Maryland School for the Blind opens campus for its 1st annual See Beyond Festival – Baltimore Sun

The Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) hosted its 1st annual See Beyond Festival on Saturday the place members of the group acquired to attach with the blind expertise. The aim was to indicate the general public that low imaginative and prescient and blindness are variations, however not obstacles to residing an entire life, the varsity mentioned in a information launch.

“People a lot of times will look at you with a cane or stare, and they have questions they want to ask,” mentioned Faithful Reed, a pupil at MSB. “For them to come on here and see how we live and get educated is nice.”

The free occasion was open to the general public and featured stay music, video games, sensory arts and crafts, a child’s zone and a maker’s market with 50 distributors.

Sports was a method the pageant tried to teach members in regards to the blind expertise. People performed soccer and baseball, in addition to ran the monitor with eye shades on, which blinds the members who usually are not visually impaired. The aim is for individuals to expertise obstacles blind individuals cope with commonly whereas enjoying sports activities, mentioned Timothy Taylor, MSB’s soccer coach.

“Seeing the athletes succeed, whether it is very small or large, because for them large success could be to kick the soccer ball in the goal,” Taylor mentioned. “For us, it might not be that big of a deal, but for them, who might have never seen a soccer ball their entire life, to come out and kick that ball is something positive to see.”

During the earlier 12 months, MSB has had different occasions just like the blind soccer camp, however in contrast to the earlier occasions, this pageant was particularly made to have the general public expertise how the scholars stay and be taught, Taylor mentioned.

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The occasion took over a 12 months of planning with its 125 volunteers and MSB’s improvement division, mentioned Josh Irzyk, director of schooling for MSB.

“This gives everyone the opportunity to get out in the public and learn about us,” Irzyk mentioned. “I believe everyone deserves the chance to learn about us.”

MSB is a non-public, statewide useful resource heart based in 1853 that gives outreach, instructional and residential applications to youth from infancy to age 21 who’re blind or have low imaginative and prescient, together with these with a number of disabilities. The college serves about 1,300 college students yearly from all 24 Maryland jurisdictions by means of on-campus and outreach applications, in accordance with a information launch.

“This school gave me the foundation that I needed to be successful,” mentioned Lou Smith, a MSB alumnus. “The school gave me the foundation to function as a blind person, like knowing about Braille, independent living skills, music and other things.”

The college stands out as a result of it provides blind college students a lot wanted entry to instructional sources, Reed mentioned. For instance, MSB affords know-how programs that teaches blind college students how you can use phrase processing and spreadsheets, in addition to teaches college students how you can set timers, make schedules, ship e-mail and search the online, mentioned Travis Lawrence, a know-how instructor of MSB.

“The big part of it is access,” Lawrence mentioned. “It helps the public see anything is possible for the blind or impaired.”

MSB plans to convey the See Beyond Festival again subsequent 12 months, and MSB has a monitor meet on campus on May 10 that’s open to the general public. For extra info on MSB, go to

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