Youth Programs

Youth Programs Overview

Girl laughs as she puts her elbows in clay.Trying to figure out what’s next? HKNC’s summer programs for deaf-blind young adults – ages 16-23 – can give you new insights into college and career options.

You’ll work one-one-one with experts in assistive technology, vocational training, mobility and more, and you’ll build relationships with deaf-blind mentors—people who’ve been in your shoes and have gone on to achieve their goals. Plus you’ll have the chance to share your experiences with other deaf-blind students in small peer-group sessions.

Young people on a bicycle built for sevenYou’ll learn a lot, but it’s not all work. During your time at HKNC, you’ll take part in a variety of recreational activities. In previous years, students have enjoyed parties, game nights, swimming, bowling, art projects, boat rides and trips to New York City.

We offer three different youth programs at our headquarters in Sands Point, New York. Choose the one that’s right for you and get ready for an incredible summer.

Young Adult Summer Program

Man signs with group of young people.You have a lot of big decisions ahead. Let HKNC help you take control of your future.

Making good choices requires information and introspection. Is college right for me? Can I live in a dorm? What kinds of careers would be a good fit for me? Where can I go for help? At HKNC, a team of experts—including deaf-blind facilitators and mentors—will help you to examine your strengths and weaknesses, and will give you the latest information about assistive technology and other resources that are available to you. Armed with new insights about yourself and the opportunities that are out there waiting for you, you’ll be ready to plan your next move.

During this two-week program, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Explore college and career options.
  • Observe deaf-blind students working in the community.
  • Define your goals and create an action plan to achieve them
  • Learn how to make the most of your Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition planning.
  • Interact with—and learn from—people who know firsthand the challenges you face.
  • Find out how to be your own advocate and get the resources you need in school and beyond.
  • Learn about apartment living.
  • Try out the latest in assistive technology.
  • Identify college and community supports and services.
  • Make new friends and visit New York City.

Summer Youth Vocational Program Young people posing in front of the Statue of LIberty on a field trip

This six-week program will give you a taste of the world of work. You’ll start out shadowing a deaf-blind HKNC student at a job placement and then you’ll have the chance to complete your own paid work experience.

Your vocational trainer will work one-on-one with you to find placements that match your interests and will provide on-site support when you’re on the job. Our students have worked in variety of industries and settings, ranging from retail and food services to data entry and local government.

During the six-week session, you’ll receive basic training in orientation and mobility, adaptive technology and communication strategies specific to the workplace, and you’ll develop the skills you need to compete in the job market. In the afternoons, you’ll meet with the other participants in the program to discuss your work day and learn from each other’s experiences.

You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Get real world experience in a paid position.
  • Explore your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Develop interviewing skills.
  • Learn how to write a resume and a cover letter.
  • Find out how to be your own advocate.
  • Try out assistive aids and devices.
  • Make new friends and visit New York City.
PDF iconClick here an article about Summer Youth Vocational Program by JiaFei Reeves.

Summer Assessment Program for High School Juniors, Seniors and Recent Graduates

Use your summer vacation to get a handle on the basic skills you need to enjoy a full and independent life. Your program will be tailored to your individual goals, and everything you learn will have practical, real world applications.

During your eight weeks on campus, you’ll receive evaluation and training in five core areas:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Communication
  • Independent Living
  • Orientation and Mobility
  • Vocational Skills

Resources

FAQ’s for Students and Parents

Admissions

Programs are open to individuals who are deaf-blind as defined in the Helen Keller Act. Government funding often is available. Applications for summer programs must be received by the last Friday in June. Your regional representative can answer questions about admission requirements, transportation, funding sources and more.

Find Your Regional Representative