The Braille Institute is pleased to offer more than 110 courses this spring/summer 2021 that are available for free to anyone (worldwide) who is blind or visually impaired. During the coronavirus pandemic, many of those with disabilities have felt especially isolated and have found it difficult to socialize and connect with others. Individuals who are blind or have limited vision and utilize tactile cues, such as touch, have found it particularly challenging.
“We are thrilled to offer courses in technology, cooking, art, music, exercise and even peer support groups for anyone who is visually impaired. Individuals can call-in to classes from their home using a computer, smartphone or even a traditional phone,” said Lisa Jimenez, Vice President of Programs and Services. Presently, more than 1,500 people are participating in classes and workshops remotely from all over the U.S. and even from as far away as England and Australia.
Classes and workshops are “live classes” allowing for students to speak with the instructor and socialize with fellow classmates. For certain classes, activity kits are mailed to students in advance so they can work on specific skills to keep them active and independent. Ron P., a Braille Institute student from San Diego, has been attending remote classes for more than a year. He shared, “I really enjoy the online experience. For me it has probably been as good as face to face. All the instructors have been wonderful. It has been a huge help to me especially during the pandemic.”
Class offerings range from mindful courses such as Laughing Yoga, to technology classes on helpful apps like Instacart for grocery delivery, to outside speakers discussing timely topics like COVID-19 scams. Select classes and workshops are also offered in Spanish.
This spring/summer semester runs from May 3 to August 13, 2021. Participants can join anytime throughout the semester. Call 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553) to receive a free class catalog or visit brailleinstitute.org/classes-events for a full listing of available workshops.
Check out what Braille Institute students have to say about their online class experience:
- Karen B. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdi-tgRgHSc
- Nelly E. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKVKehglphM
Here are other AmeriDisability articles that may interest you:
- Singer Terri Gibbs Always Had a Clear Vision for Music Despite Blindness
- Innovative Electronic Glasses Help the Visually-Impaired See Clearly
- The Beautiful Artistic Vision of a Blind Artist
- Ask the Expert: Vision Health as You Age
Photos/videos courtesy of the Braille Institute.