NFB BELL® Academy

A summer program of Braille and nonvisual skills instruction for blind children–in a city near you or virtual option available!
Young blind girl smiles and shakes homemade musical instrument.

My child had an enjoyable time and her confidence in Braille has grown. My favorite thing that has come out of this camp: You removed the fear and anxiety she had about going blind! She now knows she will be okay and will have the skills to succeed. I think that alone is worth everything!

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.

Who Should Attend

Blind and low-vision children, ages four through twelve*, 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 other blind and low-vision children.
  • would like the opportunity to learn from blind role models.

*Please note that some in-person programs may accept blind children who are older than twelve. Review details in each program for more details on eligibility. 
 

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 it…A friend that was taking her son, told me that I should try and we did. The first day was like a whole new world of possibilities and knowledge opened up for me.

NFB BELL In-Home Edition

Young blind boy smiles and kneels down next to his NFB BELL seeds that are sitting in the sun

Our NFB BELL Academy In-Home Edition program is a virtual program that will take place for three weeks, July 24 through August 11, 2023, using the Zoom platform. Sessions will occur for one hour, Monday through Friday for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. 

Session options to attend. It is expected that students will attend one session daily (morning or evening) for the entirety of the three-week program.

  • Morning: 11:00 a.m.-noon eastern time
  • Evening: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. eastern time 

Each student will receive the materials to complete all lessons and a long white cane. An optional daily Social Hour will be offered for one hour at 3:00 p.m., eastern time. Our Social Hour will be a place to gather on Zoom for casual conversation, games, exercise, and more! 

NFB BELL In-Home Edition Materials

Each class will receive a box of materials for the program. Check out the unboxing video for the selected class to go over the list of exciting items. 

Video links for NFB BELL 2023 are coming soon!
Check out our materials from NFB BELL 2022:

Unboxing Your Materials - Beginners Class

Unboxing Your Materials - Intermediate Class

Unboxing Your Materials - Advanced Class

NFB BELL Academy: In-Person Programs

NFB BELL Academy in-person programs provide activities in a day program or residential setting, depending on location. In addition to Braille crafts, games, and other engaging projects, children learn vital independent living skills, interact with blind adult mentors, and enjoy field trips to sites related to the NFB BELL Academy curriculum. Day programs typically run Monday through Friday for six hours each day for two weeks. Residential programs usually run for one week. Please note that the facilitators of the NFB BELL Academy in your area may opt to collect additional information about your student before accepting your student into their NFB BELL program. Registration processes differ for each program, please contact your state coordinator with any questions you have about the process. Program information about each participating state is available below.

Participating States

Below are participating states of the 2023 NFB BELL Academy. 

  • List of participating states coming soon.

If you have questions about a program in your area or are interested in bringing NFB BELL to your state, please contact us at 410-659-9314, extension 2418, or at [email protected]

Registration

Space is limited for our NFB BELL In-Home edition. Plan to register early! Registration opens in January and in-person programs are added between January and April. 

  • Registration coming soon!

Supporters

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support of the NFB BELL Academy.

  • List of supporters coming soon

More Information

For more information about the NFB BELL Academy, please contact us at 410-659-9314, extension 2418, or at [email protected]