NFB BELL Academy: Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning
As a mother of a special needs child The BELL Academy has it all—education, life skills, orientation and mobility, laughter and friendship. It instills confidence in the children who attend making them one step closer to reaching their potential in becoming competent, independent children! —Alison Tarver, Mother of Nicholas
What is the NFB BELL Academy?
The NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy provides children ages 4-12 a one (or two) week program of concentrated Braille instruction through fun, hands-on learning. This experience is for all blind children, including low-vision children who aren’t receiving as much Braille instruction during the school year as they need, children who have recently lost their vision, children who have been blind since birth, or children who have additional disabilities.
In Louisiana, the NFB BELL Academy is sponsored by the Louisiana Center for the Blind; therefore, we are able to provide an enriching residential component. That is why, unlike most states offering a two-week program, we are able to address a wide variety of blindness skills in a one-week time frame. In addition to Braille, assistive technology, projects, games, and other engaging activities, children also enjoy field trips to sites related to the content being covered in the program.
Why the NFB BELL Academy?
The NFB BELL Academy has grown exponentially since its inception in 2008. Beginning as one site in the state of Maryland, the program is now offered in nineteen states around the country! The most unique and meaningful aspect of the NFB BELL Academy is that blind role models facilitate the majority of the lessons. Your child will learn that blind people can lead successful lives by meeting blind people who lead such lives every day. The academy uses time-tested lessons and proven techniques to build self-confidence, positive attitudes, and skills in blind children.
“Besides Braille exposure, the most valuable thing my child gained at NFB BELL academy is increased confidence. I can’t believe the change in her attitude and initiative since attending the program. Thank you so much for providing this program! It is an absolute fantastic opportunity for all children and I highly encourage parents to seek it out next year.
If you would like to donate locally, please visit the NFB of Louisiana website and allocate the funds to NFB BELL of Louisiana. You can sponsor a child for a donation of $175.00, but any support is appreciated.
We also welcome donations of goods from local business!