Low Vision Scholarships Available
Six weeks and counting to the deadline for submission of Scheigert scholarship applications. Three low-vision students will be selected for the 2019-2020 Scheigert scholarships awarded by the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI). Qualified applicants must submit all required documentation not later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern on March 15th. For scholarship requirements, financial details and application accessibility, go to www.cclvi.org, click on Scheigert Scholarship and follow directions for completing and submitting the application. If you have questions, contact us at 1-844-460-0625.
ACB Families: Providing Tools to Build Great Families
If there was ever an environment where relationships matter, it’s within the family. Find a family where the relationships are strong and loving, and you’ll find people who are happy, fulfilled and successful. You’ll find children who can handle the give and take of work and relationships, young men and women who know how to give and receive the love and support they need from each other, and people who can figure out how to balance the many facets of their lives — work, family, church, the community, you name it. This is not to say that there is any such thing as a perfect family; the perfect family probably does not exist. But there is no doubt that having a strong and supportive family is preferable to the alternative.
There is also little doubt that blindness and low vision impact family dynamics. Just find a couple where one partner is sighted and the other blind and ask. Both will be able to explain how each partner brings a unique set of skills, challenges and perspectives to the relationship. The same is true for blind parents of sighted children. The parents will talk about the alternative techniques they utilize to safely and successfully raise their children, and the children will share the ways their parents are similar to and different from the parents of their friends and schoolmates. An adult losing his or her vision late in life will share how being unable to drive changed his or her ability to visit the grandkids and read bedtime stories, etc.
Recognizing the importance of relationships and of the impact that blindness and low vision can have on any family, we formed ACB Families to be a place where we can explore how blindness and low vision impact our lives with our families and where we can learn from and share with each other ways of managing the challenges that blindness and low vision can create, with our ultimate goal being the ability to participate fully, effectively and happily within our families.
Within ACB Families, we cover it all: how to manage the work of raising children, tips for dealing with schools, teachers, special education, health care and all the rest, personal and family finance, taking vacations and what to do over the summer, how to provide end-of-life support for our parents and grandparents, and even topics like hosting a foreign exchange student or tracing the family’s past. We cover most of these topics in bimonthly information programs conducted by phone or during monthly peer support calls, but we also host occasional workshops at annual ACB conferences. At each year’s convention, we host an ACB Families breakfast where we elect officers and host presentations on everything from the American Foundation for the Blind’s accessible home to the latest fun games you can play using the Amazon Alexa.
ACB Families generally meets on the second Sunday of each month at 9 p.m. Eastern for a membership meeting and occasional speaker. At 9 p.m. Eastern on the fourth Sunday of each month, we hold a peer support call where anyone can come to listen, to share and to give and receive information on a pre-determined topic such as potential summertime activities for bored teenagers or tips for homeschoolers. Calls are open to anyone; all are welcome. Just dial (712) 432-3900 and enter code 796096#.
If you want to join ACB Families, just provide dues of $8 and your name, home address, date of birth, level of visual acuity and your format preference for “The ACB Braille Forum.” Send that information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to ACB Families, 148 Vernon Ave., Louisville, KY 40206. Dues can be paid online via PayPal to email@example.com, by calling (502) 897-1472 and using a credit or debit card, or by mailing a check to Adam Ruschival, treasurer, at the address above.
For more information, visit us online at https://www.acb.org/affiliate-acbf. You can also subscribe to the Families email list by visiting the ACB email lists page. And check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/acbfamilies.
Our passion is family, and we hope that you will join ours and help ACB Families to be the biggest and best family ever!
— Ron Brooks
Mississippi Convention in April
The Mississippi Council of the Blind will hold its convention April 5-7 at the Holiday Inn Hotel Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Call Eddie Turner at (601) 624-4443 for room rates and information. Conference registration is $100 and includes Friday night dinner and Saturday night awards banquet. For registration information, call Rene Virden at (601) 937-5461.
Iowa Council Convention in Des Moines
The 32nd annual Iowa Council of the United Blind state convention will be held April 12-14 at the Holiday Inn and Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines.
Convention room rates are as follows: standard with two queen beds, $89; executive king, $89. This rate does not include taxes of 12%. The deadline to receive the special group rate is March 22, 2019. To reserve your room, call (515) 278-4755 or 1-800-HOLIDAY (1-800-465-329) and ask for the ICUB special rate. Our group name is ICUB-Iowa Council of the United Blind of Iowa.