Category Archives: Blind Children

Braille Enrichment for Literacy & Learning (BELL) Academy held in Virginia – What Parents and Students Say

  • NFB BELL Academy provides children ages 4-12 with Braille instruction through fun, hands-on learning activities.
  • NFB BELL Academy targets blind and low-vision children who do not receive enough Braille and nonvisual skill instruction in school or who could benefit from Braille enrichment over the summer.
  • NFB BELL Academy typically runs for two week sessions, 6 hours a day, from Monday through Friday.
  • In addition to crafts, games, and other engaging projects, children learn vital independent living skills, benefit from peer learning and mentoring from blind and low vision adults, and enjoy field trips that reinforce skills learned in the BELL classroom.
  • Virginia’s BELL Academy will run from Monday July 31 to Friday August 11.
    This is a terrific opportunity for your child to meet other blind and low vision kids, in an environment that promotes confidence, competence, and the love of reading!
  • Use This link to visit the BELL Academy site

2017 BELL in Arlington

This year, the NFB BELL Academy will be held in Arlington Virginia, and we hope that your child can once again join us for two weeks of excitement and learning.

The NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy prepares blind and low vision children, ages four through fourteen, to grow into confident and independent adults who will live the lives they want. The program provides Braille and non-visual skills instruction through fun, hands-on learning.

Children will learn crafts, games, and other engaging projects along with the skills they need to be on their way to independence!

From July 31 to August 11, 2017

The application can be found here

Location: St. George’s Episcopal Church, 915 North Oakland Street Arlington, VA 22203

One block away from the Virginia Square Metro!

Read- Explore- Build confidence!

HB 166 Literacy Assessment for Blind Bill Introduced by Delegate Cole

The General assembly begins its 2016 Session on Wednesday, January 13.

I am pleased to share that Delegate Cole has introduced the Literacy Assessment bill as HB 166. This bill will be our major focus for Richmond Seminar.

I have included the bill text below.

  • 2016 SESSION
  • INTRODUCED: 12/23/15 14:19 16101537D
  • HOUSE BILL NO. 166
  • Offered January 13, 2016
  • Prefiled December 23, 2015
  • A BILL to amend and reenact § 22.1-217 of the Code of Virginia, relating to visually impaired students; Braille.
  • Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
  • . That § 22.1-217 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as
    follows:

  • § 22.1-217. Visually impaired students.

    A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

    “Braille” means the system of reading and writing through touch and is commonly known as the Braille tactile communication system.

    “Visually impaired” shall be defined by the Board of Education and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

    B. Special education for visually impaired children students provided by a school division shall be
    established, maintained, and operated jointly by the school board and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired subject to the regulations of the Board of Education.

    C. Braille instruction shall be included in the student’s Individualized Education Plan Program (IEP), whenever appropriate. When developing the an IEP
    or a plan pursuant to § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §
    794 (Section 504 Plan) for students with visual impairment, the presumption
    shall be that proficiency in literacy is essential for such student to achieve satisfactory educational progress. However, use of Braille shall not
    be required if other special education services are more appropriate to the student’s educational needs, and the provision of other appropriate services
    shall not preclude Braille instruction. Each school division shall provide instruction in Braille and the use of Braille for visually impaired students
    unless the team responsible for developing a visually impaired student’s IEP (IEP team) or the team responsible for developing a student’s Section 504
    Plan (504 team) determines, after an evaluation of the student, that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate to the student’s
    educational needs. The evaluation shall be conducted by a certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and shall include

    • (i) a literacy assessment that is research-based, data-driven, and validated and that results in objective recommendations;
    • (ii) a functional vision assessment;
    • (iii) an assessment of the student’s academic and functional strengths and deficits;
    • (iv) an assessment of the student’s current and future needs;
    • (v) a statement of the appropriate reading and writing media for the student; and
    • (vi) in the case of a student with some residual vision, a comparison of the student’s current reading and writing skill levels to levels expected of peers who are not visually impaired, as determined by the IEP team or 504 team.

    The evaluation may include a comprehensive assistive technology assessment if the IEP team or 504 team determines that it is necessary. The literacy assessment shall be administered to the student at least annually after the evaluation by the certified TVI and when there is a significant change in the student’s vision.

    D. Nothing in this section shall require exclusive instruction in Braille and the use of Braille when the IEP team or 504 team determines
    that other specialized educational services and assistive technology devices are more appropriate for the visually impaired student’s educational needs.

    The provision of other specialized educational services and assistive technology devices shall not preclude instruction in Braille and the use of
    Braille. E. Each IEP team and 504 team may determine that a visually impaired student is eligible to receive instruction in the use of the appropriate
    Braille mathematics code in addition to Braille and the use of Braille.

    F. No visually impaired student shall be denied the opportunity for instruction in Braille and the use of Braille solely on the basis that the student has some residual vision.

    B. G. As used in this subsection, unless the context requires a different meaning, “program” means a modified program that provides special materials or services and may include the employment of itinerant
    teachers or resource room teachers for the visually impaired. The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall prepare and deliver a
    program of special education services in addition to the special education provided in the public school system designed to meet the educational needs
    of visually impaired children students between the ages of birth and twenty-one 21 and may prepare and deliver such programs for such individuals
    of other ages. In the development of such a program, the
    Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall cooperate with the Board of Education and the school boards of the several school divisions. The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall assist the Board of Education and the school boards of the several school divisions
    with in-service training in Braille for currently employed teachers of students who are blind and visually impaired.

