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Spring 1998 Table of Contents
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June 27 - 28, 1998
A Gathering of Texas Parents of Children with Usher Syndrome

In response to the parents who attended the 1998 Symposium on Deafblindness, a special retreat is being planned in Austin, Texas. The retreat is open to all parents of children who have been diagnosed with Usher Syndrome. The purpose of this gathering will be twofold: 1) to have an opportunity for parents to meet each other and share, and 2) to assist in developing with the Texas Deafblind Outreach Project plans for appropriate future services and programs for these children and their families.

Funding is available to assist any parents in Texas who wish to attend. For more information please contact: Connie Miles at (281) 298-6157 or Kate Moss (512) 206-9224.

26th Annual Family Conference

October 9-11, 1998

at Camp John Marc near Meridian, Texas

Sponsored by the

Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT)

Cosponsored by Texas Rehabilitation Commission, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) and
Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired Outreach

This annual retreat is held for families of individuals who are deaf-blind multihandicapped, visually impaired multihandicapped, and deaf multihandicapped and the professionals who serve them. This conference is an opportunity for the whole family to share learning opportunities and fun activities in a relaxed and beautiful, rural setting.

Registration forms will be included in the summer edition of In Touch newsletter. For more information contact Pat McCallum at DBMAT (972) 287-1904.

Second Annual Helen Keller Birthday Weekend

June 26-28, 1998

Austin, Texas

sponsored by US, TOO

the Austin Areas Usher Syndrome, Type II Support Group

US, TOO would like to extend a personal invitation to all Texas Usher, Type II persons and their families to our Second Annual Helen Keller Birthday Weekend in Austin, TX. Plans for this special weekend aren't finalized as yet, but do include two featured speakers. Dorothy Stiefel, President of Texas Association of Retinitis Pigmentosa, will speak to us at a Friday night potluck dinner. In addition, Dr. Stanley Allison, one of our nation's top research doctors in the Usher syndrome field, will talk to us on Saturday about the latest discoveries and research. You won't want to miss either of these presentations. Please make plans to join us! If you need additional information or have questions about this upcoming event, please feel free to call Randy Feille at (512) 459-2575 or (800) 252-5204, or Kris Cué at (512) 251-2550 or (888)280-4603, ext. 9134.

CHARGE into the New Millenium

1999 International CHARGE Conference

July 23-25, 1999

in Houston, Texas

Mark your calendars now and make plans to join with the families of individuals with CHARGE Syndrome and professionals working with these individuals as they gather in Houston to share information and support. To request information about this conference contact the CHARGE Syndrome Association at (800) 442-7604 (families only) or (573) 499-4694 (professionals) or Connie Miles in Texas at (281) 298-6157.

Partners in Policymaking

Partners in Policymaking is a leadership training program for self-advocates and parents. Partners learn about current disability issues and state-of-the-art practices and become familiar with the policymaking and legislative process at the local levels. The goal is for participants to gain the competencies necessary to become advocates who can create positive changes in today's world.

The deadline for the 1998-1999 session requires that applications must be postmarked by May 6, 1998. Fax copies cannot be accepted. For further information about this program or to receive an application in Braille, large print, ASCII, Spanish or audio cassette contact: Jopie Smith, Texas Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities, 4900 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas, (800) 687-8072 or (512) 424-4089 or (512) 424-4099 (TDD).




National Braille Association, Inc. is a volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting transcribers and narrators in the development and improvement of skills and techniques required for the production of reading materials for individuals who are print-handicapped. Their mission is twofold: 1) to provide assistance on a continuing basis to groups and individuals who are preparing reading materials for the print handicapped through seminars, workshops, consultations, and the publication of instruction manuals; and 2) to provide braille textbooks, music, career and technical materials at below cost to blind students and professionals, and to help meet other needs of a more general nature.

NBA maintains a Referral Service to help organizations and volunteer groups find qualified independent contractors to conduct seminars on braille transcribing and translation, audio tape recording techniques, tactile graphics and other areas of production in media other than print. They also hold national conferences in the spring of odd-numbered years and regional meetings in the spring of even-numbered years and each fall. These meetings are the site for workshops which enable participants to improve their skills and learn more about new techniques and equipment.

Additionally, NBA provides manuals free of charge through the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, along with additional instructional materials in the fields of mathematics braille, computer notation for braillists, textbook format braille, tactile graphics, music braille and the use of personal computers to assist in the production of braille.

Other services include:

Membership in National Braille Association is open to all individuals. A subscription to the NBA Bulletin is included in the cost of a membership. In addition, members are entitled to NBA merit awards and continuing service certificates, NBA jewelry, reduced registration fees for meetings and conferences, and special rates for publications. For more information contact: National Braille Association, Inc., 3 Townline Circle, Rochester, NY 14623-2513 or phone (716)427-8260.

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