DCPS Continues a Valuable Partnership with the National Federation of the Blind 

January 19, 2011

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Every year, the National Federation of the Blind-DC, East Capital Chapter hosts events and organizes activities for the District of Columbia Public Schools and its visually impaired and blind students. 

The mission of NFB is to advocate for the blind, and NFB-DC Vice-President and East Capital Chapter President Joie Stuart says that this especially holds true when it comes to students.

“Not only does our chapter work with the students, but it has been our mission to put on events that will help them,” she said.

The NFB has a youth division where students serve as officers and have the opportunity to learn advocacy and leadership skills, as well as have a place to go when they need support. There also is a life skills program for students to learn independent living skills, such as how to cook, budget and balance a checkbook, and use public transportation.

The NFB also plans fun events for the students to attend. In December, the NFB threw a holiday party, where 25 students played trivia games, listened and danced to music, and sang holiday songs using music sheets printed in Braille and large print.

During the party, students were asked to stand in front of the microphone, introduce themselves and talk about what they like to do during the holiday. Ms. Stuart said she asks the students to stand up and talk in front of everyone in the room because she wants the students to be comfortable with public speaking.

Of course, the students also enjoyed themselves during the event. There were prizes for students who won trivia contests and made the honor roll for the semester, and an elementary student who recently mastered reading in Braille spent the majority of the party proudly reading all the songs that had been printed in Braille. Santa and his helpers also made an appearance, presenting each student with a gift.

“We get to bring the kids together because some are isolated,” said Ms. Stuart. “This party is an opportunity for them all to get together.”

There also will be another celebration hosted by NFB in honor of Black History Month. On February 7, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., students will have the opportunity to this meet and hear the life and career stories of black men and women who are blind and visually impaired in the DC region. For more information about this event, please contact Norma Villanueva, (202) 270-5403.

You can visit the NFB website to learn more about their mission and work.

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