Another program that Peanut’s wayyy too young for (I don’t even want to think about having a teenager yet. *shudders*), but I thought I’d post the information for those who might be interested. It sounds like an interesting program, and it’s open to anyone (although it does cost for those of us who do not live in Louisiana).
Since 1985, the Louisiana Center for the Blind has been changing what it means to be blind for adults from across America. In 1990, a program was created to address the needs of blind high school students. The Summer Training and Employment Project (STEP) Program is designed to introduce blind teenagers to positive blind role models and to provide participants with summer work experience.
The eight-week summer program will consist of two components. During the first part of the program, competent blind counselors will instruct the students in the alternative techniques of blindness. Classes in Braille, cane travel, computer literacy, and daily living skills will be taught by qualified blind instructors. In addition, seminars will be conducted in the areas of job readiness, job interviewing skills, resume writing and job responsibilities. The second part of the program will continue all aspects of training and expand to include an employment dimension. Students will have the opportunity to work fifteen to twenty hours a week at a local business for which they will receive the federal minimum wage. The staff will attempt to meet the job interests of the students. Instructors from the Louisiana Center for the Blind will be available to provide on-the-job assistance as needed.
The combination of work experience and blindness-related skills–along with fun-filled activities such as cookouts, movies, swimming, and various other excursions–will foster self-confidence and independence in young blind teenagers. Students will attend the national convention of the National Federation of the Blind in Dallas, Texas. This exciting conference will allow them to meet thousands of competent blind people from across the country. The students will also have the chance to participate in a wide variety of informative seminars. At the close of the program, parents will be REQUIRED to attend a Parents’ Weekend which will enable them to discover how much their children have learned throughout the summer. The STEP program is designed to provide invaluable work experience, friendships, opportunities for personal growth, and cherished memories.
This year, the STEP Program will be held from Sunday, June 3 through Saturday, August 4 including a one-week break in July following the NFB’s national convention. If you have any questions, please call Eric Guillory at 800-234-4166 or email him at email@example.com. Interested families may also apply their students electronically at www.lcb-ruston.com.
Due to limited space, we cannot guarantee that every applicant will be granted enrollment.
Please note that the program tuition is $6,500- which is all-inclusive save for transportation costs associated with getting the student to and from Ruston, Louisiana at the start and conclusion of training. Applicants must have an open case with their state’s vocational rehabilitation agency or other entity for funding to cover costs.