Description of The Efficacy of Family Camp Experience for Families Who Have Children with Visual Impairments
Professionals agree that providing support to families and helping them become more involved in the lives of their visually impaired children are important components of providing effective services to individuals with various types of impairments (Bailey & Smith, 2000; Hanssen & Zimany, 2000; Layzer, Goodson, Bernstein, & Price, 2001). One method of offering support to families is through family camps and workshops, which are believed to be effective ways to provide services and engage families in the special supports that children with impairments need. Another benefit of family camps is that they offer families the opportunity to network with other families with children with visual impairments, which provides families the opportunity to exchange information, discuss issues, offer assistance, and provide and receive support. However, few, if any, studies of the efficacy of these types of activities and services have been conducted, although there are many family support programs, workshops, and camps (Chapman, Moore, & Smith, 1996; Frey & Baumgarner, 1997; Georgia State Department of Education, 1999; Helmrich, 1982; Minkin, 1997; Rafael, Park, Meyer, Crull, & Thompson, 1972; South Carolina State Department of Education, 1996; Wiley, 2000). Some of these family camps and workshops have established goals and objectives (Rafael et al., 1972; South Carolina State Department of Education, 1996), and some have surveyed parents about their satisfaction at conferences (Georgia State Department of Education, 1999).