CHILD EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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At VIA, we believe there is a job for everyone and we offer programs that will develop skills to meet your career goals. Partnering with employers who seek skilled, dedicated employees makes the difference in the community we share. 

VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMS

 Are you looking for a new path towards employment? Hunting for a new job placement as a visually impaired individual? Maybe you’ve been out of the workforce for quite some time or are looking to sharpen your skills. 

For over 20 years VIA has been providing vocational training programs in in-demand fields including customer service, hospitality, communications, and software applications/accessibility. Most recently, we introduced a new food prep handler program. 

All of our program curricula have been approved by the Office of Children and Family Services, NYS Commission for the Blind, WNY’s leading association for the blind 

ONLINE LEARNING 

The Workforce Development team at VIA recognized early on that “distance learning” or online learning was an important option for many of our participants seeking flexible training hours to accommodate family responsibilities, transportation issues or increase upward mobility skills while working. We were early practitioners of online learning with a fully accessible platform for our participants who are blind and visually impaired, no matter what form of Assistive Tech (AT) software is used. 

The same quality programs that we offer in-house are also offered online by our qualified instructors to give you individualized instruction in a virtual classroom with robust curriculums, peer-to-peer interaction, and structured yet flexible learning options. Contact VIA today to learn more. 

VIA WFD TRAINING PROGRAMS APPLICATION – Word document download

VIA WFD TRAINING PROGRAM APPLICATION Online Application 

Children/Youth Services & early intervention

What is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention comprises a team of therapists and special education professionals. The early intervention team works with parents and caregivers to develop a family-centered program to enable a young child to benefit from therapeutic intervention and foster abilities and potential during early developmental years. A teacher trained in working with the visually impaired should be involved.

WHO CAN RECEIVE EARLY INTERVENTION?  

Early Intervention services are available to children from birth up until their third birthday and are funded by the county in which the child resides. If you think your child may be experiencing any level of visual impairment, speak with your pediatrician or have your child seen by a Pediatric Ophthalmologist.  

SERVICES FOR PRE-SCHOOL & SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

VIA provides Vision Services for over 20 school districts and agencies in WNY. Our school and community-based instructional staff responsibilities include providing direct service from NYS certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation & Mobility instructors who instruct in safe and independent travel skills. Inquire at your district’s Special Education Department or Pupil Services department for more information on how your child can get evaluated for services. 

DOES MY CHILD HAVE A VISUAL IMPAIRMENT? 

Here are some signs that your child may have a visual impairment: 

  • Sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close 
  • Squinting 
  • Tilting their head 
  • Covering an eye 
  • Frequently rubbing their eyes 
  • Short attention span for the child’s age 
  • Turning of an eye in or out  
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding 
  • Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles, and other detailed activities 
little girl with glasses getting ice skates on

getting help

academic instruction

If you’re visually impaired and looking for assistance in preparing for the high school equivalency test (TASC), VIA can help. We will: 

  • Conduct a standardized baseline assessment to evaluate your current academic level in math, history, science, and grammar, and reading comprehension.  
  • Work with you and your rehabilitation counselor to develop a plan and schedule for individualized instruction in the areas needed. Instructional materials are provided in your preferred media including large print, braille, or electronic.  
  • Work with the testing site to ensure that you have the reasonable accommodations necessary for testing.  
Workforce Development Calendar

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