Voice of the Nation's Blind


The Blog of the National Federation of the Blind
Edited by Stephanie Eller
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The Importance of Keeping Written Records for IEP Meetings

From the Editor:

The fourth entry in our series about Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) contains valuable tips on documentation and why writing things down is so important.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

 

What is the purpose of your upcoming meeting? What has been going well? What needs to change? These are three questions you should ask yourself before each IEP meeting for your child. It is essential to know what things you want to accomplish and to be able to steer the meeting in the direction you need it to go and avoid being sidetracked by other topics or concerns. I have found the best way to accomplish this is to write things down ahead of time, make sure my points are as clear as possible, and to share my writing with the IEP team. Writing things down helps in the following ways.

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An Open Letter to Our Friends and Families About the #HowEyeSeeIt Campaign

From the Editor:

Stacy Cervenka is a member from California who has been actively participating in our efforts to push back on the #HowEyeSeeIt Blindfold Challenge. Below is an open letter she wrote to friends and family concerning the campaign.

Dear Friends and Family Members:

 

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Don't Participate. Don't Donate. Educate. The National Federation of the Blind and #HowEyeSeeIt

 

Members and leaders of the National Federation of the Blind from across the nation do a fantastic job of countering low expectations, misconceptions, and stereotypes about blindness.  We believe the #HowEyeSeeIt Blindfold Challenge being promoted by the Foundation Fighting Blindness unnecessarily perpetuates negative perceptions and fears about living with blindness. If you haven't taken action yet, or want to let others know how to counteract this harmful fundraising campaign, here are three quick tips:

1. Don't participate. Putting on a blindfold for a few minutes is not the way to learn about blindness and blind people. This does not demonstrate the reality of what it is like to live successfully and independently as a blind person. Do not participate in the #HowEyeSeeIt Blindfold Challenge.

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Shooting Selfie Videos

From the Editor:

 

As we continue to push back on the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign, it's important for us to make videos of ourselves doing everyday tasks and living the lives we want. In this post, Stephanie Eller, our Coordinator of Strategic Partnerships shares tips on how to take selfie videos.

Shooting Selfie Videos

By Stephanie Eller

To start, it's important to know some terminology. A "selfie" is a self-portrait typically taken while holding a smartphone. Most smartphones have two cameras: a front camera and back camera. The front camera is the one located just above the screen, next to the speaker. The back camera is typically in the top left corner on the back of the phone. Selfies are most easily taken while using the front camera.

Here are some tips for shooting a great selfie video:

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If you want to help the blind, blindfolding yourself isn’t the answer

From the Editor:

Arielle Silverman is an independent disability research consultant living in Washington D.C. She is a past president of the National Association of Blind Students who conducted research on the effects of blindness simulations at the University of Colorado as part of her Ph.D. program. Her findings can be found in the Journal of Blindness Innovation Research.

 

By Arielle Silverman

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A Member of the Team: Playing an Active Role on Your Blind Child’s IEP Team

From the Editor:

 

Participating in your child's IEP meeting is extremely important to ensure that he or she is set up for success. In the third installment of our blog series on this topic, Melissa Riccobono gives us tips on how to be an active member of the team.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

 

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Challenging the Fear of Blindness

By Mark Riccobono

In my banquet address at this year’s national convention, I talked about fear and how “if we resolve ourselves to face our fears, respect the power within those fears, and turn that power into action, we can take control of our own destiny, diminish the negative fears of others, and raise our expectations.” I also outlined the ways that the conditioned fear of blindness is used as a tool to generate funding, sell unnecessary products, and limit the rights of blind people. A new campaign has been launched that plays to the conditioned fear of blindness, and I am calling on blind people to push back on this harmful campaign by telling the world about blindness through social media.

 

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A Victory for Voters in Maryland and Perhaps Beyond

By Mark Riccobono

 

Last week the Maryland Board of Elections took a new and important step in ensuring that all blind Maryland voters can exercise our right to cast our ballots privately and independently. The board agreed, after forceful persuasion by the National Federation of the Blind and other advocates, that poll workers must inform all Maryland voters of the availability of an accessible method for reading and marking their ballots.

 

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An Overview of IEP Assessments

From the Editor:

This week, Melissa Riccobono gives us an overview of the different factors and assessments that go into an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for school-aged children. Visit www.nopbc.org for more information.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

In order to craft appropriate goals for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the team needs recent, high quality data. This data needs to cover the child’s current skills, strengths, and FACTOR IN future success.

Here are some things to keep in mind when assessments are administered to, and interpreted for, children who are blind or low vision.  

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It Happens Every Day

From the Editor:

Preparing your family for the back-to-school season can be overwhelming, especially if, along with the ABCs, you have to worry about IEPs. In this post, Melissa Riccobono writes about the all-too-common experience parents of blind children encounter when advocating for the success of their children in the classroom. For more information about parenting resources, you can visit the website of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children at www.nopbc.org.

 

By Melissa Riccobono

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