Consider seventeen year old Jessa. Jessa enjoys science classes and hopes for a career in a laboratory, hospital, or veterinary clinic. She’s actually never stepped foot into a laboratory, and has only briefly visited a hospital and a veterinary clinic. She isn’t certain of a specific job she’d enjoy, and she feels nervous to pursue any job because she doesn’t feel like she has any talents or valuable skill sets. After high school graduation, she feels paralyzed in making career decisions.
Now consider sixteen year old Miguel. Miguel also enjoys science classes and hopes for a career in a laboratory, hospital, or veterinary clinic. Miguel’s parents and teacher for students who are visually impaired (TVI) worked with Miguel on preparing for a summer volunteer experience. He volunteered as an assistant in a local collegiate science laboratory. Miguel gathered materials, cared for rats, and cleaned instruments. The next summer he was employed part-time at the facility. After high school graduation, he begins college in effort to be a scientist. He knows he can be successfully employed, even if he changes his major.
Parents and teachers of teenagers who are blind or visually impaired, you can play key roles in shaping self-confidence, “work confidence”, in your children or students by preparing them for successful volunteer and work experiences. Teach toward experiences; assist them in learning their interests, aptitudes, and limits; and train them in blindness-specific skills and accommodations, “soft” or general employable skills, and “hard” or specific job skills.
Utilize the lesson series: Journey to a Successful Work Experience as you prepare a teenager for a positive employment experience.