A New Camp on a Mission to Help Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Jul 21, 2013 - Jul 25, 2013

A New Camp on a Mission to Help Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired


OMAHA, NEB. – This summer, 12-year old, Grace can’t wait to be swimming, playing basketball and participating in camp activities with other children who are blind or visually impaired. Grace and her family live in the country just west of Taylor, Nebraska, more than four hours from metro Omaha.


“It will be rockin’ awesome to meet kids like me,” said Grace.  


The very first Camp Abilities Nebraska, a week-long sports camp for youth ages 9-19, who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind, will take place Sunday, July 21-Friday, July 26, at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. The camp is co-sponsored by Outlook Nebraska, Inc. (ONI), a nonprofit organization providing employment and other opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired, and Boys Town National Research Hospital.


“It will be good for her to realize how many opportunities there are for her,” said Summer Strohl, Grace’s mother. “Once she tries something, she loves it.”


Camp Abilities Nebraska will explore sports and recreational activities in a safe environment provided by University of Nebraska and local adaptive physical education instructors. This year, 20 youth will enjoy a week of swimming, beep kickball, bowling, rock climbing, track and field and other recreational and sporting activities. Each evening, the youth will share their adventures with friends and camp leaders during a Care to Share activity.


"We are so excited to offer Camp Abilities to Omaha families,” said Kristal Platt, Director of Camp Abilities Nebraska and Vision Program Coordinator at Boys Town National Research Hospital. “This is a great way to teach independence and self-determination to children who are blind, and have fun while instilling these life-long skills.”



A New Camp to Help Children who are Blind - Continued


 “We are looking forward to this co-sponsorship opportunity with Boys Town Hospital,” said Eric Stueckrath, CEO of ONI. “Together, we will be able to provide children who are blind or visually impaired with opportunities that allow them to develop their independence and try new things.”


Camp Abilities Nebraska is also supported by founding members Nebraska Foundation for Visually Impaired Children, The eBay Foundation, Omaha Association of the Blind and WhyArts?.


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For the Media

Camp Abilities Nebraska participants and a parent will be available for an interview and photo opportunities on Thursday, July 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building, 6323 Maverick Plaza. The building is south of the UNO Field House.


For additional photo opportunities and interviews, please contact Brooke Wittrock at 402-498-6640 or brooke.wittrock@boystown.org.

For on-campus help or questions about the UNO campus, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402-554-2129 or by email at cdreed@unomaha.edu.



About ONI

Established in 2000, ONI provides employment and workplace training to the blind and visually impaired in a converting operation that supplies a full line of 100 percent recycled fiber content tissue and towel products to the U.S. Government and other customers. The largest employer of the blind and visually impaired in Nebraska and the only agency of its kind in a seven-state region, ONI (www.outlooknebraska.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/outlooknebraska), provides additional services for its associates, including social activities, education, training and health and wellness programs.


About Boys Town National Research Hospital
Boys Town National Research Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in clinical and research programs focusing on childhood deafness, visual impairment and related communication disorders. The Hospital has developed national medical programs that are now instituted in hospitals and clinics across the country. The Hospital annually serves more than 47,000 children and families from across the United States.



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