Future Reflections Summer/Fall 1999, Vol. 18 No. 2


Carol Castellano Honored

by Kathy Gabry

The following information comes from In-Touch, the newletter of the New Jersey Parents of Blind Children, June 1999:

The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) recently presented its second annual Diana Cuthbertson Parent-Professional Collaboration Award to Parents of Blind Children-New Jersey President, Carol Castellano. The award is presented to the parent and the professional who most exemplify parent-professional partnership and collaboration in the area of education, health, or family support. The award is named for Diana Cuthbertson, SPAN’s founder and a great believer in partnership and collaboration.

The award was presented by Diana Autin, present Director of SPAN, at SPAN’s annual statewide conference. Here is what Diana had to say about Carol:

Carol Castellano is the President of Parents of Blind Children-NJ. Since her daughter Serena was born fourteen years ago, Carol has been a tremendous role model, mentor, and friend to countless families of children with blindness and other disabilities. Seven years ago, Carol organized NJ’s first Parents of Blind Children-NJ meeting, and has been the President ever since. She organizes an annual Parents Seminar, serves on consumer committees for the NJ Commission for the Blind, writes a quarterly newsletter, regularly advocates for teacher training and quality of education issues, and still finds time to be a mom and wife. Due in large part to her efforts, a new Blind Children’s Resource Center has now been established for families and teachers of blind and visually impaired children. Carol is also well-known on the national level for her activities with the National Federation of the Blind. Recently, Carol co-authored The Bridge to Braille, a book that has been well received by teachers and parents. Her nominator, Katherine Gabry, writes, "Carol knows that we all – parents, teachers, child study teams, physicians, agencies—must work together to provide the best opportunities for our children. And, true to form, she always takes the time and makes the effort to help parents find their way to getting the best and most appropriate services for their children. Carol is truly one of the "unsung heroes" of the disability rights community in New Jersey.

Congratulations, Carol!

The award itself is a beautiful plaque that will hang on the wall of the Blind Children’s Resource Center in Denville, NJ.