    C. As used in this section:

    “Braille” means the system of reading and writing through touch and is commonly known as standard English Braille Grade 2.

    “Program” means a modified
    program which provides special materials or services and may include the employment of itinerant teachers or resource room teachers for the visually
    impaired.

    “Visually impaired” shall be defined by the Board of Education and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

    Click here to go to our 2016 Richmond Seminar Page.

NFBV IEP Seminar

One of the most effective ways for us to work with parents of blind children
in Virginia is to help them get the best education they can get and the
services needed to accomplish that are set forth in the Individualized
Education Plan document. Join us Saturday, November 21, 2015 at The
Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VRCBVI)
located at 401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to learn how to advocate for families in their IEP meetings. You will learn
IEP jargon, how to spot good and bad goals, what a reading assessment is,
the purpose of a functional visual assessment, components of an IEP for a
student who is a dual learner (learning large print and Braille), what
services the school district must provide and accommodations for students
with multiple disabilities. A variety of materials will be provided in
print, Braille or electronically (indicate your preference on the
registration form). There will be time for question.

Our NFBV treasurer, Mark Roane, is collecting the registration forms and
seminar registration fee; for seminar specific questions, contact Sandy
Halverson at 703-400-6890. We will not be providing child care for this
seminar. The registration fee of $30 per person or $50 per couple includes
a box lunch.

Link Here to get a copy of the registration form.

We hope to see many of you there.

How Blind and Vvision Impaired Youth can Make Friends, be Independent, and Have the Future They Want: 2015 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia

The 2015 convention of the National Federation of the blind of Virginia

(Oct. 29 through Nov. 1)

wants to help vision impaired youth to have the future
you want. The NFBV will be presenting programs just for you that will give you the information you need to make friends, be confident, and make your own money. Vision loss doesn’t mean dependency.

Click here to download an accessible PDF containing the information you have been waiting for.

Click here to get information on how to register for the convention.

NFB 2015 BELL Program in Virginia

Registration is now open for the Virginia 2015 Summer BELL program.

What is the NFB BELL Program?

The NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) program provides children, ages four through twelve, with two weeks of concentrated Braille instruction through fun, hands-on learning. This program is for all blind children who could benefit from Braille enrichment over the summer. This includes low-vision children, children who have recently lost their vision, children who have been blind since birth, and children who have additional disabilities.

The program is designed to run Monday through Friday for approximately seven hours each day. In addition to Braille instruction, projects, games, and other engaging activities, children may also enjoy field trips to local attractions.

The NFB BELL program has grown exponentially since its inception in 2008. Beginning as one site in the state of Maryland, the program is now offered in numerous states around the country! The NFB BELL program uses time-tested
lessons and proven techniques to build self-confidence, positive attitudes, and skills in blind children; characteristics that are essential to ensuring blind children can live the lives that they want now and in the future.

What parents are saying:

  • “Besides Braille exposure, the most valuable thing my child gained at the NFB BELL program is increased confidence. I can’t believe the change in her attitude and initiative since attending the program.”
  • “This was the most positive program/experience we have ever been involved in. This program was an incredible resource for us both.”
  • “The NFB BELL program changed our lives this year. My daughter learned more in two weeks at NFB BELL than she did in a two- month program last summer!”

To learn more about the NFB BELL program,
or to apply, visit:

http:www.nfb.org/BELL

Program 1

  • June 22-July 3
  • Saint George’s Episcopal Church
  • 915 N. Oakland St.
  • Arlington, VA 22203
  • 9:00 am-3:00 pm

Program 2

  • August 3-14
  • Virginia Beach Christian Church
  • 2225 Rose Hall Dr.
  • Virginia Beach, VA 23454
  • 8:30 am-3:00 pm

Program 3

  • August 10-21
  • Ivy Farms Church of the Brethren
  • 681 Dresden Drive
  • Newport News, VA 23601
  • 9:00 am-3:00 pm

Program 4

  • July 20 -31
  • First Baptist Church
  • 2709 Monument Ave.
  • Richmond, VA 23220
  • 9:00 am-3:00 pm

This program is held Monday through Friday for two weeks. Programs are being held in Arlington, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Hampton. The tuition fee is $250 per student. Scholarships are available where paying tuition will cause a hardship to the family.
Transportation will be provided for students, if needed, to and from the program on a case-by-case basis. If your child will need transportation to and from the program, please contact us. A deposit
of $20 is due with the application to reserve a place for your child. The program will include: lunch and two snacks provided each day, daily activities,
tactile drawing, field trips (locations tbd), computer basics,
a parent seminar, and a graduation ceremony on the last day of each program; please plan to attend.

For more information please contact:

  • Nancy Yeager
  • Email: nancyyeager542@verizon.net
  • Phone: (703) 283-2524
  • 3800 Fairfax Drive, #1605
  • Arlington, Virginia 22203