Families, Friends and Teachers! Now is the time to prepare to join the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) for our annual national conference #HowWeSeeIt!

My name is Kim Cunningham and I am the president of the NOPBC. I would like to invite all families, friends, and teachers of blind and low vision children to join us at the National Federation of the Blind National Convention from Monday, July 10, 2017 through Saturday, July, 15, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Every year the NOPBC holds our annual national conference during the NFB National Convention. The NOPBC board has put in countless volunteer hours to provide our attendees with workshops, speakers, and activities that will be both enlightening and educational. We are here to help you with your questions about raising blind and low vision children. We welcome all families of children who are blind, low vision, with or without additional disabilities to come together for a week full of fun and excitement. We believe that all children can learn with the right support and training.

Our family has been attending the NFB National Convention since 2007. This summer will make 10 consecutive years! The National Federation of the Blind welcomed us into their family that year!  For us, the NFB National Convention is now a giant family reunion! When I attended convention in 2007 I had a dream. I dreamed that my blind daughter could grow into a productive citizen to her fullest potential – whatever that was going to be would be determined by her and not others. Prior to this time, I felt as though I was living in a nightmare unable to find anyone other than myself who had high expectations for her. No one on her IEP team believed she would be able to live alone let alone attend college. But I attended the 2007 National Convention with dream in hand and found so many people who wanted to help us with our dream. And every year after, I attended the NFB National Convention. I asked a lot of questions from as many blind and low vision people as I had time. There are usually between 2000 – 2500 blind and low vision adults attending convention so I had plenty of people to help. I also attended as many workshops as I could, learning about the tools of blindness and the NFB training centers. Every step of the way there was someone to help guide us. Each convention I left feeling more empowered than time before. And, my daughter persevered. Here is my 2017 dream update: My blind daughter graduated from college a year and a half ago, has recently obtained her first full time job, and will be moving into her own apartment in two weeks. As a parent, I have accomplished the goal of watching my daughter grow into a strong independent woman. I will be forever grateful to the NFB! I look forward to meeting you all and I hope we can all support you in building your dreams!

In 2016, the Foundation Fighting Blindness held a fundraising campaign called #HOWEYESEEIT.. The campaign was designed to show the general public what it is like to be blind – a simulation of sorts. Various sighted people were asked to wear sleep shades and then do some type of ordinary activity like eat dinner. The participants were not given any training or even a cane. The end result of this activity was that people left feeling sorrow and sadness for blind people. The activity perpetuated the myth that blind people are “unable” to do even the simplest tasks. These people could be our children’s future teachers or employers. We need them to know that blind and low vision people CAN be successful! So the NOPBC would like to show FFB how we see it! We see our children learning to read braille and using a long white cane as tools of independence. We see our children cooking, skiing, riding bicycles, taking AP level courses, attending college and much, much more. So FFB – This is #HOWWESEEIT #NFB17. Please help us to share the