This evening about 24 members, friends and volunteers of the CVI Braille Club will be traveling to Washington, DC. We will be traveling for a tour of the Library of Congress and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The Braille Club is about two years old, and I shared about it in a blog post on Louis Braille’s birthday. We’re going to Washington in order to trigger excitement in our braille users, just as we did when we visited The American Printing House in Louisville, Kentucky two years ago. Also, new braille users need to understand what goes into making information accessible so that the blind can read independently.
Touring the Library and learning the history of its services to the blind/visually impaired patrons firsthand should prove to be interesting and informative. NLS is the headquarters out of which books, magazines, and music are selected, then produced in accessible format and distributed across the nation “So That The Blind May Read”.
Additionally, we will be staying in Baltimore at the National Federation of the Blind’s Center and touring that as well. While visiting Baltimore and Washington, the plan is to hit some of the highlight such as the River Front and join a local group of visually impaired persons at the Front Page Restaurant on Friday night for dinner.
In order to prepare, The Braille Club was knee deep in raising funds for several months for our tour. Through our fundraising efforts we collected over $2,500, which mostly came from our Thursday Brown Bag Lunches. The most fun activity was these lunches, which were prepared and sold by our mentor/mentee matches, (two pairs per week). They would work together and plan, purchase, prepare and serve lunches for the cost of $8.00. The lunch selections were not only interesting, but tasty as well. They would range from hotdogs, to red beans and rice, tacos, nachos, and the like. In addition to the Brown Bag activity, other fundraisers have consisted of braille production, dinner at the Midtown Grill, a great Tupperware party and donations.
Members have worked hard to prepare for this trip. We are all geared up and ready to go. So wish us well!