Each local school system has a vision program to assist blind and visually impaired students to receive instruction along with their sighted peers. Most vision programs will provide services to students from infancy through high school graduation or through age 21. Contact your local school system to obtain specific information about how to access the district’s vision services. Parents who need advocacy assistance, in obtaining appropriate services for your child should consult Know Your Rights, Education and For Parents. Parents may also wish to contact Joshua Irzyk who is the vision expert at the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education, JIrzyk@msde.state.md.us.
The Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) is a private, non-profit school housed on a 95-acre campus in the Parkville area of Baltimore. It is the only residential and day school in Maryland for students who are blind or visually impaired. Students must be referred by their local school district. They attend tuition-free. Criterion for referral is a visual impairment which, even with correction, adversely affects educational functioning. Ninety percent of MSB students have multiple disabilities in addition to blindness or visual impairment. The school provides services for individuals from birth through age 21. Students participate in vocational rehabilitation services while transitioning from MSB to the community and employment. Independent Living services include:
On campus student career experiences include:
American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults 200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 Phone: (410) 659-9315 Web site: www.actionfund.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The American Action Fund has an extensive library of braille books for children and adults. In addition to the library, the American Action Fund offers a program of free Braille books for children to keep. The AAF started this program to provide blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children’s reading series. These titles are the same as those that are available in bookstores and public libraries everywhere. Go to the American Action Fund web site to obtain an application for these programs.
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206
In partnership with the Dollywood Foundation, APH distributes selected audio and print/braille books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for children up to 6 years of age. APH also sells a series of tactile illustrated books to support early literacy. In addition, APH creates and sells a wide variety of supplies and devices useful in the education of blind children.
Future Aids: The Braille Superstore
(A Division of MarvelSoft Enterprises, Inc.)
33222 Lynn Ave., Abbotsford, BC V2S 1C9 Canada
Sells a wide variety of books for children and adults of all ages.
Beulah Reimer Legacy (BRL) sells print/Braille children's picture books and flash cards at an affordable cost. BRL's mission is to increase Braille literacy and reading opportunities by placing braille in the hands of eager readers. All of our books are Brailled in grade 2 contracted braille. Shipping and handling is free.
Producer of Braille books for children and adults on a wide range of topics. Parents can subscribe to a children's book club and receive 12 books per year for a nominal fee.
Braille books are provided at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. Titles cover fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Some books are produced in both print and Braille, and uncontracted Braille. If your child is visually-impaired, 21 or under, and living in the US or Canada, he/she is eligible to receive two free braille books each calendar year through the Seedlings Book Angels Program. Check the website for details.
Overnight sports camping program, held in August, for blind and visually impaired children ages 9-17. Opportunities for young campers and for mentors/volunteers.
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 1011, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Camp Lighthouse is a one-week day camp held for children between the ages of 6 and 12 and includes games, recreation, arts and crafts, braille activities, field trips, and special guests.
BISM offers two dynamic multi-week programs: Independence 101, for grades 5-8, and Work to Independence, for high school students.
Maryland School for the Blind
3501 Taylor Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21236
The Maryland School for the Blind offers several summer camps and programs for students ages 7 to 21 on its campus and at other locations throughout the state. Programs vary from year to year, and are designed to develop social, physical, academic, and daily living skills in students with a range of abilities.
The National Federation of the Blind operates three model rehabilitation centers which offer training programs for children and youth:
BLIND, Incorporated (Blindness: Learning in New Dimensions, Inc.)
100 East 22nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Colorado Center for the Blind
2233 West Shepperd Ave., Littleton, CO 80120
Louisiana Center for the Blind
101 South Trenton Street, Ruston, LA 71270
National Center for Blind Youth in Science
Driving innovation in education and employment related to the blind in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related careers. Serves as a national clearinghouse of resources and expertise related to nonvisual exploration. Resources and programs for parents and students.
3000 Kent Ave. West Lafayette, IN 47906
Sells the Talking LabQuest, which provides a way to convert information from more than 70 types of sensors into speech, an audible graph, and other formats for analysis. Assists schools in making their science programs accessible to blind students.
This web page, part of the National Center for Blind Youth in Science, contains highlights from the archives of the NFB's Blind Math listserv. Students, parents, and blind professionals have exchanged tips and strategies in a range of subjects, including calculators, geometry, graphing, iOS, LaTex, blind mathematicians, Nemeth, statistics, student issues, tools, and transcription.
The I.C.A.N. Foundation was established in 2005 to help Maryland's blind and visually impaired children be equal with their sighted peers. We achieve this by offsetting the costs associated with the assistive technology, camps, and training programs they need to succeed in school and in daily life. We are a non-profit fund of The Community Foundation of Carroll County, Inc.