Future Reflections Winter 1988, Vol. 7 No. 1

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Parents Elect Officers, Plan Seminars

The NFB Parents of Blind Children Divisions (POBC) in Ohio and Maryland have elected new officers and are planning seminars for parents this spring.

The following persons were elected to the Parents of Blind Children Division NFB/Ohio on November 7, 1987 at the NFB/Ohio State Convention: President, Colleen Roth; First Vice- President, Bernie Dressell; Second Vice-President, Lori Danzik; Secretary, Lori Duffy; Treasurer, Julianna Wilson; and Board Members: Tom Anderson, Gail Zammet, Midge Coorey. The seminar for parents will be held Saturday, April 30th at the North Broadway Church in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about the seminar contact secretary Lori Duffy at: 2405 Adams Ave., Columbus, OH 43202; (614) 262-9378.

The NFB Parents of Blind Children Division of Maryland met in February and elected the following officers: President, Sandy Kelly; Vice- President, Barbara Cheadle; Secretary, Maria Miller; Treasurer, John Cheadle; and Board Members: Gwen Colbert and Maureen Short. A parents seminar is planned for Saturday, May 14th at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore. The theme will be: "Blindness: Literacy For A Lifetime." There will be discussions and hands-on demonstrations of the various methods of reading and writing for self-communication (Braille and print) and various other techniques for accessing print or communicating with sighted persons (computers, typewriters, tapes and recorded materials, readers, magnifying aids, opticons, etc.) The emphasise will be on how blind people in school and on the job determine which methods are best for what purposes. For more information about the seminar, contact Barbara Cheadle, 230 N. Beaumont Ave., Baltimore, MD 21228; (301) 747-3472 or (301) 6599314.

What's Cooking?

From Claire Roffino of CL Products comes this announcement:

New in Braille and on Cassette: The Microwave Times--A Bi-Monthly (6 issues a year) Cooking Magazine Featuring: Average of 45 Recipes per issue, Tips and Techniques of Microwave Cooking; also, What's New in Microwave Accessories is now available in Braille, approximately 88 pages per issue ($34.00 yearly) and on tone-indexed cassette, with a 6slot storage album included ($31.00 yearly.) All subscriptions must be prepaid, mail to CL Productions, 2905 Berkshire Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150 or phone (214) 681-2771. Reduced prices for quantity orders upon request.

Free Braille Book for Children

The Braille Institute sends us this information.

EXPECTATIONS, the annual Braille anthology of current children's literature, published by Braille Institute, is now available free of charge to all English speaking blind children in grades three through six. This 39th edition contains both fiction and non- fiction books, and includes stories about boys and girls, grandparents and parents and animals.

The cover was designed by artist Midge Pintus, and depicts a wonderful, colorful train that would rival Noah's ark. The four embossed picture pages, illustrating four of the books were designed by artist Keith McConnell.

Published annually since 1948 by the Braille Institute Press, EXPECTATIONS is made possible by publishers and authors who have granted reprint rights, and by generous donors whose contributions defray the $10 production cost of each volume.

Schools, libraries, and organizations serving blind children who wish to receive this 39th volume of EXPECTATIONS should write to Jody Avery, Braille Institute, 741 North Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029.

NFB Convention Scholarships for Parents

Several NFB affiliates and Parent Divisions are offering scholarships to help parents of blind children attend the 1988 NFB Annual Convention in Chicago (activities at the convention include a seminar for parents, an I.E.P. workshop, a workshop for children, annual meeting of the NFB Parents of Blind Children Division, and much more.) The Northwest Parents Division chapter (Oregon and Washington) is offering $500 per winner/family and the Parents Division of Maryland will be offering several scholarships (amount will be determined by success of fundraiser). For information about the Northwest chapter scholarships contact: Denise Mackenstadt, 16224122 Ave N.E., Bothell, WA98011; or call 1-800-654-4717 (Washington residents) or 1-206- 488-0628 (Oregon residents). Information about Maryland parent scholarships can be obtained from: John Cheadle, (301) 659-9314; 230 N. Beaumont Ave, Baltimore, MD 21228.

Other NFB affiliates/parent divisions have special low-rate transportation arrangements which parents may use, and others are willing to help parents find sources of money through local Lions Clubs, etc. Contact your state or local affiliate of the NFB for more information. You may also call Barbara Cheadle, President of the NFB Parents of Blind Children Division, (301) 6599314.

C Programming In Braille

This announcement comes from National Braille Press.

Getting your hands on a computer programming book in Braille is next to impossible. And yet, the precision of computer programming demands the kind of attention to detail and scrutiny that can only come from Braille access.

Now you can own your own Braille copy of "The C Programming Language" by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie-considered the bible of programming books.

C is a general purpose programming language and is not tied to any one operating system or machine. This five-volume Braille set is priced the same as the print book: $24.95, and is transcribed according to the rules of the code for computer Braille notation.

To order your copy, send a check to National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephan Street, Boston, MA 02115 or call: (617) 266-6160 and charge it on your Mastercard or Visa.

The Cradle of Literacy

Doris Willoughby sent this in. It appeared in NEA Today, Vol. 6., No. 2.; a publication of the National Education Association of the United States. Since we know that blind children develop in the same sequence and general time frame as sighted children, this information should concern every parent of a blind infant or toddler. Don't wait till your child goes to school-get those Twin-Vision books and a slate and stylus for Braille reading and writing-Today!

Children as young as 18 months create their own forms of reading and writing that appear to be imitation run amok. But new evidence suggests that much more sophisticated cognitive processes are at work. The scribbles of toddlers are signs of "emergent literacy."

