Finding the Funds to Attend the NAPVI Family Conference
Once in a while an event comes along that we would really love to attend. In our minds we range swiftly over the weekly family expenses and the medical bills and think that there’s just no way we can participate.
In just this way many parents throughout the country have read about the 2015 NAPVI National Family Conference, scanned their budgets and have decided they will never make it to Chicago in July of 2015 without some outside help.
As parents, we should look at this conference as a learning experience that can be of tremendous benefit to you and your community. We fully believe that those who attend the conference are going to return to their homes with added determination to reach out in support to other parents of visually impaired children.
Possible Funding Sources for Parents
A possible funding source for parents is through your local State Special Education Departments. Every year, an amount of money is set aside in the IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) budget to support parent involvement. This money is used for parents who have children with disabilities with special needs and can be used as stipends to attend conferences.
Write a letter to your local Director of Special Education (for those school districts that do not have one, write to the Superintendent) asking them to sponsor your attendance to the conference as a parent through IDEIA funds. Explain why attendance at the conference will benefit you and your child. Mention that you are a member of the National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI). Include pages that you print out from the website that describe the conference program. Make sure you save a copy of the letter for your records.
Other possible sources of funding might be:
- Lions Clubs
- Elks Clubs
- Schools for the Blind
- Rotary Clubs
- Area women’s clubs
- Teachers’ organizations
- Business associations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Business and Professional Women
- Church groups
- Urban League
- University alumni groups
A Sample Proposal
So now that you’ve decided to either approach a local group yourself or have asked a representative of a group to take your cause to that group, what needs to be in your “proposal”? (The following responses are examples only, not meant to be followed rigidly.)
- A Summary Statement: “I am asking for your financial assistance in providing travel and convention funding necessary so that I may attend the National Association of Parents of Visually Impaired Children (NAPVI) National Family Conference in Chicago, Illinois, July 10-12, 2015.”
- A statement of the questions to be addressed: Why is it beneficial for me to attend this meeting? How much will it cost? How much can I come up with on my own?
- A statement of your goals in attending the conference: “By my attendance at this conference, I hope to gain valuable information in order to help me raise my visually impaired child and to find ways to help other parents of visually impaired children in my community.”
- Procedures of the Conference: “The NAPVI Conference will last three days. Sessions will be geared to coping skills of parents, educational and medical know-how in parenting visually impaired children and a technology session.”
- An evaluative assessment: “I will be collecting conference materials and taking notes during the sessions. I would be pleased to speak to your group following the Conference with a description of that meeting and to share information about visually impaired children in general. I also hope to gather other parents in the community following the convention so that I can share the many things I learned at the Conference.”
- A detailed budget: “Our plane tickets via will cost . Registration for the Convention will be $_____, as I plan to pre-register in order to benefit from the lower registration cost. My hotel bill will be $169.00 per night. Taxi fare from the airport (round trip) will be $____.”
Conference Fees for NAPVI National Family Conference 2015:
Early Bird After June 1
Conference Adult (18+) $85.00 $110.00
(Includes 4 meals, Child (4-17) $25.00 $35.00
opening reception, Age 3 & under Free Free
children’s programs, and
One final note: your proposal should have a neat appearance. If you are going to submit it handwritten, make sure you’ve printed legibly. You’re dealing with business and professional persons and you are asking for a portion of their money, after all. And remember to keep a copy of any proposal you make.
Following is a list of anticipated expenses for the conference.
Auto/Taxi expenses __________
$169 a night per room, plus tax __________
(Single or Double occupancy)
$_____ Registration cost __________
Additional Food Costs
Meals not included in conference cost __________
(Friday and Saturday night dinner, Sunday lunch)