Braille Institute shows off new reimagined library for blind, visually impaired families

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Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Braille Institute shows off new library for blind, visually impaired
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Braille Institute Los Angeles showed off its reimagined library that features a new sensory wall, mural, recording room and more: "It's just so creatively and thoughtfully made."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Educational resources can be a challenge for families with children who are blind or visually impaired, but that's where the Braille Institute Los Angeles Center comes in.

The nonprofit works to transform the lives of those with vision loss, bringing families together, much like the Alvarados.

"These events are very, very, very important for us because it's just so nice to be able to make community connections with other families that are going through similar things," said Ellie Alvardo, a mom who recently spent time exploring the Braille Institute.

Ellie and her husband are both blind and two of their four children are visually impaired.

It's why they love the Braille Institute's new library services, which include a hands-on sensory wall that features the Los Angeles cityscape.

"It's just so creatively and thoughtfully made and it's nice to be able to have a piece of accessible art that anyone can enjoy," said Ellie.

The center's recent family day event also featured a coding workshop and musical storytelling, which all focused on sensory efficiency.

"You think of people with visual impairments, you think, how can they experience art?" Here at Braille Institute, we really have a tactile art interactive sensory wall which really focuses on the other senses," said Braille Institute Vice President Sergio Oliva.

There's also a special recording room to get children more in tune with sounds.

"Soon, we're going to be teaching youth and children with visual impairments on how to actually run their own podcasts, how to really utilize digital skills that can help you land employment as an adult," said Oliva.

It'll be important moving into the future.

The Braille Institute said there will be 7.2 million Americans with visual impairments by 2030. The Alvarado family said they appreciates having more ways to experience life.

"A lot of times, when you're blind, you go to an art museum and it's all like visual paintings so it's just very amazing to have some tactile accessible art," said Ellie.

For more information, visit the Braille Institute's website.