This summer the Colorado Center for the blind will again offer its No Limits to Learning program for blind teens. In addition to the 4-week program we offered in 2023, we will also offer a 7-week program that will include attending the National Federation of the Blind convention in Orlando.
We believe blind people can do anything. Every day, we encourage and challenge each student—and they come to understand their potential as they build the skills and confidence to live the life they want. Because when you believe in yourself and experience a thriving community of positive blind people, nothing can hold you back from pursuing your dreams.
And that is what our summer programs offer – a positive community of thriving blind people that teach effective nonvisual skills and foster confidence in blind teens.
Summer for Success
Dates: June 21 through August 9, 2024
This longer program will provide each student with additional instruction to cement their skills and confidence. Students enrolled in this seven-week program will attend the National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind held in Orlando Florida from July 3 to July 8. They will learn about techniques for airport travel, how to navigate a large hotel, a wide array of technology, meet blind people, attend meetings to learn more about the NFB and much more.
To participate in this program applicants must be 16 years of age or older. They are required to submit an essay discussing why they want to attend the national convention.
No Limits to Learning
Dates: July 12 through August 9, 2024
This program is open to applicants who are 15 years old and up. Except for attending the National Convention, this shorter program will cover all elements listed above, including challenge recreation activities.
The Colorado Center for the blind is located in Littleton Colorado. We place a strong emphasis on safety and security and follow the Youth protection policy established by the National Federation of the blind. All staff receive extensive training prior to the students’ arrival. Students live with a counselor and will be supervised. Read our full Youth Participant Protection Policy.
What is the process?
First, students, their parents, TVI, or VR counselor completes the Summer Youth Application form.
Once we have the student’s application, all potential students are interviewed along with their parent by our director of Youth Services, Chaz Davis to help determine if our programs will be a good fit for that applicant.
After talking with Chaz and if all agree the program and the student are a good fit, families will be asked to provide additional information, such as medications, food or other allergies, etc. Funding is typically available through vocational Rehabilitation in each state under the Pre-ETS, or transition programs. Chaz will also provide information about how to apply to VR in their state and to have VR fund their summer program.
And for students applying for the Summer for Success program, Chaz will ask them to submit an essay to him.
Here are the elements that have made our summer programs vibrant and life changing for so many teens
- Students receive instruction from positive blind role models.
- Students live with a counselor and a roommate in their own apartment to build their skills in all areas of cooking and cleaning.
- Each student gains belief and confidence in themselves as blind individuals.
- All students are required to use a long white cane.
- Students develop nonvisual techniques by using learning shades in all classes.
- Students take the following core classes: Cane Travel, Braille, Technology, and Home Management.
- Students learn about the world of work through job seeking skills class, job shadows, and work experiences.
- Students who will be attending college participate in a college readiness class.
- Students learn about methods that they can use to succeed in STEM fields through hands-on seminars.
- Students participate in challenge recreational activities including rock climbing, canoeing, self-defense, ice skating, rafting, and more.
- Discussion groups are held several times each week. Topics covered include taking charge of school and life as a blind person, dating, taking responsibility, educating the public, images of blindness, and more.
- A seminar held for family members provides them with support and encouragement to have high expectations for their blind teen.
What do Students gain?
- Life-long friendships with blind peers.
- Belief in their abilities.
- Pride in being blind.
- Skills in all class areas.
- Connections with other blind people through the National Federation of the Blind in their state.
- Leadership skills.
About Chaz Davis, Director of Youth Programs
Chaz has his master’s degree in social work. He is blind, a marathon runner and the father of a two-year-old. This is his third summer with us.