Each class that participates in the program is provided with a curriculum kit ordered from the National Federation of the Blind. These kits contain reading material, Slate & Stylus workbooks, activities, and videos about blindness and the use of braille. Classrooms will receive this kit a month before the tour so that teachers and students learn and discuss what they will be experiencing when they visit our facility. Lighthouse program staff is available if teachers have questions or want to work with us in implementing the curriculum.
School tours give each student an opportunity to see a wide spectrum of people who are blind in a successful working environment. The tour includes a walking tour through our Machine Shop where blind adults make airplane parts, a presentation on writing and reading in braille, meeting someone who uses a guide dog, and meeting a DeafBlind employee who uses American Sign Language. Children have the opportunity to ask individuals who are blind all about their lives. Children use simulation goggles to temporarily experience what it might feel like to move around without the use of vision. Each child will go home with a card that spells out their name in braille. Teachers and students fill out feedback surveys after each tour. These surveys are then summarized and outcomes are measured against goals in order to maintain a program that is informative and participatory. An inspirational quote from Diana Chan of Maple Elementary, who visited the Lighthouse on a school tour, captures the excitement and impact of her experience: