[nFBMI-Talk] NFB Michigan BELL Summer Program: Literacy Made Fun For Your Blind Child

Kane Brolin kbrolin65 at gmail.com
Fri May 4 15:39:06 UTC 2018

Hello, everybody.

I've heard it said that in today's integrated school environment, it
is often hard to give blind or visually impaired boys and
girls--especially the youngest ones--the quantity and quality of
specialized attention they need most. In particular, consistent
Braille instruction can be difficult to provide if the school district
your child is in, does not actively support his right to learn and use
Braille. And, by the way, what about that recurrent stereotype
that Braille is to be avoided if at all possible, because we don't
want the blind kid to "look different" and to be isolated from the
social networks her peers are forming?

There is a solution to all that: the BELL Academy summer
program--Braille Enrichment for Learning and Literacy--is being
conducted in many locations across the United States and operated by
the National Federation of the Blind.

Do you know of a boy or girl between the ages of 4 and 12 who would
benefit from a week-long, concentrated opportunity to explore the
world with others? How about an environment where Braille and other
blindness skills are fun and cool? In 2017, Federationist volunteers
ran 45 BELL Academy summer programs nationwide, serving more than 325
youngsters. This is blind adults helping blind boys and girls to
build up their literacy and their confidence as they learn at a tender
age that it is respectable to be blind.

I know this message is going to many in the State of Indiana.  But you
 aren't compelled to send your child only to that BELL Academy program
which is offered in your state.  And you don't have to limit that
child to just one.  The Michigan BELL Academy summer program is
occurring only about an hour away from the Michiana region--in
Kalamazoo, for eight days: Sunday, July 22 through Sunday, July 29.
Registration cost for the whole Michigan program is $50. While lunch
is provided each day, the parent or guardian of each BELL participant
is responsible for transportation,
lodging, and meals other than lunch during that week. The deadline for
registration is June 1, 2018.

To learn about BELL Academy in general, and to understand the
philosophy behind it, please visit https://nfb.org/bell-academy, or
refer to the BELL Academy brochure attached to this message.  Or you
can get questions answered in a confidential, 1:1 format by just
reaching out to the Michigan coordinator Haley Dare: (269)779-2216 or
parents at nfbmi.org. .

To register a student for BELL, please visit

Don't have any specific children in mind? BELL Academy programs, and
the families who would participate, could always use our financial
sponsorship and volunteer time.  Summer should always be special for
kids. Make the summer of 2018 truly magical for blind boys or girls in
your life by signing them up for,and enabling their participation in,
BELL Academy for Michigan.


Kane Brolin, President
Michiana Chapter, National Federation of the Blind
(574)386-8868 (mobile)
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