Future Reflections Convention 1990, Vol. 9 No. 4

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Editor's Note: As a child I was fascinated with twins. Many other children must have shared that feeling, for the Bobbsey Twins books in our school library were well worn and always hard to get--so popular were they. If you have a Braille-reading youngster, and if you remember the Bobbsey Twins with as much fondness as I, you'll certainly be interested in the following note and announcement I recently received from Diane Croft of National Braille Press, Inc.

Dear Barbara: I hope you will help us announce the availability of this Bobbsey Twins title in Braille. It's a steal at $4.95, thanks to a grant from the Altrusa Club of Boston. Diane Croft, Marketing Manager

The Bobbsey Twins In A Braille Paperback! If you like fun, excitement, and adventure, you'll love this brand-new story starring the Bobbsey Twins. The camp ponies are missing, and the Bobbsey twins think they have a clue. The camp mascot knows a secret, but how can they get him to tell? The mascot is a raccoon! This one-volume intermediate reader (#18 The Secret at Sleepaway Camp) is in Braille only for $4.95. Send your check to: National Braille Press Inc., 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, (617) 266-6160.

The following is reprinted from The Oregon Outlook, the NFB of Oregon newsletter. It was written by David Hyde, president of the Oregon affiliate.

When I was about five years old, I started attending the state school for the blind in Salem. Christmas was always an exciting time, what with the lights and the food and the singing and plays. But the thing that sticks best in my mind were the animals. While many children made do with wooden or plaster nativity scenes, ours, you see, were alive. There were a sheep, a donkey, a cow, a horse, rabbits, chickens, and a goat-if my memory serves me right, all alive and all needing to eat. That, I think, is the first time I really looked at a horse or at a sheep when it could not run away into a field or something. And all these marvels were housed on the big porch of the school. So, in addition to the memories of pine and spruce and baking breads and pies, Christmas has other scent memories for me-- as well as some auditory and kinesthetic ones, too. I remember what the hoof of a cow feels like, in the chest, and who says lambs are gentle? Once, I remember, our little darling had just learned to butt and was exercising his new skill with great abandon on all and sundry, perhaps experimenting with new techniques. Alas, no more. It surprised me a few years ago when a man my age who had been blind since birth told me that he'd never looked at a cow or any farm animal. I would have been pleased had he seen the part of my friend Bossy that greeted me. In short, remember that models are not enough. Plastic and wood give an idea but not the reality. If you take a blind child to see Santa's reindeer, see if you can see some live ones. When we talk of lambs and oxen, totally blind children should have a referent. That is, they should know that lambs are smaller, somewhat playful, and, oh yes, sometimes butt.

BRAILLE by Adam Emerson (age nine)
Braille is not just a
bunch of dots on a piece
of thick paper. Braille
is not an aid at all.
Braille is an extension
of one's self. Braille
is like touching words
and having them touch
you back. You can
really get to know a
story through Braille.
Braille can be anything.

P.S. Braille readers are leaders!

[PICTURE] Adam Emerson and mother Sunny are from Michigan. Sunny is the POBC publicity chairperson.

The Parents Division of the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio conducted a seminar entitled, "Techniques for Success" on Friday afternoon, October 19, 1990. The affiliate President Barbara Pierce welcomed seminar participants and discussed what we mean by the word "success" and what is included in the techniques that bring it about. Competent Braille readers then demonstrated the speed with which Braille can be read, discussed the efficiency of the system, and demonstrated various means of writing it. Each seminar participant was next paired with a Braille user for discussion and hands-on work with a slate and stylus. Ramona Walhof, the National representative to this year's Ohio convention, then talked about the importance of the white cane and of early introduction to it. Participants were then given an opportunity to try using a cane under sleep shades. Our intention was to demonstrate to these parents and teachers how much they could learn about the world around them by using a cane; and, though they were uncertain of themselves at first, they came away enthusiastic about the skills that can be acquired readily when using sleep shades and a cane. The afternoon concluded with a panel discussion among competent blind adults, who discussed other techniques necessary for living successfully with blindness. These included a proper understanding of technology, respect and consideration for other people, personal grooming and household skills, and an independent and self-confident attitude. We believe that this seminar was extremely successful. All the slates and styluses and handbooks we had available for sale were purchased, and several of our children's canes went home with eager parents.

The following report was written by Susan Stanzel, president of the NFB of Kansas, and published in Freestate News, the newsletter of the NFB of Kansas.

On June 2 and 3,1990, the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas held our first seminar for parents of blind children at the Downtown Ramada Inn in Topeka. The families of nine blind children ranging from two to sixteen years of age had the opportunity to become acquainted with the positive philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind and to learn some of the best ways to insure that their children would be given their rightful place in society. Some of the cities represented were Salina, Wichita, Topeka, and Olathe. One mother, obviously impressed with what she heard and saw at our seminar, has already attended her first Johnson County Chapter meeting. The president of our National Parents of Blind Children Division, Mrs. Barbara Cheadle, came from Baltimore, Maryland. We appreciate her most helpful and willing support both before and during the seminar. One of the most informative portions of the seminar was Barbara's explanation of the Individualized Education Plan. We covered almost every aspect of the blind child's life, from civil rights to leisure activity. We appreciate all of the help given by our members and others who joined to make this a successful first effort. Although many Federationists helped to make the seminar a success, special thanks goes to Linda Balek [seminar coordinator] for the hard work that she put into it. We are discussing taking our show on the road. We have requests for a similar seminar in both Wichita and Kansas City.

