Youth Programs

Summer Youth programs go Virtual for 2020

We are going virtual for our 2020 programs for youth due to the COVID-19 restrictions still in place.

 BELL Academy for Elementary Kids

The National Federation of the Blind’s BELL Academy introduces its “In-Home Edition” for 2020, including one bilingual session. Space in these virtual sessions is limited, so check it out right away!

Youth Ages 13 to 21

Although it will be a different version of our typical face-to-face Summer Programs, this will be a series of virtual sessions blind youth will not want to miss.

All courses are free. Pre-registration is required. If you are interested in participating or would like additional information, please contact Martin Becerra-Miranda at mbecerra@cocenter.org.

And be sure to register here!

Self-Advocacy 101

The Colorado Center for the Blind presents “Self-Advocacy 101”, a 2-part virtual workshop to be held on the dates of June 16 & 18 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm MDT. 

The goal of Self-Advocacy 101 is to share tools and techniques that will assist students to understand their strengths and weaknesses; identify and understand how blindness impacts them and what adjustments they must make in order to be on an equal footing with sighted peers; and to develop their individual methods for communicating these necessary adjustments in academic, social, home and vocational environments. We know that creativity is at the core of self-advocacy. More times than not advocating for ourselves begins by identifying a challenge we are facing. In an ideal world this is promptly followed by those in charge offering a solution to said challenge. However, as many of our students know all too well, this is not always the case, especially when it comes to the reasonable accommodations necessary for blind students to have access to materials and stay on track with their peers.

Items that will be addressed during this 2-part workshop include but are not limited to:

  • What is self-advocacy?
  • What types of challenges require me to advocate for myself?
  • How do I know what my strengths and weaknesses are?
  • How can I use my strengths to help address these challenges?
  • How do I know what I need to address and overcome these challenges?
  • How do I convey what I need for access in an effective manner?
  • Students will observe a variety of self-advocacy scenarios.
  • Students will identify Dos and Don’ts of self-advocacy.
  • Students will participate in self-advocacy role-play situations.
  • Students will find and implement creative solutions to everyday challenges.
  • Students will learn about benefits of self-advocacy, e.g. heightened sense of self-awareness and higher self-confidence.
  • Students will learn about the important role of advocating for legislation to ensure equal access and opportunity.

STEM: A Hands-On Approach

The Colorado Center for the Blind presents “STEM: A Hands-On Approach”, a 2-part virtual workshop to be held on the dates of June 23 & 25 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm MDT. 

The goal of STEM: A Hands-On Approach is to provide students an opportunity to participate in hands-on STEM focused experiences that will allow them to explore and assess their interest in these fields. These activities can help students identify new career options and potentially reinforce a student’s interest in pursuing a career in a STEM field.

Items that will be addressed during this 2-part workshop include but are not limited to:

  • What is STEM?
  • What types of jobs/occupations fall under STEM fields?
  • How can I assess my interest in STEM?
  • How accessible are STEM courses in college?
  • A blind Chemistry major at the Metropolitan State University of Denver will share her experiences and will lead an activity for all to participate in.
  • Students will hear from a member of the Science and Engineering Division of the National Federation of the Blind.

College Readiness: Whether Virtual or in-Person

The Colorado Center for the Blind presents “College Readiness: Whether Virtual or in-Person”, a 4-part virtual workshop to be held on the dates of June 30, July 2, 7 & 9 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm MDT.

Going to college is a big step for every young person. For most, it means living on your own for the first time in a dorm, picking a major in a subject you feel passionate about and maybe staying up as late as you want. This fall, it may mean more online courses or only online courses in this era of social distancing. For blind students moving from high school to college, it means no more IEP or 504 meetings, no more technology provided by the school and a number of other things. But it also means exciting opportunities, new friends and new adventures to go along with new responsibilities to know your civil rights as a blind student, how to advocate for them effectively and what to do when you do everything right and still things go wrong.

Items that will be addressed during this 4-part workshop include but are not limited to:

  • Didn’t the ADA fix everything? Your civil rights to access and how advocacy, grit and resilience are essential tools for success. And don’t forget help from the National Federation of the Blind, if necessary.
  • Should the Disability Access Office do it, or can you? How to find your own accessible textbooks and other independent strategies.
  • Traveling independently to class, the dining hall, the gym, and the best coffee stands.
  • Is it inaccessible, or is it your tech skills? Some tips and strategies for making the most of the e-learning environment.
  • Who is paying for this? Vocational Rehabilitation, Financial Aid, scholarships and more.
  • So, what kinds of majors can blind people do? Choosing your path based on aptitude and passion, not pathology.

Employment: Disabilities and the New Workplace Landscape

The Colorado Center for the Blind presents “Employment: Disabilities and the New Workplace Landscape”, a 4-part virtual workshop to be held on the dates of July 21, 23, 28 & 30 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm MDT.

This 4-part course is designed to prepare students to enter the working world. Learn about choosing a career path, building resumes, searching for jobs and hear from successfully employed blind individuals. Participants will also have the chance to talk with employers to improve interviewing skills.

Part I: Professional Presentation

Are first impressions really everything? This session will examine the role of dress, verbal communication and nonverbal communication in an employer’s perception of a job candidate. The goal of this workshop is to help participants understand how to make a good impression on potential employers. Students will also understand how to conduct themselves in business settings.

This session will answer questions such as:

  • What should I wear to the interview and on the job?
  • Do my words clearly convey what I want to say?
  • What is nonverbal communication and why is it important?

Part II: Exploring Career Options

“What do I want to be when I grow up” is a question we are asked many times, but we often don’t have the answer. In this session, we will discuss choosing a career path, finding job leads and landing your first job. The goal of this workshop is to teach participants to use various resources to choose a career, set appropriate vocational goals and leverage networking opportunities and other resources to get a job. 

This session will answer questions such as:

  • How do I know what job is right for me?
  • Where do I find out about job openings?
  • How do I get my foot in the door?

Part III: Your Resume, Your Story

How do I sell myself on paper? In this session, we will discuss different ways of applying for jobs and the documents every job seeker should be able to complete. The goal of this workshop is to teach participants to complete applications, build resumes and write effective cover letters to assist them in the job hunt.

This session will answer questions such as:

  • Does my resume serve as my online application?
  • How do I create a resume that highlights my skills and talents?
  • Do I need a cover letter?

Part IV: The Interview

Interviewing is one of the most daunting parts of job seeking. In this session, we will share tips for interviewing successfully and offer interview practice. The goal of this workshop is to make participants feel more comfortable with the interview process by having knowledge of what to expect, knowing how to prepare and practicing interview skills with real employers.

This session will answer questions such as:

  • How do I prepare for the interview?
  • What are they going to ask me?
  • How should I answer these questions?

Don’t forget to register!

Year-round Youth Programs

You won’t want your kids to miss it!

FAST stands for Fun Activities and Skills Training. This program will meet the second Saturday of each month throughout the school year. Some Saturdays we will simply focus on having fun as we develop skills. Other Saturdays we will participate in a variety of challenge recreation activities.

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