The National Federation of the Blind
Early Explorers Program
A Cane Travel Program
for Blind and Low Vision Children
Ages Infant to Seven
NFB Early Explorers is a free program designed to introduce young blind children and their families to the long white cane. Providing children with an early start to independent movement and travel ensures that children will be more confident and curious travelers throughout life. Possessing these skills allows young blind children to learn and play alongside their peers with ease.
Program participants will receive
- The BEE, a monthly parent e-newsletter filled with ideas about how to foster age-appropriate movement in young children through the use of the long white cane (see examples of past e-newsletters)
- An informational DVD
- A child-sized white cane
- A subscription to Future Reflections (a quarterly publication for parents and educators presenting articles on a variety of topics)
- Independent Movement and Travel in Blind Children: A Promotion Model by Joseph Cutter
- Access to a network of resources devoted to serving parents of blind children through the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children http://nopbc.org
Mission of the NFB Early Explorers Program
- Introduce young children and their families to the long white cane
- Provide parents strategies to teach their children cane travel
- Make parents aware of essential resources for promoting success for their young blind children
- Help parents teach beginning cane travel skills
- Help parents instill in their child a love of traveling with a long white cane
Here’s How the Program Works…
- Complete the Early Explorers Program Registration form online. For any question you may have, the contact information is listed at the bottom of this page.
- Soon after you register, you will receive your child-sized long white cane, your packet of materials for the program and an informational DVD. Or you may view the video online.
- Read the monthly parent e-newsletter for tips and ideas for travel activities you can do with your child.
- As often as possible encourage your child to take his cane with him everywhere he goes and have fun exploring and discovering exciting features of his environment with his favorite new tool, the long white cane.
The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), a division of the National Federation of the Blind, is a great resource for parents of young blind children. Please visit the NOPBC main page for more great information.
The NFB Early Explorers Program is sponsored by the NFB Jernigan Institute and NOPBC.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about the NFB Early Explorers Program, please contact:
NFB Early Explorers Team
200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, Extension 2287
NFB Early Explorers is made possible in part through a grant from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust