NFB Early Childhood Initiative Program

(For blind and low-vision children ages birth through eight years old)

Featuring programs designed to provide children and their families support and guidance to master the skills needed to achieve independence for a lifetime. Each program provides families with valuable resources for promoting success for their young blind children.

Each NFB Early Childhood Initiative Program Includes:

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Braille Reading Pals Club

The NFB Braille Reading Pals Club Introduces young children and their families to literacy through Braille and fosters positive attitudes about Braille. The Braille Reading Pals club helps families promote early literacy skills, and a love of reading through shared reading of print/Braille books with their blind children.

Braille Reading Pals Club members will receive at no charge:

Early Explorers

The NFB Early Explorers program introduces young blind children and their families to the long white cane. Children will become more independent, confident, and curious travelers throughout life. Early Explorers provides parents strategies to teach their children beginning cane travel skills which allows them to learn the benefits of independent cane travel and the ability to play alongside their peers.

Early Explorers will receive at no charge:

A plush reading pal for the child A variety of articles pertaining to cane travel and independence from past issues of Future Reflections.
One print/Braille book upon application and once per year thereafter An informational DVD
Quarterly Braille activity sheets with print and Braille instructions Future Reflections, Special Issue: Cane Travel and Independence
Braille birthday cards for child participants A child-sized white cane, upon application to the NFB Free White Cane Program
Future Reflections, Special Issue: The Early Years A flyer for Independent Movement and Travel in Blind Children: A Promotion Model by Joe Cutter.

The NFB Braille Reading Pals Club and the NFB Early Explorers Program are sponsored by the NFB Jernigan Institute, the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults (AAF), and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), a division of the National Federation of the Blind.

We would welcome and enjoy your feedback on these two programs. Please let us know how the use of the cane and the early introduction to Braille is impacting you and your child's life. You can contact us at or by telephone at 410-659-9314, extension 2287.

Sign up for the NFB Early Childhood Initiative Programs here!