The Nebraska Center for the Blind is NCBVI’s blindness rehabilitation center, located in Lincoln, NE. People who are new to vision loss, as well as blind and low vision people who may not have received sufficient instruction in the past, attend the Center for six to nine months to learn the skills necessary to live independently and meet their education and employment goals.
Staff at the center employ the Structured Discovery methodology of blindness rehabilitation. This methodology prioritizes independent problem solving and transferrable skills. Instead of learning fixed routes to travel to specific places in the community, students learn self-orientation strategies and problem solving that allow them to travel safely and confidently in both familiar and unfamiliar environments. Students with some residual vision also learn skills non-visually so that they can make informed decisions about when their vision really is useful and when it would be more efficient and safe to cook or navigate or use technology non-visually. This also ensures that, if students lose more vision, they will have the skills they need to continue living independently.
All NCB students take the following classes:
- Home Management: In Home Management, students learn how to select recipes, plan meals, shop for groceries, and label and organize food and household items. Students develop alternative techniques for cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and doing laundry.
- Technology: In Technology, students learn to use the keyboard non-visually to navigate programs without using a mouse. Using screen reading software, students gain experience with word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, Internet browsing, and social media. They also learn to use smartphones, tablets, and useful apps.
- Travel: In Travel, students learn to use the long white cane to travel confidently and independently in their communities, across the country, and around the world. Students learn to cross busy streets, use public transportation, navigate in large crowds, and use environmental information and cues to orient themselves to familiar and unfamiliar environments.
- Braille: In Braille class, students learn to read and write effectively using the Braille code. This allows them to take notes, label items, organize appointments and schedules, and maintain records and files. Many students also enjoy using portable electronic Braille displays to read books, edit documents, use email, and surf the Internet.
- Shop: In shop class, students learn alternative skills for operating power tools and equipment found in a typical woodworking shop. Non-visual techniques are used to design and build a project. Students also learn essential home maintenance and repair skills. Woodshop helps students build confidence as they learn that blindness need not be a barrier to learning new skills, including skills that many people might assume would be impossible for a person who is blind.
During Center training, students live in apartments in downtown Lincoln, which provides opportunities for incorporating the non-visual skills they’ve learned into everyday life. Students take the city bus independently to get to and from the Center each day.
In addition to skills training, students participate in weekly seminars promoting personal growth and a positive understanding of blindness. Students also explore possible career choices, learn how to write resumes and cover letters, and practice and refine their interviewing and employment-related skills.
The Nebraska Center for the Blind follows the NBPCB Code of Conduct.
To learn more about our program, please contact:
Jessica Bartenbach, Nebraska Center for the Blind Supervisor
Phone: (402) 219-3739