2021 NFB BELL® Academy In-Home Edition Application

The NFB BELL Academy provides children with Braille and nonvisual skills instruction through fun, hands-on learning activities. The NFB BELL Academy—which stands for National Federation of the Blind Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning®—is a nationwide (United States and Puerto Rico) summer program that prepares blind and low-vision children to grow into confident and independent blind people who live the lives they want.

Complete the application form below to apply for one of our NFB BELL Academy sessions (spaces are limited). NFB BELL Academy is appropriate for blind and low-vision children, ages 4-12, who:

  • Do not receive enough Braille and nonvisual skills instruction in school
  • Could benefit from more Braille exposure over the summer
  • Would enjoy connecting with blind role models

This summer, using the Zoom web-conferencing platform, two-week-long sessions of NFB BELL Academy will take place during the following dates:

  • June 7, 2021 through June 18, 2021 - Full
  • July 19, 2021 through July 30, 2021 
  • August 9, 2021 through August 20, 2021

The deadline to apply will be one month prior to the start of each session. 

A Parent Workshop will be held in May. Our Workshop will give parents some insight into the NFB philosophy, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), what to expect from NFB BELL Academy and Braille. More information will be given to interested parents/guardians.

Prior to the start of each session, each accepted student will have their Braille skills assessed. A Braille assessment will help us determine in what track the student should be placed, beginner, intermediate, or advanced. After the student has been assessed, you will be notified of their track and session time. Session times will occur at either 11:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Each accepted student will receive the materials to complete all lessons and an NFB long white cane, about 2 weeks prior to the start of each program. A daily social hour will be offered for all accepted students and their families at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Our social hour will be a place to gather on Zoom for casual conversation, games, and more!

Complete the application form below to sign up for one of our NFB BELL Academy sessions (spaces are limited). The cost of this program is free to participating families; however, if you wish to support our efforts in providing Braille literacy please visit https://www.nfb.org/donate

Please Note: Users of accessible mobile devices may have difficulty completing this form on a mobile device. We are working with the mobile device manufacturers to resolve this problem.

Session Selection
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Student Information
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Select additional accommodations that apply
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Parent/Guardian Information
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The address entered below will be used to ship materials. Please do not include a PO Box as we will ship via UPS.

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Select additional accommodations needed for the parent or guardian.
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TBVI (Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired) Information
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Additional Student Information
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Other Information

NFB BELL Academy pursues grant funding to support the programs, and some of these grantors ask us to describe the racial/ethnic/socioeconomic backgrounds of our students. In order to improve our program delivery and to respond to these requests, we ask you to answer the following three questions:

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Media Release
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NFB Discharge
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Upon submitting this form your responses will be saved, and you will receive an email copy of your responses. We will notify you if your child is accepted into the program. For additional questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2418.

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