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Winter 2003 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

The National Agenda

(Continued from Fall, 2002 SEE/HEAR)

Introduction by Phil Hatlen, Superintendent,
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

One of the wonderful blessings of my chosen career has been the opportunity to work as a partner with parents of blind or visually impaired children. When I first began as a teacher, it took me several years and some difficult experiences before I came to realize that, without parents as partners, my efforts with their children were not very effective. But when I came to realize that no one knows children better than their parents, that their experiences and knowledge bring an invaluable component to the process of children's learning and growing—only then was I able to embrace the concept of partnerships with parents.

The National Agenda (NA) originated with the concept that parents and professionals must work together to improve educational opportunities for blind or visually impaired students. And thus did Donna Stryker (a very wise and gifted parent) and I become co-chairs of the National Agenda.

As the NA gained momentum, as its impact began to be felt throughout the country, as Donna and I found ourselves working closely together on many occasions, my commitment to the partnership of professionals and parents was significantly strengthened. Together, Donna and I accomplished much more than we might have been able to do individually. I found myself learning something new from her on every occasion we were together, and Donna's passion for the role of parents in education was (and is) a powerful thing to behold.

Please read on as Donna Stryker describes her role and commitment to the National Agenda.

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Last Revision: August 25, 2003