Volume 42, Number 2 Special Issue: The World of Work
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 © 2023 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]
There are plenty of reasons one might travel to Houston, Texas, the fourth most populous city in the United States. One might visit for the nearly three-week-long Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The city's vibrant arts scene boasts the largest concentration of theater seats outside of New York City. And no Houston resident would let a visitor forget that the city is home to the 2022 World Series Champion Houston Astros. There is little question that Houston has a great deal going for it. The city's real draw, however, is that it will play host to the National Federation of the Blind's 2023 National Convention.
It has now been more than fifty years since the largest gathering of the organized blind last convened in Houston, Texas, and our return in 2023 will be an event not to be missed. The Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel (1600 Lamar Street, Houston, TX 77010) will serve as our convention headquarters hotel. Situated in the heart of downtown Houston across the street from the beautiful twelve-acre Discovery Green Park, the Hilton Americas is an ideal location for our annual event. Ballrooms, breakout space, and sleeping rooms are all stacked in the same tower housed on a single city block, simplifying navigation and minimizing travel distances. In-room internet is complimentary to all attendees, as is access to the health club and swimming pool on the 22nd floor. There are several dining options on the hotel's lobby level (including a Starbucks for those of us requiring a caffeine fix) and many more choices within easy walking distance from the Hilton's front door.
The nightly rate at the Hilton Americas-Houston is $119 for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. In addition, the sales tax rate is 8.25 percent, and the hotel occupancy tax rate is 17 percent. To book your room for the 2023 convention, call 1-800-236-2905 after January 1 and ask for the "NFB Convention" block. For each room, the hotel will take a deposit of the first night's room rate and taxes 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 Monday, June 1, 2023, half of the deposit will be returned. Otherwise refunds will not be made.
We have also secured overflow space at the wonderful Marriott Marquis Houston. The Marriott is only a three-block walk directly across Discovery Green, or attendees can walk entirely indoors through the George R. Brown convention center, connecting both hotels on the second level. You will find many of the same amenities at the Marriott as well as a Texas-shaped lazy river pool. The room rate at the Marriott Marquis is also $119 per night for singles, doubles, triples, and quads. To book a room, call 1-877-622-3056 after January 1. Again, ask for the "NFB Convention" block. Similarly, the same deposit and cancellation policies apply.
The 2023 convention of the National Federation of the Blind will be a truly exciting and memorable event, with an unparalleled program and rededication to the goals and work of our movement. A wide range of seminars for parents of blind children, technology enthusiasts, job seekers, and other groups will kick the week off on Saturday, July 1. Convention registration and registration packet pick-up will also open on Saturday. Breakout sessions continue on Sunday along with committee meetings. Monday, July 3, will kick off with the annual meeting, open to all, of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind. National division meetings will follow the board meeting that afternoon and evening. General convention sessions will begin on Tuesday, July 4, and continue through the afternoon of Thursday, July 6. Convention ends on a high note with the banquet Thursday evening, so be sure to pack your fancy clothes.
The fall of the gavel at the close of banquet will signal convention's adjournment.
Remember that as usual we need door prizes from state affiliates, local chapters, and individuals. Once again prizes should be small in size but large in value. Cash, of course, is always appropriate and welcome. As a rule, we ask that prizes of all kinds have a value of at least $25 and not include alcohol. Drawings will occur steadily throughout the convention sessions, and you can anticipate a Texas-sized grand prize to be drawn at the banquet. You may bring door prizes with you to convention or send them in advance to the National Federation of the Blind of Texas at 1600 E Highway 6, Suite 215, Alvin, TX 77511.
The best collection of exhibits featuring new technology; meetings of our special interest groups, committees, and divisions; the most stimulating and provocative program items of any meeting of the blind in the world; the chance to renew friendships in our Federation family; and the unparalleled opportunity to be where the real action is and where decisions are being made—all of these mean you will not want to miss being a part of the 2023 National Convention. To assure yourself a room in the headquarters hotel at convention rates, make your reservations early. We plan to see you in Houston in July.
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Stories and Statistics
by Deborah Kent Stein
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
The Quest of Independence
by Carla McQuillan
Good Fortune and Perseverance
by Daniel B. Frye
The Best Decision of My Life
by Michal Nowicki
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Marketing Our Message
by Cricket Bidleman
Language Was the Key
by Karolline Austen
Call the Next Witness
by Kayde Rieken
Science from a Fresh Perspective
An Interview with Mona Minkara
WORKING IN REAL TIME
Structured Discovery in the Business World
by Mausam Mehta
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.