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Ladder To Success: Workforce Development for Children with Low Vision

by Sarah Pavia

Each year, programs are provided through our Children and Family Services program for those with visual impairment.  The program, Ladder to Success, focuses on workforce development and allows our students to hear from individuals working in career fields of interest and learns tips and trips for success.

There are three sections to Ladders to Success: Career Explorers, Be Ready, and Work 101.  Altogether, 15 youth were able to participate.  In past years, the students traveled to the businesses but for safety this year the presenters came to our main downtown campus.

The participants heard from people working in careers in such fields as restaurant management, IT, customer service, game design, education, and medicine. They heard from the presenters about their various career paths as well as what business owners and managers look for when hiring for entry level positions. Despite not having that hands-on experience of going into the community, these visits were very successful. You’ll read first-hand the impact you are having in Nahiely’s story.

In addition our workforce development programming for youth, we have other socialization events for children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. These events have continued to be offered virtually, and attendance continues to exceed previous in-person events. Allowing families to participate from home and include siblings has made the program more inclusive, removing barriers brought about by transportation needs, child care, and more. Recent events have included learning cooking skills by making no bake cookie dough fudge and building confidence through theater games.

Programs like these are made possible through your generous support - by donating and shopping at our stores, funding is possible for these types of services.  To learn more about these programs and upcoming events, please contact Joette Vahey, Career Development Specialist, at for more information.