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Braille Institute Offers Free Virtual Fall Classes and Workshops for People Living with Vision Loss

Online classes provide important techniques for daily living, technology use and well-being

Braille Institute Coachella Valley announced enrollment is now open for nearly 32 free Fall Session classes offered virtually to its students. Although the physical classrooms are temporarily closed due to the COVID -19 pandemic, Braille Institute instructors will bring classes, workshops, and one-on-one training to Braille students in the comfort and safety of their own homes through the Microsoft Teams platform, enabling group distance learning using computers, tablets, mobile devices and in some cases, landlines. Free 90-minute classes taught by instructors cover a wide range of topics, including “Make Technology Work for You,” “Cooking Without Looking,” “Fall Prevention,” and “Understanding Vision Loss.” Virtual one-on-one sessions are available on topics including Technology Training, Youth Programs, Orientation and Mobility, and Low Vision. Courses begin September 8 and registration is open now at BrailleInstitute.org/coachellavalley ; or by calling 1-800-BRAILLE (272-4553)

This Fall, students can participate in virtual classes hosted by the Braille Institute Coachella Valley center that deal with life skills (including “Personal Management and Sensory Awareness” and “Daily Living Skills”), cooking (“Meals in a Mug”), staying active (“Be Moved”), and support groups that help students move forward in a life with diminished vision. Fall workshops include sessions dealing with how to use food delivery services, how to prepare easy, no-bake food for the holidays, Diabetic Retinopathy, household lighting tips to help maintain home safety, and how to utilize community resources, including transportation options, rideshare services, and voting accessibility. All classes and workshops are free, and several are offered in Spanish.

The benefit of virtual classes is Braille Institute students can participate in many other workshops offered by any of the seven Braille Institute centers throughout Southern California. These workshops will provide tips on technology-related skills such as accessing free books and magazines offered in Braille and audio formats, email, iPhone/IPad accessibility, how to modify computer screens for better visibility, and options for voice-activated technology products. Other helpful workshop topics include Understanding Vision Loss, Navigating Your Medicine Cabinet, Human Guide Training, Fall Prevention, and many more.

While most students are adults, Braille Institute also offers youth programs for kids, teens, and young adults. Educators, medical professionals and trained consultants also provide special child development instruction for parents of visually impaired children to provide insights on how to better develop motor skills, and increase language and cognition skills through play.

Braille Institute has been serving the Coachella Valley community since 1973 by offering free programs and services to those who are blind or visually impaired. The need for services for visually impaired people is expected to double in the US to 8 million.

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