CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – For the third year in a row, the Clarksville Transit System participated in the NFB BELL Academy, a National Federation of the Blind program that helps blind and low-vision children to be more confident and independent.
Last Friday, on the final day of the weeklong camp hosted at Austin Peay State University, CTS staff trained more than 15 academy participants on how to navigate the transit system.
“Our travel training gives people the opportunity to learn about how transit works,” said Paul Nelson, CTS transportation manager.
The training session, at the Governor's Terrace North parking lot at APSU, covered all the essential steps for using public transportation. Topics included waiting at a bus stop, how to read a schedule and recognize and choose the correct bus and route, how to pay a fare, and how to speak to the bus driver. CTS staff also explained how to use reserved seating for disabled people, how to signal for a stop, and how to request to use the chair lift.
Nelson said the training is important for BELL Academy students because many of them will be transit dependent for life.
“It helps people overcome barriers to public transportation by removing some of the unknowns, and giving people an understanding of how a trip on public transportation unfolds,” Nelson said.
The NFB BELL Academy, which stands for Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning, is a nationwide summer program for children 4-12.
Clarksville participants received daily Braille instruction, orientation mobility lessons, and expanded core curriculum activities. The camp also included arts and crafts, sports and recreational activities and community field trips. Breakfast and lunch were donated by Manna Café and dinner meals were prepared by campers.
For more on the NFB BELL Academy camp in Tennessee, visit https://www.nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy/tennessee.
Paul Nelson, Clarksville Transit System transportation manager, explains to a girl how to navigate the transit system during the BELL Academy, a National Federation of the Blind program hosted June 3-7 at APSU. More than 15 participants with varying degrees of vision loss received training on how to navigate the transit system as part of the camp, which included arts and crafts, sports and recreational activities, community field trips, and other fun activities. (CTS Photo)
More than 15 participants with varying degrees of vision loss received training on how to navigate the Clarksville Transit System June 7, 2019, as part of a five-day nationwide summer program at APSU hosted by the National Federation of the Blind. The BELL Academy prepares blind and low-vision children, ages 4-12, to grow into confident and independent blind people who live the lives they want. Clarksville participants received daily Braille instruction, orientation mobility lessons taught by CTS employees, and expanded core curriculum activities. (CTS Photo)