Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation (NBCF) is hosting an open house event on Monday, Aug. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. to introduce its new Learning Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, the first of its kind in the state. The event will give attendees an opportunity to experience some of what visually impaired youth live with every day (Pictured: Kristlynn, 10, and Aarmoni, 12, are all hugs and smiles).
Nevada is one of seven states that does not have a school for the blind. With the new Learning Center, NBCF is taking the first step to close that gap in the services offered for children with visual impairments. Since 2006, NBCF has been the only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to improving the lives of children, age birth to 22 years, who are visually impaired or blind.
The Learning Center will offer a variety of education, adaptive recreation, employment and life skills training programs. These include: afterschool homework help, one-to-one tutoring for blind specific skills such as Braille literacy, abacus, orientation and mobility, and assistive technology; three competitive Lego Robotics Teams; life skills classes; and adaptive sports and recreation such as beep baseball and tandem biking. NBCF has plans to quickly expand its services, opening a sighted peer preschool by the fall of 2019. Located in Henderson, the new 12,000-square-foot Learning Center is ideally situated in a safe, residential neighborhood near the I-215 and Valley Verde Drive, close to parks, bus routes, shopping, and bike paths.
“As with sighted individuals, there is a direct correlation between education, employment, and independence; but unfortunately for blind and visually impaired individuals in Nevada, we’re failing on all fronts. Just 37 percent of blind and visually impaired working age adults, age 21-64, have a high school diploma. Of that same demographic, just 36.6 percent have a full-time job,” said NBCF Executive Director Emily Smith. “Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation has three simple goals: Educate. Employ. Empower. We’re working to change the future for our kids by providing a comprehensive and consistent support structure – bringing together each child’s support team (parents, doctors, teachers, therapists), removing obstacles to their success, and empowering them with every resource our organization and our community has to offer to help each child reach his/her full potential. Our new Learning Center provides the foundation from which all of this will happen, and we’re excited to open up this opportunity for these underserved kids.”
A ceremonial ribbon-cutting with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce will take place at 5 p.m. followed by interactive tours of the Learning Center provided by NBCF Student Ambassadors. Guests will be treated to experiential learning opportunities where they can “see” things from the visually impaired students’ perspective through hands-on activities located throughout the Center. Light refreshments will be served courtesy of Ventano Italian Grill and Ethel M Chocolates. The NBCF Learning Center is located at 95 S. Arroyo Grande Blvd.
To learn more about Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation, visit nvblindchildren.org or call (702) 735-6223.