Children begin learning to read in their first year of life, asserts William Teale, associate professor of education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. And, adds Teale, more and more teachers are discovering that when young children "pretend" to read, they're in fact developing the skills that underlie the mastery of language.

Blind Kids Should Do It, Too!

Here is something else from Doris Willoughby that is worth some thought and honest self-examination.

Here's an idea for an article: The importance of daily routine and of doing all the little things (at home and at school) that may seem boring or irrelevant, but are a part of life. Too often a blind student says, "I don't really need that," or "It doesn't matter," or "I'll never use that anyway" and is allowed to be lax. He then pays the price by losing a bit of experience, and by learning (falsely) that he doesn't have to meet usual standards.

However, if others do it, the blind kid should do it too!

Examples: *daily quizzes *arriving promptly "tying shoes *P.E. activity 'using the library's card catalog "reading a road map "washing dishes "scraping off his own school lunch plate "threading the sewing machine "emptying the wastebasket "learning color theory "doing the entire quantity of work (math problems) "polishing shoes "making the bed.

Same Train, White Cane

This was written by Patrick A. Barrett who now lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri as a cane travel instructor at A.B.L.E., a private rehabilitation center for the blind. The article appeared in the Fall 1987 issue of Gem State Milestones, the NFB of Idaho newsletter.

On the night of September 23,1 went down to the Amtrak Depot in Boise bound for Pocatello. I had made reservations days ahead of time. The person at the reservations desk in Los Angeles who booked me on the train quoted me a rate of $78. The ticket agent in Boise found my reservation and gave me the same price. Then she said, "Wait a minute. I think there is a cheaper fare." While she checked, I asked if the time I was traveling affected the rate, which I knew was the case on the airlines. "No," she said. "Because you are blind, I want to find you the discount rate." I calmly and courteously told the agent that I did not need a special rate for blindness. I told her I could afford the regular fare. She just kept looking in her rate book and maintained that I should have the discount. I began to think of Kevin and Debbie Worley who wished to pay regular bus fare in St. Louis, Mo., and ended up at the Police Station in a very unpleasant situation. I did not wish to meet the Boise Police in such circumstances. My heart stepped up slightly in pulses per minute. After about ten minutes, the agent abandoned her search in the rate book and said she would give me a twenty percent discount for my blindness. I told her calmly that I preferred to pay the regular fare. She finally agreed that it was my choice and took the full amount of payment. In this case, calm persistence got me on the same train as the guy without the white cane. But I am afraid I did not feel as calm as I tried to appear. By the way, I sat in the exit row on the train undisturbed.


A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

By Ambrose E. Brazelton

In the Phi Delta Kappan of Feb. 73
Are some glossed over facts of modern history.
It speaks of several persons of fortune and fame.
Who were initially indicted as hopelessly plain.
The first name of prominence bombarding my mind,
Is the relativity genius, Albert Einstein.
Was four years old before he spoke,
Didn't read til seven (and that's no joke).
The Lord was the first to say, "Let there be light."
But Thomas A. Edison was outta sight.
Tis odd that his products continue to burn,
Though his teacher lamented "He's too stupid to learn".
T'was shocking to read that the great Fred Waring,
Was denied the privilege of musical sharing
By a high school director who prejudged this lad
As noteless, throatless, hopeless and sad.
Winston Churchill, God rest his soul;
A statesman of honor; courageous and bold.
We know of his virtue, the history he made,
But didya know that this leader failed the 6th grade?
A newpaper editor was quick to fire
A young man whose talents he could not admire,
"Not one good idea is his primary fault,
Void of potential is this Disney named Walt. " "Dear teacher, wake up! What is your gripe?
Who empowered you to stereotype?
I'm labeled disabled, unstable, unfit,
I'm graded, berated, persuaded to quit!"
"Your system discourages, renders me numb!
What right have you to consider me dumb?
When concepts confuse me and I can't dig it,
Your attitude tags you a Social Bigot!"
Wake up! Perceive! Too long have we dozed!
TEACHER BEHAVIOR humanely imposed
Must be flaunted with zeal and deliberate haste,
Cause the mind is a terrible thing to waste! (1982 ACLD Conference, Chicago)

Pediatrics for Parents

Editor's Note: Once in a great while some item comes along which has nothing to do with blindness, either directly or indirectly, but which I think is so good, or interesting, that I want to share it with our readers. That's the case with this little newsletter called, Pediatrics for Parents. I've received it for over a year now, and find it extremely practical and useful.

On the back side of an issue it tells you "What We're About." "We believe that well-informed parents have healthier, happier children. Pediatrics for Parents was conceived to provide you with recent, practical and important information about your children's health. There is much you as parents can do to improve your children's wellbeing, and we hope to help you do it."

I am looking at the July/August 1987 issue as I write, and some of the articles or news items include: Classroom Carpet Problems; Pacifiers and Feeding Patterns; Please Send Me...; When Should Baby Walk?; Practical Playwear for Special Kids; Pedia Trick: Sucking Pills Down; Surviving the Hospital Experience: Seven Tips for Parents of Premature Infants; Slipping Rib Syndrome; and Product Recall News.

Articles are usually brief, but to the point and packed with information. They are easy to read, too. The issue I have just described has only 16 pages, but covers about 30 different topics. A one year subscription is $15; two years, $27. They also have a six-month introductory offer for $9 and will send out back issues for $2 each ($4 for July/August issues). To subscribe or to request more information write to: Pediatrics for Parents, 176 Mt. Hope Ave., Bangor, ME 04401. The phone number is: (207) 942-6212.

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