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

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2018-2019 NOPBC BOARD

At the 2018 meeting of the board of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), the following officers were elected:

President, Carlton Anne Walker
First Vice President, Penny Duffy
Second Vice President, Kimberly Banks
Secretary, Carol Castellano
Treasurer, Sandra Oliver
Board members Jean Bening, Pamela Gebert, Corbb O'Connor, Tabby Mitchell, Haley Ali, Jean Fultz, Carol Akers, Rosina Foster, Melissa Riccobono, and Michelle Murrey


National Federation of the Blind Mentoring Program
Contact: Maurice Peret, (410) 659-9314, Extension 2350
[email protected]

The NFB is actively recruiting blind and low-vision students and job-seekers to participate in a dynamic new program. Highlights of the program include mentoring—meeting and working one-on-one with blind mentors from around the country, in all professional fields; career exploration, including job shadowing and internships; development of job readiness skills such as resumé writing and interviewing; and peer-to-peer interactions around career planning. For more information, read the article in the April issue of the Braille Monitor, "Changing Attitudes Regarding Education, Employment, and Rehabilitation through the National Federation of the Blind Career Mentoring Program," bm/bm18/bm1804/bm180414.htm


2018 NOPBC Conference

Maybe you weren't able to attend all of the workshops that interested you at the 2018 conference of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC). Perhaps you couldn't attend the conference at all this year. You can still gather some of the valuable information you missed. Several of the conference presenters have made their workshop handouts available online. Here are just a few examples: "Integrating Braille for Dual Media Learners," "Hands-on Math: Explore the Tools that Will Help Your Child Learn at All Levels," "IEP 101," and "Structured Discovery."

ISLAND 2018 Conference
Contact: Cary Supalo, [email protected]
Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Conference dates: September 14-15, 2018

The 2018 ISLAND Conference will be a forum for discussing issues pertaining to blind students studying the sciences. Presentations will focus on innovative ways to make laboratory courses accessible and to prepare blind students for careers in the STEM fields.


2018 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards

The 2018 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards, announced on July 8, recognize individuals and organizations that are a positive force in the lives of blind people and whose work is advancing the ultimate goal of helping transform our dreams into reality. A prize of $25,000 was awarded to the developers of Be My Eyes, a free mobile app that connects blind and low-vision users with sighted volunteers for visual assistance through a live video call. An award of $5,000 went to Peggy Chong who, for more than two decades, has documented empowering stories about blind people on her website, Carol Begay Green was the recipient of a $5,000 award for creating a Braille code for the Navajo language and a plan to teach the code across the Navajo Nation. Another award of $5,000 went to iBUG Today, Inc., a nonprofit that promotes independence, social integration, and educational development of the blind community through accessible technology training and services. Tactile Maps Automated Production (TMAP) at the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco was awarded $5,000 for its program that creates consumer-grade, on-demand tactile maps that give blind people information and self-confidence to travel independently. The final award of $5,000 went to Ski for Light, an organization that connects the blind and sighted communities in the joy of cross-country skiing.

2018 Holman Prizes

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco launched the Holman Prizes in 2017 to raise awareness about the achievements of blind people and to support ambitious projects by blind individuals. Blind persons from all over the world are eligible to apply, and each winner receives a prize of $25,000. The three 2018 prizewinners are Stacy Cervenka, Conchita Hernandez, and Red Szell. Stacy Cervenka (US) will create an accessible travel forum called the Blind Travelers Network geared toward blind users. Conchita Hernandez (US) will use the Holman Prize to provide staffing, lodging, and scholarships for an unprecedented "Changing Lives" conference, to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in July 2019. Geared toward families, the conference will offer workshops on cane travel, Braille, and daily living. Red Szell (UK) plans to attempt an "extreme triathlon" comprised of a 200-foot abseil followed by a swim through open ocean, a 10-mile ride through a notably hazardous bogland, and a climb up a 213-foot ocean spire called Am Buachaille off the north coast of Scotland. He plans to document his endeavor on film as a message to other blind people not to give up their passions because of loss of vision. Videos of the 2018 Holman Prize winners can be viewed on the Lighthouse website.


NBP Poetry Contest
National Braille Press
88 St. Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115
[email protected]
Deadline for Submissions: October 31, 2018, 5 pm EST

National Braille Press will award prizes for original poems submitted in hardcopy or electronic Braille (BRF) formats around the theme "Nature." Poems will be considered in five categories: grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and adult. The winner in each category will receive prizes valued at $100.


The National Federation of the Blind and Kellogg's Rice Krispies® want more children to feel loved and supported. Rice Krispies® writable heart-shaped wrappers are a great way for kids to receive messages of love and support at school. And now blind children can participate, too. The new accessible love notes come in the form of Braille stickers and re-recordable audio devices. The heart-shaped Braille stickers can be placed in the white space on Rice Krispies Treats® wrappers. Each sticker sheet includes eight uplifting phrases in Braille that parents can share with their children, from "You've got this" to "Love you lots." Kellogg came to the National Federation of the Blind to make sure the love notes program reflected a positive attitude about blindness and that its materials were accessible. You can learn more and order love notes by visiting


Computer Use among Blind Adults
Major research is needed to prove how desperately blind and visually-impaired children need computer instruction in the school systems by proving what the adult population is using. Dr. Denise Robinson is conducting research to learn how blind adults use computers at home and in the workplace. Blind adults are sought to complete a 14-question survey about the kinds of technology they use and its importance in their lives.

Obesity and Physical Education
Contact: Justin A. Haegele, PhD, Old Dominion University: 757-683-5338
[email protected]

Dr. Justin Haegele is conducting a study exploring the experiences of people with visual impairments who also were obese or overweight during physical education classes. The research will look at how being visually impaired and overweight influenced physical experiences in public school. Participants must be adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five who will take part in a sixty-to ninety-minute interview and will afterward communicate with the researcher by email. All participants who complete the interview will receive a gift card valued at $20.

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