BELL Academy

BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy & Learning ) Academy


Attend NFB BELL® Academy In-Home Edition!


The National Federation of the Blind is offering three virtual programs of the NFB BELL Academy this summer to prepare blind and low-vision children to grow into confident and independent blind people by enhancing their education. Options are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students.


Take advantage of this opportunity for your child to connect with blind role models and more by applying for one of the following sessions:

  • Session 1 – June 7-18, 2021
  • Session 2 – July 19-30, 2021
  • Session 3 – August 9-20, 2021


Each registered student will receive the materials to complete all lessons alongside their parent/guardian via mail. Each day during the two-week session, there will be two opportunities to connect via web or phone with an experienced teacher. This gives students and families the chance to ask questions and get to know each other.


Limited space available. Learn more and register now at


NFB Code of Conduct


The National Federation of the Blind Code of Conduct will apply to our gatherings during the BELL® Academy.


2019 BELL Academy

The National Federation of the Blind recently wrapped up the 2019 Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy. We conducted programs in Chicago and Springfield. This was a great opportunity for Braille skills to be addressed in a fun and new environment.

We would like to thank all of the parents, teachers, volunteers and kids who participated for making this years program a hit! Read our Newsletters to find out more about how the program went. To read the newsletters, please visit the BELL® Academy Newsletters page.

hear from one of our BELL parents

Dear BELL Contributor,

Thank you so much for your support of the BELL program. This was the third year we attended with our daughter, who is completely blind, and every year we take away something new to be better parents and teachers to her. We are so fortunate to be able to participate in this amazing program and learn first hand about new technology, preparing for college, getting a guide dog, and so much other invaluable information from sources we normally wouldnt have access too. Every year our family looks forward to returning and seeing the mentors and friends we’ve made over the years during this journey. Thank you again for all you do and for giving us this wonderful opportunity.

Ash-lee and Family

Thomas Howe’s BELL speech given during 2019 NFBI State Convention

Hello, my name is Thomas. I am a sixth grader and I am visually impaired, I have a rare disease called Retinoschisis. It’s a macular degenerative disease.

This is my third year attending the WONDERFUL Bell Academy. I have really enjoyed it every year I come. I always learn lots of new things (Braille/O&M). It teaches unfamiliar ideas to me and I love it! I really do love to learn.

Bell has given me the confidence to show others how much I enjoy learning (Braille and Print). My favorite part of Bell has always been the blindfolded activities. I also love the field trips we do every year. Of course! Without Bell I would not be as confident with my cane, braille, and street crossing skills. Bell Academy has helped me achieve goals in braille and discover new things about myself, I didn’t even realize. And make new, great friends.

Thank you Ms. Amy and Ms. Lauren for continuing this extremely fantastic program, and all the excellent, dedicated volunteer mentors, Mr. Bill, Katie, Sara, and Alyssa. You guys have made things possible that I didn’t know were options.

Additional Information

To learn more about the NFB of Illinois BELL® Academies, visit the BELL Academy website. Or please contact Deborah Kent Stein, our state BELL Academy coordinator, at 773-203-1394 or