Acculturating to life in the United States is a daunting task for many refugees and low-income immigrants. It’s even harder for those with visual impairments. The Chaldean Community Foundation (CCF) encountered many such individuals who were interested in working and continuing their education taking English as a second language (ESL) classes and in need of assistance with daily tasks, but didn’t have any existing resources to turn to for help.

As a result, the CCF launched its Braille ESL Acculturation Mobility (BEAM) Project to meet this demand. BEAM is a collaboration among the CCF, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, Macomb Literacy Partners and St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church. It’s an ESL program where participants learn to speak English, read through braille and learn to be more independent through classes once a week.

Students also learn how to navigate the metro area and use white canes and access mass transportation to travel. Classes are taught on a group and individual basis.

To inquire about the program, contact 586-722-7253 or