Let’s build a better future for the nation’s blind with the Dream Builders Capital Campaign.
There is a high correlation between quality education and employment but fewer than 10 percent of blind children are taught Braille. Fifty percent of blind students do not graduate high school and fewer children are taught Braille now than were taught to read in the 1960s. Only 30 percent of blind adults are employed full-time. Of those who are employed, 80 percent read Braille.
These numbers are alarming. Blind people continue to face significant barriers to success due to:
- The misunderstandings of blindness
- The low expectations that persist
- Inadequate educational resources
- The lack of high-quality training opportunities
With our track record, we can make a real difference with your help. Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.
To be honest, for a mother with a low-vision child, I was very uneducated by the blind word, and I didn't think he could attend an event like [NFB BELL Academy]. I always felt out of place that because he has some vision but he wasn't blind and he wasn't like a normally sighted child. A friend that was taking her son, told me that I should try and we did…I learned more in two weeks with my son at the BELL Academy than I think I did in those four years going to doctors and searching the internet. Meeting the teachers and organizers, exchanging experiences, creating connections, a support network, and resources was very valuable. – Mother of Blind Child
I have found that I have a great opportunity to be an ambassador, my cane brings attention to me, and when people realize I can see a little, confusion sets in. Many have the same idea of blindness I had when I was first diagnosed. Every day I get to share my experience and help strangers understand blindness. – Vernon from Our Veteran’s Division
I am blind. Those words are three of the most liberating words in the English language. But for many of us, they are some of the scariest words in the English language. Some of us need to hear them hundreds of times before we realize those words apply to us. Some of us need to literally fall in a hole and we still won’t realize they apply to us. But thanks to the National Federation of the Blind, those words are liberating – an anthem of freedom that pierces the anxiety and frustration of trying to do things the sighted way when you have little or no sight. – Ronza from Our Maryland Affiliate
We can change the world in a nationwide Dream Builders Capital Campaign. Through our educational, social, and employment networks, the next generation of blind youth need not face the same artificial barriers blind people have long endured. All blind people can face the future with hope and determination knowing that blindness will not be the barrier to our dreams. By making it right for the generation growing up today, we make it better for all blind people. We know this because we are blind people. Here are our four major components to this campaign:
EDUCATION: We will deliver excellence to local communities by training teachers and blind mentors and providing educational best practices to blind children. We will broaden the network of training and support to parents of blind children. This nationally coordinated network of highly qualified teachers and community mentoring coordinators will create a community of practice to transform the education of blind children.
EMPLOYMENT: Building a career requires building a work history. Through the Each One Teach One Program, blind individuals will be recruited, trained, and deployed across our country. These experiences will contribute to the expertise in local communities while giving blind people the employment to pursue their dreams. Whether their career goal is web development, teaching, accounting, policy development, or other careers, the Each One Teach One Program will create real employment opportunities over twenty-four months while building the capacity of blind workforce professionals.
TECHNOLOGY: Continuing to expand expectations that all technologies should be available to blind people, we face a shortage of expertise and resources to train blind people to effectively use those technologies to compete on terms of equality. We will develop a training program to put qualified trainers in the field to train professionals, families, and blind people on the use of accessible technologies. Leveraging the expertise of our Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access, the NFB’s technology trainers will empower blind people with the training and technologies needed to pursue their dreams.
ACCEPTANCE: A barrier to full participation is the systemic obstacles blind people face. We will strengthen and broaden our resource network by training local representatives to help blind people navigate the education, rehabilitation, and employment systems. Through these representatives, the NFB will gather data about the systemic barriers, generate best practice resources, and strengthen the priorities for change on a national basis.
Please consider a generous gift to the Dream Builders Capital Campaign as we raise six million dollars in the next five years. It will allow us to expand existing programs and create new initiatives nationwide. Our success will create the gold standard for educational and employment programs for the nation’s blind. Let’s secure this foundation to build a better tomorrow.
Contact our President to discuss your generous support: Mark A. Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind, 410-659-9314, extension 2369, [email protected]; or Patti Chang, Director of Outreach, National Federation of the Blind, 410-659-9314, extension 2422, [email protected].