Summer Adolescent Vocational Experience

Introduction

A teenage girl stands just in front of large scale orange butterfly wings.  She is holding a white cane in her hand and she is smiling.

The Summer Adolescent Vocational Experience (SAVE) Program offers a sleep-away camp experience for children and youths, ages 10-15, who are blind.

Summer Adolescent Vocational Experience (SAVE)

This summer, HKSB once again welcomed campers to its Summer Adolescent Vocational Experience (SAVE) Program, a sleep-away camp for children and youths, ages 10-15, who are blind. Held at Long Island University Post, the SAVE experience provides vocationally-focused field trips, daily living skills instruction, social casework services, orientation and mobility training, and rehabilitation teaching designed to cultivate educational success and career goals among campers at a crucial transition-age.

One camper who attended SAVE this summer for the second time was Louisa, a 14-year-old student who has been receiving services at HKSB for many years. Louisa’s family has noted that she has greatly improved her organizational skills as a result of SAVE. Throughout the 6-day, 5-night program, Louisa made independent decisions by selecting her meals and managing her money through a prepaid debit card. She also learned the cooperative skills necessary to share a living space with her peers in a dorm environment. Additionally, Louisa’s family noted that the daily field trips “opened her eyes” to jobs she did not know existed. Finally, with the assistance of HKSB’s social workers and orientation and mobility instructors, Louisa’s confidence has increased and she is now willing to take on more challenges and open herself up to new opportunities. Louisa’s favorite part of the program is the friendships she has made with her peers as they speak to each other regularly and discuss their long-term goals for college. Louisa’s family says she now sees a “reality in her dreams,” as she wants to eventually work as a teacher of the visually impaired.

HKSB is grateful to the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Inc. for its continued funding of SAVE and its commitment to fostering independence and self-sufficiency among children and youths with vision loss.