Summer, we’re coming for you!
As we anticipate summertime as the beloved sunshine and vacation time, let us also anticipate summertime as the perfect time for our teen clients who are blind and visually impaired to attain work experiences.
Whether you are a teacher for students with visual impairments working in the school system and you have but three months left with your teens before summer break begins, or you are a transition specialist who is now gearing up for a summer program, my hope is you can utilize one or more of these lesson series to prepare your clients for successful summer volunteer or paid work.
Resources for Preparing Visually Impaired Teens for Work
Lead your teen clients on a trek to discover a future career which will heed personal strengths, interests, and values by utilizing the Journey to a Successful Work Experience lesson series. Each client will develop an action plan for obtaining a future position and will learn that summer employment of any capacity is an important stride in career preparation.
Using the Transition to Work: Program Activity Guide, you will facilitate on-the-job training opportunities, internships, and job shadowing experiences which will give visually impaired students the opportunity to learn basic employability or transferrable skills (skills that can be learned at any job and used to pursue any career).
Are your teen clients captivated by a contemporary television show or book series? Utilize Your Employment Story to convey they are the main, complex characters in their own employment stories. Teens will apply what they know about a good story to career preparation. For example, in employment, presentation (“the book cover”) matters, and just as the main character in any good book evolves, both volunteer and paid work experiences are catalysts for career development and personal growth.
If you are working with young students with little understanding of the basic components of work, utilize the What Is Work? lesson series to introduce them to planning, fulfilling responsibilities, contributing to a group, using a schedule, and career exploration.
Instruction in career skills alone will not sufficiently prepare teens with vision loss for employment. Consider how confidence in one’s home life and personal health is often reflected in a person’s productivity and attitude at work. Basic independent living skills also contribute to success at work. Utilize the Getting There and Taking Care: Using the VisionAware Website to Prepare for and Maintain Employment lesson series to provide resources for independent living with vision loss.
Be sure to share additional resources you’ve found for preparing young clients for early work experiences.