What is the UPBC?

The purpose of the organization is to create a climate of opportunity for blind children in home, school and society; to provide information and support to parents of blind children; to facilitate the sharing of experiences and concerns among parents of blind children; to develop and expand resources available to parents and their blind children; to help parents of blind children gain understanding and perspective through partnership and contact with blind adults; and to function as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children in their ongoing efforts to eliminate discrimination and prejudice against the blind and to achieve for the blind security, equality and opportunity.

The membership is open to parents of blind children, educators of blind children and others interested in promoting the purposes of this organization.

We are a division of the National Federation of the Blind which is the largest organization of the blind in the country. Refer to: http://www.nfb.org/

Utah Parents of Blind Children is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Equal Expectations: A Belief Paradigm or a Politically Correct, Feel-Good Phrase?

Do you receive the magazine, "Future Reflections?" If not, email me immediately I will get you signed up (it's free). It's a magazine published quarterly by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. I was reminded of an article that I thought captured how I felt about the high expectations we as parents, teachers, friends, and family should be holding our children to.

The Article entitled, "Equal Expectations: A Belief Pardigm or a Political Correct, Feel-Good Phrase" was given by Dr. Eric Vasiliauskas, M.D. (“Dr. V”) at the California Teachers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped Conference in 2007.


There has been some recent discussion in regards to the Utah School for the Blind and the services they provide blind/vi children throughout the state. We benefit from these services because my children attend a charter school. I have had the opportunity to share my view in public forums and strongly feel there needs to be some systemic accountability. There is always room for improvement and there are obvious gaps and loopholes that need to be acknowledged and accepted and then a plan of action to resolve.

One area of low expectations can be found in the level or literacy. I have cut and pasted a portion of Dr. V's article and encourage you to read the article in it's entirety.

Dr V. says:

Do you expect of your Braille-reading students? Do you expect your Braille readers to read faster than, at the same rate as, or slower than their print-reading classmates? Let me share with you one first grader’s perspective. One day when I was with Vejas in his first grade Lithuanian classroom, he, in his usual form, finished his assignment before anyone else. I leaned over to let him know this and he whispered back to me, “Of course Dad, that’s because I have the advantage--Braille is faster.” I am proud to share with you that Vejas was formally recognized as the best student and most fluent reader and writer in his Lithuanian school class that year.

California is the first state to adopt formal Braille Reading Standards and Braille Math Standards . These standards have already served our family in very real and practical ways. However, while this is a definite step (or perhaps more appropriately--leap) in the right direction, unfortunately these standards do not include standards for reading fluency.

Let’s examine reading rate guideline data from the US Department of Education Web site that present the numbers of words per minute at which children read silently and orally during the elementary school years www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/summerworkshop/mccabe/edlite-slide019.html and middle school years www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/summerworkshop/mccabe/edlite-slide020.html:

Grade 2 (70-100 WPM silent); (66-104 oral) Grade 3 (95-130 WPM silent); (86-124 oral)
Grade 4 (120-170 WPM silent); (95-130 oral)
Grade 5 (160-210 WPM silent; (108-140 oral)
Grade 6(180-230 WPM silent; (112-145 oral)
Grade 7 (180-240 WPM silent; (122-155oral)

Do you expect your Braille readers to be reading at the pace suggested in these guidelines? By the end of sixth grade, are your Braille students reading 180-230 words per minute? Are your third graders reading 95-130 words per minute? These numbers may seem a little high, so let’s look at the reading fluency benchmarks that our school district (Manhattan Unified School District) uses:

District Benchmark(wpm with 95% accuracy)
Grade 1- 60WPM
Grade 2- 115 WPM
Grade 3- 130 WPM
Grade 4- 135 WPM
Grade 5- 150 WPM

The third grade benchmark is 130 words per minute with 95 percent accuracy.

Some of you may be thinking, “Dr. V, that is wishful thinking,” because your experiences have taught you that the blind adults, teens, and children you work with do not read that fast. Some might direct me to the NLS Factsheet, www.loc.gov/nls/reference/factsheets/braille.html, which states that the average reading speed of blind individuals is about 125 words per minute. To put this into perspective, based on the data from the US Department of Education Web site, that is about the average speed that a typical sighted third or fourth grade child reads print. But it is likely that the Braille reading speeds are based on a mixed bag of individuals, many of whom started reading Braille later in life as teens or as adults.

