Free Technology and Summer Camps Available for Blind or Low-vision Children in NC

IFB’s SEE (Student Enrichment Experience) Summer Camp, after-school experiences and Focus on Literacy program are designed specifically for children who are blind or low-vision


Published:

Low Vision Associate Grant Weathers shows off a CCTV

Photos courtesy of IFB Solutions

According to Prevent Blindness North Carolina, more than 25,000 preschoolers and close to 350,000 school-age children have visual problems. One of these children includes Aiden Bradley, age 7, who was born with vision challenges and whose family struggled for many years to find resources that would help make the most of what vision he did have.

“It was very frustrating for me as a parent not to be able to immediately connect him with the services he needed,” says Aiden’s mom, Amanda. “We saw countless specialists before we finally found our answer at the Community Low Vision Center.”

The Community Low Vision Center is operated by nonprofit IFB Solutions, the largest employer of people who are blind in the country. IFB has three centers in North Carolina — Winston-Salem, Durham and Asheville — as well as a Mobile Vision Clinic, which travels across the state bringing IFB’s low-vision expertise directly into the community. Each Community Low Vision Center is staffed by associates who are low-vision themselves and bring a wealth of personal experience in emerging assistive technologies and everyday solutions, such as talking watches and large-print books. The centers serve all ages — from young children to older adults.

Center visitor Khloe writes using assistive technologyWhile at the Community Low Vision Center, Aiden and his mom learned about IFB’s SEE (Student Enrichment Experience) Summer Camp and After-School experiences, designed specifically for children who are blind or low vision, and IFB’s Focus on Literacy program. Focus on Literacy pairs school-age children with assistive devices to use at home to complete school assignments and foster a love of reading. Both the SEE Summer Camps and Focus on Literacy are completely free thanks to generous donations and grants to IFB. Each year 150 children participate in the SEE experiences and over 150 families, like Aiden’s, receive assistive technology through Focus on Literacy.

“Both the SEE experiences and Focus on Literacy support IFB’s mission of providing opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired so they can succeed in every area of life,” says Barbara Soderlund, IFB’s Low Vision Services Manager.

In Aiden’s case, Focus on Literacy has energized a love of school and learning. “Aiden is an entirely different kid who now likes to go to school because he has the confidence that he can be successful,” his mom says. “Since receiving the technology, he’s moved up two reading groups and is excelling at math. It’s truly been amazing.”

If you have a child who has been diagnosed as low vision and would like to learn about the Focus on Literacy program and the SEE experiences, visit ifbsolutions.org or communitylowvision.org, or contact the Durham Community Low Vision Center at 919-973-0763.

 

IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to more than 40 office supply stores and optical centers across the country. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible the Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark., and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse based in Winston-Salem. www.ifbsolutions.org

 

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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
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View map »

More information

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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Cost: $13/members and $18/nonmembers. Free for ages 6 and younger

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2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
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View map »


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Website »

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Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

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Raleigh Little Theatre
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View map »


Website »

More information

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View map »


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Telephone: 919-387-4342
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Website »

More information

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Cost: $25 and up

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Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Contact Name: Bethany Fager
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Sponsor: Durham Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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The Raleigh Boychoir will reach new heights as our choristers and community present Dr. Tim Sharp’s “High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass.” Welcoming area boys to perform in...

Cost: Free

Where:
First Baptist Church
99 N Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Raleigh Boychoir
Telephone: 919-881-9259
Contact Name: Erin O'Hara
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Ziggy is a shy boy who would rather stay at home and watch television than explore the island of Jamaica. Over the course of his onstage journey, with some help from his friend Nansi, he...

Cost: $18/adult, $12 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Participants develop their naturalist skills and understanding of local nature. Ages 5-8 with parent. Register online. Choose course #121675.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Celtic Woman celebrates Ireland's rich musical and cultural heritage, while continuing its remarkable legacy of introducing some of Ireland's most talented singers and musicians onto the...

Cost: $43 and up

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist...

Cost: $25 and up

Where:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Shop for gently used kids' clothing, toys, furniture, baby equipment and more. See the website for shopping hours.

Cost: Free

Where:
Hayes Barton Baptist Church
1800 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.