IDEAL Program

For blind and visually impaired high-school students, ages 15 to 21

This program takes place at our affiliate agency, Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, in Chester, PA. Transitioning from high school to college or to the adult work world proves difficult for many young people. For adolescents with visual impairments or blindness, this transition involves even greater challenges.

College bound blind and visually impaired students need to move forward on firm footing. These academically oriented students require independent living skills appropriate for a dormitory, orientation and mobility expertise, study and organizational skills, and computer/technology proficiency. Blind and visually impaired students entering the work force also need skills for independent living and travel. Additionally, work oriented students need to exhibit confidence in interviewing for a job, writing a resume, and preparing job applications, and must have work related technology skills, and a well developed work ethic in place.

CBVI’s IDEAL Transition Program (Individual Development Through Experience, Assessment and Learning) is designed to assist blind and visually impaired students in making a smooth and successful transition from the safe, secure, and structured high school environment to the complex opportunities and risks of adult living, college life, or the workplace.

IDEAL is a summer residential program which offers full days of classes and other activities in group and individual settings. Participants may choose a college oriented or employment directed curriculum. The IDEAL staff conducts an assessment of each student’s abilities, skills, and interests, and designs an individualized program for the student to strengthen existing skills and acquire necessary new proficiencies.

At the conclusion of the summer program, the staff invites family members, counselors, educators, and other advocates to meet with each participant to discuss his or her progress during the program. At this meeting, the group develops plans and recommendations geared towards facilitating an effective transition into college life or the workplace for the student.