What Is Blindness/Visual Impairment?
Helpful strategies you’ve learned?
I joined and jumped head first into National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to learn about blindness and living with blindness. I was also able to tap into parents who have children who are blind/visually impaired. I wanted “first-hand knowledge” of what our children face, not only in school but in the world. I attended several state and national conventions to learn about blindness (from the adults) and the parents & the struggles they have faced and are facing. The Federationists are a treasure trove of info, support and encouragement! I was able to then support our daughter, who is legally blind.
I also had to educate myself on the federal IDEA law and state/district school laws specific to blindness for ESE (exceptional student education). I would again consult with the parents in NFB to ensure I knew what the laws were and what my parental rights were so that I could support and teach our daughter. Parents will want to know their rights and responsibilities to be able to effectively and collaboratively advocate for their child! (And yes, I learned the hard way – of not knowing my rights or how to advocate for our daughter!)
Resources you would recommend?
National Federation of the Blind (NFB) — NFB is the largest organization of people who are blind in the US. Since 1940, NFB has worked to improve the lives of people who are blind. Along with high expectations and strong values, NFB continues to empower members to live the life each one wants, and that includes independence and equality. NFB offers many programs, services, and resources for people who are blind/low-vision throughout the US.
National office: www.nfb.org
Florida affiliate: www.nfbflorida.org/
There are 13chapters throughout FL: www.nfbflorida.org/chapters.htm
Meet the Blind Month
White Cane Awareness Day is October 15; this year will be the 55th Anniversary (signed by President Johnson in 1964)
Named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Obama in 2011.
Doreen Franklin is a Special Ed Advocate and parent of 2 adopted daughters with diverse special needs. She assists parents with their understanding of legal policy, procedures, rights, & responsibilities under IDEA so parents can learn to collaboratively advocate for their child. She has been an Advocate & Coach since 2005. Doreen is also a private tutor and homeschooled her older daughter.