The following was submitted by Denise Mackinstadt regarding an activity sponsored by the Northwest Chapter of Parents of Blind Children Division, National Federation of the Blind.

Thanks to the efforts of Debbie Day (Bellingham), Barb Weller (Seattle), and Stephanie Martin (Edmonds) twenty families with blind children came together at a beach on Lake Washington for a day of fun and companionship. Families came from as far away as British Columbia, Canada, and Eastern Washington. Members of the Greater Seattle Chapter of the NFB also attended the picnic. The children, ranging from infants to adolescents, had a great time swimming and playing Tball. Parents spent the day getting to know each other, sharing ideas, and making plans for future events. The informal gathering presented an excellent opportunity for both children and parents to meet blind adults. A pizza party was held after the picnic. Everyone agreed that this was a worthwhile and successful event. The participants are already planning for next year's event.

We have been asked to print the following announcement.

Braille number fact cards for sale. These Braille flash cards come in four different sets: 1. Addition 2. Subtraction 3. Multiplication and 4. Division. Each set is $5.00. To order, send request and $5.00 per set to: Charlene Groves, 1899 Washington Valley Road, Martinsville, New Jersey 08836.

We have been asked to publish the following announcement.

Listen & Learn Company announces the premier issue of Boomerang!, a national biweekly audiomagazine about "Big Ideas", published and produced in San Francisco. Targeted at the 7-10 age group, Boomerang! features segments on current events, history, geography, science, music and poetry. These stories are presented from a child's perspective, written in a child's metaphor, and narrated in a child's voice. In addition, there are mysteries, interviews with kids-in-the-news, and "columns" about everything from grown-ups to the latest in computer software. Stories are punctuated with music and the worst jokes a kid will ever want to hear. Each one-hour cassette issue also includes the four-page Boomerang Flyer, featuring a board game, book suggestions, and maps.

Listen & Learn Company has been producing materials for schools since 1977. As the company's first entry in the home market, Boomerang! is designed to erase the line between "education" and "entertainment." Anyone interested in Boomerang! can write to: Boomerang! Magazine, 123 Townsend, Suite 636, San Francisco, CA 94107 or call (800) 333-7858 to ask about a free copy of our first issue.

The following are reprinted from the newsletter of the Maryland Regional Library for the Blind.

Why are frogs so happy?
They eat whatever is bugging them.
How do bees get to school?
They take a buzz!
Why is it hard for a ladybug to hide?
Because she's always spotted.

Reprinted from the VIPS Newsletter, Kentucky.

The following activities can easily be prepared at little or no expense by parents. Yet they are packed with opportunities for fun and learning for the visually impaired child.
Lid Matchups
You will need: Several containers with removable lids, such as: tennis ball cans, margarine tubs, coffee cans, powdered drink mix containers.
Directions: Encourage your child to match a lid to the proper container.
Benefits: Size discrimination; coordination.
Scent Jar Matchups
You will need: 6 or 8 small jars or containers (such as film canisters or medicine bottles) and 2 each of 3 or 4 objects with distinctive smells (such as bubble gum, peppermint candy, dill pickle slice, or cotton balls saturated with flavor extracts).
Directions: Place the scented objects in the jars. Ask the child to identify each smell and then find its twin.
Benefits: Practice in making comparisons; increase vocabulary. Ready, Set, Roar! You will need: Absolutely nothing but your imagination. Directions: Name an animal with a distinctive sound. Ask your child to make its sound. Then show her how to walk, crawl, slither, or waddle like that animal. Benefits: Use of imagination; large motor skills; increase vocabulary; strengthen vocal skills.

The following information was taken from the OF Week magazine, a publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

'"Art is a right, not a privilege,' says Irma Shore. Shore, MA, OTR, is director of Access to Art, a project designed to bring art to the blind and visually impaired. For her, the crusade is personal as well as professional. Shore already had considerable clinical experience working with blind clients in New York City when she became legally blind herself because of diabetes. She was also a lifelong art lover and didn't stop going to museums when she began losing her sight. However, she found the experience increasingly frustrating. This made her realize the need to make art more accessible to people who cannot see....Recently, Shore organized a traveling exhibit, designed specifically to be touched, taken from the collection of the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City. Entitled 'Access to Art: Bringing Folk Art Closer,'... .Over the next two years, it will travel to 13 other museums around the country and one in Canada." For more information about the traveling exhibit and the "Access to Art" program, contact: Irma Shore, 444 Park Ave. South, New York, New York 10016, (212) 977-7170.

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