Carroll Families

About Carroll Families

The Carroll Families initiative aims to support, educate, and connect parents and other caregivers of children who are blind or visually impaired. We feel that sharing resources and offering emotional support for the unique needs of families with children experiencing vision loss is critical and we look forward to growing this supportive community. Facilitated by Barbara Duffy, Director of Foundation and Family Relations and parent of a visually impaired son, our goal is to build strength and comradery, as well as provide suggestions, solutions, and resources to help those in our care.

Carroll Families Logo

Barbara Duffy, Carroll Center Parent and Director of Foundation & Family Relations

“Every day, we work tirelessly to make sure our child is living a life full of all the special memories that we can provide. As a mom of a visually impaired child, I found great support, comfort and strength when connecting with other parents of children and teens experiencing blindness. Today, I am lucky enough to work at the Carroll Center for the Blind, which provides me with a unique opportunity to help all of us learn how we can collectively support our children and each other on this journey.” 

Family Support Zoom Meetings

The Carroll Families initiative hosts a Zoom series “Conversations and Connections” on a regular basis to create a platform for parents and other caregivers of visually impaired children to share ideas, resources, joys, and concerns. Meetings include guest speakers who are leading experts in the field of education services, assistive technology, and vision rehabilitation. Topics will be selected based upon input from Carroll Families members. 

Upcoming Conversations & Connections

Stay Tuned!

Past Conversations & Connections

May 29, 2024  – Emotional Well-Being

April 24, 2024 – Transitions

March 27, 2024  – Summer Planning for Your Child

February 28, 2024 – Supporting Your Child with Test Accommodations

January 31, 2024 –  Maximizing Your Child’s Orientation & Mobility

November 29, 2023 – Partnering with Your Child’s TVI to Ensure Educational Success

Information & Resources

As the first vision rehabilitation program in the country founded in 1936, the Carroll Center for the Blind has an array of resources and information to share with parents.  Carroll Families members will be provided with resources designed to support their blind and visually impaired children.

Click Here for a List of Helpful Online Resources

Upcoming Informational Webinars

June 18, 2024 – Canes to Canines Webinar

Past Informational Webinars

May 22, 2024 – Living with Stargardt’s 101

February 29, 2024 – Stargardt’s Summit

Meet & Greet Gatherings

Opportunities to gather with children, teens and families of the blind and visually impaired to connect, share resources and build a sense of community. Ideas will be gathered from Carroll Families members and could include family fun days, arboretum tours, and apple picking.

Past Meet & Greet Gatherings

June 1, 2024 – Walk for Independence

June 6, 2024 – Waltham Lions Carnival

April 20, 2024 – Beep Baseball at Fenway Park

November 12, 2023 – Arnold Arboretum Tour

Nico with his father, Robb, and his grandmother, Maryellen, at the Carroll Center for the Blind Talent Show
2 Cane Quest participants, who are twin brothers, with big happy smiles posing for a picture with their family after exchanging their coins for prizes
A mom and her 3 kids smiling for a group picture at the Cane Quest on the Carroll Center campus
Carroll Alumni and Families group photo at the Arboretum
4 adults and 2 young boys, one of whom is holding a white cane, are standing outside and smiling for a group photo. They are wearing Carroll Center for the Blind Walk for Independence T-shirts.
3 women and 2 young girls with face paint standing inside an outdoor event tent and smiling for a group picture.
A summer program participant smiling for a picture on campus with his family

Programs for Children

Education Services

Our Education Services team supports school-aged children at their school. Teachers of the Visually Impaired provide direct instruction and adapted materials to students and serve as advocates between the child and school administration, while Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists provide critical mobility instruction.   

Learn More about our Education Services

Summer Programs

Knowing that a great deal of learning occurs outside the classroom, our summer programs allow children and teens the opportunity to learn and grow through hands-on independent living instruction along with community experiences and recreational activities. 

Learn More about our Summer Programs

Braille Challenge

The Braille Challenge is a national competition for school-age children who read and write braille. The Carroll Center hosts the New England Regional Braille Challenge for students from across New England.

Learn More about the Braille Challenge

Cane Quest

The Carroll Center for the Blind celebrates “White Cane Awareness Month” with families and children through our Cane Quest program. Children and teens in grades 2-12 who use a white cane are invited to our campus with their families to navigate 14 cane mobility stations.

Learn More about the Cane Quest

Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments instructing a student how to use a brailler at school
3 students of the Carroll Kids summer program with an instructor at a kayaking field trip
Braille Challenge participant sitting at a desk and typing on a brailler
Cane Quest participant standing with his white cane on the Carroll Center for the Blind campus outside next to balloons

We Want to Hear from You

The Carroll Families program is driven by you, the families of children and teens we serve. Please use the link below to submit ideas for family support Zoom meetings and meet & greet gatherings, and sign up to receive invitations and other Carroll Center updates.

Stay connected and share your feedback

A mom with her daughters, Cane Quest participants, standing and smiling on the Carroll Center for the Blind campus outside

Contact Information

For more information or questions about the Carroll Families program, please contact Barbara Duffy, Carroll Center Director of Foundation & Family Relations and parent of a Carroll Center alumnus. Barb can be reached via email or by phone at 617.969.6200 x 255.

Barbara Duffy with her son, Jack Duffy, standing outside on the Carroll Center campus and smiling