Future Reflections Winter 1992, Vol. 11 No. 1

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[PICTURE] National Braille expert, Claudell S. Stocker, will conduct a Braille Workshop at the 1992 NFB Convention

Do you remember struggling through your first reading book, and how mom or dad patiently helped you with those hard words? Do you remember laboring together over math problems (and maybe feeling a little superior because you were catching on faster to this "new math" than mom or dad)? The importance to children of having
literate parents is one of the reasons literacy campaigns nationwide have zeroed in on this population.

Yet, there are parents who can read and write--are even college educated--but are illiterate when it comes to helping their child with reading and writing. You know who they are. They are parents of Braille readers.

This was not such a problem years ago when most blind children went to residential schools for the blind. They were surrounded by Braille readers and Braille materials at school. It was a nuisance if mom or dad didn't know Braille, but that was all it was—a nuisance. Today, the only person in a child's life who is likely to know Braille is his/her Braille teacher. This teacher may not even see the child on a daily basis. There is no one else--no other classmates, no other teachers--for the child to turn to for help and encouragement. It is more crucial, then, for today's parents of blind children to put forth a little extra effort to learn Braille. Parents need not become certified Braille transcribers (although there are many advantages to the blind youngster if they do this). Even a little bit of knowledge can help.

This is why the NFB Parents of Blind Children Division was so pleased to accept the offer of Claudell Stocker, Head, Braille Development Section, National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, to conduct a three-hour Braille workshop for parents who attend our 1992 NFB National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Claudell Smith Stocker has an extensive and impressive background as a teacher and a Braille expert. She has seven years' experience as a teacher of children and twenty-eight years' experience in teaching Braille and other communication skills to blind adults. She is the author of four textbooks: Modern Methods of Training Braille (American Printing House for the Blind); Listening for the Visually Impaired (Charles Thomas Publishing Company, Springfield, Illinois); A Remedial Primer for Teaching Braille Reading (State of Kansas, Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, Topeka, Kansas); and Braille Writing Simplified (unpublished). In her current position as head of the Braille Development Section at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, she deals with issues of certification and training of Braille teachers and is responsible for planning the direction of Braille research and development.

The workshop will be conducted the evening of Wednesday, July 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (The exact location of the workshop will be in the NFB Convention Agenda, which you will receive when you register for the convention in Charlotte. It may be in the Convention Center, or it may be in a meeting room of one of the four convention hotels.) A small fee of $5.00 will help cover the cost of a slate and stylus and other materials. The workshop is limited to 25 persons on a first-come, first-served basis. You may reserve a spot for yourself in the workshop by filling out and sending in the following pre-registration form.

The Braille workshop is just one of the many exciting, informative activities planned for the 1992 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. For more information about the convention and how to make your hotel reservations, see the article on page 1, "Blindness Education Week," of this issue.

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