Release Date: 
Thursday, June 21, 2007
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Names Sister Margaret Fleming 2007 Distinguished Educator of Blind Children

Baltimore, Maryland (June 20, 2007): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has named Sister Margaret (Meg) Fleming, principal of St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments in Philadelphia, as its 2007 Distinguished Educator of Blind Children.  The award will be announced July 2 at the NFB’s 67th annual convention at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sister Meg has taught for more than thirty-five years, eleven of them as a teacher of the visually impaired, in which she taught academic subjects, Braille, access technology, daily living skills, and cane travel.  She now draws on all that experience to direct the Roman Catholic Church’s only school for blind students in Philadelphia, a job she has held since 1995.

“Sister Meg’s dedication to blind children, effective teaching strategies, and passionate enthusiasm for learning set her apart, and her conviction that blind children can succeed and be independent if they are taught to use academic tools and blindness skills to compete with their sighted peers makes her an obvious choice to be the NFB’s 2007 Distinguished Educator,” said Harriet Go, a St. Lucy graduate and now herself a teacher of special needs children.

Sister Meg’s professional honors and responsibilities include adjunct faculty member, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, 1993– present; recipient of the Elinor Long Pennsylvania Distinguished Educator of the Year Award for the Visually Impaired, 1992; recipient of the American Cardinals Award, 2003, sponsored by Catholic University; recipient of the Pennsylvania Lynch Award, 2003; recipient of the Recognition Award given by the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind; and president elect of the Penn Del Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2007.

The Distinguished Educator Award carries with it a $1,000 prize and an expense-paid trip to the 2007 NFB convention in Atlanta.  While in Atlanta, Sister Meg will address several hundred parents and educators of blind children and have an opportunity to share her experience and insights with many people interested in improving the education of blind students.