Each quarter the large bulletin board in the Jernigan Institute’s Betsy Zaborowski Conference Room is changed to model another entirely accessible classroom display. The Education Department hopes to inspire teachers of blind students to turn their imaginations loose in their own classrooms so that their blind students can enjoy bulletin boards just like sighted kids. Here are a photo of the third-quarter bulletin board and a description of its display.
This bulletin board features a scene from the lives of Linda LEGO and her blind son Luke. In the bottom right corner a short story provides viewers the background of the LEGO Family and sets the scene.
“Linda LEGO loves her blind son Luke LEGO. Like all parents she wants to protect him from everything bad. She used to worry constantly about how her son would navigate the world. Then one day Captain Whozit paid her a visit. He told Linda LEGO that, “With the proper training and opportunities blindness can be reduced to the level of a nuisance.” He also told her about the skills Luke needs to be successful. Now, having taken Captain Whozit’s words to heart, Linda knows it’s ok to LEt GO!”
The title of this display—LEt GO, Empower—appears in the top left corner in print and Braille. In tactile print letters the words “LEt GO” are oriented vertically along the left border, and the word “Empower” branches to the right from the “e” in “let” and stretches horizontally beneath the top border, producing a crossword-puzzle effect. The Braille title appears twice: once at the top, superimposed on the word “empower,” and again in the bottom left corner, where those familiar with these bulletin boards know to search for their Braille titles. Large, three-dimensional figures of Linda (approximately three feet tall) and Luke (approximately two feet tall) pop off the deep green background. Luke is dressed in a white collared shirt, blue jeans, and red sneakers. An actual NFB child’s cane rests against his shoulder. Luke’s clothes express the characteristics of a successful blind child: problem-solving, socially appropriate, cane-using, determined, confident, independent, active, technology-literate, and Braille-reading. Linda wears a red dress expressing the characteristics a parent needs to raise a successful blind child: listening, creative, loving, strong, humorous, persevering, dedicated, assertive, and investigative.
Word bubbles show the conversation between mom and son. Luke says, “I want to be a fireman, but Jimmy says I can’t do it because I’m blind.”
Linda replies, “You need to LEt GO of those negative attitudes! You can do whatever you want. We’ll find out if any other blind people are firefighters and how they do their jobs.”Continuing the theme to the edge of the bulletin board, the border is made of real LEGOS®. Visitors are invited to interact with the display by repositioning the LEGOS.