Vocational Training

Vocational Training Overview

Man sitting at desk in office with computerWhether you’re just beginning your career or you’re seeking ways to overcome challenges you face in your current position, you’ll find the support and resources you need at HKNC. Working closely with a team of experts, you’ll have the opportunity to identify your strengths and interests, explore assistive technology and develop skills and strategies to compete and succeed in the job market.

Alumni have found fulfilling careers in areas ranging from restaurant and retail work to business management and software engineering.

Vocational Counseling

You’ll receive one-on-one vocational counseling, partnering with your job coach to identify work environments and opportunities that could be a good fit for you. Beginning with your Personal Futures Planning Meeting, you’ll set goals and make an action plan to achieve them.

  • Assess your current skills, interests and needs.
  • Explore entrepreneurial possibilities.
  • Devise a plan tailored to your individual circumstances.
  • Polish your existing skills and acquire new ones.
  • Implement communication and travel strategies.

Real World Experience

Man creating a flower arrangement as his supervisor looks onDuring your time at HKNC, you’ll work in real world settings, building marketable skills through paid employment opportunities. HKNC staffers will help you find a placement in a field that interests you, enabling you to learn firsthand what it takes to work in that field on a day-to-day basis.

When reporting to a work site, you’ll be accompanied by your job coach, who will provide support and identify accommodations and adaptive equipment that might be helpful on the job. Once you’re ready to work independently, your job coach will take a step back, giving you the chance to get the full employee experience.

  • Learn what it takes to do the jobs that interest you.
  • Gain hands-on experience in your field of choice.
  • Put your new skills to the test in an actual work environment.
  • Find the right fit for you.
  • Debrief and problem solve in collaborative sessions with peers.

Our Employer Network

HKNC has placed students at local and regional businesses as well as national companies like 1-800-Flowers, Adecco, PETCO and Best Buy. Our employer network is continually expanding as vocational instructors reach out to new companies to find employment opportunities that match students’ unique interests and needs.

Work Experience Placements

The Vocational Training department has carefully cultivated relationships with local and national employers that lead to work experience opportunities for HKNC students.

Our students’ community-based work experiences enable them to develop marketable skills; determine the types of support and adaptations necessary for various work environments; apply mobility techniques and communication methods they’ve learned in the classroom in real world settings; and build their resumes. From retail, laundry and food service to education, editing, art and information technology, HKNC students have gone on to build careers in a broad range of fields. Some even run their own businesses.

Here’s a sampling of companies where our students have worked:

  • 1-800-flowers
  • Adecco
  • AHRC
  • Ametek Thermal Systems Inc
  • Applebees
  • Auto Barn
  • Automotive Unlimited
  • Bank of Smithtown
  • Cintas
  • Cleary School for the Deaf
  • DeMatteis Center
  • Filene's Basement
  • Five J's Jewelers
  • GAP
  • Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths And Adults
  • Hilton Hotel
  • Home Goods
  • Holy Trinity School
  • Independent Living Aids
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • JC Penney
  • La Piccola Angelina
  • LDI
  • Long Island Children's Museum
  • Luxxotica
  • Michael's Arts and Crafts
  • Nassau Community College
  • PetSmart
  • Port Washington Library
  • Port Washington News
  • Sears
  • St. Francis Hospital
  • Stop and Shop
  • Subway Sandwich Shop
  • T.J. Maxx
  • Tutor Time
  • United Methodist Church
  • Waldbaum's
  • Williston Park Library

Bringing It Home

You’ll gain invaluable experience and perspective during your time at HKNC, but the real goal is to prepare you to work in the community of your choice. HKNC will collaborate with representatives from agencies in your region to help you identify local supports that can pave the way for a smooth transition to a fulfilling career near your home.

Contact your HKNC regional representative to learn about resources and agencies in your area.


Programs are open to individuals who are deaf-blind as defined in the Helen Keller Act. Government funding often is available. Your regional representative can answer questions about admission requirements, transportation, funding sources and more.

Find Your Regional Rep

Success Story

Woman in glasses standing in front of towel warmer at physical therapy clinic.

Juana’s Story: Reclaiming a Career in Health Care

Juana feared that she’d never work in her chosen field again, but her HKNC job coach helped her find a placement in a physical therapy practice—a temporary work experience that led to a full-time job offer.

Go to Juana's Story Go to All HKNC Success Stories