Future Reflections        Winter 2012

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NFB Summer Training Programs

The NFB training centers in Louisiana, Colorado, and Minnesota each sponsor summer programs for children and teens. Taught by blind mentors, participants receive intensive training in Braille, assistive technology, cane travel, and daily living skills. They also take part in fun activities, from camping and canoeing to exploring complex shopping malls. Through every aspect of these programs, students are exposed to a positive, can-do philosophy about blindness.

Teens who apply to NFB training programs must have an open case with their state's department of rehabilitation services. Staff at the training centers can answer questions about becoming a rehab client. Below is some basic information about this summer's programs.

BLIND, Inc.  (Blind Learning in New Dimensions)
100 E. 22nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55404
(800) 597-9558 or (612) 872-0100, ext. 251
Contact: Charlene Guggisberg
[email protected]
Application Deadline: April 15, 2012

Buddy Program
Children ages 9-13
July 13-August 4, 2012

Post-secondary Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP)
Students ages 14-17
June 11-August 3, 2012

Louisiana Center for the Blind
101 S. Trenton St., Ruston, LA 71270
(800) 234-4166
Contact: Eric Guillory, [email protected]
Application Deadline: April 6, 2012

Buddy Program
Children Grades 4-8
July 15-August 4, 2012

Summer Training and Employment Project 2012 (STEP)
Students ages 14-17
June 1-August 4, 2012

Colorado Center for the Blind
(800) 401-4632 or (303) 778-1130, ext 222
[email protected]
Application Deadline: As soon as possible. Acceptance is based on date when application is received.

Confidence Camp for Kids
Elementary-school students
June 11-22, 2012

Initiation to Independence
Students in middle school
June 16-August 3, 2012

Earn and Learn
High school students
June 8-August 3, 2012

Summer for Success
College students
June 8-August 3, 2012

Other Camps

For more than a century, children in the US and Canada have enjoyed the tradition of going away to summer camp. Typically, summer camps offer outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and nature study, as well as arts and crafts and singing around the campfire. In addition to the standard summer camp experience, kids can now choose among day programs and sleep-away camps that appeal to nearly any special interest, from art to computers, from chess to cooking and ocean exploration. Blind children should be encouraged to pursue their particular passions in the selection of a summer camp, whether or not the program is designed for blind and visually impaired children.

On the other hand, camps designed with blind children in mind can offer the chance to build blindness-related skills and to bond with peers who share a common experience. Here is a sampling of some of the special camps for blind children that will operate in the summer of 2012. 

National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
National Center for Blind Youth in Science (NCBYS)
200 E. Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230
Contact: Emily Gibbs, (410) 659-9314, ext. 2407
[email protected]

Project Innovation

Students grades 3-6 and 9-12
July 23-29, 2012
Application Deadline: April 1, 2012
The National Center for Blind Youth in Science is launching an exciting new program called Project Innovation. This pioneering program attempts to foster a sense of innovation and autonomy in students by allowing them to determine their course of study during the program. Though multiple branches of science will be explored, each student will ultimately focus on a large project to be completed by the end of the week. A unique feature of Project Innovation is the introduction of pre-program involvement, including social media and telecommunications. These communications will allow students to network with each other and with members of the science community and the NFBJI staff to determine where their interests lie and what their final project might be. The NFBJI will welcome younger students and their chaperones, and for the first time high school students will be included as well. The high school students will serve as junior advisors who will not only participate in the science program, but will model blindness skills and techniques to their younger counterparts. The students will learn how much fun science can be through hands-on instruction, field trips, and interactive activities. Attending parents will participate in a corresponding seminar with workshops on meeting the needs of their blind children.

Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM)
3345 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21227
Contact: Amy Phelps, (410) 737-2642
[email protected]
BISM operates two summer programs for blind students, focusing on nonvisual skills such as Braille, assistive technology, and independent travel with the long white cane.  Students will work under the supervision of blind mentors, and will take part in a variety of fun activities that also promote independence.

Independence 2012
Students in high school
June 17-August 10, 2012
Application Deadline: March 31, 2012

Independence 101
Students in middle school
July 22-August 11, 2012
Application Deadline: March 31, 2012

National Resource Center for Blind Musicians
391 E. Washington Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06608
Contact: David Goldstein, (203) 366-3300, ext. 229
[email protected]

Summer Braille Music Institute
July 15-21, 2012
Application Deadline: May 2, 2012
This intensive program is designed for serious Braille-reading music students who are preparing for or already enrolled in college. Instruction is tailored to meet the needs of each individual. Students develop their skills with Braille music and music theory and learn to use technology to submit music assignments in print notation. Applicants must have studied some music theory, have had several years of music lessons, and be able to present a polished and pleasing performance.

