The Braille Institute was founded over 100 years ago in 1919 by accidental gunshot survivor J. Robert Atkinson. Left blind by his injuries he went on to learn Braille, publish a braille magazine and distribute braille works through the National Library Service. He began what we know as the Braille Institute. Today the Braille Institute has locations across California, mobile formats, and virtual services. The Braille Institute works tirelessly to provide the visually impaired and blind with free resources, workshops and events.
Braille Institute’s Youth Services Program provides services to youth by way of workshops. The participants are primarily youth of color and are from low-income areas. Their goals for 2022 were to serve 44 students and upgrade their library to accommodate the new need for remote learning. In addition to their goals of increasing access to their invaluable resources, they hosted a virtual support group for families. The Braille Institute also made a remarkable impact with their “I’m Going to College” days, where blind and visually impaired youth got to explore their options when it came to being successful in higher education. This program was remarkable because it unlocked new opportunities for youth.
During COVID-19, Braille was forced to deliver programming on a remote basis. This increased the need for services and capacity. Through our grant the Braille Institute was able to expand their youth services:
“[L.L. Foundation for Youth’s] generous $100,000 grant allowed us to think inspirationally and grow the scope and number of our activities for the year. We were able to promote our Youth Assistant to Youth Specialist/Instructor and hire a new Youth Assistant in her place while adding more hours to the position.”
In addition to this, L.L. Foundation for Youth provided funds to support the renovations and additions to the Braille Institute Library.
L.L. Foundation for Youth is proud to be part of the Braille Institute and grateful for the opportunity to support such a rich, life-enhancing programs.