Youth

Transition Services for Youth

Teen participant in the Employment Opportunities Project

The Employment Opportunities Project offers transition services for youth with visual impairments, blindness and other disabilities. Individuals engage in job readiness classes, career awareness through job shadowing in entry-level and professional jobs, and community-based work experiences. Students with employment goals are provided with job development, on-the-job training, job coaching and follow-up services. A mentoring component offers students opportunities to be matched with a successful adult who is vision impaired or blind.

More Information
For details about our Employment Opportunities Project, contact Jeremy Gilchrist at 412-368-4400 ext. 2242, or email at jgilchrist@pghvis.org.

The summer Career and Community Adjustment Program helps students transition smoothly into work and adult life. In this individualized program, students develop independent living skills and earn a paycheck while exploring vocations. Placements are based on the student’s interest and abilities. There are two components:

Teens canoeing during the five-week summer program

  1. The vocational component includes job readiness, job shadowing in entry-level and professional jobs, and community work experiences.
  2. The rehabilitation component is a comprehensive five-week residential program for students ages 16 through 21, who develop skills they need to manage their lives with vision loss. Students learn Braille, how to use audio devices, labeling to keep track of information and personal items, and introduction to adaptive computers. Instruction is provided in orientation and mobility, safe and efficient cooking, dining techniques, shopping, clothing maintenance, grooming and maintaining a home or apartment. Students also benefit from classes in exercise, nutrition and health care, and learn to fully enjoy leisure time.

Youth who participate in the program have available to them:

  • Residence  Students live in our residential wing, under supervision, where they have the opportunity to socialize with their peers and develop leisure time skills.
  • Guidance  Opportunities are provided for students to discuss personal adjustment issues, individually and in groups. Strict confidentiality is observed.
  • Recreational opportunities Students and their sighted teen volunteer companions enjoy a weekend camping trip, Pittsburgh Pirate baseball games, Kennywood Amusement Park, plays and movies, dancing, swimming, sports night, computer games, fishing, horseback riding, and arts and crafts.

More Information
For details about our Career and Community Adjustment Program, contact Barbara Peterson at 412-368-4400 or email at bpeterson@pghvis.org.