If you have a blind or visually-impaired child, I highly recommend checking out the Hadley School for the Blind’s Family Education Program. The courses in the program are free for the family members of B/VI people, and they’re offered by correspondence, which is uber-convenient.
As they explain on their Web site,
The mission of The Hadley School for the Blind is to promote independent living through lifelong, distance education programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, their families and blindness service providers.
Founded in 1920 by William Hadley and Dr. E.V.L. Brown, Hadley offers courses free of charge to its blind and visually impaired students and their families and affordable tuition courses to blindness professionals. Today, Hadley is the largest educator of people who are blind or visually impaired around the world, serving more than 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and 100 countries. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille. The school relies on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its programs.
Hadley has a course for you if you are:
- A blind or visually impaired individual 14+ years of age
- A relative of a blind or visually impaired child
- A family member of a blind or visually impaired adult
- A professional in the blindness field
I’ve been taking Introduction to Braille through Hadley; in addition to an excellent instructor, they provided a stylus, slate and eraser; mailing labels; and the textbook and handouts. My instructor gives me feedback, returns my homework and passes on handouts and other ideas. I’ve been able to learn braille and become a better advocate for my son, and it’s cost me nothing but time and a few dollars to purchase notecards and brailleable card stock.
They have Family Education courses on a variety of topics, ranging from braille to social skills to advocacy for your child; some courses can be completed entirely online. You can learn more about the Family Education program here: http://www.hadley.edu/2_d_FE.asp