[nabs-l] introduction of new future reflections editor

Carol Castellano carol_castellano at verizon.net
Sat May 2 02:30:24 UTC 2009

Hello Everyone,

It is my pleasure to forward an introduction from the new editor of 
Future Reflections magazine.  Many of you already know Debbie Kent 
Stein, who has worked on behalf of blind children and their families 
and been an active Federationist for many years.   Here are Debbie's comments:

Greetings! I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself 
to the leaders and members of the National Organization of Parents of 
Blind Children.  As you know, Barbara Cheadle will retire from her 
position at the National Center in Baltimore on May 1.  I have been 
asked to serve as the next editor of Future Reflections, the magazine 
Barbara started twenty-six years ago and nurtured since its 
beginning.  I feel honored, excited, and a bit daunted as I 
contemplate the challenges before me.  I hope to maintain the high 
standard Barbara established, and to help the magazine meet the 
ever-changing needs of today's parents and teachers of blind children.

To tell you a bit about myself, I have been totally blind since birth 
due to Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA).  I grew up in New Jersey, 
where I began my education in a resource room and was later fully 
mainstreamed.  I earned a B.A.  in English from Oberlin College and a 
master's degree from Smith College School for Social Work.  For four 
years I worked in community mental health at University Settlement 
House in New York City.  I then moved to the town of San Miguel de 
Allende in Mexico and embarked on a new career as a writer of books 
for young readers.  My first novel, Belonging, was published by Dial 
Press in 1978.  It draws upon my experiences as a blind student in a 
regular high school.  I have written nearly two dozen young-adult 
novels, as well as many nonfiction titles, mostly on topics in U.S. 
history.  Since 1983 I have lived in Chicago with my husband, Dick 
Stein, also a writer of children's books.  We have one daughter, 
Janna, age twenty-five, who is currently teaching and thinking about 
going to graduate school.

For more than twenty years I have been an active Federationist in 
Illinois and in some national programs as well.  I feel that every 
aspect of the organization's mission are vital, but my greatest 
passion is for our work with blind children and their families.  I 
have served as NOPBC liaison in Illinois since 1991, advocating at 
IEP meetings, planning seminars, and providing resources wherever I can.

At NFB national conventions I have had the pleasure of meeting and 
learning from many parents from around the country.  As editor of 
Future Reflections I look forward to widening and deepening my 
acquaintance with all of you in the NOPBC.  I welcome your ideas, 
questions, and stories.  And of course, I welcome your articles and 
news items for Future Reflections.  Please feel free to contact me 
with your thoughts and suggestions.  I believe the magazine should 
reflect the triumphs and concerns of parents, and should map a course 
toward the best possible future for today's blind children.

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