Some of you would likely to point me to these standards which have been posted on both the California Department of Education's Braille-n-Teach listserv http://csmt.cde.ca.gov/helpFAQ.aspx and on AERNet, the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired’s e-mail discussion listserv: http://lists.aerbvi.org/pipermail/aernet_lists.aerbvi.org, numbers which are actually being used by VI professionals around the country.

Grade Level Reading Rate-Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) Assessment Kit

Grade 3- 51 WPM
Grade 4- 58 WPM
Grade 5- 66 WPM
Grade 6- 67 WPM
College- 115 WPM

Michigan Scale
Grade 3- 30 WPM
Grade 6- 60 WPM
Grade 9- 90 WPM
High School Graduate- 120 WPM

At the third grade level, in stark contrast to the 95-130 words per minute proposed by the guidelines on the US Department of Education Web site, or the 130 words per minute benchmark set by our school district, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) Assessment Kit reportedly suggests that 51 words per minute is acceptable and even more shocking is the 30 words per minute benchmark put forth as adequate by the Michigan scale.

By the end of third grade Vejas was clocked at an oral reading speed of 182 words per minute with 100 percent accuracy. I only recently explained to Vejas that there are educators who believe that Braille is a slower reading medium than print. With utter disbelief, Vejas replied with, “But that’s ridiculous!”...

What about your low-vision, large-print readers? Are they keeping pace with, or out-pacing, their sighted peers? How does their reading proficiency compare to their age-matched sighted classmates or the Braille-reading NFB Braille Readers Are Leaders contest participants we just looked at? Are your large-print readers struggling to keep up with schoolwork? How many are avid readers? How many actually enjoy reading for fun? If they must read, do they prefer to listen to books on tape? Are they, too, participating in reading contests? By high school, are they able to read hundreds of pages per week?

Are your Braille students keeping pace with their classmates when it comes to taking notes in class and completing their assignments? What about your large-print readers? How efficiently can they take handwritten notes in class? Are they as fast as their sighted peers? How legible are their notes when they need to review the information? Can they efficiently read their own notes without having to lug a CCTV everywhere?

In children with residual vision, Braille is not encouraged as much as it could or should be. I was heartbroken by a question posed to me by a girl in middle school who came to a workshop I was giving last year on Braille resources. She sat down in the front row and before I formally started, she raised her hand and asked me, “How do I convince my teachers to teach me Braille?”

She went on to elaborate. “I have some vision and my teachers make me use large print, but I can only see a few words at time on a computer screen. I just can’t keep up with my schoolwork and homework. I can’t even read my own notes without a magnifying device. I just don’t know what to do. I know I should learn Braille, but my teachers are unwilling to teach me. What can I do?”

Unfortunately this story is neither unique nor that uncommon. I have heard such stories many a time, including at this and prior CTEVH conferences. Just because a child can read enlarged print does not mean that that is the best primary learning mode for that student. The irony is that children who have some residual sight are frequently at a disadvantage because they often can’t keep up with their peers and may ultimately be less likely to be passionate about reading. Furthermore, it is important to remember that many conditions (even in children) are associated with progressive loss of vision over time, in some cases due to the underlying eye condition, in others from retinal detachment or glaucoma.

Do educators have equal expectations of blind children? If educators truly believe in “equal expectations,” then why is it that nationally only 45 percent of blind or severely visually impaired, but otherwise capable, students graduate from high school, compared to 80 percent of their sighted counterparts? (Data from the American Foundation for the Blind [AFB] Web site: www.afb.org/section.asp?SectionID=15&DocumentID=1367) Why do only 16 percent of those blind or severely visually impaired students that graduate high school then go on to earn a college degree? Now granted one doesn’t need a high school diploma or college diploma to a get a job, but everyone should agree that advanced education certainly broadens one’s options.

