American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections
       Special Issue: The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

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2017 ISLAND Conference
Independence Science, Learning a New Direction
Independence Science,
Location: Kurz Purdue Technology Center, West Lafayette, IN
Date: September 15, 2017

This day-long conference will focus on issues pertaining to students with disabilities in the sciences. Presentations will be approximately thirty minutes in length, followed by discussion.

The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i
Dates: October 9-11, 2017

The Pacific Rim International Conference, considered one of the most diverse gatherings in the world, encourages and respects voices from all areas related to disability. The theme of this year's conference is "SustainAbility," including stories of persons providing powerful lessons and action plans to meet human needs in a globalized world.


2017 Holman Prizes for Blind Ambition
San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Contact: Will Butler, (415) 855-1642

This fall three exceptional blind individuals will set off on adventures around the world, thanks to a new award, the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition. Created by the San Francisco Lighthouse to honor "blind ambition in all its forms," the $25,000 awards will springboard future generations of entrepreneurs, adventurers, and ambassadors in the blind community. With more than two hundred applicants from twenty-seven countries, competition for the prizes was fierce. Each applicant was asked to explain his or her proposal for a dream project in a ninety-second video, and each finalist was asked to submit a formal proposal.

The three winners of the 2017 competition are Ahmet Ustunel of the United States, Penny Melville-Brown of the United Kingdom, and Ojok Simon of Uganda. Ahmet Ustunel will design a kayak that can be operated by a blind person independently. He plans to kayak solo across the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe from Asia. Penny Melville-Brown will travel the world and produce a televised cooking series called Baking Blind. Ojok Simon seeks to open employment opportunities for blind people in rural Uganda by teaching the art of beekeeping.

US Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)

Two US youth goalball teams traveled to Hungary to take part in the 2017 IBSA World Youth Goalball Championships. The boys' team won 7-3 against Brazil in the gold medal game to win the championship. The US girls' team finished the tournament in fifth place.


Poetry in Braille
National Braille Press
Poetry Contest
88 St. Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115
Deadline for Entries: October 31, 2017

National Braille Press is pleased to announce its first Poetry in Braille Contest. Poems can be submitted in any of the following categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, or adult. Poems should be written around the theme “The Five Senses.” Entries must be submitted by email to [email protected] or in hard copy Braille to the address above, using UEB or English Braille American Edition. Submissions should not exceed 125 words. A winner in each category will be awarded a prize of $100.


Tactile Art Program
The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults (AAF) invites parents of blind and low-vision children ages two through eight to help their children begin exploring art through the Tactile Art Program. The Action Fund is offering, free of charge, a tactile art kit that provides tools that enable young children to have tactile experiences in many different formats. Through a series of videos at, parents and children can get ideas for projects using the items contained in the kit. Once an application for the kit has been completed, parents will receive a link to a pre-use survey. Parents are also encouraged to complete a follow-up survey after using the kit for two months. AAF hopes that all participants will complete these surveys. The information will help the Tactile Art Program grow and improve. Don't hesitate! This is a pilot program, and AAF would love for you to join.

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