Early Childhood Initiatives

The early childhood initiatives of the National Federation of the Blind provide young blind children and their families with support and guidance to master the fundamental skills of literacy and independent travel.

Braille Reading Pals Club

A young girl reads a Braille book at the 2018 National Convention. The Braille Reading Pals Club introduces young blind children and their families to literacy through Braille. The program fosters positive attitudes about Braille and helps sighted family members promote a love of reading through the shared reading of print/Braille books with their blind children. This program is designed for blind and low-vision children ages birth through eight years old. 

Braille Reading Pals Club members will receive at no charge:

  • A plush reading pal for the child
  • One print/Braille book upon application and one per year thereafter
  • Quarterly Braille activity sheets with print and Braille instructions
  • Braille birthday cards for the child
  • Future Reflections—Special Issue: The Early Years
  • Our monthly e-newsletter, "The BEE: Early Literacy and Movement for Young Blind Children"
  • Ongoing electronic subscription to Future Reflections
  • Access to the support network of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

You can join the Braille Reading Pals Club by completing our early childhood initiatives application.

The Braille Reading Pals Club is sponsored by the NFB, the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, a division of the NFB.

Early Explorers

A young boy holds a white cane and gives the thumbs up sign.The Early Explorers program introduces young blind children and their families to the long white cane. Children will become more independent, confident, and curious travelers throughout life. The program provides strategies to teach children beginning cane travel skills. This program is designed for blind and low-vision children ages birth through eight years old. 

Early Explorers will receive at no charge:

  • An informational DVD
  • A child-sized white cane (upon application to our free white cane program)
  • Future Reflections—Special Issue: Cane Travel and Independence
  • A variety of articles pertaining to cane travel and independence from Future Reflections
  • Our monthly e-newsletter, "The BEE: Early Literacy and Movement for Young Blind Children"
  • Ongoing electronic subscription to Future Reflections
  • Access to the support network of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

You can join the Early Explorers program by completing our early childhood initiatives application.

The Early Explorers program is sponsored by the NFB, the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, a division of the NFB.

Santa Letters

More than ten years ago, Santa asked us to be his honorary elves. Ever since, we've been helping him send letters in contracted Braille to blind boys and girls who are ten years old and younger in the United States. Learn more about our Santa letters program here. 

More Information

For more information about our early childhood initiatives, or to share with us how your child is learning cane travel or Braille, please contact us at communityrelations@nfb.org or 410-659-9314, extension 2287.