Some may feel I am overreacting and claim that local outcomes are better. How many of the Braille readers and large-print readers in your school system graduate from high school and from college? How many have gone on to pursue postgraduate studies, including law school, medical school, or PhDs? How does the performance of Braille-reading students and large-print reading students in California compare to the rest of the children taking the California state STAR exam? Where is the actual data? Who collects it? How accurate is it? I am under the impression that such education attainment statistics are not well tracked. Where is the accountability? California state testing results are broken down by economic status, gender, ethnicity, and the broad category of disabilities. The state testing agency knows which students get Braille or large print exams. Why are the performance results of blind and visually impaired children therefore not examined and made available? Without accurate and current local district, SELPA, or state-based statistics, how can parents be asked to “back off” and to put their full trust in “the system”? Employment status is a reasonable alternate measure of the fruits of the current educational system. According to the AFB Web site, www.afb.org/section.asp?SectionID=15&DocumentID=1367, less than half of low vision adults and only about a third of legally blind adults are employed, and of that third, 93 percent of the employed blind read and write Braille; only 7 percent don’t. We must also take into account that these statistics focus only on employment status, that is, employed versus unemployed, not on the type of job one is able to hold. As a parent who wants the best for his blind children, I find these statistics sobering. We must all critically examine the educational system performance hard data, the educational report cards so to speak. The data suggests that at the schooling level there is a huge discrepancy between the accomplishments of sighted and blind children. From a parent’s standpoint, I must interject that this report card of the current status of affairs is also not at all encouraging and is certainly not reassuring.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Are Your Children's Books On Time?

We are approaching an exciting time of the year-- a new school year! Whatever grade your child is entering, whatever transitions they are making--it's vital that we as parents are advocating a and ensuring their needs will be met. You ask, isn't that what an IEP is for? Technically yes. But what about reality? What can you do at the beginning of the year?

The biggest and most recent complaint I have heard from parents is that their child's Braille and/or large print books are not available the first day of class or the same time as their sighted peers. This is of great concern to me on many levels. What message is it sending our kids? Is it limiting a child's ability to learn? Are they lagging behind academically due to this error?

What is the law?
There are protections in the law to prevent this situation. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA 2004), the most recent reauthorization of IDEA, reads:
… To ensure that children with disabilities who need instructional materials in accessible formats are provided those materials in a timely manner, the SEA must ensure that all public agencies take all reasonable steps to provide instructional materials in accessible formats to children with disabilities who need those instructional materials at the same time as other children receive instructional materials.

I urge parents to make a visit to their child's school to see if their books are available. If they are not, we would like to hear about it.

What are other things you can do to advocate?

Review your child's IEP goals. Be knowledgable about the goals, objectives, and service times. This will empower you, so you can feel comfortable talking to their teacher, TVI, O&M instructor, or special education director about how these will be implemented throughout the year. This might include discussing what days and times they will be pulling your child out of the classroom. Is it during Math? Reading? PE? Are they coming the times listed on the IEP? Some IEPS will list clump service time into one total rather than stating how many days of the week. If your child needs daily instruction, be specific.

Make sure your child's TVI is providing progress notes. This will help you know if they are making progress towards their IEP goals.

Talk to your child's teacher if there are any special accomodations (seating, written materials, testing, enlarged or Brailled worksheets, extended time, etc..) You might be surprised how many accomodations get overlooked because of the tremendous load teachers carry.

If you are able, offer to help your child's teacher in any way. This may be making extra large copies, coming in to adapt a Science experiment, educating the class about blindness.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Print, Braille, or Both??

In a landmark study by Dr. Ruby Ryles, she found that children who grew up reading Braille had a 44 percent unemployment rate as adults compared to a 77 percent unemployment rate among low-vision children reading print. Research Study: Early Braille Education Vital, (Ryles, R.) Future Reflections, Special Issue, 2004. http://nfb.org/legacy/fr/fr14/fr04se22.htm
Staggering statistics confirm this trend continues year after year. In 2007, there were 57, 696 legally blind students registered, and 10% (5,626) were registered as Braille readers. http://www.aph.org/about/ar2007.pdf

While only 10 percent of blind people read Braille, as many as 90 percent of employed blind people are Braille readers. According to the Louis Braille Bicentennial–Braille Literacy Commemorative Coin Act, P.L. 109-257 (109th Congress), “Braille literacy aids the blind in taking responsible and self-sufficient roles in society, such as employment: while 70 percent of the blind are unemployed, 85 percent of the employed blind are Braille-literate.”

So, why all the statistics? The hub-bub? Does your child need Braille? Print? or Both?

