Future Reflections

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.

Volume 30 Number 2                                     Special Issue: The Teen Years

Deborah Kent Stein, Editor

Ethan with a cane in one hand, and one arm around his goat.


Copyright © 2011 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
www.nfb.org/nopbc � [email protected][email protected]



Volume 30 Number 2                                     Special Issue: The Teen Years

A Letter from the Editor
by Deborah Kent Stein


A Chance to Look Back

Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl
The Memoirs of Mary L. Day

Slates, Readers, and Determination
by Grace D. Napier, MA, MA, EdD

Growing Up on the Wild Side
by Sue Tillett

It's Okay to Be Blind
by Parnell Diggs


Kyra Prepares for High School
by Barbara Mathews

The Best Decision of My Life
by Michal Nowicki

The Transition Train
by Maureen Lamperis

When Blindness Is Seen as the Inability to Learn
by Joanne Laurent, MA, NOMC

Confidence and Trust: My Training at the Louisiana Center for the Blind
by Kayleigh Joiner

Getting and Keeping a Job
by Stacy Cervenka


Rated PG: Parental Guidance
by Rosina Foster

Strokes to the Finish Line
An Interview with Jason Polansky

I See London, I See France
by Rylie Robinson

Stepping Up and Out
by Mary Fernandez


Blind Teens and Technology
by Stephen Toth

Looking Good without Looking: A Guide to Personal Style for the Visually Impaired
by Linda Zani Thomas

The Top Ten Advantages of Dating Blind and Sighted People
by Priscilla McKinley


The Eyes of Me
A Film Review by Mary Ellen Gabias


When I Grow Up: The 2011 NOPBC Conference
by Laura Weber

Child Care at Convention





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NFB National Convention 2011

Palm-lined drive leading to front entrance to Rosen Shingle Creek ResortSunday, July 3-Friday, July 8, 2011

Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819-9357

Reservations: Call (866) 996-6338 only, to make reservations as soon as possible

Palm-lined drive leading to front entrance to Rosen Shingle Creek ResortThe 2011 room rates are singles, doubles, and twins, $63; and triples and quads, $67. In addition to the room rates there will be a tax, which at present is 12.5 percent. No charge will be made for children under seventeen in the room with parents as long as no extra bed is requested. The hotel is accepting reservations now. A $75-per-room deposit is required to make a reservation. Fifty percent of the deposit will be refunded if notice is given to the hotel of a reservation cancellation before June 1, 2011. The other 50 percent is not refundable.

Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations may be made before June 1, 2011, assuming that rooms are still available. After that time the hotel will not hold our room block for the convention. In other words, you should get your reservation in soon. Guestroom amenities include thirty-two-inch flat screen television with NXTV; two telephones; laptop safe; coffeemaker; hairdryer; and, for a fee, high-speed Internet access. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort has a number of restaurant options, including two award-winning restaurants, and twenty-four-hour-a-day room service. It has first-rate amenities and shuttle service to the Orlando Airport.

Schedule: The schedule for the 2011 convention will follow that of last year:

Sunday, July 3  Seminar Day
Monday, July 4   Registration Day
Tuesday, July 5   Board Meeting and Division Day
Wednesday, July 6   Opening Session
Thursday, July 7   Business Session
Friday, July 8   Banquet Day and Adjournment

First Timer's Guide to the NFB National Convention: Our beginner's guide to the NFB national convention is intended to give the first-time convention attendee some important information about national conventions of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). It is available at <www.nfb.org/Images/nfb/Publications/convent/firsttime.htm>


Why Join the NOPBC?

Are you the parent of a blind or visually impaired child?  Don’t know where to turn? 
Founded in 1983, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) is a membership organization of parents, educators, and friends of blind children reaching out to give each other vital support, encouragement, and information. We have thousands of members in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.
The NOPBC offers hope, encouragement, information, and resources for parents of blind or visually impaired children.  NOPBC provides emotional support and a network of other families dealing with the same challenges you are facing.  We also provide information, training, and resources to empower you to take an active role in guiding your child’s development and education.  We can provide information on your child’s rights and on the laws and legislative issues that will enable you and your child to become strong and effective advocates. 
Have you ever wondered what your blind or visually impaired child will be capable of when he or she grows up?  The answer to that question is that blindness/visual impairment does not have to stop your child from doing anything he or she wants to do.  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.  

What is different about the NOPBC?

Our status as a division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the largest and most influential organization of blind people in the world, provides many benefits. Our members are well informed about the societal, legislative, and technological issues that affect blind people. We also enjoy the resources, support, and expertise of fifty thousand blind people who can serve as mentors and role models for us and our children. Finally, as our children grow up, they have the Federation to belong to.
No other organization for parents of blind/visually impaired children offers more 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.  The program 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.

What is the mission of the NOPBC?

The purpose of the NOPBC is to:

Most states have an NOPBC affiliate chapter.  You can find your state chapter at 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.

What are the programs, activities, publications & resources of the NOPBC?

•   National and State Parent Seminars and Conferences
•   Future Reflections Magazine
•   NOPBC Web site
•   Books and Videos
•   Blindkid & Other Listservs
•   Early Childhood Conferences
•   Pop-Up IEP Web site
•   Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest
•   Slate Pals Pen Pal Program
•   AAF Free Books Program
•   Share Braille Book Exchange
•   Writing Contests
•   Junior Science Academy
•   Youth Slam High School Science Academy
•   National Center for Blind Youth in Science Web site
•   NFB-NEWSLINE® Newspaper Service
•   Where the Blind Work Web site
•   Free White Cane Program
•   Blindness 411 Facebook Group for Teens
•   NFB-LINK Mentoring Program
•   Scholarship Program
•   Straight Talk about Blindness Video Series
•   Parent Leadership Program (PLP)

Contact Us:
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
[email protected]