Program that Prepares Blind or Visually Impaired Students for College Highlights Opportunity, Teaches Independence Bookmark and Share

September 10, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2018

Media Contact: Laura Hudson, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

DBVI‚€™s College Preparation Program runs from July 9 to August 10, 2018

AUGUSTA‚€“Maine Department of Labor's Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI), part of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, offered students who are blind or have a visual impairment the opportunity to try college life for five weeks this past summer as part of its College Preparation program.

"Our students with disabilities should not let anything hold them back from achieving their dreams," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "All Mainers should have access to the training and education they need for their career. These students are excellent role models for all of us who may hesitate to try something new that can better our lives."

Eight students attended the program from July 9 through August 10, held at the University of Maine's Orono campus. The program offered a morning seminar, a three-credit English course in Southern Gothic Fiction, learning labs, and work study opportunities. Some of the learning labs include assistive technology sessions, team-building Maine Bound experiences, and blindness rehabilitation skills training. Upon completion, the students received three university credits and were better prepared to attend college this fall 2018 or in 2019.

In addition to gaining firsthand glimpses of college life, students also engaged in valuable work study experiences on campus. Students worked at the recreation center, the Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) Laboratory, another Lab, the bookstore, the Page Farm Museum, and the TRIO program.

This is the fourth time DBVI has sponsored this program. Three students attended the 2013 pilot program, six students attended in 2014, seven students in 2016, and eight students this summer.

The Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) works to bring about full access to employment, independence and community integration for people with disabilities. The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, part of BRS, provides vocational rehabilitation, education, skill training, paths to employment and independent living skills to people who are blind or have a visual impairment. Learn more at http://www.maine.gov/rehab.

The Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

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