Future Reflections       Special Issue, Extracurricular Activities

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Braille Book Fair
Elainna Moore--HR Dept.
8901 Atlantic Ave.
Orlando, FL 32824

Calling all Braille readers, teachers, and parents! It's that time again—time to sort through all those boxes and donate those gently used but no longer needed Braille books to the 2015 Braille Book Fair sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. The primary goal is to get more Braille books into the hands of children, youth, and beginning adult readers. Most needed are: print/Braille storybooks (we are looking to distribute 750 print/Braille books to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NFB), leisure reading, cookbooks, and poetry. Children are so hungry for their very own books that every year, despite generous donations, most of our books for young children are gone in less than an hour. Begin your search through those boxes in your basement and attic, and ship your donations to the address above. Please label the side of the box to indicate the type of book it contains. Though you are shipping the books to a UPS office, they can be sent as Free Matter for the Blind by the US Postal Service. Books will be held at the UPS address in Orlando until convention. If you have any questions, or if you would like to volunteer at the Braille Book Fair, contact Crystal Guillory at (318) 245-8955 between 5 and 7 p.m.


2015 Touch of Genius Prize
National Braille Press
88 St. Stephen St.
Boston, MA 02115
Deadline for Submissions: February 1, 2016
The Touch of Genius Prize was established to recognize an individual or group of individuals who contribute to innovation in the field of tactile literacy for blind people. The prize can be granted for innovative, accessible computer software, Android applications, iOS applications, or tactile hardware that promotes Braille and/or tactile literacy. The $20,000 prize is provided through support from the Gibney Family Foundation and National Braille Press.

On April 2, 2015, the 2014 Touch of Genius Prize was awarded to TechBridgeWorld Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University for the Braille Tutor, an automated Braille writing tutor that addresses challenges associated with learning to use a slate and stylus. The Braille Tutor was developed in response to the observed need for enhancing literacy for the blind in the developing world. An honorary mention was presented to Intuitive STEM Accessibility System, an interactive platform to make complex STEM material accessible using a hyperBraille device.

2015 Schneider Family Book Awards
The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Schneider Family Book Awards, which honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Each winner receives a $5,000 prize and a framed plaque. The award for books for young children went to A Boy and a Jaguar, written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Catia Chien (Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt). The award for the best middle-school title went to Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan). Girls Like Us by Gail Giles (Candlewick Press) won this year's teen award.


Wired Differently Conferences
208 Ash Ave., Suite 103
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(800) 251-6805
Contact: pd at accutrain.com
Las Vegas: June 22-24, 2015
Atlanta: June 29-July 1, 2015
Niagara Falls: July 15-17, 2015
Now in its third year, the Wired Differently Conference assembles this summer in three locations: Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Niagara Falls. A wide array of critical insights and best practices will be shared for reaching and teaching students with emotional and behavioral conditions—individually, in groups, and in inclusive settings. Some of the most common disorders to be addressed include, but are not limited to, autism, Asperger's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Wired Differently Conference is part of the Innovative Schools Summits, and attendees enjoy access to all summit keynote presenters and breakout sessions on a space-available basis.

Envision Conference on Low Vision
Contact: Shamain Bachman: (316) 440-1551 or (316) 258-6996
Location: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Denver, CO
Dates: September 9-12, 2015
The tenth annual Envision Conference will offer ophthalmologists, optometrists, occupational therapists, teachers of the visually impaired, and others ninety hours of clinical education and research sessions pertaining to low vision. Many sessions can earn attendees continuing education credits.

Alliance for Braille Literacy
Contact: Joni Bush, jonibush@gmail.com
Location: St. Louis, MO
Dates: October 16-18, 2015
The Alliance for Braille Literacy will hold its third annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. The meeting will begin with a celebration in honor of Dr. Abraham Nemeth’s birthday. The meeting is open to members of ABL and to all those who support the use of Braille in the STEM fields.


USABA 2015 Summer Festival and Rocky Mountain State Games
United States Association of Blind Athletes
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Contact: Matt Simpson, (719) 866-3019
July 21-26, 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Deadline for Applications: June 5, 2015
Through funding from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) will host a summer sports festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The focus of the camp is on active duty military and veterans who have experienced vision loss, but all blind or visually impaired athletes are eligible to apply to learn more or sharpen their skills in numerous sports, including goalball, track and field, archery, powerlifting, biathlon, and rock climbing. Camp attendees will also have the opportunity to compete in the Rocky Mountain State Games in multiple sports. Five coaches will also be selected to enhance their sports knowledge.

Visually Impaired Surf Camp
IndoJax Surf Charities
Contact: Jack Viorel, Director: (910) 274-3565
July 13-17, 2015
Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
IndoJax is a family-owned surf school that has been located near Cape Fear, North Carolina, since 2006. The school prides itself on safety, quality of instruction, and attention to detail. IndoJax Surf Charities is committed to empowering disadvantaged, medically fragile, and special needs children by exposing them to the ocean environment and teaching them to surf. The school believes that the ocean and learning to surf have profound healing properties and can build self-esteem in children with special needs. Surf camps are provided free of charge.

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