Are you a transition-age student or young adult who’s blind or visually impaired and wants to pursue college or career transition services or programs? Believe it or not, summer is around the corner, ready for a sneak attack; now is the perfect time to investigate summer pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) and programs. You can search for programs and services that will assist you in preparing for a smooth transition to independent life, college, job training, and the workforce. To help you streamline the search for the right transition program and services, APH and its partners bring you The APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub.
APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub
You’re busy; we know! A quick visit to the APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub can speed up and simplify your search for a transition program. The Transition Hub is a one-stop, easy-to-use, searchable resource of transition programs and services across the United States.
You’ll be able to quickly investigate state schools for the blind, blindness vocational rehabilitation agencies, and partner nonprofit organizations that offer transition-specific programs for teens and young adults. And you can even customize your search by local state; program type; cost, if any, to your family; program language; or whether the program is year-round or seasonal.
We encourage you to bookmark the page and visit it frequently; the Hub’s resource list is growing!
A Challenge, Should You Accept It
Lisamaria Martinez, a consultant with the APH ConnectCenter Transition Hub, suggests you research three programs you’d like to potentially participate in this summer to better prepare for college or adult life. You can utilize the Transition Hub to search for local programs and determine which is the best fit; alternatively, you can search for specific services in lieu of an official program.
Want a few examples? Middle and high school students, you can find a braille challenge, year-long transition services, and/or a summer program where you can meet peers who are blind or visually impaired, learn independent living skills, and explore a variety of careers. College students, you can locate transition services such as Youth Employment Services (YES) or Summer Work Experience Programs (SWEP), mentoring, and a summer transition program near your college campus that you can attend prior to the start of college in order to bolster orientation and mobility (O&M), cooking, and study skills. Young adults, you can search for programs, experiences, or workshops which best meet your individual needs.
Yes, the aforementioned opportunities are all transition services.
The Transition Hub’s Lisamaria Martinez shares, “We’re expanding what transition programming looks like. We used to think of transition services as college or employment readiness with pre-employment skills including vocational rehabilitation, technology, resume writing, and job interviewing. But because blind youth don’t have the same opportunities as their sighted peers, transition services need to expand to include Orientation and Mobility, and Independent Living Skills. You have to be able to navigate to/from work and job interview sites…and you have to do so confidently. You have to navigate college campuses with new courses each semester. Independent living skills are also critical because you have to cook for yourself, have good hygiene, and dress for success.”
Whichever services you need in order to become better equipped for a smooth transition to adulthood, the Transition Hub can help you connect to them. The Transition Hub has your back!
If you are a rehabilitation or transition counselor or a teacher working with transition-age youth who have visual impairments or blindness, join the National Transition Conversation on May 19, 2022, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern, and learn how programs across the country are supporting the college, career, and community transitions of blind and low-vision youth. Click here to register.