Indo Jax Surf School
700 Military Cutoff Rd., Suite 314, Wilmington, NC 28405
Contact: Jack Viorel, (910) 274-3565
[email protected]

Visually Impaired Surf Camp
July 23-27, 2012
Application Deadline: There is no fixed deadline, but please register as soon as possible. Through this free program, blind and visually impaired children, as well as their sighted siblings, can experience the thrill of riding the waves on North Carolina's Cape Fear Coast. Blind children with additional disabilities are welcome. One-on-one instruction is adapted to meet the needs of each child and to ensure that everyone has fun.

Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS)
Huntsville, AL
Contact: Dan Oates, (304) 851-5680
[email protected]
September 22-27, 2012
SCIVIS is a week-long camp that takes place at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, coordinated by teachers of the visually impaired. Students use accessible computers, and materials used during missions are available in Braille and large print. Several SCIVIS programs are available, including Space Camp, for students in grades 4-6; Space Academy, for students in grades 7-12; and Advanced Academy, for students in grades 10-12.

Museum Tours

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192
(212) 313-7565
[email protected]

Science Sense Tours
Sat, Feb. 11, 10 AM: Dinosaurs
Wed, March 14, 2:30 PM: Animal Adaptations
Sun, April 22, 10 AM: Scales of the Universe
Visitors who are blind or visually impaired are invited to attend monthly programs in the museum galleries. Museum tour guides highlight specific themes and exhibition halls, engaging participants through extensive verbal descriptions and touchable objects. Science Sense is free with museum admission. Space is limited and advance registration is required.


National Federation of the Blind Scholarships
200 E. Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, ext. 2415
[email protected]
Application Deadline: March 31, 2012
The National Federation of the Blind offers thirty scholarships to outstanding legally blind students who will be enrolled full-time in accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States during the fall semester of 2012. All winners will be assisted to attend the 2012 NFB national convention in Dallas, Texas. Scholarship awards range in value from $3,000 to $12,000. Criteria include academic excellence, service to the community, and leadership ability or potential.

American Foundation for the Blind Scholarships
1000 Fifth Ave., Suite 350, Huntington, WV 25701
Contact: Tara Annis, (800) 232-5463 or (304) 523-8651
Application Deadline: April 30, 2012
The American Foundation for the Blind offers a variety of scholarships for legally blind students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Awards range from $500 to $3,500.

Jewish Guild for the Blind
Contact: Gordon Rovins, (212) 769-6801
[email protected]
Application Deadline: September 15, 2012
The Jewish Guild for the Blind awards ten to sixteen annual scholarships of up to $15,000. The scholarships are given to college-bound blind high school seniors who demonstrate academic excellence.

Summer Internship Opportunities

Institute for Accessible Science (IAS)
Purdue University
Attn: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
Hall of Discovery and Learning Research, 228
207 S. Martin Jischke Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907
[email protected]

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
Application Deadline: Preference is given to applications received by March 1, 2012, but later applications will be accepted.
The IAS Summer Research Fellowship Programs have the goal of promoting the inclusion of persons with physical disabilities in biomedical science careers through assistive technology development, student and educator support services, and research. The aim is to encourage talented students with physical disabilities to engage in laboratory research and enhance their preparation for further study. Students selected for these programs will be paired with faculty mentors who will help them design and conduct a research project. In addition, through IAS-sponsored activities, students will have the opportunity to contribute to an understanding of the issues students with physical disabilities face in pursuing careers in biomedical science.

Student Internship, Research, and Scholarship Opportunities
The College of New Jersey has compiled a list of more than 150 summer opportunities for undergraduate students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Most of these opportunities involve work in research laboratories at a university or government facility. Each listing includes the application deadline and a link to further information.
Writing Contest

2012 NFB Youth Writing Contest
Deadline for Entries: April 1, 2012
The 2012 Youth Writing Contest in poetry and fiction is designed to promote Braille literacy and excellence in creative writing. Entries will be judged on creativity and quality of Braille. Contest categories are divided by grade level: elementary, middle, and high school. The top prize in each category will be $30. Contest winners will be announced at the Writers Division meeting at the NFB national convention in Dallas.


National Federation of the Blind

2012 Jacob Bolotin Awards
Contact: James Gashel, (720) 295-7401
[email protected]
Application Deadline: March 31, 2012
The Jacob Bolotin Award Program is a way to recognize individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary leadership and extraordinary accomplishments toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society. Named for a pioneering blind physician who practiced in the early twentieth century, these awards are made possible through the generosity of his late nephew and niece, Alfred and Rosalind Perlman. Application for an award may be made either by the applicant directly or by third parties who nominate an applicant.

Distinguished Educator of Blind Children Award for 2012
Contact: Cathy Jackson, [email protected]
Application Deadline: May 15, 2012

The National Federation of the Blind will recognize an outstanding teacher of blind children at the 2012 NFB convention. The winner of the award will receive an expense-paid trip to the convention, a check for $1,000, a plaque, and an opportunity to make a presentation about the education of blind children to the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC). Anyone who is currently teaching or counseling blind students or administering a program for blind children is eligible to receive this award. Teachers may be nominated by colleagues, supervisors, or friends.

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