American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Future Reflections
       Special Issue: Early Childhood

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Sense-sational Adventures in Summer Science (SASS)
Contact: Fred Wurtzel, or Donna Posont,
Location: Camp Tuhsmeheta and University of Michigan/Dearborn
Dates: July 29-August 5, 2018
Sense-sational Adventures in Summer Science presents the Subtle, Sublime, Sonorous, Symphonic Science of Sound. Would life as we know it be the same without sound? Can plants hear? Could bees pollinate without sound? How does sound affect our health? Can humans use echolocation as bats do? What is the difference between sound and noise? If any of these questions interests your blind children or students, they will enjoy the 2018 Sense-sational Adventures in Summer Science (SASS) program. This year's program will begin in the outdoor splendor of Camp Tuhsmeheta (Camp T) for three days, followed by three days in the more urban environment of the University of Michigan/Dearborn campus. At Camp T. students will investigate how nature makes and uses sound and how sound affects the environment. In Dearborn, students will explore how humans have invented ways to change, amplify, preserve, and entertain with sound. Students will have the opportunity to express themselves with sound. Come in creatively clanging, brilliantly banging, whispering or whirring, silently stalking, or humorously humming, and join in the subtle, sonorous, symphonic science of sound!
ISLAND 2018 Conference
Contact: Cary Supalo,
Conference dates: September 14-15, 2018
The 2018 ISLAND Conference will be a forum for discussing issues pertaining to blind students studying the sciences. Abstracts for presentations will be accepted until June 30. Pre-registration for the conference will open in July 2018.


No Barriers Summit New York City
Dates: October 5-6, 2018
The No Barriers Summit NYC is an intimate, collaborative, and interactive experience that will involve 1,500 members in a barrier-free environment. Events include the 24-hour Questival, a scavenger hunt that takes participants throughout the city. Among the available programs is the No Barriers Youth and Educator Track, where students and educators learn to give people tools to break through barriers, unleash individual and collective potential, and have a positive impact on the world. Braille, large print, audio description, ASL, ramps, and carts will ensure that everyone has full access.


Megan Bening Memorial Fund Technology Giveaway
The Board of Directors of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) is pleased to announce the exciting details of the first Megan Bening Memorial Fund Technology Giveaway. Technology valued at more than $10,000 will be given away to blind and low-vision children at Family Hospitality Night on July 3 at the 2018 NFB national convention.


2017 Touch of Genius Prize
The 2017 Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation was awarded to Innovision, a company from India that created the refreshable Braille display called BrailleMe. BrailleMe will offer an affordable option for getting Braille into the hands of as many blind people as possible. The unique engineering design produces quality Braille at a very low cost. The BrailleMe uses a magnetic actuation with only one moving part to raise and lower Braille dots, simplifying the manufacturing process and eliminating many possible sources of failure. The Touch of Genius Prize, valued at $20,000, is sponsored by National Braille Press and the Gibney Family Foundation. Honorable mentions for 2017 went to Lighthouse for the Blind San Francisco for improved developments in TMAP, software that produces tactile maps; and American Printing House for the Blind for Braille Blaster, a free Braille translation software to help get more Braille textbooks to children.

2018 Braille Challenge
Braille Institute has announced fifty finalists in the 2018 Braille Challenge, the only international reading and writing contest in Braille for students who are blind or visually impaired. Students in grades K-12 compete in such areas as reading and writing proficiency and interpretation of tactile graphics. On June 15-16 the finalists and their families will gather on the campus of the University of Southern California for an event filled with learning, camaraderie, competition, and fun. The top three finalists in each age category will be recognized at a special awards ceremony. A list of the 2018 Braille Challenge finalists can be found at the webpage listed above.


Survey on Technology Use
Are you the parent of a child with a visual impairment? A team of researchers at the University of Washington and Creighton University would love to hear about how your child uses both access and mainstream technologies and the barriers he/she encounters. Fill out the quick screening survey at the link above to determine whether you are eligible to participate in the study. Participants will receive a gift card worth $15.

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