested response includes a link to relevant passages in the law.


Although not specifically tailored to the needs of blind/visually impaired students, this website presents a compendium of information on special education law and the IEP process. Learn about books and courses that can help you become a better advocate. Review existing laws, browse a library of caselaw documents, search the archives of Wrightslaw newsletters, and comb through additional resources.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
3075 Adeline St., Suite 210
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 644-2555
[email protected]

DREDF has been a champion of disability rights since 1979, and its website has extensive information about the rights of children with disabilities under IDEA and other laws. DREDF offers training on IDEA for parents and professionals.

Long-Term Planning

Protected Tomorrows, Inc.
 103 Shelter Rd.
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Contact: Mary Ann Ehlert, (847) 522-8086 
[email protected]

Protected Tomorrows is a national advocacy firm that enhances the lives of people with severe disabilities through a comprehensive life-planning process. With the motto "Prepare, Protect, Provide," Protected Tomorrows helps families explore options in order to provide financial security and as much autonomy as possible for members with autism, mental illness, and developmental disabilities.

Toys and Games

Tapir Preservation Fund Gift Store
PO Box 118
Astoria, OR 97103
(888) 325-3179

Want to teach your daughter the difference between a horse and a donkey? Would your son like to know what a gorilla looks like? This online gift store, which raises funds to protect endangered tapirs around the world, sells models of hundreds of animals, from dogs and cats to aardvarks and linsangs--and tapirs, of course. Detailed plastic models range in size from two to eight inches. Plush toys are also available. Your child can build a personal menagerie. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Time In Dolls

The Time In Doll is an educational toy that teaches children the concept of time and patience in a fun, natural way and is an effective tool to allow parents to get a few minutes of personal time. Bonus features on the doll teach kids to tie laces, button buttons, snap snaps, and fasten Velcro. Time is often associated with time-outs in kids' minds. With the Time In Doll, parents can set a timer for five minutes and promise to give the child full attention when it rings. The built-in timer can go up to fifteen minutes.

7-128 Software

7-128 Software announces the publication of its 2013 list of the top twenty-five websites for gamers who are blind. Games are ranked on the basis of availability, price, help provided, and reviews.


The Encyclopedia of Sports and Recreation for Persons with Visual Impairments

by Andrew Leibs
Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing
ISBN: 1623960401

This book profiles more than one hundred blind athletes and describes hundreds of accessible programs and products. As one reviewer notes, it includes "every accessible sport known to man."


ReadBooks is a national children's Braille literacy program that encourages families with blind children to read books together. National Braille Press distributes attractive Braille bookbags to families with visually impaired children, ages birth to seven, in the U.S. and Canada. The distribution is a collaborative process with educators and early intervention professionals. Each bookbag contains an age-appropriate print/Braille book, a Braille primer for sighted parents, a print/Braille alphabet card, and much more.

Contact: Paul Halligan, [email protected]

A website "for people who love stories and storytelling," Storybud has text, audio, and combined text and audio versions of stories, all available for free. Text size and color can be adjusted.



When kids learn about threats to our environment, they want to know what they can do to make a difference. Here's an easy way to make a positive difference by keeping plastic out of our landfills and oceans. ReUsies are a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to disposable snack bags and sandwich bags. The bags are 100 percent cotton, quick-drying, and lined with leak-resistant nylon. They meet the FDA standards for food safety. They also can be used to carry such items as keys, sunglasses, toys, or small electronic devices.

Learn to Letter with Raised Ruling
This paper is marked with raised lines to reinforce writing within the lines for sighted children. It may be useful for blind children who are learning to write print letters and sign their names. Enter the title in the search box to locate this product.

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