Posted by Stephanie Eller | 09/26/2016 | General
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: Always be sure your phone is in landscape mode when shooting video, selfie or otherwise. Read more Shooting Selfie Videos...
Posted by Arielle Silverman | 09/22/2016 | General
Recently I heard about a new social media campaign where people are posting videos of themselves doing things blindfolded. This wasn’t the first time I had seen sighted people blindfold themselves in hopes of understanding blindness. I was born blind, and as I was growing up, some of my friends would borrow my cane and walk around with their eyes shut. At school there were “disability awareness days” where people would pretend to have disabilities, including blindness, and walk around or eat a meal together. Read more If you want to help the blind, blindfolding yourself isn’t the answer...
Posted by Melissa Riccobono | 09/20/2016 | Education, Parenting
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings can feel overwhelming. Seated around the table are members of the team—a teacher of blind students, the classroom teacher, and the IEP team chair person. There may be an orientation and mobility specialist, speech pathologist, school psychologist, school administrator, special education director, physical therapist, and occupational therapist as well. Then, of course, there is you—the parent. Surrounded by all of these “experts” it can be easy to feel intimidated, especially if you are new to the IEP process. Read more A Member of the Team: Playing an Active Role on Your Blind Child’s IEP Team...
Posted by Mark Riccobono | 09/17/2016 | Convention, General
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. Read more Challenging the Fear of Blindness...
Posted by Mark Riccobono | 09/15/2016 | General
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.   Read more A Victory for Voters in Maryland and Perhaps Beyond...
Posted by Melissa Riccobono | 09/14/2016 | Education, Parenting
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.   Read more An Overview of IEP Assessments...

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