Camps for VI
By: Carmen Willings
Updated November 10, 2015
Students can learn about different sports and leisure activities during a summer camp. Summer camps designed specifically for students who are blind or visually impaired can enhance students' recreation and leisure skills and provide them with the opportunity to learn basic skills they may have missed. Summer camps can also help build students' confidence by helping them learn new skills or to play games and sports played at school. These camps will provide students with the opportunity to be participants rather than observers.
Additionally, camps can provide respite to families as well as provide volunteer and contact hours for those who may be interested in working with students with special needs and particularly for those interested in entering the vision field. If your program is considering starting a summer camp or you are interested in locating camps for your students, the following links will help locate an existing camp or replicate an existing camp model.
Locating an Existing Camp
Each state's School for the Blind will typically offer summer camps or will know of available camps. Lions Clubs support camps so you can check with your local chapter for camps in your area. You will find a variety of camps that are day camps and overnight camps. Many of the programs will combine recreational or leisure activities with learning activities related to the expanded core curriculum.
AFB provides a list of many summer and day camps and after-school programs that are available in each state. It is based on information supplied by the individual or organization so camps that do not provide AFB with information are not listed.
Camp Abilities is a developmental sports camp for children who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind started by Lauren Lieberman. The camps focus on teaching children how to access sports and recreation and empower them to know what modifications to make so that they can do them at home. The camp began in Brockport, NY and has expanded into other states.
Cheri Larson has researched and completed a list of 101 Top Special Needs Groups. It is a listing of sites dedicated to special needs activities. This is a great list of websites that includes camps, music, dance, sports, special needs vacations, and other topics about students with special needs.
National Camps for the Blind and National Camps for Blind Children are affiliated with Christian Record Services. Inc. Camps are held at various locations across the United States and Canada. Staff and counselors are trained to meet the needs of persons who are blind and legally blind campers. Medical personnel is on duty 24 hours a day. Emergency care is available when needed. The camps are free to blind and legally blind persons. They offer both summer camps and winter camps.
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