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Department of Rehab

Get Ready for the School Year: Parent and Student Workshop on August 27 [postponed]

Note: this event has been postponed. For questions, contact jgump@lighthouse-sf.org.

Join LightHouse students, parents and teachers for a day-long workshop aimed at helping blind students and their families be more prepared for the coming school year and beyond.

The day will start with a panel of students, parents and teachers who will speak about challenges that specifically affect blind students, such as how to make sure handouts are available in accessible formats and ideas on how parents can help their children with their homework.

Next youth and adults will break into separate groups. Parents and teachers will focus on topics such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), the role Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) plays in their child’s education and extra-curricular options for youth who are blind. Students will also learn about how DOR works, discuss transitioning to college, living skills and the importance of balancing work and play.

The day will wrap-up with an opportunity for families to get to know one another.

Who: Families with at least one youth under 18 and at least one family member of any age who is blind or has low vision.
When: Saturday, August 27, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103
Waiver: Each youth participant must fill out and submit a LightHouse Youth Program Application if they have not done so already.

If you would like more information or to RSVP for this event please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at 415-694-7372 or by email at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org by Wednesday August 24.

Employment Immersion Programs

“Employers don’t like problems, they like solutions. We allow people to develop their own solutions; we give them the options, and coach them into finding their own solutions.”

– Kate Williams, Program Manager, Employment Immersion

Read about our many Employment Immersion success stories!

After gaining skills in mobility, technology, and daily life, the final metric of success for a working-age individual who is blind or has low vision may be ensuring a solid paycheck at the end of the month. In that regard, our Employment Immersion Program could be thought of as our “capstone” training program, though for many it is their introduction to the LightHouse’s offerings.

In the blindness community, we know that one size does not fit all, and this is reflected in the curriculum of our four-week immersive employment program. With a combination of short lectures, interactive activities, expert speakers and free-form conversations, each blind or low vision student has an opportunity to explore their interests, aptitudes, and think outside the box about which part of the job market piques their interest.

In addition to these discussions, students are coached in creating resumes and cover letters, using online job search tools, as well as real-life practice interviewing and disclosing a disability. These mock interviews, which involve role-playing with real professionals who take students through an entire hiring process, are a particularly important part of the process. “It’s not a skill people are born with,” EI program coordinator Kate Williams reminds her students, each of whom will eventually get to review their own video of the interview exercises.

“It’s like learning your golf swing,” says Williams, “ — you have a video, you notice this is what you’re doing wrong; you’re not leaning into your left side, following through. That’s what it’s like. You’re bouncing your leg, twirling your hair, saying ‘like.’”

In immersion, students are always encouraged to interact with one another, because some of the most important learning often comes from discussing shared successes and struggles with blind and low vision peers. “Each group we’ve had has become very closely knit — I love seeing those relationships start in the classroom and continue. When we have employment immersion events, and people come back, it’s almost like they’re family.”

The LightHouse’s Employment Immersion program has been so successful that each year its graduates earn more than $2 million in salaries. All were unemployed before they joined our program.

For more information and to sign up, contact Kate Williams at kwilliams@lighthouse-sf.org or call 415-694-7324.