Let's start with the law. iii) In the case of a child who is blind or visually impaired, provide for instruction in Braille and the use of Braille unless the IEP Team determines, after an evaluation of the child's reading and writing skills, needs, and appropriate reading and writing media (including an evaluation of the child's future needs for instruction in Braille or the use of Braille), that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate for the child;
Section 300.324(2)(iii) Development, review, and revision of IEP.(2) Consideration of special factors.

What does this mean? If you have a blind or visually impaired child, they should be provide Braille instruction UNLESS there is a thorough evaluation (not a statement or opinion) is in their file proving it is not appropriate.

Some blind/vi children are given an introduction to Braille. This is not instruction.
Some blind/vi children are told, "let's wait and see" what happens. This is not looking at the future needs of a child.

Some blind/vi children can read enlarged print--but their eyes tire after 30 minutes of reading. Do you know your child's print and Braille reading fluency?

Some blind/children can read enlarged print, but their nose is often "inked" from reading so close. Braille is a tool that can be used when giving presentations or public speaking, rather than having to memorize or seeing a paper in front of the presenters face.

Assessment of reading and writing needs should carefully consider how a student will function in upcoming years as print size diminishes and reading demands increase. The appropriate reading and writing media must provide for effective personal communication and full participation in community, vocational, and social settings

I would love to hear your opinions? Is your child successfully learning Print, Braille or Both? If you are an adult- are you successfully reading Print, Braille or Both? Is it working?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Look Who Is In the News!

Caroline Blair and her parents were recently interviewed by the Deseret News and an article was published this week. On June 28th, Caroline competed in the National Braille Challenge held in Los Angeles. She was the only representative from Utah! Caroline's mom, Pat Renfranz is the Secretary of the Utah Parents of Blind Children. You can find the article online at:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Welcome to the Utah Parents of Blind Children

We want to know more about your and your family. We are particularly interested in your experiences with the education of your blind or visually impaired child in Utah, and are seeking to address concerns in this area. Please list any specific concerns you have related to your child’s education. We are also very interested in hearing about positive elements that have supported your child’s educational success.

Please cut and paste this survey in word format, complete, save and send to palmermommy@comcast.net

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Marla Palmer
President, Utah Parents of Blind Children of Utah


Utah Parents of Blind Children
Family/Child Needs Survey

Parent Name (s)/Address/Phone/E-mail:

Child(ren) Name (s)/Age/Grade/Type and
Degree of Vision Loss

My child is educated in (check one)
___ our local public school
___ a private school
___ home schooled
___ USDB
___ other (please specify):___________________________

My child has (check one)
___ An IEP
___ an IFSP
___ a 504 plan
___ Not Sure
___ No individualized plan

My child reads (check all that apply)

___ regular print
___ large print
___ Braille
___ does not read
What’s Working Well?

Please rate the statements as follows: 1= working well; 2= working ok; 3= moderate problem; 4=serious problem or NA=not applicable

____ My child receives the educational support services he/she needs to attain and maintain age and grade appropriate skills.

____ My child reads well in print, Braille, or both.

____ My child receives travel training (O & M) that allows him/her to travel safely and efficiently in home, school, and community.

____ I have good knowledge of the wide varieties of assistive technology available to assist my visually impaired/blind child with school work.

____ My child has access at home and at school to a variety of assistive technology devices to aide learning.

____ My child’s Braille or large print textbooks are provided at the same time as the rest of the class.

____ My child has received good individualized evaluations that have helped develop good educational support plans.

____ My child has additional disabilities that have been identified and are being addressed in a good educational support plan.

Parent/Child/Family Interests
Please rate the statements as follows: 1= strong interest; 2= moderate interest; 3= mild interest; 4= no interest

____ I would like opportunities for social activities with other UPOBC families.

____ I would like to have more opportunities for my child and family to meet and interact with blind adults.

____ I would like more opportunities for social and recreational activities for my child.

____ I would like more opportunities for educational and life skills development activities for my child.

____ I would like to receive written materials on child development and education issues.

____ I am interested in college scholarship opportunities for my child.

____ I would like more parent training opportunities.

____ I would like a parent advocate to discuss my child’s educational program with me and possibly attend school meetings such as IEP.

