Blind Motherhood strives to promote the most current resources relating to blind parenting. Recently, one of our contributors, Jo Pinto, was featured in a new publication from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) entitled Parenting Without Sight Brochure: What Attorneys, Social Workers and Caregivers Should Know About Blindness.
This brochure provides advice and information for professionals tasked with evaluating parental competency, such as social workers and attorneys. The pamphlet emphasizes the blind/visually impaired community are absolutely capable of independently parenting. To further illustrate how blind families effectively parent, the brochure contains statements of blindness philosophy and practical examples of ways parenting as a blind person can be successfully managed.
History of Working With Parents:
The National Federation of the Blind has long strived to build a strong network for blind parents, grandparents, guardians, and caregivers. The organization’s mission is to achieve widespread emotional acceptance and intellectual understanding that the real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight, but the misconceptions and lack of information which currently exists.
After a blind couple in Missouri had their newborn daughter taken from them at the hospital because a social worker did not believe the blind could be capable parents, the NFB of Missouri swung into action. With advocacy and support, the organization’s affiliate was successfully able to secure the return of the baby. Unfortunately, the situation in Missouri is not an isolated incident. Because of this, the National Federation of the Blind has started a website with resources for parents who happen to be blind, http://www.blindparents.org.
The NFB believes living the life you want as a blind individual means asserting the right to become a parent. They also encourage the blind/visually impaired community to embrace their roles as active grandparents or caregivers. While some may question the abilities of blind parents, the NFB understands these individuals have been successfully raising children for generations. With training and alternative techniques, blind parents are perfectly capable of keeping their children safe, healthy, and happy.
NFB Blind Parents Group & Social Media:
To learn more about how blind parents successfully handle a variety of issues, you can contact the NFB’s Blind Parents Group. This group meets annually at the NFB national convention. It also operates a listserv called “Blind Parents,” where you can ask questions, learn from, and share experiences with the blind parenting community. This list is a valuable resource for all blind parents; I strongly recommend everyone join. Visit the NFB’s Divisions, Groups, and Committees page for up-to-date contact information for the Blind Parents group. You can also email [email protected] with questions or concerns.
You should also consider joining the “Blind Parent Alliance” and “Blind Parents of Blind or Low Vision Children” on Facebook. These online groups provide parents with a safe place to ask questions, vent frustrations and learn about upcoming events within the blind/visually impaired community.
Become A NFB Parenting Network Mentor:
Are you a blind parent, grandparent, foster parent, or caregiver for children? Would you be interested in passing along your knowledge and giving your support to a parent, grandparent, or another caregiver who also happens to be blind? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then consider volunteering your experience with the National Federation of the Blind. If you are willing to serve as a mentor to an expecting parent, a current parent who is seeking support, a grandparent, or someone else who plans to provide extended care for children, send an email to Melissa Riccobono at [email protected].
If you are an individual who would be interested in being matched with a mentor, you can also send an email request to [email protected]. This NFB program is in its beginning stages. However, the organization will do their absolute best to match you with a mentor as soon as possible.
NFB Articles & Blog for Blind Parents:
Below are helpful articles and blog posts highlighted by the NFB written by blind parents. The National Federation of the Blind has their own blog entitled “The Voice of the Nation’s Blind.” To see all of the blog post related to parenting, visit https://nfb.org/blog/category/276
- The Advantages of Being a Blind Parent by Melissa Riccobono is a blog post from Voice of the Nations Blind
by Barbara Walker Loos (Making Hay)
- Independence: To Have and To Hold
by Christine Boone (Braille Monitor)
- It Takes More Than Love
by Kevan Worley (Future Reflections)
- Materials for Blind Parents
- To Be a Parent
by Gary Wunder (Braille Monitor)
How to Get Your Copy of Parenting Without Sight:
To order your “FREE” Braille/Print copy of Parenting Without Sight Brochure: What Attorneys, Social Workers and Caregivers Should Know About Blindness , please contact the NFB Independence Market by email at [email protected] or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2216.
If you or your organization has materials related to blind parenting you would like to see shared on Blind Motherhood, send me an email – [email protected].