American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections Special Issue: The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) 2017 NFB CONVENTION
by Kim Cunningham
Families, Friends, and Teachers! Now is the time to prepare to join the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) for our annual national conference, #HOWWESEEIT!
My name is Kim Cunningham, and I am the president of the NOPBC. I would like to invite all families, friends, and teachers of blind and low-vision children to join us at the National Federation of the Blind national convention from Monday, July 10 through Saturday, July, 15, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. Every year the NOPBC holds its annual national conference during the NFB National Convention. The NOPBC board has put in countless volunteer hours to provide our attendees with workshops, speakers, and activities that will be both enlightening and educational. We are here to help you with your questions about raising blind and low-vision children. We welcome all families of children who are blind or have low vision, with or without additional disabilities, to come together for a week full of fun and excitement. We believe that all children can learn with the right support and training.
Our family has attended the NFB National Convention since 2007. This summer will be our tenth consecutive year! The National Federation of the Blind welcomed us into the family from the beginning! For us, the NFB National Convention is now a giant family reunion!
When I attended convention in 2007 I had a dream. I dreamed that my blind daughter could grow into a productive citizen to her fullest potential. Whatever that was going to be would be determined by her and not others. Prior to this time, I felt as though I were living in a nightmare, unable to find anyone other than myself who had high expectations for her. No one on her IEP team believed she would be able to live alone let alone attend college. But I attended the 2007 National Convention with dream in hand and found so many people who wanted to help us with our dream. And every year after, I attended the NFB National Convention. I asked a lot of questions of as many blind and low-vision people as I had time to meet. There are usually between two thousand and twenty-five hundred blind and low-vision adults attending convention, so I found plenty of people to help me. I also attended as many workshops as I could, learning about the tools of blindness and the NFB training centers. Every step of the way there was someone to help guide us. I left each convention feeling more empowered than the time before.
And my daughter persevered. Here is my 2017 dream update: My blind daughter graduated from college a year and a half ago, has recently obtained her first full-time job, and will be moving into her own apartment in two weeks. As a parent, I have accomplished the goal of watching my daughter grow into a strong, independent woman. I will be forever grateful to the NFB! I look forward to meeting you all, and I hope we can all support you in building your dreams!
In 2016, the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) held a fundraising campaign called #HOWEYESEEIT. The campaign was designed to show the general public what it is like to be blind – a simulation of sorts. Various sighted people were asked to wear sleep shades and then do some type of ordinary activity such as eating dinner. The participants were not given any training or even a cane. The end result of this activity was that sighted participants left feeling fear and sadness for blind people. The activity perpetuated the myth that blind people are unable to do even the simplest tasks. These people could be our children’s future teachers or employers. We need them to know that blind and low-vision people CAN be successful!
So the NOPBC would like to show the Foundation Fighting Blindness how we see it! We see our children learning to read Braille and using the long white cane as tools of independence. We see our children cooking, skiing, riding bicycles, taking AP level courses, attending college, and much, much more. So FFB – This is #HOWWESEEIT #NFB17. Please help us to share the news that blindness is not the characteristic that defines your child’s future!
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.
Please join us:
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819-9357
2017 NOPBC Annual Conference
The 34th Annual NOPBC Conference
Monday, July 10, 2017 - Saturday, July 15, 2017
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 2017 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. We look forward to seeing you at our full-day seminar on Monday, July 10, and at our many activities held throughout the week.
Preregister by June 30:
$30 for an individual adult
$50 for two or more related adults
Children and youth free
After June 30:
$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 on or before June 15. 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.
The 2017 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 12.5 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 2017 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. If a reservation is cancelled before Thursday, June 1, 2017, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.
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 fifteen dining/lounging options from fine-dining and elaborate buffets to casual dining both indoors and poolside.
Monday, July 10 Seminar Day Opening Day of NOPBC National Conference
Morning NOPBC General Session
Afternoon NOPBC Workshops
Evening NOPBC Family Hospitality Night
Tuesday, July 11: NFB Registration Day, Meetings of Divisions and Committees
Morning NOPBC Cane Walks
Afternoon NOPBC Style Show
Evening Family Pool Social
Wednesday, July 12: 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
Thursday, July 13: NFB Opening Day Session
Evening NOPBC Workshops and Children’s Activities
Friday, July 14: NFB Business Session
Saturday, July 15: NFB Banquet Day and Adjournment