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Fall 2003 Table of Contents
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TAPVI Talk

Abstract: Learn about the newest organization in Texas for families with children who are visually impaired.

Key Words: blind, deafblind, TAPVI, parents, support group, listserve, challenger ball, toys

Editor's Note: In this newsletter we are beginning what we hope becomes a grand tradition of having a column devoted to sharing information from the newly formed Texas Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (TAPVI). The first executive board meeting of TAPVI occurred by conference call in September 2003. The parents are busy writing bylaws, creating a brochure, establishing a website, applying for grants, and giving each other lots of mutual support. All these activities are needed in order to affiliate with the National Association for Parents of Children with Vision Impairments. Additional family members are desired in order to have the greatest impact and to cover all areas of Texas.

One way to connect to other Texas families of children with vision loss, including those with deafblindness and multiple disabilities, is to sign up for the Texas VI Family Network listserv by going to the following website http://www.topica.com/lists/txvifamily  or by sending an email to txvifamily-subscribe@topica.com . Most of the current TAPVI members are active on this listserv. If you are interested in joining TAPVI, read the letter from the co-chairs below and consider joining. There is strength in numbers!

Calling all parents!

It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we announce the beginning of TAPVI, Texas Association for Parents of Children with Visually Impairments. The TAPVI steering committee, comprised of parents, was a response to families like ours who struggle to gain support and educational resources for their visually impaired children. Our committee recognized that throughout Texas the visually impaired children and their families were lacking the information and camaraderie that can exist with a support group.

We need to address the unique needs of our children. We need to share all of our ideas, experiences, frustrations, and joys. By sharing our children's school experiences, social experience, and developmental milestones, we will help not only during school years, but also upon graduation and entry into the work force.

We feel fortunate to have met so many caring, committed families. I know together we can make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of our children. If you would like to become a member of TAPVI please contact TAPVI directly at 11816 Plainbrook, La Porte, TX 77571, by phone (361) 441-4712 or by email tapvi@aol.com.

Sincerely,

Laura Boenig, Co-Chair, TAPVI Alaine Hinds, Co-Chair, TAPVI

cell: 361-441-4712 11816 Plainbrook

email: lbaynig@aol.com  La Porte, TX 77571

Challenger T-Ball

My name is Fredia Bassham, and I am grandmother to Heather Jo. I live in Baytown, Texas. I wanted to share some information about Challenger T-ball. Challenger T-ball is a fun and enjoyable sport to be enjoyed by all. The parents or volunteers assist wheelchair team members. Blind or visually impaired team members use a beeping ball and are assisted to the bases by volunteers.

The Challenger League is sanctioned by the Little League Club and participates in the opening and closing ceremonies. Each child receives a trophy at the end of the season. The children have a feeling of independence and being included when they discuss their t-ball games with siblings, fellow classmates and family members. The rewards are wonderful for friends and family when they are able to go and watch the ball games.

For more information on starting a Challenger League in your area, contact Fredia Bassham at (281) 421-0150 or email at frediabassham@yahoo.com  and include "t-ball" in the subject line.

Product Review - PeekaBlocks™

I am Cheryl Whitten from Houston, Texas, and I am the editor of the TAPVI Newsletter. This morning, I discovered a new Fisher Price toy that has definite possibilities for my daughter Catie. Peeka Blocks ™ come in several varieties and are lovely brightly colored blocks about 2" x 2". One set is called Touch Sensations ™. They have a variety of textures on each cube that are wonderful for children with visual impairments since it gives them a chance to explore different types of textures. Another set is called Sound Sensations ™, which make a variety of noises when shaken or when dials are turned. This set encourages your child to interact with the world and learn cause and effect.

I invite other parents and family members to share their information and experience by submitting articles to me by email: Cherylw16@aol.com


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Last Revision: September 1, 2010