NFB BELL® Academy Student Application

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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. 

  • 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 application is to apply to attend an IN-PERSON NFB BELL Academy in a city near you. The application process for in-person programs contains two steps. Additionally, please note that the facilitators of the NFB BELL Academy in your area may opt to conduct an interview or collect additional information about your student before accepting your student into the Academy. Application, selection, and registration processes differ from state to state, so please contact your state coordinator (listed below) with any questions you have about the process. However, the following two steps outlined are required for students applying to ALL IN-PERSON NFB BELL Academies:

  1. Complete the general application below. This form will ask you to provide your contact information, as well as information about the student (such as, grade level in the fall, birth date, interests, any medical needs, etc.). This information allows the NFB BELL Academy team to learn a little about the student. Once you hit the submit button at the end of this form, you will be redirected to the permissions and releases form—the second step of the process. Additionally, you will find a link to the second form in the confirmation email that you receive after submitting this application form (the first step).
  2. Complete the permissions and releases form: The information in this form provides us with the detailed information that we will need to meet your student’s needs. This form contains the following: general release, sunscreen release, medical release, medical history and health insurance information, program expectations, media release, transportation release, and student pick-up release.

After completing step two, you will receive an email containing a copy of all of the information you provided in the permissions and releases form. Contact information for your state coordinator will appear at the top of the email. Additionally, you can find your state coordinator’s contact information by visiting https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy and following the link for your state.
The application process can take approximately 15-30 minutes for each form. You will not be able to save your forms. Please plan accordingly. 
The cost to attend and deadlines to apply differ from NFB BELL Academy to NFB BELL Academy. If you wish to support our efforts in providing Braille literacy, mentoring, and socialization, please visit https://www.nfb.org/donate. Please consult your NFB BELL Academy’s information page for more details. You can find the program information pages by following the link to the state you wish to attend by visiting https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy. Please select the NFB BELL Academy to which you are applying. If you are applying for more than one NFB BELL Academy, please submit one application per Academy. 
Please visit https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy if you wish to apply to attend our virtual NFB BELL Academy In-Home Edition Program. If you wish to apply for both programs (in-home and in-person) you must complete both applications.

Thank you for your time in completing this form. All of the information requested is necessary to run fun, educational, and safe programs for our students. For questions, please contact us at [email protected] or at 410-659-9314, extension 2418.

Note: All fields with an asterisk (*) are required.

Student Information

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Parent/Guardian Information

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Emergency Contact 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 questions:
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Upon submitting this form your responses will be saved, and you will receive an email copy of your responses. You will then be redirected to complete the BELL Permission and Release form.
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