Volume 40, Number 4 Convention 2021
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 © 2021 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]
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
by Deborah Kent Stein
by Mark Riccobono
Empowering Our Children: Maximizing Skills, Opportunities, and Dreams
by Carlton Anne Cook Walker
Living the Life I Want Because of Parental Empowerment
by Ronza Othman
It's Not Just You: Growth and Resilience in Pandemic Times
by Carla Keirns
Reading to Learn the Code: The Natural Order of Contractions
by Casey West Robertson
Unraveling Dyslexia: Helping Braille Readers Who Have Reading Challenges
by Carlton Anne Cook Walker
Learning Shades: Helping Parents Learn and Teach Nonvisual Skills
by Michelle Albrecht
NOPBC BOARD MEETING
Empowering or Disqualifying: Which Are We Doing?
by Jordana Engelbretsen, 2021 Distinguished Educator of Blind Children
A Panel Moderated by Carol Castellano
Interview with Senator Tammy Duckworth
by Mark Riccobono
The 2021 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards
Presented by Everette Bacon
2021 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Awards
Presented by Cayte Mendez
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.