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Braille and Access Technology for Students (BATS) Initiative

Because of COVID-19, the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia was unable to offer a Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy this year in the state of West Virginia. However, we have good news!!!!

What We Offer This Year Instead:

The National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia, in partnership with the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, is pleased to announce a new initiative designed to help blind students with their education. If you are a legally blind student in grades one through twelve, and you live in Kanawha, Boone, Putnam, Lincoln, Clay or Fayette Counties, you may be selected to receive free access technology or learning software. Seven to eight eligible students will be chosen to receive assistive technology or learning software, not to exceed $1,500 per student.

You may apply to receive a variety of technology ranging from, but not limited to:

  • Perkins Braille Writers
  • Orbit Refreshable Braille Displays
  • Talking calculators
  • Tablets
  • And much more

Your teacher of the blind and visually impaired may be of assistance to you in making your selections.

How to apply:

Click on the BATS application link listed below and complete the application form. In addition to providing identifying information, Applicants should select 3 assistive technology devices or learning software they would like to receive, prioritized in order of preference. A space is also provided for a brief essay describing why the applicant feels their requested technology or software will help them with their education. Upon completion of this form, hit the SUBMIT button, which will take you to a vendor page to be completed. Once this second form is completed, simply hit SUBMIT and your application will be submitted.

Selection Process:

Because funds are limited, we may not be able to serve all applicants or provide all requested devices and/or software. A selection committee comprised of members of the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia will review applications and award all or part of the selected devices or software to the most suitable applicants. Each applicant will be notified whether or not they have been selected via the e-mail address they provide. Awarded equipment or software will be purchased by NFBWV and sent to the student. This program does not provide cash awards or matching funds for partial payment for devices or software exceeding $1,500.

Deadline to Apply:

January 21, 2021

What Happens if I Receive Equipment or Software:

Once you have received your equipment or software and have had a few weeks to use it, you will be asked to complete a follow-up survey which is listed below. Included will be a narrative section in which you will describe how your equipment and software has helped you with your education. This information will be shared with the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. You may be contacted by them to publicize your story.


The application forms and the recipients survey form are now closed. We thank all of the students who applied and received equipment and/or software through this program.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please contact Sheri Koch, Coordinator at 304-993-5103 or at

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