Texas Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
Connect, Inspire and Empower Families Affected by Visual Impairment
through parent connections, support and activities.
TAPVI was started by a group of people at the 2003 Texas Focus Conference in which TSBVI (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired) brings together families of children with visual impairment and professionals who serve them to share and learn new ideas about how to raise and educate the children. TSBVI’s Cyral Miller and Jean Robinson, and NAPVI’s (National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments) Susan LaVenture and Alison Smith, led a group of parents in discussions about what they needed in terms of support from other families. TAPVI grew out of that meeting 15+ years ago and has been a consistent presence in Texas since that time.
The TAPVI board is filled with parents of blind and visually impaired children and sometimes with professionals in the field of visual impairments. Over the years, TAPVI has at times focused on working to develop local affiliate support groups, and at other times working through state-wide and local conferences to network with parents.
Much has changed in those 15+ years, in terms of the use of technology to connect people and reduce the need for traveling in the state, and yet we remain committed to the idea that there is nothing like being with people in person who share your same needs and concerns.
Our hopes for the coming years are to establish new local support groups and strengthen the communication lines among the local groups and TAPVI in order to ensure that all families of children with visual impairment have a network of support that understands who they are and what they need.
Our mission is to Connect, Inspire and Empower Families Affected by Visual Impairment through parent connections, support and activities. This means we work with parents to help them meet and connect with other parents to share information and support, in order that they are capable of helping their children reach their full potential. Our activities are focused on educating the parents on their options in regards to services and supports for their children and how to obtain them. There are as many “right” answers as there are families and children – only the parents, equipped with as much knowledge as possible, can decide what is best for their families and children. We don’t tell you how to raise and educate your child – we help you find out the possibilities from which to choose.
“Parents” means any adult person responsible for the raising, care and education of a child with a visual impairment. This can include grandparents, adult siblings, guardians, etc.
“Visual Impairments” in our group and on these pages includes all types and causes of visual impairments, and total blindness.
“Children” on these pages refers to those with visual impairments, from babies, toddlers, school-aged children, and adults. The intention is to refer to people with visual impairments who are dependent on others for their care and education, as in adult children of parent caregivers. We fully recognize that very many adults with visual impairment and blindness are completely independent; there are adult service organization that independent adults can join.