Preparing our children for future employment is important. For children who are legally blind, AVRE offers pre-vocational skills training, work employment training, and paid Internships. These services allow our young participants to experience the responsibility of having a job, learn how to dress and interact appropriately at work, and develop a sense of professionalism. These are typically short term, paid experiences, which are paid for through AVRE, and they pose no legal risk to the business.
Children and Youth Services
AVRE professional staff work with toddlers and their parents to provide an array of early skill training. These include tactile and sensory learning experiences such as buttoning and zipping clothing, opening bags of food, and peeling bananas or hard-boiled eggs. Pre-schoolers are provided with Orientation and Mobility instruction (travel training) and pre-Braille skills to prepare them for school. Forums and information sharing for parents are also available. Staff coordinate closely with area pre-school agencies and the NYS Commission for the Blind. Our enhanced services offer new teaching tools such as SAL (Speech Assisted Learning) to teach pre-Braille skills, storybooks that feature large print, Braille, and tactile illustrations, and special toys that use audio, motion, and visual stimulation to teach early mobility skills.
School-age children and youth
AVRE professional staff work with students, their parents, and their teachers in all grades up to age 18. Services include Orientation and Mobility instruction at home, school, and around the community, independent living skills at home and school, Braille instruction, and how to access information using assistive technology. Each student is different and has unique needs and goals. Instruction is geared toward either preparation for higher education or vocational pursuits.
Through a recreational grant from the NYS Commission for the Blind, AVRE staff facilitate recreational outings for children and teens. Involvement in recreational and social activities during the formative years has a significant, positive impact on young people as they develop into young adults.This is especially important for young people who are blind or visually impaired as they have far fewer recreational opportunities than their sighted peers. Our goal is to enhance social skills, independence, and confidence for children of all ages.
During the summer, AVRE hosts a pre-vocational experience for students ages 10-18, offering them a sense of what being gainfully employed really means. Students have opportunities to learn about assistive technology for school and work. They learn about different career paths and how to prepare for them. They also spend time talking with adults who are blind or visually impaired about their jobs and how working allows them to lead productive, fulfilled lives. It is critical for young people who are blind to realize that there are no limitations to living well and independently.