Workshops

Detail of craft supplies laid out on a gold background

Add some depth to your visit with an educational workshop. 

Our workshops are free for organized groups of 7—24. They can be scheduled in the afternoon or on Saturdays. Most workshops are co-taught by both blind and sighted instructors. Length and content are adjusted to meet the needs and ability levels of the participant groups.

For more information about workshops, contact Katie Carpenter, Museum Educator, or call 502-899-2213.

Ages 4 – 7

Book Centered Lessons 

Our picture book workshops are like Story Time at the library and are intended for younger children. Each focuses on a book that involves blindness in some way or features a character who is blind. Creative dramatics, simple games, music, and art strengthen children’s understanding of the book’s message. Each workshop is co-taught by a person who is sighted and a person who is blind, who reads the book in braille.

Tools and materials for a bookmaking activity, including colorful paper, a ruler, an awl, pencils, a bone burnishing tool, and finished handmade booklets

Ages 8 – Adult

Connect the Dots 

Have you seen those dots in an elevator and wondered how they could possibly be words? Braille is a code, not a language, and the basics are easy. In less than an hour, participants will be reading and writing braille (by sight). They will also find out who invented braille and how it became the code used worldwide by people who are blind.

A key to braille, a Perkins Brailler, a Swing Cell braille teaching tool, a braille pocket slate and stylus, and a Connect the Dots lesson guide

Ages 8 – Adult

Blindness 101 

Being blind is not about what people can’t do — it is about what they can do. Instructors of this workshop, who are blind, will explain how they manage homes, families, and careers; how they read and write with braille and “see” illustrations with their fingers; and how a guide dog is an invaluable help.

An open braille book, a dog guide harness, a folding long cane, and a braille notetaker

Ages 10 – Adult

10 People Who Are Blind Everyone Should Know 

Maybe you know all about Helen Keller and Louis Braille, but other people who were blind deserve recognition as well. The workshop will make participants reconsider their perception of blindness as a hindrance to leading full and rewarding lives.

Scattered photographs of people from many times and places

Ages 10 – 14

Number Sense / Doing It With Numbers 

People who are blind are scientists, engineers, business owners—all occupations that involve lots of math. But how do you do math if you can’t see? With the right tools, it’s easy. Participants will learn about ingenious tools invented over the centuries so that people who were blind could learn and practice math. They will also pick up some tips on doing mental math, solving math problems in their heads.

Scattered math tools, including flashcards, an abacus, a cubarithmn slate, and lego blocks with braille symbols on top

Grades 4 – 6

Pictures for Your Fingertips 

How do the blind “see” art? Through their sense of touch. Texture, line, and shape can all convey meaning. After taking a look at some methods APH uses to produce tactile (touchable) images, as well as artworks submitted to APH’s insights Arts competition, participants will create their own tactile works of art.

Scattered crafting tools including colorful papers, a bottle of glue. a glue gun, scissors, tactile beads in a tray, embossing foil, and a card with a funny face created with colorful waxed yarn

Ages 6 – Adult

Tactile Arts and Crafts 

Sighted people are often surprised to discover that people who are blind or visually impaired enjoy arts and crafts. But why wouldn’t they? Over the years we’ve partnered with local artists to offer classes in quilling, jewelry-making, mosaics, holiday ornaments and wreaths, gourd art, “dreamscapes,” and more.

Detail of craft supplies laid out on a gold background

Ages 10 – Adult

Finding Inventive Solutions 

Be a problem solver! The products invented and developed by the American Printing House for the Blind address challenges faced by people who are blind or low vision. Can you do the same? After taking a look at some APH products and learning about the process, from the initial idea to the creation of a prototype, participants will follow through with their own design of a product that will empower the blind.

A metal embossing plate featuring cats and dogs, a print/braille calendar, a pegboard, a long cane, a refreshable braille display

Ages 8 – Adult

Book Artists 

The art of bookmaking has been around for centuries, from illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages to unique journals found in gift shops today. In this workshop, you will tear apart a book to see how it’s made, tour the publishing facility at APH, and handcraft some books of your own.

Book titled "Following Papa's Song" and craft materials to create a whale puppet

Ages 8 – Adult

Portraits of Helen Keller 

In her time, Helen Keller was the most famous child in the world, and a celebrity all her life. Our archives include hundreds of paintings, formal portraits, and photos of Helen Keller. Through close examination of these photos, participants will trace Helen’s life, from the precocious six-year-old who learned about language at a water pump to the human rights crusader who changed the world not only for people with disabilities but for others marginalized by society.

Scattered items including photographs of Helen Keller as a child and adult, white gloves, a spray of flowers, beads, and colored fabrics

Scouts welcome. 

We tailor the factory tour, museum tour and workshops so Scouts can make progress on specialized badges. We also offer our own unique patches, just for participating. Contact Katie Carpenter, Museum Educator, or call 502-899-2213 for more information.