Free Event: NAPVI Conference 2015!!

In today’s day and age there are many resources for children with visual impairments, but where do parents and teachers lighthouse pic sandystart? Every two years, the National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) hosts a conference to gather all these resources into one place. This event is geared toward parents, family members, friends and professionals working with children who are blind, visually impaired or who may have additional disabilities.

As we’ve mentioned before, the NAPVI family conference will be hosted at the Chicago Lighthouse’s main location at 1850 West Roosevelt Road from Friday, July 10 – Sunday, July 12. This conference promises to be an event full of information, entertainment and fun for the entire family! Although the conference will start in less than a day, it is not too late for interested individuals to register!! Oh, and did I mention that it will be completely free of charge to all friends of the Lighthouse?

The event will kick off this Friday evening at 7 p.m. with a reception at the Chicago Medical District Marriott hotel located between Ashland and Harrison. Several speakers will share their experiences growing up visually impaired. The reception will conclude with a panel of young Lighthouse employees, who will also share their experiences. Thanks go out to NAPVI and the Chicago Lighthouse for extending their invitation and choosing me as one of the panelists!

Various sport activities for children and information sessions will begin the morning of Saturday July 11 and last throughout the day. Here’s a handful of the information sessions taking place on Saturday:

  • Various eye condition sessions
  • Unified English Braille: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
  • An Occupational Therapist’s Perspective on Early Literacy for Students with Visual Impairment and Multiple Disabilities
  • Dealing with Negative Comments Inside-Out

While adults are absorbing all of this information, kids will enjoy several adaptive sport activities. These include goalball, beep baseball, beep kickball and paralympic judo. We will end the day with an ice-cream social and a performance from VisionQuest, the Chicago Lighthouse’s very own rhythm and blues band.

Sunday will be filled with even more information sessions and activities for children! The little ones will enjoy adaptive yoga and track and field. Meanwhile, adults can take part in information sessions including the following:

  • After School Sports and Recreation for Everyone
  • Psychological Aspects for Adapting to Being Blind
  • Fun in the Kitchen, Skills for a Lifetime: How to Teach Children Who Are Blind to Safely Help Out!
  • Ending keynote session featuring Kevin O’Connor and Matt Simpson – parent of a blind child and paralympic athlete, respectively.

This is just a small “preview” of the NAPVI National Family Conference. To see more information about the various events and sessions go to We understand that some readers cannot come because of distance or other circumstances. For this reason several of the sessions will be recorded and posted online. Additionally people can follow the event on Twitter. Those of you in or near Chicago who would like to come or find out more information can call Rana Marks at 312-997-3651 or email her at Just tell her you’re my guest!

Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to comment on the blog or email your questions to Have a great weekend!


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