The Island Now: Helen Keller Services hosts season ending variety show at Summer Camp for Kids with Visual Disabilities
Learn about Camp Helen Keller, a summer camp for kids 5-15 who are blind or have low vision. It aims to improve kids’ self-esteem, confidence and skills.
By The Island Now | January 27, 2022
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Helen Keller Services, a Long Island-based non-profit offering programs and services for the DeafBlind Community, hosted its annual season-ending show for its Camp Helen Keller campers today, treating parents and families to a one-hour talent show style performance including singing, dancing and a piano serenade by kids who live with low vision.
“For kids, to feel like you’re the only one of everything is hard,” said Jennifer Gallagher, of Freeport, a mother of two girls with vision disabilities who attend the camp. “So, every summer when they come here, they will say over and over again how wonderful it is to not feel like the only one. To be with people who understand and have a similar disability.”
Camp Helen Keller is a summer program created by Helen Keller Services more than 60 years ago for children ages five to 15 who are blind or have low vision. Its main goal is to improve participants’ self-esteem, self-confidence and socialization skills.
The camp is held at the LIU Post campus in Brookville and admits campers from Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, who receive free door-to-door transportation.
Campers participate in traditional activities, such as swimming, arts and crafts, music and dance classes, and field trips and technology classes that have been adapted for visually impaired people. The program is funded by a combination of state grants and private donations.
Every year, the camp organizes a show on the last day of the one-month program to celebrate the campers’ achievements, show parents and friends what campers have been doing and to say goodbye to old and new friends.
“When you come here you can see that there are other kids who have the same challenges as you and you’re not alone,” said Brendan Sweeney, 10, of Bay Shore.