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Mentoring Program

Q. I understand the NFB:AE is establishing a mentoring program for blind or vision impaired children, their parents and other members of their immediate families. How will this program operate?

A. At its annual meeting in Victoria in February, 1999, the membership of the NFB:AE unanimously supported the establishment of a mentoring program for blind and vision impaired children and members of their immediate families. I am pleased to announce that this program is being established.

The principle goals of the mentoring program are to assist all of the family members to assist their blind child or sibling in coping with day to day issues such as accessing appropriate educational resources, to provide guidance concerning the teaching of basic life skills and to provide support in other areas of interest to the mentor and the protege. Under this program, each family will be matched with a blind or vision impaired adult.

I have asked Sigrid McNab of the Blind Children and Youth Parents Association to assist me in administering the mentoring program. Since Mrs. McNab and her husband Archie have a blind child themselves, Mrs. McNab will be able to provide invaluable guidance and support to the program.

The NFB:AE invites all parents or family members of blind and vision impaired children who are interested in being mentored by a blind or vision impaired adult to write to me, care of the national office of the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality by July 1, 1999. Please provide your name, your address, the age and sex of your child, the level of eyesight that your child has and any other information which would assist Mrs. McNab and myself in pairing your child up with an appropriate mentor.

Any interested blind or vision impaired adults who are prepared to act as mentors should write to me care of the national office of the NFB:AE and provide the following information by July 1, 1999: their name, address, phone number, and any other material that would assist Mrs. McNab and myself in matching mentors with proteges.

I hope to have the program up and running within the next three months. Like many of you, I look forward to the challenge of the mentorship role to give back much of what I have learned to date to others.