Imagine a Future Full of Opportunity


Education Programs and Resources

Young boy and girl created a circuit out of a piece of fruit Boy in sleep shades changing the tire on an automobile Girl in red dress with TwinVision book

                 ...High expectations...innovative approaches

Education, one of the primary initiatives of the NFB Jernigan Institute, has always been a cornerstone of the work of the Federation and plays a critical role in the NFB Jernigan Institute. The NFB Jernigan Institute Education Program is built on a foundation of high expectations and positive attitudes about blindness. We address the concerns of parents, educators, and blind students by developing and disseminating innovative approaches to critical issues impacting the blind. By leveraging partnerships, technological innovations, and the collective knowledge and success of blind people across the country, the Institute's Education team provides innovation and leadership in stimulating a brighter future full of opportunities.

Learn more about the mission of NFB Jernigan Institute Education Programs

NFB Jernigan Institute Education Initiatives

National Center for Blind Youth in Science
Braille Literacy
Educational Outreach
Youth Outreach, Leadership, and Blindness Skills Training
Parent Outreach and Early Childhood Initiatives

National Center for Blind Youth in Science-STEM Initiatives and Programs The only national clearinghouse of information, resources, and programs to improve opportunities for the blind in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects and careers.  Partnerships with the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautic Space Administration, and other leading organizations help us to provide quality programs for blind youth. 

Junior Science Academy: This is a STEM program for children in grades three through six. The program offers hands-on experiences, tactile materials, and innovative nonvisual teaching methods. This academy offers corresponding parent workshops to provide parents/guardians with the tools and knowledge that they need to help their child succeed.

NFB Youth Slam: This bi-annual STEM program for high school students ages 14-18 strives to empower blind and low vision youth through hands-on activities and challenging experiences.  

Braille Literacy Braille Initiative to promote Braille literacy, the wide availability of high quality Braille materials, and general awareness about the importance of Braille in the lives of the blind.

Braille Certification Training Program: Learn about courses offered by the NFB Jernigan Institute in literary, mathematics, and music transcribing as well as literary and mathematics proofreading for Library of Congress certification.

NFB Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy: This is a two-week Braille intensive summer academy for low-vision students. Interested states can learn more about starting their own NFB BELL academy from the model led by the NFB Jernigan Institute. 

Braille Reading Pals Program: This program is a non-competitive early Braille literacy program for blind infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and older children. The goal of this program is to expose the family and the child to Braille and to encourage parents (or other responsible adults) to read aloud to or with their children a minimum of fifteen minutes a day during the program period.

Braille Is Beautiful: This innovative diversity awareness program for sighted children teaches sighted students how to read and write the Braille alphabet code and increases students' sensitivity to and understanding of blind persons.

Educational Outreach

Resources for Teachers of the Blind: From promising practices to tactile bulletin board ideas, learn how teachers of the blind can provide more meaningful experiences and learning opportuntites for blind and low vision students.

Braille Research Consortium: The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute is cosponsoring, with the National Center for Severe and Sensory Disabilities and the Bresnahan-Halstead Center on Disabilities, a conference on Research in Braille. This site is designed to help recruit interested individuals into the field of teaching blind students. Learn about other opportunities available for those new to the field.

Youth Outreach, Leadership, and Blindness Skills Training

NFB Leadership and Advocacy in Washington D.C. (LAW) Program: This exciting new program will make its debut in April of 2010. Students grades sixth through ninth will have the opportunity to experience Washington D.C. like never before. 

National Convention Youth Track: Each year at our national convention, the Jernigan Institute partners with the NFB's National Organization of Parents for Blind Children (NOPBC) to provide a variety of seminars and social activities designed to provide a more meaningful convention experience for blind youth. These activities help foster independence, raise expectations, and promote positive attitudes about blindness. The Institute also works with affiliates to plan youth tracks for their own state conventions.

Youth Outreach Seminars: Visits to the National Center for the Blind (NFB headquarters in Baltimore, MD) are customized to meet the needs of particular youth groups. Activities include confidence-building experiences, philosophical discussions, and workshops on transition goals and college preparation. 

Parent Outreach and Early Childhood Initiatives

National Organization for Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC): The NOPBC is a division of the National Federation of the Blind and serves as a voice and support to hundreds of parents across the country.

Beginnings and Blueprints Early Childhood Conference: How can you as a parent help build your child into the best individual they can be without a successful blueprint to follow?  Listen to topics from the May 2009 Beginnings and Blueprints Early Childhood Conference, and learn how great beginnings in the early years can lead to future success for your blind or low vision child.

Educational Resources

The Pop Up IEP--An online resource designed to assist parents in the IEP process.

National Braille Competency Test

NFB Listservs--A comprehensive list of NFB listservs related to educational, or parent content

For More Information

Join us in our mission! As we imagine and build a future full of opportunities through our Education Program, we welcome your input and support. For questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the NFB Jernigan Institute Education Program, contact: 410-659-9314.

Support our programs through the Imagination Fund!

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