Utah Parents of Blind Children typically honors an educator in Utah on an annual basis for outstanding service to blind and visually impaired students. Do you know someone we should consider? Yes No

If yes, who:________________________________

May we include you on our mailing list? Yes No

Feel free to add any additional statements, information, or suggestions survey that will help us better understand the needs of your blind/visually impaired child and related family issues.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

How Can I Prepare for My Child's IEP? Top 3

I have been very fortunate the past 8 years to have worked with very open minded, team spirited, professionals on my children's IEP. It is not uncommon when I receive a telephone call from a parent who is asking for advice on how to prepare for an IEP. If the need is there, then I have attended an IEP as a parent advocate. Unfortunately, my eyes have been opened and realize the fact that all IEPs are not created equal. I have witnessed IEPs where a parent doesn't speak a word, have seen a lack of cooperation and power struggle between team members, the strong presence and intimidation of politics, and the low expectations.

I don't claim to be an expert when it comes to IEPs, but I have lost track on how many I have attended. I think experience is a great teacher, and I continue to learn. Any comments or advice on this post is welcomed. Today I will mention my top three...

1. The Utah Parent Center (
www.utahparentcenter.org) was the first parent resource group whom I turned to when my daughter was transitioning from PIP services to preschool. They have a wonderful handbook entitled, "The Parents As Partners in the IEP Process". This simple handbook is designed to ask questions so you as a parent can create a thorough child profile. After answering the questions (strengths and weaknesses), then it's simple to type up a summary which you can hand out when discussing your child's current level of performance and goals. I have always include a picture of my child on their profile, so it helps us remember who we are focusing on.

2. Bring your spouse, friend, parent advocate or blind mentor. If you feel like you are alone in this process, then reach out for help. IEPs can be very intimidating and it's always a great support if you have another person there. An IEP is typically once a year, so my husband has it on his "time off schedule" and makes it a priority. We discuss goals and objectives before the meeting to make sure we are on the same page. We also sit next to each other, so we can reach underneath the table to give a squeeze if things start to get heated (smile).

3. Understand the laws, regulations, and procedural safeguards. This will not only help you feel more comfortable, but the team will recognize and respect parents that are smart advocates. The National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities (NCSSD), formerly known as the National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities created a webpage entitled "IEP Pop Up". It was developed to help parents recognized typical "conversation stoppers" that may be heard in an IEP. Knowing what the "real" issues might be, some respectful but effective responses, and what the laws say about educating children with disabilities can assist you in getting your IEP team meetings moving again in a more positive direction! http://www.unco.edu/ncssd/bviIEP/index.shtml

Here are the questions. When you click on the question, you will find an appropriate response.

1. "It is not reasonable to expect the classroom teacher to describe everything to your child. She has 30 other students."
2. "We were excited to discover how well your child can see!"
3. "We think the cane could pose a hazard to other students. We’d like your child to leave it at the door or in the locker."
4. "Your child doesn’t seem to want to use any specialized devices,” (e.g., a cane, braille, optical aids, assistive technology, etc.)."
5. "We don’t normally recommend a cane for children this young."
6. "We’re sorry. We are not going to be able to provide a one-on-one aide to care for your child like you do.” Or “Of course your child will need a personal aide. We can’t expect our teachers to do all that extra work."
7. "We are concerned about your child’s safety. We can’t let him/her be involved in that activity because we don’t want him/her to get hurt."
8. "Don’t worry, she’s doing fine. It’s normal for children who are blind to be a year or two behind."
9. "Sorry, our school is not equipped with and does not have the money for the assistive technology your child needs."
10. "We can’t get a certified teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired/orientation and mobility specialist (TVI/O&M) to come way out here!” or “Since our TVI/O&M has a large caseload, we can only provide _____ hours/minutes of services per week. "
11. "We don’t do things the way they did in your old school, and so we have to rewrite the IEP."
12. "We did our best to schedule everyone, but the general education teacher is unable to attend."
13. "These are the only job training opportunities we offer at this school."
14. "Some of the braille textbooks haven’t come in yet, but we’re getting them translated as fast as we can."
15. "We don’t feel your child needs braille."
16. "We don’t normally write that into the IEP."

Good luck on your next IEP.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Addicted to Acronyms

As a parent of two visually impaired children, it's near impossible to know, let alone remember that we hear... ISFP, IEP, DSBVI, UFBVI, NFB, UCB, NOAH, and now UPOBC?? At a later time, I will discuss each acronym, but for now I will introduce the UPBC.

