Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The Vocational Rehabilitation Program has a success rate of over 85%
services provided to Vocational Clients
In the United States, approximately seventy-five percent (75%) of working age blind adults are unable to maintain gainful employment. In the population of children born with blindness that number rises to about ninety percent (90%). (American Foundation for the Blind)
As a priority focus and to address this dire situation, CVI offers specific, relevant, training through Vocational Rehabilitation Services. These services are our Job Readiness Training and Job Placement Services. The services give visually impaired and blind adults, who are seeking employment, the tools and strategies to achieve their own professional goals. To graduate from this program, students must meet minimum requirements in the areas of Independent Living, Assistive Technology and Orientation and Mobility and be prepared to accept the opportunity of One on One “Adjustment to Blindness” Rehabilitation Counseling.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Program trains persons with visional impairments on how to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to employment.
Participants must be referred by the Division of Blind Services and a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation plan is developed to incorporate goals and identify needs.
Sessions are conducted year round, are 5 weeks in length and average 4-6 people per class. Instruction can also be provided in the client’s home.
Since the program's inception in May 2010, 65% of graduates have been placed in work experience, internships, referred to additional training programs or obtained full-time employment. 50% of the young adult students have transitioned on to college.
Training includes instruction in the following areas:
- Overcoming Psychosocial/Psychological Barriers to Employment: Students receive training on unique barriers facing visually impaired and blind persons including; how to complete a functional ability statement, how to relay disability information to employers and the importance of emphasizing positive attributes. We emphasize the importance of understanding and overcoming societal stereotypes and the stigma often associated with blindness and focus on active training on effectively communicating students' abilities.
- Resume Development: Students are instructed on how to complete functional, chronological and combination resumes. Students learn how to use technology to ensure correct grammar and spelling, and how to acquire and utilize letters of recommendation to the best advantage.
- Job Searches: Students are introduced to resources available including newspapers, word of mouth, cold calls, systematic and organized networking, job search engines and internet sites.
- Best Interview Practices: Students are taught how to prepare for an interview by learning what questions to expect and how to recognize unlawful interview questions. They receive assistance in memorizing education and career sections of resume. This training leads to multiple mock interviews that are video-recorded and audio taped, for self-critique and trainer feedback and critique.
- Disability Benefits, Laws and Legislation: Students participate in education and discussion regarding Americans with Disabilities Act and the impact on benefits (SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare) when employed. Common workplace policies, procedures, benefits and rules are reviewed.
- Identifying Work Experience Opportunities: Students receive training for employment including options and choices available, i.e. vocational training, college and on the job training. They engage in job searches (local and nationwide) and complete labor market surveys.
- Job Placement: CVI secures internships or work experience opportunities for 100% of students at the end of the program.