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Career Discovery Project - 2016

CD Byline: 
Jonathan Marin
CD Postdate: 
26 Apr 2016 - 18:37

Overview of the project

The Career Discovery Project is collaboration between Lavelle Fund for the Blind, City Access New York and The New York State Commission for the Blind. The goal is to give students who are blind or visually impaired an opportunity to expand their life experiences and provide them with access to the professional world through internships in area cultural institutions.

During the first three-month period of the Career Discovery Project, internship sites trained, placed and developed both professional work habits and college readiness skills of the students who were interning there. The skills developed at each site differed slightly, but the work habits were very similar. These included punctuality; understanding dress codes, rules, and professional expectations; conforming to expectations; and developing personal goals pertinent to their internship roles.

The students have worked on a variety of different projects and assignments at cultural institutions around New York City. At the intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum an intern was tasked with cataloguing artifacts and conducting museum tours. At the Queens Historical Society a student was in charge of setting up presentations for guest speakers, and at the Tenement Museum a student transcribed print documents into a braille format for visitors who are blind or visually impaired. 

For some students travelling was challenging at first but the experience of going to a job site has paid off. The students sharpened their traveling skills, learned new routes, and figured out how to judge their travel time. Some students travel via public transportation while others use a private transportation service.

Job coaches are available to help students learn and provide on job training, as well as act as a mediator between the job site and City Access New York.

The Career Discovery Project now has 25 partners that take on interns through all 4 seasons with new institutions on board every year.