Sherlock logoRIVESP Pathways
A newsletter of the Paul V. Sherlock Center at RI College
 
March 2013 - Vol 1, Issue 1
In This Issue
Welcome
The Expanded Core Curriculum
ECC Focus: Career Education
EnVision Work 2013 Update
Noteworthy Apps!
ECC Resources
  
  
  
Career Resources
  
  
Quick Links
  
  
  
 
  
Join Our Mailing List!
Welcome to RIVESP Pathways!
Student working on Envision Work curriculum module at the Sherlock Center
TVI Kate Ray working with EnVision Work participant Emily Schwegler to complete EnVision Work's online modules.
  
PATHWAYS is a newsletter for teachers, parents, students, and anyone interested in what's going on with services and activities for students with visual impairments in RI. This quarterly newsletter will keep you connected and informed about the latest innovations, research, and best practices related to the education of our students with blindness and visual impairments, including transition to life after high school. We will also link you to local resources, inform you about the new Expanded Core Curriculum and share stories of RI's children, youth and adults with visual impairments.
  
The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)
  

All children with visual impairment should have access to the typical curriculum that all students participate in. The Expanded Core Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments includes the unique skills and knowledge a person with a visual impairment needs due to their disability specific needs. The nine areas of the ECC for students with visual impairment are:

  • compensatory or functional academic skills, including communication modes
  • orientation and mobility
  • social interaction skills
  • independent living skills
  • recreation and leisure skills
  • career education
  • use of assistive technology
  • sensory efficiency skills
  • self-determination  
 ECC Focus: Career Education
Believe it or not, it's never too early to start thinking about cultivating career awareness in a blind or visually impaired child.

 

Envision Work participant at internship
EnVision Work participant Kerry Clark making phone calls as part of his internship at the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

Career Education is a part of the ECC because we recognize the fact that typical activities and functions related to employment that sighted children learn through incidental experiences over the course of development are often inaccessible or limited for the child with blindness or visual impairment. We recognize that meaningful career education and experiences can enable students with visual impairments to move toward working as an adult including:

  • exploring and expressing preferences about work roles
  • assuming typical responsibilities at home and at school (such as chores, independent management of all school materials and personal belongings) 
  • understanding concepts of reward for work
  • participating in job experiences
  • learning about jobs and adult work roles at a developmentally appropriate level
   EnVision Work - 2013 Update
SSI Overview for EnVision Work Families
Social Security Session for
EnVision Work Families

In January 2012, the Paul V. Sherlock Center was awarded a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation for the EnVision Work Project. EnVision Work is a pilot program that seeks to give young adults access to valuable career experiences in the real world. Supported by a self-paced online "course" component, the program involves young adults with visual impairments in a person-centered planning process that helps them engage their family, community, and other natural supports in designing meaningful experiences. Research has shown that this kind of planning, support, and real-world engagement lead to better employment outcomes for adults with visual impairments. EnVision Work partners with other local programs at RI Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and INGISHT to access existing services.

  

 

EnVision Work participants have been a part of:

 

  • Person Centered Planning Meetings and Action Steps: these meetings help participants and their support network focus on the goals that an individual has defined for him/herself. Also called "Personal Futures Planning", you can read more about this process from the
    EnVision Work participant Maritza Mayo in front of the State House, where she recently began her EnVision Work supported internship
  • Online Curriculum: students are using Blackboard (a learning portal commonly used at colleges to support courses or for online courses)
  • Informational Interviews: These are interviews conducted with an employer in areas of interest. This experience brings the job seeker with visual impairment into the work environment to ask questions about the ins and outs of a particular job and work environment. Interviews this year have included: radio station administrator, IT professionals, security professionals, occupational therapists, and more.
  • Job Shadows: Participants have spent from a half to a full day shadowing a person working in a career of interest. This year students have job shadowed in: hospitals, nursing homes, schools, radio stations, telecommunications companies, and more.
  • Internships: Internships have been selected based on interests but are also used as an opportunity to gain typical entry level job skills and experience. These experiences typically last 6-8 weeks and are supported by a stipend and individual work plans (goals).
  • Volunteer Positions: Another great way to gain employment experience and network in the community, we have supported a student in a volunteer position and hope to continue to do this with more individuals in year two of this project.
    EnVision Work guest speaker Daniel Kendig shares his personal experiences of navigating college, work, and daily life as an adult with a visual impairment
  • Paid employment: Several of our participants are already working in part time or seasonal employment. We can offer support in these early stages of employment. We also work with participants to prepare for future opportunities while in these part time employment opportunities. Examples include: asking for a letter of recommendation, building a portfolio with visual examples of your ability to complete specific tasks using accommodations, and learning self-advocacy skills on the job.
 Noteworthy apps!
 

AccessNote

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has released the first note taking app developed and designed for users with vision loss. AccessNote™ is designed to be used on the iPhoneŽ, iPadŽ and iPodŽ touch. It also allows users to the popular features and functions on all of the Apple products, including Web browsing and email. This is the first note taking app developed and designed specifically for users with vision loss.

 

Tell Your Story

Telling Your Story is a tool that persons with disabilities, family members, and other advocates can use to compose and practice the personal story they'll present to elected public officials or other policymakers at all levels of government when seeking policy changes or increasing awareness about disability issues. The app guides users through the steps, from introducing yourself to identifying the specific issue to the best methods for presenting a compelling personal story. After entering the text of their story, an audio recording feature allows the user to rehearse their story. Users can also select and preview a photo they may wish to include. To use all the features of the app, an iPad 2 or newer is required.