"What do I want to be when I grow up?"
Students everywhere ask themselves this question. While all students need help in determining their future, students with visual impairments especially need to prepare themselves for the world of work. Sighted children see many occupations each day, while blind children do not see the 20 or more occupations occurring in the background at a grocery store, clinic, bank, etc. It is for this reason that we offer our vocational and career programs at NDVS/SB.
This is a week-long intensive career exploration and information program. Prior to attending, students and parents complete a questionnaire that indicates which skills, concepts, and information should be emphasized for each student. Then an individualized program for that week is created for each student. Students job shadow various occupations of interest to them, complete interest inventories such as the CHOICES Career Planning System, learn about special testing requirements for the ACT college entrance exam, college preparation, vocational rehabilitation's role, college disability support services, self esteem, and general job responsibilities. Students also are linked with mentors working in specific fields who are also visually impaired.
CVES-Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System
NDVS/SB offers vocational evaluations that are specifically normed for blind and visually impaired individuals, ages 16 and up. The CVES identifies relative strengths and weaknesses in the five primary areas: Verbal/Cognitive, Sensory, Motor, Emotional, and Integration/Coping. Other tests which may be administered include: Wide-Range Achievement Test-RR3, Valpar Work Samples, CHOICES Career Planning System, Self-Directed Search, JOB-O Interest Inventory, interviews, and observation.
The CVES comprehensive report will contain information about the individual's strengths and weaknesses, career interest areas, specific performance levels, priorities for programmed intervention, occupations of interest, and general recommendations.