The Utah Parents of Blind Children (UPBC) is a state wide group of parents dedicated to the education and advancement of children with visual impairments - whether blind, partially sighted or having multiple disabilities including visual impairment. We are a division of the National Federation of the Blind which is the largest organization of the blind in the country. See:

The purpose of the organization is to create a climate of opportunity for blind children in home, school and society, to provide information and support to parents of blind children; to facilitate the sharing of experiences and concerns among parents of blind children; to develop and expand resources available to parents and their blind children; to help parents of blind children gain understanding and perspective through partnership and contact with blind adults; and to function as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children in their ongoing efforts to eliminate discrimination and prejudice against the blind and to achieve for the blind security, equality and opportunity.

The membership is open to parents of blind children, educators of blind children and others interested in promoting the purposes of this organization.

For More Information or How Do I Join?

Contact Marla Palmer
1062 East Fairway Drive
North Salt Lake, Utah 84057


Marla's Personal Note

I have had many friends and teachers inquire as to why we are involved with the UPOBC and the NFB.

The first question, "Why are you involved in an organization for the blind when you children are "only" visually impaired. I feel this is a fair question. In this blog I have used both the words "blind" and "visually impaired" so it doesn't deter parents, teacher, individual away from this site.

Carol Castelleno, a well known author and leader of the National Parents of Blind Organization explained, "The National Federation of the Blind tends to use the word "blind" to include those who are visually impaired. Others--and the field in general--prefer terms like"visually impaired" or "low vision" and make a strict distinction between people who are blind and those who have some residual vision. The problem is that when this strict distinction is made, the next step is to say that "blind people need braille while visually impaired people can use print; blind people must use a canewhile visually impaired people can use their eyesight to travel."

We in the Federation feel that this strict distinction in terminology and then in tools and techniques does a real disservice to those who are not totally blind because it keeps them from learning and using the nonvisual skills that would truly make their lives easier. So I guess you could say that we don't exactly focus more on blind people as opposed to people who are visually impaired; it's that we focus on getting people who are either blind or VI to use the skills that will make them more efficient, graceful, and independent in the tasks of daily life. And these tend to be the nonvisual or blindness skills."

Let's face it, there are low expectations for blind children and even adults. We as teachers and parents can be guilty of "coddling" our children and letting them "just get by". What happens when reality hits and they are suddenly 18? Then what? Do we allow them to be like the other 70% of unemployed blind Americans?

What do I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE? There are many successful, intelligent, employed, socially appropriate, blind adults mentors in the NFB. They are here in Utah and all over the United States! Since my oldest was an infant, we have invited these friends to our homes, to our children's IEPs, to their school to educate students, teachers and staff. We attend meetings, seminars, social events, dinners, and recreation activities so my children can know first hand what is expected, independence.

Mentoring is a powerful tool that's available, but is not being utilized to it's capacity. My children are learning Braille because they have met adults (with low vision) who wished they would've been taught this amazing literacy tool when they were younger. Braille could have been a choice when helping ease neck or eye strain; when labeling their personal files; or helped when giving a speech so they could give eye contact to their audience without worrying about an ink spot on their nose.

The second question I have heard is, "Isn't the NFB militant?" When asked this question, I ask for clarification on what they mean by militant. I don't think that question has ever gone beyond that. No one seems to know.

Is the NFB proactive? Yes. Is the NFB outspoken? Yes. Will the NFB take action if inequality, inaccessibility, or educational laws are not being met? Yes. This is why I am involved, I like an organization that is proactive. Is it perfect? No. There is always room for improvement in any organization. There are members of the NFB that may express their personal opinion about any issue. I try to always remember that personal opinions are just that..their own.

The UPBC and NFB are not the only support/consumer groups that are available. If it's not your "cup of tea", I strongly encourage parents look at everything that is available to network, mentor, and feel supportive. We do not have to do this alone. If you decide to venture elsewhere, please keep me in mind and let's network together!


An official website is in the making, but in the meantime welcome to the Utah Parents of Blind and Visually Impaired Children Blog. Here you will find information and resources that will educate and empower. Each parent should have a solid understanding of their rights, roles and responsibilities. Calendar events, articles, opinions, and comments are welcomed and encouraged. It is my hope that we as parents can form a strong network that will make a difference in the lives of our children and those that will follow.

Marla Palmer
President, Utah Parents of Blind Children