Skip directly to content

Career Discovery Project - Open Letter

CD Byline: 
Ken Struve
CD Postdate: 
28 Feb 2012 (All day)

"The Career Discovery Project (CDP) is a multi-year project designed to provide appropriately supported, extended internship opportunities for blind or low vision high school students. CDP will be administered by City Access New York in collaboration with CBVH, and with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Queens Museum of Art, and the New York Hall of Science. These cultural institutions have long-established, highly regarded internship programs and have committed to including CDP participants in 2011-2012.

"CDP participants will:

  1. develop core vocational skills as they explore new and motivating work options that CBVH Transition Supervisor Barbara Campbell describes as  "beyond their comprehension;"
  2. extend independent travel skills through CBVH-led travel training to internship sites; and
  3. expand their social horizons through sustained involvement in new community settings.

"While our goals include developing such core skills as punctuality, time management, listening and communicating effectively, following directions, taking initiative and working cooperatively, CDP will put equal emphasis on the distinctive career exploration opportunities that our internship sites offer. Participants will develop essential vocational skills and explore invigorating work options that will stir their imaginations.

"CDP will support 14-20 high school students who are blind or have low vision in inclusive work experience programs at three major cultural institutions. Participants may be referred from any of the five boroughs, though public transportation demands will favor those who live in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, especially near the Flushing Meadows Park area. All participants will be independent travelers and will be "re-routed" by CBVH, which is to say trained by their Orientation and Mobility experts to take the particular route needed to come and go from internship sites.

"While vocational programs exist for young people in NYC, few offer opportunities beyond the clerical, food service and mailroom stereotypes. CBVH Transition Supervisor Barbara Campbell, who oversees the transition of 250 NYC youth from school to adult placements, says: "For students who are working, most are in retail stores selling candies or sodas at a register. Sometimes the kids work in offices answering phones or doing clerical work, and maybe they work at a daycare." These programs do help students develop skills, but it is difficult to imagine that they inspire. We will offer students more enlivening options. To prepare them to overcome the barriers that they will likely encounter, we believe that young adults with disabilities must aspire to vocational and academic success. CDP participants will develop much-needed vocational skills."

The Lavelle Fund for the Blind generously supports the Career Discovery Project.