Future Reflections Spring 1999, Vol. 18 No. 1


Letters to the Editor


From the Editor: The Winter, 1998, issue of Future Reflections (Volume 17, Number 3) generated a flurry of letters, e-mails, and phone calls from readers. Here is a sample of them:

To: <[email protected]>
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 1998

Wanted to thank you for your most recent Future Reflections regarding multiply disabled children. I have been reading your magazine for years. As a “professional” (I’m a rehab teacher), I always find something worthwhile. However, as a parent of a child who is blind and multiply impaired I have always been disappointed. I have felt that your magazine, Future Reflections, has ignored our children and has been “elitist.” Children who are “just blind” can do anything, mine can’t. I came close to not reading the most recent Future Reflections as I no longer work as a rehab teacher since the birth of my youngest child. I am so glad I opened it and started reading. I no longer feel kids like mine are being ignored.

Shoshana Brayman

South Carolina Commission for the Blind
Aiken, SC 29803

December 14, 1998

Dear Ms. Cheadle:

The Winter 1998 issue of Future Reflections is right on target for many of the families I serve. I often struggle with finding relevant materials for these families who have multi-handicapped children. Please send a copy to each of the families on the attached list and thanks for all you do!


Liz M. Lewis, Children’s Rehabilitation

To: <[email protected]>
Date: Sunday, November 22, 1998

Barbara, you’ve outdone yourself. I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see an issue devoted to the multiply handicapped. I heard from one parent already who saw my articles. Fantastic job!!!!!

Thanks again.

Linda Zani Thomas
<[email protected]>

P.S. Barbara: Please feel free to give out my home number and e-mail address to those who may wish to contact me.


Dear Ms. Cheadle:

Many kudos for the Winter ‘98 issue of Future Reflections. I have been reading the magazine for several years. This issue was one of the most helpful. I also like the focus on one topic. Maybe using just one topic wouldn’t work for every issue, but this one was very much needed. I truly enjoyed it, too.

It seems to us in the program in which I teach that the breakout of the population of visually impaired kids in Oregon is similar to that of New Jersey. The need for dialogue and communication about parenting and teaching multihandicapped blind/partially sighted kids is great. Take my students for example. Out of six students only one is not multihandicapped in some way. I think we have to include kids with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) as multihandicapped since LD really impacts their learning. I’d like to read more on this topic.

The articles in Future Reflections in this issue that really stand out for me were the piece about Nicole White, the wonderfully child-oriented approach of Dr. Hammer in his article on self-stimming, and the piece by Denise Mehlenbacher about student Ya’Wana Fields (which goes to show how we teachers can have great success sometimes by giving kids a decent shot at literacy, and not accepting what other people say about a student).

I will be showing this issue of Future Reflections to our staff at our next meeting in a few days.

Thanks again. NFB publications are my window to the experiences of a wide range of blind people—the consumers of our services. I rely on them to make my work as useful to kids as possible. I thank you deeply for all your help.

Barbara Hanawalt, VI Teacher