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Children's Pre-Vocational Skills Training Program

by Sarah Pavia

Throughout the summer, we offer a variety of pre-vocational programs for youth through our Low Vision Services.  These classes are to help students with low vision learn vocational skills. These youth ages 10-14 attended their first level of pre-vocational training through our Children's Program. 
This past week, our students participated in a session focused on the importance of making a good first impression. They were encouraged to consider this in terms of competing for a job offer. They were put in hypothetical working situations and asked to comment on how they would feel, react, or respond. The resources available through Vision Rehabilitation Therapy and Orientation & Mobility specialists at ABVI were emphasized.
The group was given a kit with the following to practice with:
  • deodorant
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • hair brush
  • wrinkle releaser
  • lint roller
  • nail file
  • lens cleaning wipe
They had instruction practicing low vision strategies for using each of these items. The session then transitioned to discussing how important it is to be self-reliant in simple meal preparation as well. A lecture on proper handwashing before meal prep was presented and then they were guided through creating Bento boxes with crackers, cheese, grapes, carrots, cucumbers, and Oreo cookies. The youth were encouraged to practice using small cookie cutters to cut the cheese slices into shapes, cutting the cucumbers with a ridged chopper, and organizing the items in their boxes. They were provided juice boxes and shown how to use the straw to pierce the pouch. The group then returned to the conference room and explored career exploration on the internet.
There are a variety of children's programs that occur throughout the year - to learn more please contact Joette Vahey, Career Development Specialist with Low Vision at