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New Web Community Brings Together Parents of Visually Impaired Children
Date:4/28/2008

NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When parents learn their child has a visual impairment, it can be overwhelming. Parents wonder, "Will my child fall behind at school?" or "Will my child make friends?" or "Will my child have a successful career?" With only 93,600 visually impaired school-aged children in the U.S., over half of whom have additional disabilities, it's easy for families facing vision loss to feel alone.

To help these families connect with each other and give busy parents, grandparents and other caretakers a place to find comprehensive resources and support 24 hours a day, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) today launched FamilyConnect(TM), an online, multimedia community for parents and guardians of children with visual impairments.

Located at http://www.familyconnect.org, FamilyConnect gives parents access to message boards where they can talk to other parents, compelling videos featuring real-life families, parenting articles, a mom-authored blog, a glossary of more than 30 eye conditions, and links to local resources. The site also features sections dedicated to multiple disabilities, technology, education, and every age group from infants to teens.

"We created FamilyConnect to give parents the support and information they need to ensure their children can achieve their dreams --- whether that is playing sports or music, learning to read Braille, getting a first job, surfing the web, making the cheerleading squad, traveling the world, or going to graduate school," said Carl R. Augusto, President & CEO of AFB.

A recent NAPVI/AFB survey of parents of children with visual impairments showed that parents/guardians turn most commonly to physicians (82%), educators (76%), and web sites (65%) for information and support regarding their children's vision
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SOURCE American Foundation for the Blind
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