FOR MICHIGAN FAMILIES
The Michigan Parents of Visually Impaired (MPVI) maintains an ongoing calendar of events at: Michigan Calendar of Events
OUB CAMPS at CampTuhsmeheta, Camp-in-a-Box and Birding By Ear
Camper Registration Form 2013
For all of our fun weekend activities – Snow Much Fun, Spring Birding Weekend, 50/50 for 5 Challenge Weekend, Gardening Weekend, VI Sports Day and OUB Open House or MPVI Family Camp – please go to the Family Camp & Weekend Camps Registration page.
All summer camps in 2013 require a deposit of $50 with registration. Deposits are not required for families or children qualifying for a scholarship from the Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach. Camp Descriptions can be found at www.campt.org or call Gwen at 989-855-2430 for more information.
Please email all forms with $50 deposit, or note above that you qualify for a scholarship from MDE-LIO and have applied, to: email@example.com and mail to: Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind, 4175 Westbrook Road Ionia MI 48846. For more information call Gwen at 989-855-2430 or 616-755-2221 (cell)
FOR ALL FAMILIES:
SUMMER BRAILLE CAMP
Kristina Constant wants to bring the gift of Braille to youngsters who are blind or at risk for blindness.
Constant, who lost her vision when she was 19, is studying for a master's degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. This summer, as part of her master's project, she and four other teachers plan to run a Braille Enrichment for Learning and Literacy (BELL) program in Springfield. The low-cost two-week day camp will be open to western Massachusetts children ages 4 through 12.
The BELL camp will be held weekdays, July 16 through 27, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the National Federation of the Blind of Greater Springfield Chapter House at 910 Liberty St. The cost is $20 per child, or $25 per family.
Along with learning the basics of Braille, campers will also take part in music and games, cooking sessions and lessons in navigating on their own.
"We want them to have some fun," Constant said in a telephone interview from New York.
Constant, 29, daughter of Richard and Carol Constant of South Hadley, said she learned in the fourth grade that she would eventually lose her sight due to a degenerative eye disease. The South Hadley public schools arranged for the training she needed to cope in the sighted world and now she wants to do the same for other children, she said.
Constant said studies have shown that only 10 percent of blind children learn Braille, the system of raised dots that enables people with low eyesight to read unassisted.
Reasons for the low rate of Braille literacy for children are varied, she said, including reliance on other adaptive measures such as large print on computer screens or audio assistance. But those measures don't help blind children learn how to write and spell, skills that are essential to academic success, Constant said.
"It's a lot harder to do math without any way of writing it," she said. She also said that learning Braille gives blind children "a greater sense of independence."
"You don't have to wait for someone to set up an audio book for you or read to you," she said. "You can read it yourself."
For information about the camp visit www.nfb.org/bell or contact Constant at firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com or 218-2339. The BELL camp is sponsored in part by the National Federation of the Blind of Greater Springfield and by donations. To donate, send contributions to NFB Regional Center, P.O. Box 3512, Springfield, MA 01101.
June 21 - 28, 2013
Leader Dog Summer Experience - FREE
Leader Dogs for the Blind Summer Experience is a free, one-week camp experience for 16 and 17 year olds that is all about fun, learning new things, challenging yourself and making new friends. But most importantly… it's one week of strengthening your independence in new ways. Throughout the week of Summer Experience some activities are:
o Low ropes challenge course and other team building activities
o Tandem biking
o Rock wall climbing
o Day with a Leader Dog
o Learning to use an accessible GPS that participants get to take home
For more information visit our website http://www.leaderdog.org/programs/youth/index.php. Application deadline is April 1, 2013.
Networks Set To Launch Video Descriptions
Beginning July 1, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, plus the top five cable networks will begin providing audio descriptions of some of their programming for blind or sight-impaired viewers. The shows to be described range from ABC's Modern Family to CBS's NCIS to Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer to USA's Royal Pains. For now, stations in the top 25 markets and cable systems with 50,000 or more subs will be required to offer about four hours a week of the new service. The number of stations and hours will gradually increase.
Looking for a fun and informative conference?
The Early Connections Conference will be held at the Perkins School for the Blind Watertown campus in Massachusetts on April 27th. This annual conference offers a unique opportunity for parents of children with visual impairments (birth-7) and professionals to come together to both learn new information and to network. Lunch and childcare are provided.