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After the Diagnosis
If you've just learned that your child is blind or visually impaired, this is probably a difficult time for you, your family, and your friends. Connect with other parents who have been there, or are dealing with the news themselves.
IFSPs, IEPs, assessments, accommodations—making sure that your child is getting an appropriate education can feel like a full-time job. Find answers, support, and help from other parents here, as well as advice from Dr. Susan J. Spungin, who we're delighted to announce will be monitoring the Education Forum and responding to parents' questions.
Having a child with a visual impairment means being introduced to a whole new world of assistive technology. Share your recommendations and experiences here. We are delighted to announce that Neva Fairchild will be monitoring this forum and responding to questions.
Orientation and Mobility Forum
Learning how to move about in the environment safely and independently is known as orientation and mobility, frequently abbreviated as O&M. If you have questions about when (or whether) your child should get a white cane or a dog guide, or start practicing using public transportation, ask them here! We are delighted to announce that Marjie Wood, a certified orientation and mobility specialist, will be monitoring this forum and responding to parents' questions.
Doing Everyday Things Without Vision
Independent living (or "daily living skills") is a broad term, as varied as the needs and abilities of the individual, but generally refers to the skills necessary to perform the activities required of a person at home, at school, or at work to meet their needs in that environment at that time. It could involve something as simple as pouring a glass of milk or setting an alarm clock in order to wake at a particular time; or something as challenging as using a computer keyboard by touch or preparing an entire meal for a family. Different levels of vision and the presence of other disabilities greatly influence the independent living needs of people and two people with the same level of vision will very likely perform tasks differently, depending on how they were taught and their personal preferences. Neva Fairchild will be monitoring this forum and answering questions.
The American Foundation for the Blind and the National Association
for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments would like to thank
the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Inc. and the Conrad N. Hilton
Foundation for their generous support as charter sponsors of
FamilyConnect. We are also grateful to The Annie E. Casey
Foundation and Morgan Stanley for their support.