Future Reflections

Volume 39 Number 1                          Winter 2020

A magazine for parents and teachers of blind children published by
the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults in partnership
with the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children.

Deborah Kent Stein, Editor


Copyright © 2020 American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults

For more information about blindness and children contact:
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230 • 410-659-9314
https://nfb.org/nopbc[email protected][email protected]


Houston Site of 2020 NFB Convention

The 2020 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will take place in Houston, Texas, July 14 to July 19, at the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, 1600 Lamar Street, Houston, TX 77010. Make your room reservation as soon as possible with the Hilton Americas-Houston. Call 1-800-236-2905 to reserve your room in the main hotel. If you wish to stay in our overflow hotel, the Marriott Marquis Houston, the number to call is 1-877-688-4323.

The 2020 room rate at our main hotel is $105 per night and applies to singles and doubles as well as triples and quads. Hotel and sales taxes in Houston are 13.38 percent and 8.25 percent, respectively. The rate for the overflow Marriott Marquis is slightly higher at $119. As with our main hotel, hotel and sales taxes are additional, and the nightly rate covers up to four in a room. Both hotels will take a deposit of the first night's room rate for each room and will require a credit card or a personal check. If you use a credit card, the deposit will be charged against your card immediately. If a reservation is cancelled before Friday, June 1, 2020, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.

Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations may be made before June 1, 2020, assuming that rooms are still available. After that time the hotels will not hold our room block for the convention. In other words, you should get your reservation in soon.

Both hotels offer complimentary in-room wireless internet (though the Marriott requires a free-to-establish Marriott Bonvoy account) and fitness center access for all guests. All rooms are furnished with mini refrigerators along with many of the usual amenities such as in-room safes, irons and ironing boards, and hair dryers. After the day's events, you can get your swim on at either hotel. The Hilton has an indoor pool on the 23rd floor, while the Marriott features an outdoor pool adjacent to its Texas- shaped lazy river pool. Both hotels have several on-premise dining outlets with a broad range of additional options within a short walk from the front door.

The schedule for the 2020 convention is:

Tuesday, July 14          Seminar Day
Wednesday, July 15    Registration and Resolutions Day
Thursday, July 16        Board Meeting and Division Day
Friday, July 17              Opening Session
Saturday, July 18         Business Session
Sunday, July 19           Banquet Day and Adjournment



Blind Youth in Physical Education
by Matthew Maurer, Lisa Farley, and Cara Burchett


Helping Children with Sensory Impairments Explore and Learn
by Casey West Robertson


Teacher Shortages: What Choices Do Parents Have?
by Lydia Anne Schuck

Time for Action for Blind Students
by Kathryn Webster

Knowledge is Power: My Fight to Obtain Technology Training for My Daughter
by Heidi Scheffer


Breaking into the Workforce
by Nadia Montanez

Competing on Terms of Equality and Blending In: Government Service with Federation Style
by Kristen Cox

The Next Big Step: How to Keep Your Job and Thrive in the Workplace
by Yusef Dale


See3D: Creating Hands-on Access through the Power of 3D Printing
by Caroline Karbowski


Our NFB Journey
by a BELL Academy Parent

Growing Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
by Trisha Kulkarni


Dog Driven
by Terry Lynn Johnson
Reviewed by Deborah Kendrick


Eleven Years of BELL Academies: Gaining Skills, Enhancing Opportunities, and Building Relationships
by Karen Anderson


2019 NOPBC Conference Roundup
by Carlton Anne Cook Walker

Houston, We Have a Solution! Failure is Never an Option
by Carlton Anne Cook Walker


The American Action Fund Needs Your Help

Learning Opportunities at NFB Summer Programs

Other Announcements

Odds and Ends

     Complete Future Reflections

Why Join the NOPBC?

Are you the parent of a blind/low-vision child? Don’t know where to turn? 
Have you ever wondered what your child will be capable of when he or she grows up? Are you concerned that your child’s future will be limited by blindness or low vision? Do you have questions about how to parent a blind child? We are here for you.

What is the NOPBC?

Founded in 1983, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), a proud division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), is a membership organization of families, friends, and educators of blind children. We have thousands of members in all fifty states plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

Who is the NOPBC for?

We have a very inclusive definition of blindness which includes children who have some usable vision. Instead of focusing on what the child can or cannot see, we focus on the child and what she or he wants to be.

NOPBC is for families, educators, and friends of blind children, including those who have some usable vision. We welcome all families of blind children, and many of our children have both blindness and other disabilities.

We help families and blind children themselves maximize the child’s abilities and opportunities; we hold high expectations for all of our children, regardless of any additional disabilities they may have.

Why is the NOPBC a part of the National Federation of the Blind?

As a division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the largest and most influential organization of blind people in the world, the NOPBC is well informed about the societal, legislative, and technological issues that affect blind people. We enjoy the resources, support, and expertise of fifty thousand blind people who can serve as mentors and role models for us and our children. When we as parents join the NOPBC, our children belong to the Federation family.

What is our mission?


Most states have an NOPBC affiliate chapter. You can find your state chapter at http://www.nopbc.org. If your state does not have a chapter and you would like to start one, please contact us. We may be able to offer training and other assistance to start a state NOPBC chapter.

Why Join the NOPBC?

We have been where you are, and we want to support you and your blind child. We know that blindness does not define your child's future. We can connect you with other families and blind adults who can serve as positive mentors and role models. They can teach you the attitudes and techniques that will enable your child to become independent and to succeed in life.  
The NOPBC offers hope, encouragement, information, and resources for parents, families, and educators of blind children. NOPBC provides:

We offer a wide variety of programs, activities, and training to families, children, and youth. One of our most exciting activities is our annual conference. Every year since it was established, the NOPBC has conducted an annual conference for parents and teachers of blind children as part of the national convention of the NFB. This conference has grown to include five exciting days of workshops, training sessions, activities for all family members, including sighted siblings, and countless opportunities to meet blind adults and other families and children from around the country.

Programs, activities, publications, and resources of the NFB and NOPBC

Contact Us:
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
[email protected]