American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections
       Special Issue: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)       NOPBC CONFERENCE 2016

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Transitions: Where You Are and Where You Want To Go!

by Kim Cunningham

My name is Kim Cunningham, and I am the president of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC). I would like to invite all families, friends, and teachers of blind and low vision children to join us at the NFB National Convention from Thursday, June 30 through Tuesday, July 5, 2016 in beautiful, sunny Orlando, Florida. Every year the NOPBC holds its annual national conference during the NFB National Convention. Our board has been working hard to bring relevant, informative sessions and activities for families and teachers of blind and low vision children. We welcome all families of children who are blind, low vision, with or without additional disabilities to come together for a week full of fun and educational workshops. We believe that all children can learn with the right support and training. Please help us to share the news that blindness is not what holds our children back! Together we can work to change what it means to be blind!

Ten years ago my daughter and I attended our first NFB National Convention. Because my daughter was considered low vision by our school district, I didn’t think the NFB was for us. After all, no one ever called her blind. But, we were at a loss about my daughter’s future and how she would grow into an independent person. We were concerned about how she would take her science classes in school. We were concerned about the length of time it took for her to complete her work. We were concerned about her identity and feeling like a broken person. We were concerned about her struggle to read. We had no one to answer our questions and give us direction.

This all changed when we attended the NFB National Convention along with 2,000 other blind and low vision people. Everyone was tapping their canes and living their lives just like all the sighted people I knew. It was an energizing atmosphere that I have never felt before. The Federation embraced us and welcomed us into their family! I learned that low vision kids would benefit from all the tools “blind” kids used. The magic wand ended up being a cane, and the secret word was Braille. I attended workshops while my daughter learned about accessible science from a blind scientist. She also learned about the benefits of the long white cane. The exhibit hall was filled with technology, books, and independent living items to choose from. If I had a question, someone was there to answer it.

This year our theme for the NOPBC Conference is “Transitions.” As parents, we are constantly transitioning from one area to another. When our children were born, we transitioned to becoming parents of blind and low vision babies. Our children transition from toddlers to elementary school, to junior high, and then high school. Some kids transition from reading print to reading Braille. And with each new transition, we find we are at a crossroad of which way to turn. We hope that our workshops will give you the tools to make educated decisions about the road you want to take.

This is what I want all families to experience. I want you to feel hope for a bright future for your child. I want you to learn the skills that blind and low vision children need to live their lives to the fullest. I want you to know that we all have the same goala bright future for our children.

Please join us:
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819-9357

2016 NOPBC Annual Conference
Transitions! 

The 33rd Annual NOPBC Conference
Thursday, June 30—Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Orlando, FL

We welcome all families and teachers of blind and visually impaired children to attend the NOPBC’s annual conference. We will hold our conference in conjunction with the 2016 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. We look forward to seeing you at our full-day seminar on Thursday, June 30, and at our many activities that will be held throughout the remainder of the week. We are also in the midst of planning an informal trip to a fun kid friendly Florida attraction on Wednesday, June 29. For more information about this trip, please make sure you are a part of our Facebook group, our blindkid email list, or visit our website at <http://www.nopbc.org>. We will post trip details to all of these places as soon as they become final. If you’d rather talk to an actual person about this trip, please contact Kimberly Banks at 404-259-2651, or Melissa Riccobono, 443-803-0266.

Conference Registration Fees:

Preregister by June 21, 2016:
$30 for an individual adult
$50 for two or more related adults
Children and youth free

After June 21, 2016:
$40 per individual adult
$70 for two or more adults
Children and youth free

In addition to registering for the NOPBC annual conference, you will also need to register for the National Federation of the Blind National Convention in order to take advantage of our excellent room rates. Registration information, as well as a variety of other convention information, can be found at <https://nfb.org/convention>.

Childcare is available for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. Children must be preregistered for child care. Find more information below, and register here: <https://nfb.org/nfb-camp-registration-form>.

In addition to NFB childcare, youth ages 11-18 are invited to participate in special NFB Youth Track activities. Youth track welcomes blind 11-18-year-olds, and also any sighted siblings in this age group. Information on Youth Track activities is provided below, and updates on the Youth Track schedule can be found at <http://www.nopbc.org>.

Hotel Information and Room Rates:

The 2016 room rates are singles and doubles, $83; and triples and quads, $89. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 13.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. Please note that the hotel is a no-smoking facility.
For 2016 convention room reservations you can call the hotel at (866) 996-6338. You may also write directly to the Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819-9357. The hotel will want a deposit of $95 for each room and will want a credit card number or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately, just as would be the case with a $95 check.

All Rosen Shingle Creek guestrooms feature amenities that include plush Creek Sleeper beds, 40” flat screen TVs, complimentary high-speed internet capabilities, in-room safes, coffee makers, mini-fridges, and hair dryers. Guests can enjoy four outdoor swimming pools, a full-service spa, and dining/lounging options from fine-dining and elaborate buffets to casual dining both indoors and poolside. 

Schedule at a Glance:

Thursday, June 30:                  Seminar Day Opening Day of NOPBC National Conference 

Morning                      NOPBC General Session
Afternoon                    NOPBC Workshops
Evening                       NOPBC Family Hospitality Night

Friday, July 1:                          NFB Registration Day, Meetings of Divisions and Committees

Morning                      NOPBC Cane Walks
Afternoon                    NOPBC Style Show
Evening                       “Laps for Literacy” NOPBC Fundraiser

Saturday, July 2:                      NFB Board Meeting, Meetings of Divisions and Committees

Afternoon                    NOPBC Annual Meeting and Parent Power
Early Evening              NOPBC Braille Book Fair
Evening                       NOPBC Dad’s Night Out

Sunday, July 3:                         NFB Opening Day Session

Evening                       NOPBC Workshops and Children’s Activities

Monday, July 4:                       NFB Business Session

Tuesday, July 5:                       NFB Banquet Day and Adjournment

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